Checklist for selecting a new ticketing company
Have you been given the responsibility to find a new ticketing system for your organization? That can seem like a very daunting task – especially at first. With so many ticketing companies out there it can be a huge endeavor just to narrow it down to a few to look at more closely.
We’re here to help you out! As we’ve worked with clients and potential clients over the years we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist for those that are beginning this grand adventure.
- Go in with an open mind
You are probably familiar with a few companies already. But as technology and markets change, companies and systems do as well. There may be some new systems since you looked last. Keep an open mind as you come across new companies and unconventional or out-of-the-box ideas. You never know when you may stumble on the next big thing!
- Have a good understanding of your internal processes
Make sure that as you begin this process that you have at least a working understanding of your current ticketing functions. Talk to those that are working with your season ticket sales. Know how your merchant processing is handled. Talk to those that are on the front lines and use the system every day. This will help you immensely as questions arise.
- Assemble the right search committee
This project will seem a bit easier to swallow if you have a good group of people that are assisting you. And it will be even better if you have the right people. Will your accounting manager know exactly what will be best for their reporting? Will having input from the box office manager or assistant manager give you important insight? Having the right people to give you feedback will be a critical part of your search
- Identify features that you absolutely need
This will be a very important, if not the most important piece of your preparation. You need to know what features you absolutely cannot live without. Every ticketing system is different. Every system has its strengths and limitations. Knowing what features are absolutely necessary to you will make selecting a final list of contenders much easier.
- Identify features that you would really like to have
You’re still thinking about features, but now you’re working on your wish list. Are there features that you’d really like to have? Something you may have heard of but need to know more about. Don’t be afraid to ask about these. Once you get down to your final couple of choices this list should help you to make your final decision.
- Set a budget
Every company that you talk to will have a different pricing model. There may also be additional hardware or equipment costs that may be necessary. Knowing what your budget is will allow you to better negotiate with the companies that you are most interested in.
- Set aside time for uninterrupted research
If you do an internet search for “ticketing systems” you may be overwhelmed by the number of ticketing companies that are out there. Set aside time where you can concentrate and make specific notes. Companies can become indistinguishable if you have to walk away from your computer often during your search.
- View demos
Once you have narrowed your search to a few candidates take the time to view a demo of their system. Some will have demos that you can do on your own. Others will walk you through it. Having a live person show it to you affords you the benefit of being able to ask questions on the spot. It will also give you an opportunity to actually speak to someone within the organization.
- Check references
Ask for references and follow up on at least a couple of them. Also make sure that you ask the right questions. Specific questions will get you the most valuable information. Ask about both the strengths and limitations of the system.