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For anyone planning an event, one of the biggest challenges is managing the sale of tickets and checking-in the attendees. You have to offer/sell the tickets on your website, social media channels, and third-party event marketplaces. You have to let attendees select seats and tweak their booking.
It’s even more challenging when you have to manage ticketing for an event that requires multiple types of passes, or a tour that features multiple shows. You can’t mix up the lists of people with premium and regular passes nor give people tickets to the wrong show.
To address all these challenges using automation and streamline ticketing for your events, ticketing software is the best option. This guide offers all the vital details about ticketing software to help event organizers like you find the right solution for your event.
Here’s what we'll cover in this guide:
Ticketing software is a tool for selling tickets and checking-in event attendees. It streamlines and eases ticket sales on all platforms (i.e., websites and social media) as well as the check-in experience. It also helps event organizers like you avoid situations such as struggling to accept last-minute payments, disburse refunds or cancellation fees, or search guest names.
Most ticketing solutions typically offer the following three capabilities:
Managing multiple points of sale: Sell tickets on multiple portals, both online and offline, at different prices and with discounts. Offer a digital representation of the venue on a website/app to let customers select seats. Also, facilitate multiple modes of payment such as credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and foreign currencies.
Creating customer experience: Send tickets to customers via email and/or SMS automatically after payment. Personalize customer communication based on the type of ticket purchased or the show. Also, automate sending email and/or SMS reminders a few days before the event.
Reporting on sales and customer response: Check ticket sales, seat availability, and cancellations on the summary dashboard. Some solutions offer advanced features that let you run email marketing campaigns and analyze customer responses without having to specially integrate an email marketing solution.
There are two deployment options for ticketing software. Here are the details of these options:
Cloud-based deployment: In this option, the vendor takes charge of hosting and maintaining the software. You can access the tool from a web browser or mobile app. These solutions are usually priced on a per user and/or per month basis. The vendor’s pricing plans offer varying features, from basic to advanced, which you can choose as per your budget and needs.
On-premise deployment: This option requires hosting the software on your own servers and maintaining it. On-premise solutions tend to offer greater flexibility of customization. However, you need to pay an upfront fee to purchase and install the software and its related hardware. Vendors usually sell the software as a licence, and you may have to pay extra for upgrades.
GetApp.com recommends cloud-based deployment for small and midsize businesses. This option saves you the effort and costs of hosting and maintaining the software. Most cloud solutions come in a ready-to-use package and don’t have upfront costs. These also offer buyers the flexibility to change their pricing plan when needed to upscale—or downscale—operations.
Key question to ask your vendor: What would be the product’s total cost of ownership (TCO), after considering implementation, data migration, training, and additional equipment requirements?
With different solutions on the market offering various features and plans, it can be overwhelming to figure out what you really need. To help you out, we’ve listed some essential features to look for in a ticketing solution:
Event setup: Lets you create a page for your event with all the details such as time, venue, and number of shows. Customize the page as per your brand by adding your logo and colors.
Dashboard to create event page in Eventzilla
Registration: Allows attendees to register for your events from multiple channels such as your website, mobile app, social media networks, and third-party event marketplaces. Facilitate flow-based registration for events with multiple parallel shows or allow multi-event registration.
Ticket types and prices in EventBrite
Self-service portal: Allows attendees to create accounts and buy tickets from a platform. Let them update or modify bookings, or cancel and get a refund, without calling the support team.
Self-service portal in Eventzilla
Interactive seating: Allows attendees to select their seats when buying tickets. You can also create your own custom floor plans and seating charts to assign attendees their seats.
Seating selection in PurplePass
Payment gateway: Accepts payments from multiple sources such as credit cards, debit cards, Paypal, and digital wallets. For international events, you can also accept payments in multiple currencies and automatically add the processing and/or conversion fees.
Payment options in TicketSource
Reporting: Provides detailed reports about the registrations and tickets sold. You can customize these reports or use analytics to gain insights from sales, visits, and referrals.
Dashboard view in EventBank
Check-in: Uses barcode/ticket scanning on mobile phones and other scanning devices to check-in attendees once they reach the event venue.
TicketSpice alerts for duplicate or fraudulent tickets at check-ins
Widgets: Lets you embed a prewritten code on your website to create a widget. Generate the code in the software, copy it, and add it to an existing or new page on your website, so that you can start selling tickets on the page.
The ticket widget in PurplePass
Key question to ask your vendor: Does your product meet all the needs on my checklist, or would I need to buy and/or integrate with other solutions for tasks such as scanning tickets, receiving payments, and sending emails to attendees?
*Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.