You have heard it a thousand times, to run a successful venture, you have to get the right people on the bus. Finding the right audience is a critical step in driving your business towards success, mainly when your company organizes events.
Box office software functions like a tool that gets you the right people, so you want to make sure you get the best one when purchasing one. Many companies design and develop systems for the arts and creative industries and promise to produce unique user experiences and sell tickets to prospective clients. But not all manage to deliver software easy to integrate into your organization’s processes and website.
Because it’s challenging to pick a product to work with your existing office system, you may develop the features internally, within your website. Sadly, this technique can capture only basic online audience data because it fails to connect with the target public through social media channels.
But if you integrate a box office system into your arts and creative organization, you can reach the right people. So how do you pick one when the market offers hundreds of options?
Before purchasing new software, ask yourself these questions.
Do you sell tickets online and offline?
Does your business operate the box office both online and offline? Then you must link the two lines of operations in a way to have a complete sales overview. A system that integrates online and offline sales allow you to identify purchase patterns and create a map based on your public’s habits. Check the market for software you can incorporate within your website and use it in physical locations.
Do you need direct access to your customers’ data?
You’re running a business in a time when data ownership means power. Some box office systems don’t provide access to clients’ data and limit your analysis capabilities. You cannot take advantage of marketing opportunities if you access limited information.
Before integrating the new system into your processes, evaluate its features, and determine if they meet your needs. To run a successful business in the event industry, you need access to extended audience data, and if the software restricts it, you cannot stand out from your audience.
How will you manage the box office operations?
Before adopting a new system or method, evaluate your processes, and determine how your box office functions at present. If you have a dedicated team to work from a central office, they may require access to some features, but not the entire system. It’s also likely that they need software that works on-site. The new system may require access to your whole line of operations, and you may also have to get cloud technology to store and manage data.
Do you take payments for all events?
You may organize free events and events that allow public access for a ticket price. For the events you sell tickets, you want to revenue to be paid directly to your account. But when you integrate box office software into your website to process payments, you need to consider the complications associated with the process. Check the regulations applied to internet merchant accounts and the guidelines that establish PCI compliance.
If you plan small events that sell a low number of tickets, you may prefer using a system that handles online payments.
Do you hate the system you use now?
You may already have a system to support your operations, but you want to switch to a new one with improved features. The bad news is the process isn’t like a walk in the park; it’s challenging and extends over a long period. Your employees need to learn to use the new software, event organizers need to become familiar with it, and your clients must embrace the change.
Before implementing new software, determine if the present one fails to meet your needs. Get in touch with the vendor to evaluate your needs and recommend ways to address them. Share the new functionalities you’re looking for, so they can recommend a personalized solution. If the current system addresses your needs, there’s no reason to upgrade to a new one.
Sometimes, you feel you’ve exhausted all the options with the current program, and it’s time to use new box office software that benefits your events company.
What do you need the new box office system to do?
When browsing for software, the first step is to define what you’re looking for in the ideal system for your event planning company.
Check your current operations to identify your goals. It would be useful to foresee the features you need in the box office system in the future, and you can do it by documenting the information you already know.
Answer the following questions to make a list of features the new program must include.
- Do your clients need to print the tickets at home and them bring them to the event?
- Do you want your clients to scan their tickets at the door of the event venue?
- Do you want your customers to share the fact they bought a ticket from you on their social media profiles after completing the purchase process?
- Does the software need to offer seating?
- What other operations do you want your clients to complete with the help of the software?
Can the box office software provider provide a demonstration?
To narrow the selection of box office systems, get in touch with the vendors and ask them for trials or demonstrations. As you browse the new software market, many solutions will match your needs, so to differentiate between them, testing is required. To understand if the vendor delivers the features it promises, ask them to offer a remote screen tour for your marketing and box office teams. Gather your employees around and let them ask questions. Remember, that your team needs a system that improves their performance.
Buy new software only if you’re comfortable with using it. And work on the details to understand how the process of migrating your data will work.
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