Switching to eReserve Ticketing: Easy decision

Kerry Goff

Kerry Goff, visiting instructor of theater, knew exactly which ticketing company he wanted to use in his new role at McMurry University: eReserve Ticketing

December 2018–When Kerry Goff’s administrators at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, asked him to find a better ticketing system for their theater department productions, he didn’t hesitate coming up with the solution.

“They came to see a show and said, can you find a better ticketing system?” said the new visiting instructor of theater. “I knew exactly what I wanted to use.”

He called up Ian Blackie, developer and owner of eReserve Ticketing. That is the ticketing system used at Fredericksburg Theater Company, where Goff had just completed 8 years as Artistic/Technical Director.

“This system is user friendly, I like the analytics, and it looked more professional than what we were using,” said Goff, who earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater and a Minor in Musical Theater at McMurry University.

Ryan Little Theatre

Ryan Little Theatre boasts a stage capable of accommodating even large musicals.

The system will be implemented starting in spring at the Ryan Little Theatre, located inside the Amy Graves Ryan Fine Arts Center. The busy theater offers a stage, fly, and orchestra pit capable of putting on even large musicals. They produce upwards of six shows per year, including a summer season. All shows are open to public attendance, so allowing tickets to be purchased online will be a convenience for those off campus.

For Goff, eReserve Ticketing provides all that is expected of a first-class ticketing system at the university level–online and gate sales, ease of use, and thorough reporting. He ticks off a list of added advantages that come with using eReserve Ticketing:

Ready access to support
“I love Ian’s availability,” Goff said. “He responds to emails incredibly fast, and sets up regular times for checking in. That is a level of accountability you don’t see a lot. He is very informative and willing to help us get the most out of the system.”

Accurate seating charts
“I have found other systems confusing, with auditorium layouts that don’t look like the venue,” Goff said. “Ian uses the actual seating layout of your venue.”

Easy transition
eReserve Ticketing is already being used for ticketing sports and theater at Abilene Independent School District, so area residents are familiar with the interface

Ryan Little TheatreComing back to the university after working in the “real” theater world, one of Goff’s goals is to give his students “hands on” experience in every aspect of maintaining a successful theater program. Upper-class students actually help manage all parts of the theater, including the box office, through the work-study program. So he plans to use the system in his theater management classes.

“We are running this as an actual theater company, more or less using it as a teaching class, making it as close to a real world theater experience as we can,” he said.

In the end, using eReserve Ticketing will allow Goff to concentrate on doing what he loves most–performing, directing, and teaching theater.

“We are bringing back programming that had been dropped, and I’m very involved in recruiting students into our theater program. I feel eReserve Ticketing is very invested in helping grow that success.”

To learn how easy it is for you to switch to eReserve Ticketing, contact Ian Blackie at ian@adweb-ereserve.com or 830-460-0883.

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How to keep 1% of your budget from being 99% of your risk

Note: While the focus of this alert is tickets for school events, the issues apply to other other areas within the school systems, community theater, venues, festivals, and all organizations selling tickets.

Did you know that moving to online ticketing is the best way for your school district to avoid the embarrassment of illegal or inappropriate activity by school employees?

That is because online ticketing reduces cash handling in activity and enterprise funds, the piece of any school budget that causes the most trouble.

Surprisingly, those cash funds are regularly overlooked in a typical school audit. Here are several egregious and real examples that made the headlines:

  • A school employee stole millions in lunch money by stuffing it in her bra
  • A school came up $120,000 short in student funds
  • A coach diverted $1300 in booster money

None were caught by regular audits. Schools lose up to $12 million annually in ticket fraud alone!

According to school business consultant Bill Orr, the risk comes from the “Fraud Diamond.”

In simple terms, that is when three conditions converge to open the door to fraud.

Condition 1) Incentive
This happens when an often trusted employee feels financial pressure in their personal life.

Condition 2) Rationalization
The employee rationalizes the acceptability of committing the fraud.

Condition 3) Opportunity
This is both the availability of funds, and the lack of controls.

In what areas do 99% of the “opportunity” occur? Around hard-to-control areas such as school fundraisers, sales by booster clubs, and gate admissions to athletic and fine arts events.

Cash is the culprit.

How big a culprit? Here are some interesting statistics:

For every 1000 students, you probably have $120,000 in transactions going through Student Activity Accounts and Gate Receipts.

You can control the risk in two ways:

1) Increase internal controls, with greater transparency through reporting

2) Decrease opportunity, by digitizing transactions.

By using online ticketing you remove the availability of cash and add clear controls. eReserve Ticketing not only reduces the risks of using cash on campus, it has the added benefits of:

  • increasing convenience,
  • raising sales and revenues,
  • creating better reports, and
  • saving your staff time and trouble.

Isn’t it time for school districts to borrow the tricks of successful online retailers and bring all transactions under more control? With decreased risks of fraud, tighter controls, better reporting, plus the bonus of another revenue source, schools can put the percentages back in their favor.

To learn more, contact Ian at 830-460-0883 or ian@adweb-ereserve.com

Source:
This blog contains information original presented at TASBO by Bill Orr, School Business Finance Consultant.
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Why Schools Need To Switch To Online Ticketing, NOW

If your school is not using online and gate ticketing for athletics, theater, and other public events, you need to start doing so NOW!

What once might have been considered a “convenience” has now become an essential part of doing business, whether you are a venue, event, or, yes, even a school.

There are dozens of reasons to install ticketing NOW, but we’ve listed the Top Six:

1) Get Rid of Cash

“Cash may be king but it’s also a never-ending headache for school district administrators.”

That is the strongly-stated belief of Thomas Canby, Associate Executive Director of the Texas Association of School Business Offices. Replacing that box full of bills with an electronic payment system will “minimize risks connected to cash receipts to the lowest levels possible across all campuses.”

2) Save Time

Online ticketing saves time in two critical ways:

  1. less standing in line at the ticket window for customers
  2. no tedious bookkeeping and reconciling of bank statements for staff

We can recite example after example of schools that switched from sticky notes on whiteboards and tear-off tickets in lunchrooms to putting tickets for proms, parking, plays, and games online. The number one response after the first event was “we saved so much time!” said by BOTH customers and staff.

3) Increase Transparency

Another benefit of online ticketing is the value of reports in creating full transparency of all transactions.

eReserve Ticketing provides more than 24 reports you can export and share with your accounting department. Everything from tracking all sales to reporting daily bank deposits. And reports are generated in real time, for quicker, easier access.

4) Make Your Next Event Better Attended

After using online ticketing, you can build a rich source of invaluable marketing data to use for promotion of future events. This will allow you to take advantage of target marketing, focusing your advertising, and letting customers know about future events.

5) Raise More Money (3 ways)

  1. Research shows that when people purchase online, they are likely to spend more money.
  2. With eReserve Ticketing, you can add “store items” to the checkout process, offering customers items such as shirts, caps, seat cushions, posters, etc.
  3. You can also place ads or sponsorships on the tickets and screens, which business partners are happy to help support. (Note: eReserve Ticketing keeps none of those funds–those are all for the school)

6) It IS Easier

Finally, yes, offering online ticketing is a convenience for your families. Today it is more than a convenience; it has become an expectation for families that get all their tickets for concerts, movies, plays, and events online. We now shop for groceries and order home meals online! We EXPECT to get our game and school concert tickets online, too.

Don’t Wait!

Anytime of the school year is good to start setting up ticketing. In fall you have sports events, in winter there are plays and concerts, and spring is the time for proms and graduations. All those events can benefit from adding online and gate ticketing.

Get Started NOW!

Contact Ian Blackie at 830-460-0883 or ian@adweb-ereserve.com

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Boerne TX school goes “high tech” with ticketing

Parent Kim Berny (right) arrives to reserve her family’s seats with Athletic Secretary Gina Devane for the Boerne ISD football season.

Boerne (pronounced BUR-nee), Texas, parents, staff, love eReserve Ticketing

It was a little challenging to find out how much Gina Devane liked using eReserve Ticketing for football at the Boerne Independent School District, because people kept coming into her office to reserve tickets!

“Boerne is going high tech!” said Kim Berny, a BISD parent whose son is entering high school. “This is so fantastic. Next year we’ll even be able to get our seats online.”

According to Devane, Athletic Bookkeeper and Secretary, that’s been the common reaction from fans in only the first weeks of offering reserved seating using eReserve Ticketing.

“They all love it,” Devane said. “Everyone has been very excited. They don’t want to have to wait in line.”

“Waiting in line” has been the prime motivation for this fast-growing Central Texas community to adopt a new ticketing process. Devane noted that in previous years some parents spent the night in the car in order to be first in line when reserved seats were claimed. This year, her first customer arrived at 3 a.m. Once eReserve Ticketing is fully implemented, everyone will be able to get their tickets reserved online.

The district has looked at implementing a ticketing system for football for several years.

The motivation was to make the entire process more convenient for parents. That included not having to stand in line for season tickets, not having to visit campus the week of each game, not having to stand in line at the gates, and, most of all, the ability to accept credit cards.

This last one was a constant headache. People would come to the game, park, walk to the gate, find out they needed to use cash, then have to go find an ATM and come back.

“Once they realize we take credit cards, they are very happy,” Devane said. “They don’t mind paying a small convenience fee, and it will really boost sales.”

It’s worth noting that last year the district looked at using another ticketing system, when administrators put it on hold two days before launching. They had concerns with the way “unsecured funds” were processed. That is not the case with eReserve Ticketing, as funds are always under district control and flow directly into the designated account code as soon as they have cleared the bank.

“Our district is very fiscally responsible, and they follow all the rules,” Devane noted.

Athletic Director Stan Leech (right) looks on as Secretary Gina Devane helps another Boerne school parent find her favorite seats.

Boerne ISD Athletic Director is Stan Leech, a Texas coaching legend with more than 35 years in education.

“The first impression when you bring it up is that people like the thought that you have online ticketing,” Leech said. “It improves customer service, and that is what we are about. That is the hook.”

Devane continued to process sales as people stopped in the week before the opening game. Once the eReserve Ticketing was set up, it took minimal training to begin using it.

“It was easy for me,” said Devane, who is the main user for now. “Once the season starts, our gatekeepers at the ticket booths will be trained to use it to sell general admission tickets. We really appreciate Ian (eReserve Ticketing owner), who was here looking over my shoulder when we started the season ticket sales.”

Devane also appreciated the ease of using the system for what she calls “trade day.” That is the one day after the renewal period, when current ticket holders are allowed to trade in their seats to move to other open seats.

“It involved canceling and reopening orders,” she explained. “It was easy with eReserve Ticketing. Parents really appreciated it.”

After using eReserve Ticketing for football, the district plans to look at using it for theater tickets, prom tickets, and student parking tickets.

To learn how to use eReserve Ticketing to reduce lines and increase convenience, visit www.highschooltickets.com.

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Ticketing that fits

August 2018–From time to time we receive a simple question about our ticketing system that requires more than a simple answer.

Recent examples have included

  • how much do card readers cost?
  • how will customers link to our ticket selling site?
  • how long does it take to set up?
  • and of course, how much?

All fair questions, and ones we are eager to answer. But each response depends on the clients’ needs. It’s like calling a store and asking how much are a pair of shoes. The clerk cannot even begin to say before asking where you will wear them, what type of outfit to match, and how often you plan to wear them, let alone learning about your style, foot size, comfort requirement, and price range.

Installing a ticketing system is much more substantial than buying a pair of shoes. That’s why we don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. When we are contacted by a potential client, we first set a meeting, either online or in person.

The first part of the meeting is used to figure out your specific needs, including:

  • Size of venue
  • Number of tickets sold
  • Reserved vs General seating
  • Will you need Season Tickets?
  • Online sales, gate sales, or both
  • Style of tickets preferred
  • Wifi and Internet access
  • Number of scanners, printers, card readers
  • Type of online merchant processing used or preferred

These questions are so important, we send out an advance worksheet asking for basic information.

After we know more about you, we take you through eReserve Ticketing, showing how the system looks and works from the point of view of both the ticket buyer and the ticket seller.

That’s a lot of information, but we can cover the basics in 45 minutes to one hour. It helps to have all the stakeholders present, so we can address every area of concern, from the accounting and budgeting, to IT, to public relations.

Our sole purpose is to determine how the use of eReserve Ticketing is a good fit. We believe in building long-term relationships, so spending one hour together at the start is a good investment.

Oh, and about the cost? eReserve Ticketing only charges one low per-ticket fee. We know that will be a pleasant surprise!

To set up a meeting about YOUR ticketing needs, contact us today!  www.adweb-ereserve.com.

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Tickets to the Stars

May 2018–Not every school has a planetarium.

But having one offers many benefits for a school district, according to Melinda O’Malley, Director of the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation’s (Mishawaka, Indiana) Digital Video Theater & Planetarium (DVT).

“Having the DVT allows me to integrate and support learning for our entire school corporation in all areas of STEM,” she said.

It is also a great way to involve the community that comes to enjoy shows throughout the school year. Now, thanks to eReserve Ticketing, those guests can reserve seats in advance and online. The new ticketing service increases convenience and security, with no need to stand in line or visit the box office.

People loved it right way.

“It went fantastic,” O’Malley said after the first pilot shows that used tickets. “Fully 83% of tickets sold were online, which is wonderful. I was happy about that.”

A big part of the successful rollout was due to astute marketing by Lucha Ramey, Director of Communications. She promoted the new ticketing option on the district’s social media channels, gave the information to principals to include in their  monthly school newsletters, wrote a news item for all 16 P-H-M websites, and even included it  emails to school staff. She also arranged for RevTrak to add a button to the District’s RevTrak store website.

While the limited rollout of three events is too early to tell if overall seat sales will go up, that is the pattern at other venues. The reports will provide a baseline they can measure against for next season.

“Each of my shows are different at different times of year,” O’Malley explained. “So there might be a sellout at one time, then not, then another sellout. It is unpredictable.”

But even while waiting for data to predict long-term trends, O’Malley was pleased so many people purchased tickets online.

“Some of the first patrons to come in said, I ordered online and it was super easy, we loved it!”

For the next school year, O’Malley is already looking at implementing some other innovations made possible by ticketing, including placing school information on the ticket and taking donations for scholarships. For now, she is happy with what she called the biggest selling point: “You don’t have to wait in line if you purchase online!”

Details:

The Digital Video Theater (DVT) & Planetarium is an educational resource to P-H-M schools and the greater St. Joseph County community, making the shows available to neighboring school districts and to members of the general public. O’Malley, a certified teacher herself, has also aligned her shows to meet  Indiana state curriculum standards.

The DVT is open during the P-H-M School year, providing digital lessons projected in the state-of-the-art dome. Additionally, the facility hosts nearly 50 informative and entertaining public shows each year, with topics ranging from Astronomy to Rock & Roll. These shows are offered at a nominal cost and are also open to members of the general public. Show schedule is online at www.phmschools.org/planetarium-digital-video-theater.

The DVT/Planetarium also includes an air and space museum that contains artifacts donated by NASA astronauts and some of which are on loan from the Johnson Space Center and the Smithsonian Institution.

For more information on the DVT, contact Melinda O’Malley at (574) 258-9569 or momalley@phm.k12.in.us.

Find out more about how eReserve Ticketing can take your ticketing higher! Visit www.highschooltickets.com.

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Ian Blackie: Piper

Ian Blackie, founder of eReserve Ticketing, is a native of New Zealand and an accomplished player of the bagpipes. He regularly volunteers to pipe for commemorations for war veterans in Fredericksburg, Texas, especially those hosted by the world-renown Admiral Nimitz Museum/George H.W. Bush Gallery of the Pacific War.

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Taking Ticketing Task Off Teachers

Tim Lowke

Tim Lowke, Assistant Director of Visual and Performing Arts at Round Rock (TX) ISD

April 2018–Tim Lowke was searching for a solution.

The Assistant Director of Visual and Performing Arts at Round Rock (TX) Independent School District was charged with finding a better ticketing solution to manage the district’s burgeoning fine arts programs.

“Our needs were several,” Lowke said. “First was to streamline the ticketing process so we could take the handling of money out of the hands of the teachers. That way they could spend more time with the students actually preparing the productions. It was one more thing off their load.”

The second reason was to connect with the community.

“We are trying to engage the larger community that is not normally involved in our schools,” he said. “By putting ticketing online, we can both increase accessibility and streamline the process.”

After researching the marketplace, they partnered with eReserve Ticketing. Once the decision was made, the next challenge was rolling it out to the district’s five high schools and eight performing venues. They decided to pilot it at three theaters in the spring.

Lowke set up initial training sessions with Ian Blackie of eReserve Ticketing. Together they presented the system to 37 theater teachers, and also conducted training with parent booster volunteers who help run the box offices.

Taking tickets

How they used to sell tickets. Now no more lines in the lobby.

Finally, on the nights of each school’s performance, Lowke and Blackie were on hand to provide guidance. Lowke assigned box office staff admin privileges to allow them to handle cash, check, and credit card sales at the door.

The goal is to gradually hand off the responsibility to staff and volunteers.

“I am teaching parents to act as administrators of the box office at each school, so I can step out of that role,” Lowke said. “I’ll work with them, but I won’t need to be there every single night.”

The plan is to have every fine arts event ticketed starting next year. The district hosts more than 300 events every year, with close to 80 of them ticketed. The intent is to have all of those set up so the public can purchase tickets online and at the door. And they are already seeing other ways to utilize the system.

“As we look at how budgets are being squeezed, as teachers need to do more fundraising, we will be able to ticket even more events.”

Rollout has been “pretty easy,” and they’ve already seen positive results. After adding eReserve Ticketing this spring, both attendance and sales went up.

“We work hard to have our programs be the best they can be for both students and teachers,” Lowke said. “We want to do what we can to support them. That’s our role.”

Hartfield PAC

Now seats are mapped out and available online.

Another advantage is helping staff more efficiently utilize theater spaces. For the first time, they have all the seating mapped in all the performing places.

“For years, teachers have had to tell us how many they expect will come, so we can place them in the correct venue,” Lowke said. “Now, with eReserve Ticketing, we will be able to look at hard numbers. We can say this particular type of event typically has X amount of people, so it needs to be on this stage. This will help us use facilities and resources in a smarter manner.”

[See Reports: All about the numbers]

Footnote: Located just outside of Austin, Texas, Round Rock ISD is one of the fastest growing schools in Texas, with a top projected growth of more than 10% a year over the next 15 years. They currently have five high schools and eight performing arts facilities, including a 1200-seat Performing Arts Center, two 750-seat auditoriums, plus several “black box” theaters that seat 350.

Ready to manage your fine arts events? Large district or small, or in between, eReserve Ticketing can work with you. Contact us today!

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Reports: All about the numbers

Dianne Foletto, Director of Community Relations Marketing for Round Rock Independent School District (Texas), is finding ways to use eReserve Ticketing’s extensive reports to build community/school relations.

April 2018–Dianne Foletto’s job is to draw the community into the schools. eReserve Ticketing has given her powerful ways to do that.

Foletto is in charge of Community Relations Marketing for Round Rock Independent School District just outside of Austin, Texas.

“Our goal is to get people to attend events,” Foletto said. “We want people to come out and spend an evening with us.”

Those public events include bilingual family nights, kindergarten roundup, and fine arts performances at the district’s four auditoriums, including the 1200-seat Performing Arts Center with Black Box Theater.

Together with Tim Lowke, Assistant Director of Visual & Performing Arts, Foletto was keen to find an online ticketing solution for Round Rock ISD’s events.

Cedar Ridge auditorium

Round Rock ISD’s Cedar Ridge High School auditorium.

“We wanted to be able to sell tickets online,” Foletto said. “If we can measure results in numbers, that’s what we want.”

Lowke “did all the hard work,” researching ticketing systems, acquiring scanners and printers, training all personnel in the new system.

[See Rolling out ticketing at Round Rock]

In choosing eReserve Ticketing, they received more than 25 reports, tracking everything from daily intake totals to zip codes of ticket buyers.

“It is absolutely about numbers and reports,” Foletto said. “We cannot respond and react without knowing how to move forward. If we don’t know how people feel about something we offer through their participation, we don’t know if we are being effective.”

Foletto uses a range of ways to reach out, including email, social networking, web site, and event flyers. She doesn’t neglect “old school” marketing such as banners and traditional press releases, designed to reach a wider audience.

“Traditionally campuses would just market to their school,” she said. “This year we spread it around to all schools. We need to go where people are and think about who will be purchasing that ticket.”

Orchestra

Using information from reports, Round Rock ISD looks to bring in more of the community to enjoy programs such as this orchestra concert.

One success story was when a newspaper ran a story about a show. A local retirement facility picked it up, and brought a busload of residents to see Guys and Dolls.

“We’ll want to send out more traditional press releases next year,” she said. “They won’t know if we don’t tell them.”

Foletto considers the first go round as a “benchmark” year.

“The data we are able to collect this year will enable us to take a look at future years,” she said. “I want to learn if we had people come from another part of the district to see a show in the center of our district. If no one on the east side comes, we’re not going to bother sending flyers there. Will it necessarily change what we are doing? Maybe not, but it is good to know how to spend our energy. We won’t really know until we have a couple years of data.”

That data will show her how the community responds.

“If I see people who don’t have kids in school but are still using our facilities, that is significant. I want to know where those pockets of people are coming from.”

The ultimate reason for bringing constituents into the public schools goes beyond numbers–it’s about getting more of the services that families need. But it starts with… numbers.

With eReserve Ticketing, they now have an effective way to gather them.

Bring the power of eReserve Ticketing reports to work for you. Contact us today. www.adweb-ereserve.com

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Take ticketing to your prom

We are often asked to set up unusual events for ticketing. These have included everything from entering goats in livestock shows to reserving painted parking spaces. But when Hillary Holden, Activities Director with Minooka Public Schools, called about seating for their prom, that was a new challenge!

Not only did she want to use eReserve Ticketing for handling the online ticketing to attend prom, she wondered if we could arrange for students to reserve their seats on the coach buses that transported them to the prom site.

“We looked at RevTrak and their partner web sites,” Holden said. “We saw eReserve Ticketing. We knew you handled ticketing for theaters, so wondered if you could do it for buses.”

This was no small task. She estimated a total of 800 students who would be using 16 buses, with 53 seats per bus. Holden wanted students to be able to go online, choose their seats, pay for them online, then receive a ticket reserving their chosen seat.

Minooka had started busing students to prom the prior year. The high school event was held in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, about an hour and a half drive from Minooka. The school administration didn’t want students driving into Chicago for the evening, for reasons of safety and convenience.

The first year they handled ticketing the old fashioned way. Tickets were sold only on campus, with students waiting in line during lunch period. Signup was done by hand, using pieces of paper and printouts posted on the wall.

“It was a mess,” Holden said. “We had to figure out how to do it online.”

Now anyone who has ever been a teenager knows this is tricky territory. In high school, it is very important who else might be on your bus and who will be seated next to you, especially on prom night.

But eReserve Ticketing was up to the task. We created a seating layout for each bus, then opened up reserved online seating for all 16 buses at the same time. After that, it was first come, first served, for the students.

Did it work?

“Oh, yes, it was definitely easier to do online,” Holden said. “It not only saved staff time, it saved students hassle and time as well.”

It was so popular they ended up registering more than 900 students, and adding a 17th bus.

Minooka definitely plans to continue this system for the upcoming prom. They already have some ideas on taking advantage of eReserve Ticketing’s exclusive benefit of adding sponsors to the tickets to help raise funds.

“We had to change some things while doing it, but Ian was great to work with,” she said of eReserve Ticketing’s owner. “I would definitely recommend it, and already have done so to other schools in our conference, if only for the time savings and convenience of doing it online.”

To find out how eReserve Ticketing can help streamline your prom–or ANY event–contact us today! www.adweb-ereserve.com

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Still calls for Will Call

Jean Moffett, Box Office Manager at Fredericksburg Theater Company (Texas), enjoys the new “will call” feature she requested, and we added.

Oct 2017–In this age when we do everything online, including choosing and purchasing event tickets, customers still appreciate some “old fashioned” services.

Services such as “will call.”

Jean Moffett, who has worked as Box Office Manager at Fredericksburg Theater Company (Texas) for more than a decade, kept hearing a request from ticket purchasers.

“People still thought when they bought tickets online, paper tickets would be waiting for them when they showed up at the theater,” she said.

Lobby volunteers were efficient, but sellout crowds are common at this award-winning community theater.

“When you get to the theater and there is a line of people waiting for tickets, it can be difficult to find their one specific ticket,” she explained. “Especially when they show up at 7:29 for a 7:30 show!”

So Jean asked if there were a way to know whether customers had already printed out their own tickets. If they had not, then the theater staff could print them and have them ready for the customer to pick up when they arrived in the lobby.

So we added that feature.*

Now, when someone buys a ticket online, before completing the transaction they indicate whether they will print the ticket at home, or if they plan to pick it up at will call.

“Then it prints out a list,” Jean said. “We just have to pull the list up and print the tickets that we need.”

Since Jean is basically “the staff,” she prepares ahead by printing out all will call tickets daily leading up to a show. That way, when the evening arrives, she will have all the tickets placed in individual ticket envelopes and arranged in an accordion file, ready for pickup.

While the Texas Hill Country has a significant retirement population, over 70% of theater-goers purchase their tickets in advance online. For those who still call or drop by the office to reserve tickets, Jean places them on the will call list.

“It’s just awesome, for several reasons,” Jean said of the new feature. “People who come in the night of the performance are happy the tickets are there like they thought they would be, and people don’t need to stand in line waiting for tickets at the last minute.”

For Jean, this latest upgrade is just part of the responsive, direct customer service she has come to expect from eReserve Ticketing.

“Absolutely,” said Jean, who claims it doesn’t take much to make her happy. “As I’ve said so many times, when I buy anything–whether it’s a product or an appliance–customer services means a lot. I can talk to Ian directly, and he even would come to the theater to help set up. It’s nice to have them around.”

Find out how eReserve Ticketing can make your next event or performance more efficient and enjoyable. Visit www.adweb-ereserve.com

*The will call feature’s availability is dependent on which merchant account provider you use. Call to discuss.

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Web Upgrades you will and won’t notice

Oct 2017–As part of our ongoing quality process, we have been upgrading our online presence.

The part you will see is our newly-designed web page–www.Adweb-eReserve.com.

The new site meets current web protocols for search as well as being responsive for all the current devices people use to interact online.

We also freshened up the look, and over the next several weeks will be adding new content to help you learn more about our services.

The part you won’t see–but you will benefit from–is moving to upgraded servers in order to handle increased demand for our software and enhance security.

Part of the reason was also to separate our software component from our web and blog components.

That means that you will enjoy enhanced speed, state-of-the-art security, and ample capacity to handle any ticketing demands thrown our way.

Thank you for continuing to trust in eReserve Ticketing. Let others know about us so we can help them move to online and gate ticketing that is more secure, more convenient, with better reporting and quicker access to their funds.

See changes yourself at www.adweb-ereserve.com

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Tickets Everywhere

When one of our clients that is based in Texas began using eReserve Ticketing to sell seats for a concert in Nashville, it made us think about the freedom eReserve Ticketing provides for organizations doing events.

Unlike old ways of selling roll tickets and walkup box offices, you don’t need to have staff onsite weeks ahead of the event.

eReserve Ticketing is truly cloud based.

For the administrator, that means you can access it anywhere, anytime, to check on ticket sales, peek at reports, and make updates.

For the user, cloud based means they can be anywhere when they want to order tickets.

Unlike some companies, eReserve Ticketing does not limit the software to a certain computer or number of computers, nor is it location based. You can access the software at your home or office, or on the road, or even vacation. Recently we were able to help a customer in Washington State while our top tech was traveling in Ireland!

Don’t let your ticketing software tie you down to a terminal. Find out how eReserve Ticketing unleashes your seating potential.

Posted in Adweb-eReserve, Client Feedback, Event Tickets, How To, School Tickets | Comments Off on Tickets Everywhere

4 Reasons NOT to try ticketing… And why they are wrong!

After years of visiting with customers and potential clients, we’ve heard all the reasons why some choose NOT to try an online ticketing solution.

Here are some of the more common ones, along with OUR reasons they are wrong.

Reason #1: We’ve always done it this way.

We’ll bet everyone bumps up against this excuse at some point in their career. After all, the reasoning goes, if a process has been working for a long time, it must be reliable and proven.

But we’ve found that once clients use eReserve Ticketing, it becomes the new “old way!”

Reason #2: Our customers won’t use online ticketing because they are (pick one):

  • too old
  • too young
  • too rural
  • too urban
  • too low income
  • too wealthy
  • too tech challenged

The truth is that today, everyone across all age, ethnic, educational, and economic strata are comfortable using the Internet, computers, scanners, and smartphones. They EXPECT to be able to transact business online.

Reason #3: Our ticket buyers enjoy coming in to the box office when tickets go on sale.

Truth is most people are too busy to make an extra trip to fight traffic and come to your office during limited office hours.

In the case of schools, the days of random people wandering onto campus are disappearing as well.

What people expect is to fire up the smart phone and grab their tickets 24/7.

Reason #4: Selling tickets online costs us money.

No, it actually can save you money, in ways that are sometimes not obvious:

1) Reduced staff time

On the front end, when people buy online, that means you don’t need a person sitting in an office on the phone or computer taking orders.

On the back end, the reports and accounting that come with online ticketing means less work reconciling credit card statements.

2) Reduced “shrinkage”

You also save by reducing the amount of cash handled, often by frontline staff and volunteers. Every note is counted with eReserve Ticketing, so less “shrinkage” happens.

Bonus! eReserve Ticketing actually gives you ways to add more revenue:

– Added revenue from increased sales that come from being online
– Added revenue from ad space on that you sell and control

If you come up with more reasons NOT to move to online and gate ticket sales, give us a call and let us explain how eReserve Ticketing can bust those myths!

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Selling tickets forward

June 2017–Everyone knows it is good practice to sell tickets before your event. But how about selling football season tickets two seasons forward, before your stadium is even completed?

Dripping Springs (TX) high school’s new athletics stadium.

That’s what Dripping Springs ISD is doing. Their brand new stadium is due to open this fall, but starting last summer they have been using eReserve Ticketing to sell season tickets through 2018.

“It was more of a financial option to go ahead and sell those seats early,” explained Pam Schuh, Accounting Manager. “We wanted to see if we could get them sold so we don’t have to sell them in the future.”

The public reaction was positive, with well more than a thousand stadium seats reserved.

“Yes, they did buy tickets,” Schuh said. “Consider that it was something different, we did have a good response. We probably sold more than half of those seats for the two year time frame.”

The district will open tickets sales for the current season again this summer, then sell unsold seats at the gate.

The accelerated sales schedule holds several benefits for both the school and the fans. The fans were assured reserved seating for a first look at the new facility. The school experienced new efficiencies.

“It was much more efficient from the finance side,” Schuh said. “We didn’t have to wait for people to write up deposit slips and tab sheets, so the money was credited directly to the school checking account. The money was there right away, so there wasn’t that lag in time.”

Dripping Springs is also using eReserve Ticketing for shows at their Performing Arts Center. The same benefits apply there.

  • Immediate credit at the bank
  • Cutting the amount of cash at the box office
  • Not needing a big startup drawer

More and more schools are looking at creative ways to make ticketing more efficient both for their accounting offices and for their families.

“I am having to think differently,” Schuh agreed. “Our students and parents are younger, and they think digitally, they want to use the internet and mobile phone options, and to make payments online. You have to be thinking about the end user. They don’t write checks anymore!”

Get in touch with us to discover other ways the “think differently” about your ticketing solutions.
www.adweb-ereserve.com

Posted in Client Feedback, Event Tickets, Marketing, School Tickets | Comments Off on Selling tickets forward

No more dancing in the aisles

Ticketing is now “painless”

June 2017–Sometimes the dancing at Cindy’s School of Dance recitals wasn’t limited to the stage. The way the Allen, Texas, dance studio used to handle ticketing lead to some confusion in the aisles.

“We used to used general admission seating, and it was first come, first served,” said Tanya Casey, a self-described “dance mom” who has been in charge of tickets for the past six years. That method led to some “hassles,” such as people “saving” entire rows of seats, or families not being able to sit together.

So Casey pressed for a better seating system and came up with eReserve Ticketing. It totally changed the way the studio handles ticketing.

“It’s painless,” Casey said. “We give out the link, and people go online and print their own tickets. At the performance, there are no ‘ifs, ands, or buts.’ This is the seat you have and this is where you are sitting!”

The studio uses the auditorium at Lovejoy High School near the Metroplex, so they were familiar with eticketing. But eReserve Ticketing provided added benefits. Not only does it help the studio keep better track of attendance, the convenience has meant better numbers than previously as it is easier to purchase tickets online.

“This definitely works out better,” Casey said. “Once it’s set up, it’s painless. I don’t have to do anything! It is totally worth it.”

To choreograph your ticketing process, give us a call!
www.adweb-ereserve.com

Posted in Adweb-eReserve, Client Feedback, Event Tickets, How To, Theater | Comments Off on No more dancing in the aisles

Dancing With YOUR Stars

Raising funds can be fun using eReserve Ticketing.

Mark Halvorson, Performing Arts Center Manager at Alexandria High School in Alexandria, MN, hosted a Dancing With The Stars event. It was a takeoff on the popular television series, using local “celebrities.”

“We paired local business people with students and put them on stage,” Halvorson said. “It was essentially a fundraiser for us and it worked out well for a first event.”

A twist Halvorson came up with was to use eReserve Ticketing to “sell” votes on each contestant before the contest. People could visit the web site and “vote” for their favorites at $1 per vote. It not only raised funds for community education and marching band, it raised awareness, as a fun way to get the school and community involved in a good cause. The creative approach helped build buzz and garner extra publicity from the local newspaper and radio station.

The school uses eReserve Ticketing for events held in its Performing Arts Center. The 1000-seat PAC is heavily used in this “very active” arts community, regularly selling out musicals, concerts, plays, plus shows by local theater groups. Halvorson appreciates how eReserve Ticketing handles both reserved and general advanced seating, and how the reporting helps him keep organized.

“I like the reporting in eReserve Ticketing a lot,” he said. “Especially the summary report. It’s real easy to use and you can export it into Excel, so it works out well. I also like the reasonable fee and the fact we only pay when we use it.”

Halvorson plans to repeat the Dancing event next year and try to do more advertising to boost the attendance even more. Any advice for others trying a similar event?

“I would say give it a shot,” he said. “And be sure to get a choreographer. That’s smart and helps the dancers look somewhat prepared. Let’s face it, not everyone is a dancer!”

Get on our dance card and we’ll start getting you set up today!

www.adweb-ereserve.com

Posted in Adweb-eReserve, Client Feedback, Event Tickets, Marketing, School Tickets | Comments Off on Dancing With YOUR Stars

Tickets for schools!? Let’s count the ways…

When our new clients at Hockinson School District in Vancouver WA asked us for a list of ways to use eReserve Ticketing, even we were surprised at the number we came up with!

Many of our school partners (and non-school partners) approach eReserve Ticketing with one ticket application in mind, such as football or theater. Soon, however, they start coming up with other ways to take advantage of eReserve Ticketing’s ability to add convenience, shorten lines, increase revenue, and make better reports. Some of these are quite creative!

Here is a partial list:

Sports
eReserve Ticketing works equally well for football and soccer stadiums, basketball gyms, wrestling rooms, and natatoriums. Wherever you find organized sports, you can use our system for general and reserved seating.

Season Tickets
For sports or theater, why not give your ticket holders the option to lock in season tickets. We have an easy 3-step process to do that, and ways to allow seatholders to self-renew going forward.

Fine Arts
Whether plays, concerts, or any kind of performance, eReserve Ticketing can turn your ticket sales and box office into a smooth-running operation. Many of our schools discover they can have a large percentage of their revenues in the bank before the night of the first performance!

Proms
One of our clients wanted a way for students attending prom to pay for their tickets online while reserving a seat on a bus transporting them to the dance. We came up with a custom layout that let students choose their bus seats and pay, all online, all in advance!

Graduations
Often there is limited seating for graduation ceremonies, especially when moved indoors for weather or other reasons. Schools can use eReserve Ticketing to limit the number of seats available to families and guests. The system works equally well for events such as these that are “free” to the public.

Parking Spaces
Another creative way to streamline the process is moving the reserving of parking spaces online. Over the summer, students can log on and pay for their space. Then during school registration it is a simple matter to present their ticket and pick up their permit.

BONUS! One school  gives students the option to pay a premium for the privilege of decorating their own parking space. The extra fee goes to a school activity fund, and eReserve Ticketing helps keep it all organized.

Meets & Tournaments
With our option for using wristbands, schools can harness eReserve Ticketing to sell tickets for multi-day events. One nonprofit uses it to control access to rocket launches at a remote site. NOTE: You can require ticket holders to agree to terms & conditions, as a way to adhere to insurance and FERPA guidelines.

Summer Camps
eReserve Ticketing is a handy way to let parents sign their children up online for participation in summer and holiday camps. They pay and reserve online, then you generate a roster for the instructor.

Yearbook Sales
With our online “store,” it is a simple matter to set up a place online to collect advance sales for school yearbooks and similar items. Takes all those lines of students and piles of cash out of the office.

Testing Fees
One school finds eReserve Ticketing the perfect solution for students to schedule and pay for a variety of tests, such as college prep, advanced placement, and so on. One less thing for an already busy office or counseling staff to handle.

Product Sales
Many clients don’t realize eReserve Ticketing offers an online “store” where they are able to post and sell a limited number of spirit items. The process for buying store items is the same as the process for reserving tickets.

Donations
It is a simple matter to add a “Donate” button to a school web site. People wanting to support a scholarship, fundraiser, or good cause can simply click on the button and choose their level of donation.

Fundraisers & Festivals
Many elementary schools sponsor carnivals, dinners, and festivals to raise funds for buying “extras” for their campus. Instead of sending kids door to door, move ticket sales online. This is not only safer and more convenient, it gives schools and parent organizations a way to keep track of funds and avoid having children handle large sums of money.

Foundations
Every school has some type of foundation. eReserve Ticketing works just as well for their galas, dinners, fundraisers, and scholarships.

Advertising
While this is not an “event,” eReserve Ticketing allows schools and booster organizations to solicit and sell advertising space on every ticket and checkout screen. This extra revenue goes straight to the organization, with no handling fee from eReserve Ticketing.

Remember, ALL of these uses are included when you sign the agreement with eReserve Ticketing. We have NO LIMITS-NO MINIMUMS-NO MAXIMUMS on number of events, number of tickets, number of users, or number of computers.

P.S. Send us your creative and successful ideas for uses of eReserve Ticketing. We’ll share with our growing number of users.

www.adweb-ereserve.com

Posted in Adweb-eReserve, Client Feedback, Event Tickets, School Tickets, Theater | Comments Off on Tickets for schools!? Let’s count the ways…

Our Tickets are HOT!

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The SystemsGo rocket program uses eReserve Ticketing to collect information that helps them procure funding.

Jan 2017–In this case HOT stands for “hotel motel funds.” Many communities earmark tax revenues from hotel and motel stays to underwrite local nonprofits and events that draw in visitors.

It is an intense review process. In Fredericksburg, Texas, for example, the requests from 36 entities add up to double the amount of funds available. So it becomes important that organizations are able to document the number of visits and overnight stays they create.

That is where eReserve Ticketing comes in.

We offer powerful tools that can make the difference between receiving funds and being ignored.

The first tool is the basic data you collect from anyone making a ticket transaction. You receive their name, home address, town, zip code, and phone and email. From this you can track where they are from. (Out of town visitors are the ones that count in this case.)

Additionally, you can include a short questionnaire for ticket purchasers to complete. Common questions might be:

How did you hear about this event?

How many are in your party?

How many nights are you staying?

The information you collect is encompassed in one of our 17 detailed reports, which you are able to print as a pdf or download into a spreadsheet.

Here are two scenarios how organizations use eReserve Ticketing to solicit HOT funds:

Fredericksburg Theater Company

This successful award-winning theater company regularly receives $25,000 from city HOT funds. As a user of eReserve Ticketing from the beginning, they understand how to pull out pertinent data. At the most recent presentation to the City Council, for example, Director Steve Reily was able to quote attendance and growth figures over the past three years. He informed the council that

  • attendance was up 33%
  • more than 50% of ticket buyers were from outside our two-county area

“We use the questionnaire option,” Reily said. “With eReserve Ticketing, I can break it out by zip code, state, and county. That’s why I am able to state that we draw from 111 Texas counties and 29 different states.”

Those are amazing numbers for a community theater in a town of 10,300.

SystemsGo

Another nonprofit uses HOT funds to publicize their once-a-year event, a launch of more than 100 rockets by high school students from across Texas. Unlike the theater tickets, admission to the launch is free. However, SystemsGo requires anyone entering the launch grounds to have reserved a ticket through eReserve Ticketing. This has two purposes: 1) requires the purchaser to acknowledge the risk of entering the site, and 2) collects data for use in requesting HOT funds.

(This is a perfect illustration of the question we often get asked about continuing to sell tickets for cash without entering them into the system. Our reply is that one of the true values of eReserve Ticketing is capturing valuable data to use for future marketing and funding.)

In the case of rockets, they were able to report to the council that their event drew more than 1800 out-of-town visitors who reserved 244 rooms.

This level of feedback has not escaped the attention of council members, who have publicly commended these organizations for the detailed and accurate reports. Many nonprofits have to resort to volunteers with clipboards at the gates or other less accurate methods to collect this data. With eReserve Ticketing, it is part of the package, that in these two cases more than justified the small ticket fee.

As a bonus, the demographic information you collect helps you target your advertising buys for your next event–an additional savings.

Find out how you can put the power of eReserve Ticketing to work creating stronger reports and safer transactions at www.highschooltickets.com.

www.adweb-ereserve.com

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Football is over! Only 8 months to kickoff!

(c) Kevin Moloney, 2005

(c) Kevin Moloney, 2005

Dec 2016–When it comes to ticketing for your high school football games, NOW is the time to start setting it up for next season.

Why so soon?

So you will have all the ticketing in place well before you need it.

Here are some things that eReserve Ticketing can help to put in place:

1) Establishing the inventory of general seats offered

2) Mapping out the reserved seating chart, both Home and Visitor sides

3) Determining the type/number of scanners and printers needed (if you choose to scan)

4) Ordering equipment and ticket stock

5) Training staff (this is critical for best practices)

6) Testing card scanners and wifi availability

7) Selling Season Tickets
It is best to have everything in place for selling those season tickets as early as spring. The first season requires some setup (which we will help you do), but once in place, your season ticket holders can go online and renew or change their reservations by themselves. Just imagine how convenient that will be for them and how it will free up your staff’s time from having to handle all those phone calls and office visits.

8) Informing the public
Most important, the earlier you look at this, the earlier you can start on an often overlooked component of any change in the way of doing things–letting the public know! Ticketing upgrades work most smoothly when you get the word out to the public. Other schools have success with press releases, school newsletters and bulletins, notices on web sites, etc. One school used a billboard to announce ticket sales, to great success!

Don’t worry. That sounds like a lot to do, but we will be with you every step of the way, guiding and training your team to make sure everything is in place. All you’ll need to do is cheer on your team!

BONUS REASON!
Another benefit of using eReserve Ticketing is that we provide schools 3 ways to generate revenue for your programs: 1) ads on tickets, 2) links on checkout pages, 3) online “store” to sell spirit items, even donations. The longer lead time you build in, the more time your booster clubs have to solicit businesses to take advantage of this opportunity.

P.S. Not just football
Of course all those reasons we give for football also apply to every other sport and program, from fine arts to proms and galas. The earlier you start, the better the results.

Contact us for more details on how eReserve Ticketing can boost your sales process. But don’t wait! Next season will be here before you know it!

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