Tickets Please …
5 Things You Should Know Before Setting Up Online Tickets
The Irish Government announce last Friday (to some businesses dismay) that the reopening of niteclubs from Friday 29th Oct 21 would require the use of an online ticketing system. So having setup a few of these in my time here are my top 5 tips for success.
- Choose Carefully – Do your homework on ticket systems before you just jump in and choose one. There are some large scale vendors like Ticketmaster and Eventbrite all the way down to just having a Paypal button so the scale of options is varied. Look closely at the costs, setup complexity and payout. Think about whether you need help to choose the right platform as you may be using this for months (yikes). Charges can range from about 5% to 2% but there will always be a commission charge so be aware.
- Payouts – Some companies take up to 7 days to transfer the funds collected for the tickets to putting the money into your companies bank account. Think about how not having access to a large amount of cash until a whole week later would have on your company cashflow. You might have to talk to the nice man in the bank about an overdraft facility just incase you need it.
- Logistics – Think about the logistics of having online tickets for your venue where you have never had to use that before. Someone will need to be the ticket manger with overall access to the system, all of the orders and associated email addresses. Your front of house/door staff will need to be able to scan the tickets so you will need to install an app to do that and you may need to provide the staff with new devices to do this. You will also need to be sure that your venue wifi is strong enough to talk to those devices all the way at the front door. That’s apart from the crowd management and usual flow of customers all keen to get inside.
- Data – Your going to be collecting vast amounts of personal data on customers which you have never had to collect before for track and trace purposes. Most ticket systems will do this automatically and will allow the customer to choose GDPR preferences. But there is a responsibility on you to manage this data responsibly. You may have lists of customer data that are now visible by door staff or managers who all need to make sure it doesn’t get lost or stolen.
- Testing – The most important piece of advice I can give you is TEST, TEST and TEST when you are launching a time critical service like online tickets. Selling the tickets is the easy part (once setup) but scanning and recording entry an be time consuming and has to work every time. Think about how you can avoid a nightmare of ticket scanners not working on Wifi going down etc. Staff need to know what the Plan B is and one person need to be appointed as the ticket manager to co-ordinate it all.
Online ticketing is not a new concept but it is for niteclubs who traditional accept customers at the door in a late night setting. There is an element of spontaneity involved which is contrary to how online tickets system work. Think about how customers may buy minutes before arriving at the door? How will cancellations or refunds work? What if someone wants to sell their ticket? So my advice to niteclub owners is spend the coming days (and I mean immediately) getting ready for this massive change to the industry. It can be done but time is short so its a case of “Tickets Please?”.