What did you ask for for Christmas? If you are like me you may have just asked for plain and boring socks. Those of you with children or nieces and nephews may have had quite a list.
My youngest son had devised a novel weighting system of ‘top presents’ and ‘these would be nice’ – I guess subconsciously he has picked up on the great many procurement projects I’ve worked on this year!
Just like Christmas lists many organisations weight their priorities when devising specifications for new suppliers or technology. On our functionality builder tool we list those as either essential, desirable or possible items.
In the last four years I have seen some items of functionality giving greater weightings, with some now being deemed less important.
Many digital tools are now top priorities for organisations, while older technologies such as magnetic stripe cards are deemed far less important
Occasionally, we hear or see dramatic changes in these priorities.
Working with a client in late November (2017) we heard just one of these.
As we discussed the organisation’s needs, focused around scenarios and business practices, one senior member of staff stated
any system we look to move to must integrate with booking protect, we cannot consider not having this
I was quite taken aback by what is normally an afterthought being a headline functionality demand, so I queried whether it was absolutely essential.
I’ve projected that we could make £40-£50,000 in 2018 with Booking Protect” came the answer.
“Wow” I replied.
I have known for some time that many venues make considerable revenues by offering optional refund protection on ticket bookings. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the figure being that large (but this is a large regional performing arts group).
Away from Booking Protect as a specific provider, or even the type of product, for me, this was quite a watershed moment. It shows us as arts organisations that, in difficult times, perhaps our imperatives and attitudes to technology are changing from functional descriptions to more strategic desired outcomes.
As entertainment organisations, whether in performing arts or sports, we must start to think in this way. For some, survival, for others success, may depend upon it.
By placing where we want to go and/or how we want to engage with our fans at the centre of our thinking, in either technology or service provider roles, or even the offerings we make available, we will ensure that we stay relevant, and continue to develop our audiences as well as protecting our revenues.
Of course, an extra 50 grand a year wouldn’t go amiss either eh?