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Which came first? The booking or communication?

As the question suggests, which came first the booking or the communication? Having experience from the industry for several years as both a customer and whilst working for a system provider, that really does depend upon the solution.   

Let’s explore that, the vast majority of the systems on sale today are primarily based around selling tickets and admissions with online capabilities. Take it as read that they can offer varying additional functionality either embedded or integrated in, an example being a food & beverage offering.

On the face of it, that’s fine, a solution to a problem – box ticked….!

I would therefore suggest we go back to the basic reasons that you are looking at a new system. This may well be because the old system lacks functionality, is not capable of providing you with the outputs you require or perhaps it is just no longer fit for purpose. Having decided the reasons, the new system needs to fulfil your requirements excelling in other areas, basic stuff really. So, where do people go wrong? Usually they don’t, merely getting the system they purchased based on the requirements or their budget.

But wait, you are all installed, now what else can it do?

I’m often asked the following question “if we use your system, will we see an uplift in our online bookings”, the short answer is ‘No’! Obviously, by simply adopting any booking & ticketing system you will not automatically increase your online booking percentages. Just like any endeavour you almost always only get out what you put in. Even the first step of winning the lottery requires you to at least buy a ticket.

Functionally selling tickets should be a straightforward process, set up a product, create an admission, create a tour or an event; put them on sale. An order is placed, it might be the result of a discount scheme encouraging customers to purchase their access to the site in advance. In this example the booking comes first, and I would suggest this is the case from most systems.

But what if the communication came first?

Let’s assume the above ticket sale was based upon a marketing campaign. A broad approach viewed by many, driving sales to your website … perfect, box ticked!

Excellent, we have achieved our first goal and have a booking. The customer should then be communicated with prior to the visit.

Everything we have discussed so far should be a daily occurrence at your site. So, to re ask that question “what came first”?

Just for a second imagine if you could review all your records, comparing the data and trends. Then use that knowledge to widen your market, target specific audiences, achieve higher booking levels and increase average spends. Importantly creating a better experience for your clients, remembering to keep the engagement up during the lead up to their visit with focused, informed, triggered communications.

This is the difference between just buying a ticketing system and purchasing a CRM based solution.

Many of our customers use and benefit from this capability, we even have clients using competitor ticketing solutions. So, the next time you create a ticket for an event ask yourself this, did the ticket come first, after all “we are all selling experiences, aren’t we”?

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