7 Questions to Ask When Doing a Demo of an e-Ticketing Solution

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One of the best ways to understand what questions you need to ask during an e-ticketing demo is to get a full scope of all your expectations & needs in the final e-Ticketing solution.7 questions demo of eticketing

It’s very important that the e-Ticketing software you choose includes all of the features you need now, and in the future, as you do not want to be locked into an application where you will reach limitations later on.

1. What is the total cost of ownership?

Your basic fees will include merchant processor fees, per ticket fees, a percentage of ticket sales and a possible monthly fee. On top of this you may have startup costs in the range of $200 – $5,000 just to get your site started along with monthly maintenance fees. Over time these fees add up increasing your initial estimated cost.

2. What are the total fees per ticket? If there is a percentage based cost, what is the percentage cap?

Per ticket fees vary from a flat rate only, to a flat rate and percentage, and percentage only. Ticket percentage fees can be costly to you and/or your customers. Percentage caps on tickets can range between $9.95-19.95 per ticket.

Ticket percentage fees become very expensive for big ticket events like trade shows, workshops, seminars, and charity fundraisers. For example, a couple attends an upscale gala paying $1,000 per ticket, each ticket will cost $20.98 per person. That is an extra $40 that could be spent going toward a donation to your charity event rather than a ticket fee.

3. Is this a do it yourself solution?

Any good solution will allow you to make necessary changes to your site quickly and on your own. Some solutions will require you to pay to use their staff and services to upload your own logos, create your seating chart, or edit your css, adding additional costs.

If you plan to use a seating chart for your event, you should be able to create this on your own. Most companies will only allow you to use a seating chart if they do it for you. This means you will have to pay their design team to create the seating chart and wait for their company to get this set up. A great solution will allow you to create your own seating chart and start selling tickets to your event on the same day, avoiding any delays to your event sales.

4. Do I have to pay for customer support?

This may seem like an easy “No” answer. But it is true you may be charged a premium per month for additional customer support or to get ahead on the call list.

5. Can I keep my own branding?

Oftentimes you are stuck with a one page “cookie cutter” ticketing platform that may not match your company branding. Your company and its purpose become lost in a ticketing company’s own need to promote itself. Make sure your site and event doesn’t get lost in their image. Some providers offer a theme service where they can have your ticketing app match perfectly with your existing website. Can you use your own domain? Some providers will allow you to use a custom domain, like tickets.your-domain.com or events.your-domain.com

6. How long will it take to get my money?

Using an e-ticketing site’s merchant processor may see like a good idea. A common practice among companies is that they will hold your money. You may have to wait 2 weeks, a month or until after your event is completed to receive any proceeds from ticket sales. Plus you will pay an overall higher merchant processor fee as part of using their service.

Having your own merchant processor and negotiating your own rate is often the best way to save money on your ticketing services. Best of all you get the funds deposited to your bank account on the same day. This is critical as most events need these funds to execute the event. Imagine running a wine festival and later learning you will not get the funds from the ticket sales until after the event is over. Now you are stuck in a bind, unable to purchase beverages or pay for other much needed expenses.

7. What types of ticketing modes do I need?

There are 4 types of ticketing modes for online ticketing. These modes are:

  1. General Admission – normal section/price group based pricing.
  2. Reserved Seat – ability to sell tickets to specific seats, parking spaces, booths etc.
  3. Open Ticket – customer buys a ticket that can be used at any time, such as a roller skating ticket or drink voucher
  4. Open Ticket with user selected time – customer buys a ticket and fills in a future date & time. An example of this would be an airport pickup ticket, where the customer is letting you know when they need to be picked up.

Very few apps provide all 4 modes; most only provide the general admission option.

While picking your solution, be sure to think about all of the different business needs you have to ensure the solution you go with will work best. Go with a company that respects your brand image and does not force you to use a cookie-cutter template. Consider the kind of flexibility you will need now to manage your ticketing and future changes to your strategy. You should have some flexible options, such as general admissions, open ticketing, seating charts and reserved seating.

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About the Author

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Carmen Tsabetsaye

Carmen Tsabetsaye, Director of Operations for SimpleTix.com, Inc., B.A. Media Arts, the University of New Mexico, has a multifaceted back ground and experience in film production and non-profits bringing a unique perspective and understanding to event ticketing for organizations. She has worked at KOB-TV and Serious Grippage and Light Co., including short and feature films as a 1st and 2nd Assistant Director. She spent two years with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, including volunteer theater and film productions with VSA North Fourth Arts/Two Worlds Program over the past five years. She is a founding and current board member of the newly formed Two Worlds Film and Theater Company. Carmen received her Zertifikat Deutsch for basic fluency in the German language and enjoys travelling, photography, digital art and new media in her spare time.

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