Choosing a Box Office Ticketing System for Online Ticket Selling
Many more options are available for smaller venues who wish to sell tickets online or through their own box offers without using the services of a major ticket service organisation.
In recent times, many more options are available for smaller venues who wish to sell tickets online or through their own box offers without using the services of a major ticket service organisation such as Ticketmaster. And in most cases the costs can be considerably lower as well as offering additional benefits to the organization.
Many small organizations possibly consider that the cost of such systems may be outside their budget or that they would be difficult to implement and maintain.† However this need not be the case. Let's take a look at four of the main considerations.
Upfront costs and ongoing costs
Broadly speaking there are two types of ticketing systems that are available.† Firstly, it is possible to purchase software outright (although as with most software, this is effectively a licence to use the software). In this case, it would normally be a one off purchase but the software costs can typically exceed several thousand dollars depending on the complexity of the particular software that is chosen.† Also there may be some ongoing maintenance charges or additional charges if updates to the program are made.
Another somewhat simpler alternative is to use organisations such as PayPal where the complete gateway/merchant account step is handled by the organisation and all money is deposited direct to your bank account.
Of course it is also possible to sell tickets online even without having such a payment system setup.† In this case, when your customers purchase a ticket online, they will be given a voucher number which they then bring to the venue before an event and after paying full for the tickets that they have ordered, the voucher is exchanged for actual tickets.
However many box office ticketing systems will allow you to print tickets with a standard LaserJet or ink jet printer.† In this case, the tickets would normally be printed on a pre-perforated sheet of letter-size paper with four or five tickets per page. Irrespective of the type of printer that is chosen, most box office ticketing systems will allow you to customise your ticket layout to include images logos, extra text etc.
Web site integration
The other method is that a webpage is created with the exact look and feel of the organisation's own websites, and similarly the code is also inserted within this template page, but in this case the actual web page is located on a different server and is linked to the organisationís website by a hyperlink.† In most cases, the user would not be aware that they had been transferred to a different site to handle the seat selection and payment.
Of course every organisation also has additional requirements, such as the ability to handle season tickets, to sell ticket from additional outlets, to sell gift cards or FlexPasses, to accept donations etc. and every box office ticketing system will have somewhat different features included. However the above four considerations probably encompass the main concerns for any organisation contemplating a new box office ticketing system. But as explained above, none of these should be a stumbling block for any organisation who wishes to handle their own online ticketing, and reap the additional advantages that operating their own system can provide rather than using a ticketing service organization.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Malcolm Kay is the CEO of HandyTix, a provider of box office ticketing systems and ticket software for both small and large organizations throughout the world