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The importance of registration and ticketing cannot be overstated. A cohesive and user-friendly ticketing/registration interface plays a vital role in the success of your event. If you are asking your attendees to register or purchase a ticket, it is important to make their data entry and/or purchase experience intuitive, efficient and mobile optimized.
When choosing a ticketing platform, customer support is paramount. Contrary to popular belief, a support line is not strictly used when a problem arises. Support lines allow for event organizers to ensure their event pages are optimized, prior to deployment. Conversion is key, support will make sure your ticket offerings and registration questions are clearly stated. Support lines will also aid in your understanding of event data management, dashboard reporting, revenue projections, tracking digital marketing efforts and use of platform tools. At minimum your ticketing platform should provide you with all the necessary mediums of communication; a toll-free phone number, live chat and email support.
Whether you’re planning and executing corporate meetings, associations and networking events, conventions or expos; the right ticketing partner is of the utmost importance, so choose wisely. A ticket platform should be viewed as a ticketing partner, as the success of your event should be a priority for both parties.
Not all providers are created equal and it’s often difficult to decipher what you’re actually getting. Some ticket platforms promote low setup fees and then charge more for all the useful tools and customer support. To save time, here are 21 questions to help uncover what you’re really getting from an online ticketing provider.
- What is the pricing structure? Are free events free?
First of all, you want to be able to get started without disclosing credit card information. It should be free to start planning your event. If it is a free or registration-only event, there should never be fees or costs. Free means free.
Some providers charge a subscription fee, some have a flat fee, others have tiered packages with various features available at each level. Make sure you understand what you’re paying for. Be careful about having to pay more for certain features or for core needs such as customer service. Ticketbud, for example has an all-inclusive flat rate per ticket, everything including customer service comes with that flat rate. A great benefit of a flat rate fee per ticket is building the ticket fee cost into the ticket price. Passing along fees allows you as the organizer to effectively sell tickets for free.
- Do they offer early payouts?
Many large ticketing platforms hold onto your ticket revenue until your event has ended. Make sure you understand your expected payout schedule. There are many advantages to having early access to funds; the ability to pay caterers, venues or hired entertainment, allows for peace of mind during an already stressful event execution process. Ticketbud offers daily, weekly or monthly payouts.
- Is on-going customer support included or do they charge extra to talk to a human?
Access to support, come event day is key. Afterall, the show must go on! It is important you are not left to fix a technical glitch on your own. In an ideal world your event(s) run smoothly, but technical issues or weather may cause issues that need attention from a ticketing professional. Customer support can keep you and your event on track. Ticketbud offers free customer support.
- Do you get a free event page that's easy to set up?
Your event page is the first interaction you have with your prospective attendees. It is important your brand is visible and your event page is easily navigable. Make sure you can create a great looking event page with tickets and social share options. This should be included and easy to set-up, with no technical expertise required. Ticketbud has an on-page editing feature so you can make edits directly on your custom event page.
- Can you promote multiple brand or organization events on a showcase page? Is this an additional cost?
If your organization or brand runs multiple events or has events that span multiple days, a showcase page can be a great way to present your events on one branded page. This is particularly beneficial for cross promotional opportunities. Ticketbud’s showcase page provides a customized branded link (vanity URL) and the ability to toggle between an interactive calendar view and event tiles.
- Do they offer custom branded or white label solutions?
You may need a little flexibility for customization or a complete white-label branded solution. Make sure you know what your ticketing platform can offer. Ticketbud can respond to custom requests including a highly branded customer experience. A fully-branded white-label would require an additional upfront development cost.
- Do registrants or ticket buyers have to create an account?
As you explore different ticket platforms, be mindful of the customer experience and flow. Ticket buying conversion rates drop off when an attendee is required to register for an account prior to purchasing a ticket. Ticketing platforms requiring ticket buyers to create an account are generally doing this for their own data harvesting, to remarket to your attendees. Ticketbud does not require attendees to create an account prior to purchase, offering your attendees a frictionless buying experience.
- Is their site mobile optimized, from the event page to the checkout experience?
Most people are looking at events on their mobile devices. Make it easy for people to register for your event by ensuring event pages and checkouts are mobile optimized. A mobile optimized interface from event page through to checkout, maximizes conversion rates. Integrations with one click payment options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay offer another solution that makes for a smooth checkout process.
- Are unlimited ticket types included?
Multiple ticket types or Ticket Programming is the key to jumpstarting sales. Ticket buying behavioral trends have proven that Early Bird tickets with a countdown of remaining tickets will help trigger early ticket buying. Offering exclusive tickets such as VIP tickets can also encourage early ticket buying. Other ticket programming can include, complementary and sponsor tickets, food and beverage packages, event merchandise and donations. Ticket programming is the key to maximizing sales. Be aware of providers that charge more for multiple ticket types. Ticketbud offers their event organizators unlimited ticket types.
- Can you have promotional and access codes for discounted or sponsor tickets?
Promotional code functionality is useful for ticket types you don’t want everyone to see. It allows you to send complimentary tickets to sponsors or have staff register for free. You can offer special promotional prices to certain members or target audiences with exclusive offers.
- Can you customize ticket information?
It can be beneficial to have custom questions built in for the various ticket types. This allows you to gather relevant information from a specific ticket type, which could be anything from dietary requirements to signing up for break-out sessions. Another useful feature is being able to customize the ticket information that attendees receive, including the ability to embed a schedule of events on the bottom of your printed tickets or sponsor information and coupons.
- Is there functionality to offer ‘calendar view’ tickets? Where registrants or ticket buyers select a specific day/time for their ticket.
A booking calendar is perfect for multi-day/time events or sessions. It makes it easy for registrants or ticket buyers to select a specific date and time. Ticketbud makes it easy for you to embed this calendar on your own website in addition to your free showcase page.
- Do they have a solution for recording offline cash or check purchases?
Sometimes there’s a need to record cash or check transactions to ensure accurate reporting. Ticketbud, for example has an offline tickets function that allows you to record sales from tickets processed offline. When it comes to reconciling ticket sales, it is important to have accurate information on hand. Make sure your ticketing platform offers the ability to ‘log offline sales’. This also comes into play when sponsors would like to send in a check to avoid paying processing fees. Ticketbud offers offline cash/check account management.
- Are there collaboration management features where you can set administration access levels?
The ability to set administrative access levels for event collaboration is highly valuable. This allows departments and team members to access the information they need, relevant to their role or the event they’re working on, without giving unnecessary access. You may want to restrict access to financials, or you may have volunteers that simply need access for check-in scanning. Ticketbud allows you to customize collaboration access and offers unlimited collaborators.
- Do they offer tools and resources to assist in promotion?
Your ticketing platform can give you additional tools and features to help with promotion and tracking, including and not limited to; event and showcase pages, social share buttons, Facebook pixel and Google Analytics integration, promotional widgets to embed tickets directly onto your website, custom link tracking, referral and promotional codes, and the ability to send targeted email invitations from within the platform.
- Are there built-in communication tools? Can you communicate to a specific ticket type?
It should be easy to communicate with those invited and your attendee lists. Whether you need to inform a certain ticket type of a modified time or a weather cancellation, it’s valuable to be able to send targeted custom messages to specific ticketed attendees. An engagement center can facilitate communication, nurture attendees, and manage attendee lists for follow up (including post event surveys).
- What solutions can they offer you in terms of event cancellation protection?
Leading up to an event there can be significant costs to an organizer. With some events you may want to protect your financial investment with event cancellation protection. Ask what solutions are available for unexpected event cancelations, such as force majeure. The ability to insulate against revenue loss is invaluable. Ticketbud has an integration with Event Protect to provide financial coverage for ticketing revenue.
- Do they have a mobile app for scanning tickets? What about additional event hardware?
The availability of a mobile app that can be downloaded fast to any mobile device, makes event day much easier. Ticketbud offers a free mobile check-in app for scanning tickets at the door quickly and easily. You can also look up attendees by name or generate printable guest lists. It’s also helpful to rent event hardware such as additional scanners, mobile Point-of-Sale and wi-fi devices from your ticketing provider.
- Do they offer comprehensive reporting and compete access to your event data and attendee information?
Accurate data and reporting is important pre and post event. This data is used to evaluate event size and sales revenue goals, assess marketing investments, identify trends and optimize event-day management. Robust reporting that can be easily interpreted is key to evaluating the success of your event, and providing insights to improve subsequent events. Complete access to and ownership of your event data is a valuable asset, that should never come at a cost. Make sure your ticket platform has your best interest in mind with regard to data sharing. Remember, this is your data and should be accessible to you and your team at any time in easy-to-interpret and downloadable formats.
- Are they willing to listen to your feedback as an event organizer and make improvements?
Finding a ticketing partner that truly acts like a partner is the golden ticket. Are they willing to develop a relationship, provide real customer service, find out what you need and be adaptable enough to help you achieve your goals? If you aren’t satisfied with your ticketing provider, there are others willing to partner with you.
- What are people saying about them? Ask for recommendations.
Ask for recommendations and referrals from existing customers and look into online reviews and rankings. For example, Ticketbud is the only ticketing platform to consistently rank on the Capterra independently reviewed Top Rated Event Management Software list, for all three categories: User-friendly, Affordability and Popularity.
Ticketbud is a user friendly, all-in-one event management and ticketing platform with all-inclusive pricing and real customer support. Organizers are in control with flexible payout options providing early access to funds, powerful tools and integrations, comprehensive reporting and complete access to event data at no extra cost. With the flexibility to customize (including white-label solutions), event organizers worldwide trust Ticketbud.