So you’re looking for an online ticketing system?
That’s a great first step, because handling event registrations via email, or Google forms, or ‘contact us and we’ll get back to you’, or excel sheets is a bit of a nightmare for everyone involved.
It probably takes you too much time to complete repetitive tasks that could be done automatically, and it’s 100% going to be losing you business, because people expect to be able to buy their tickets quickly and conveniently on whatever device they happen to be on.
But whether you organise a really large event and just haven’t moved to digital yet because of legacy systems and traditional management; or you’re a one-man band and worry it will be too complicated…rest assured, it’s way easier than you think.
Now assuming you are seriously considering moving to an online event ticket system, what should you be looking for? How do you choose the right one for you?
Here are 10 important factors you should consider when evaluating an online ticketing system.
Nobody wants to swap their existing system for something less reliable, so you have to be absolutely sure that your new event ticket system is completely dependable.
You can find that out by checking things like uptime, which is essentially a measure of how often a website is available and working for people. Reputable sites should have very high uptime (at Eventbrite our uptime is 99.99%), and any downtime obviously means time your customers can’t buy tickets.
You can use something like Currently Down to find out a websites uptime, if your prospective ticketing system partner isn’t willing to disclose their uptime.
You could also check their social media accounts to see if there are any complains or comments in the last 6 months or so about not being able to access the site or experiencing downtime.
- Trust and Security
Alongside reliability, being confident that your online ticketing provider can offer an exceptional level of trust and security has to be core to your decision.
There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, if your online ticketing system doesn’t have a lot of trust, built on years of delivering great service, then people are much less likely to trust you, or buy tickets to your event through your provider. So it pays to go with a well-known ticketing system, as the trust they have built up will transfer to you, too.
Secondly, they should have teams dedicated to trust and safety, so they can quickly deal with any instances of fraud, complaints, or other actions that erode trust.
Fraudulent tickets both create upset fans and can overload your capacity. Make sure your partner has someone watching to make sure the right people have tickets so that your attendee’s experience and your brand don’t suffer.
Thirdly, make sure they’re in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI), which ensures that attendee credit card information is being stored in a secure environment.
Finally, they will need to have plenty of engineers working on trust and safety, to make sure your data (and your customer’s data) is kept safe, with up-to-date software and best practices implemented.
Basically it’s a big job, so you’ll need to be sure your ticketing software provider has the necessary size and resources to deal with it properly, otherwise you could be the one that suffers.
- Data Access
Speaking of data, wouldn’t you like to own it? You should have access to all your data, but some partners only provide limited data viewing. Make sure you can access all the data you collect, even years later.
And you should be able to access your data on demand, whenever you need to (on whatever device you want). Access to your data shouldn’t be limited to weekly or occasional ‘reports’ that are sent to you from your provider.
If you have to wait on your partner to view your attendance or marketing efforts, they’re preventing you from moving quickly and making fully informed business decisions.
You should also check that you do own your own data, and that you can export it and take it with you should you wish at some point in the future.
- Intelligence and Insights
Having access to (and ownership of) your data is crucial, but it’s only partially useful unless it’s provided to you in the right way. Data doesn’t become useful until it can be turned into intelligence and insights.
Most partners will provide you with data, but not all of them will help you visualise and sort that data into meaningful insights. The ability to track your event as it happens and build a database across events will help you learn about your attendees and gain valuable knowledge about what makes your events most successful.
For example, can you see which marketing partners or tactics are driving the most ticket sales? Or where in the world people are buying tickets from? How about which ticket types are over or underselling so you can adjust your plans and marketing investment?
You should be able to see all of this in an easy to view dashboard, at the click of a button. On desktop, mobile or tablet. If you can’t, you’re missing out.