Choosing a ticketing partner is an important decision. For most events, tickets and admission are one of the main sources of revenue, so this directly impacts your bottom line.
There are lots of choices out there, offering different features and pricing. How do you figure out which one is right for you?
There are five key areas you should evaluate when researching potential ticketing partners. Ask the questions below before you sign on the dotted line, and download our handy checklist at the end of this post.
1. Service & Support
In the event business, every minute counts. You can’t wait two days for a call back. You need to know someone’s got your back when you need help.
When you’re researching ticketing providers, try to get a sense for what your experience would be like if you signed with a given vendor. Will you be just another number, or will your event — no matter the size — receive the support you need?
Service & Support questions to ask potential partners:
- How will you be treated as a customer?
- When you need help, will you get it?
- Is their customer support in-house?
- Can you communicate with customer support in a format that’s convenient for you? (Phone, Chat, Email)
Particularly if you’re a new business or in a smaller market, you can’t be expected to pay an arm and a leg on ticketing fees. Ultimately, your decision may come down to dollars and cents.
Don’t get fooled by vendors who claim they offer a low rate, only to hide complicated fees that nickel and dime you out of your profit margin in the fine print. Pricing should be simple, easy to understand, and affordable.
Pricing questions to ask potential partners:
- Can they save you money?
- Is their pricing easy to understand?
- Are there contracts? What are the minimum commitments?
- Are there tiered pricing levels or paid add-on features?
- When a customer buys a ticket, how soon will you get paid?
- Are there setup or activation fees?
The cheapest plan won’t do you much good if it doesn’t meet your needs, or worse, if the system is so complicated you can’t figure out how to work with it.
Make sure you walk through a demo or sample event setup when you’re evaluating potential partners. This will give you a chance to see the system in action, and to ask questions about your specific setup.
Fit questions to ask potential partners:
- Does their system work for your business model?
- Can they handle your business volume and team size?
- Is the system easy to use?
- Can you customize the features to match your needs?
Even if you’re a technology novice, it’s important to ask some tech questions when evaluating potential partners. If nothing else, it will give you a good sense for how approachable their system is and how you’ll be treated as a customer.
On thing that can really help your business stand out is a ticketing platform that comes with tools that make it easier for you to grow your business, such as email marketing integrations. Be sure to ask about social media or integrations with other apps as well (such as your bookkeeping software or customer relationship management system).
Technology questions to ask potential partners:
- Do they offer products or services to help you grow your business?
- What equipment is required for their system? What will you need to purchase?
- What kind of reporting or analytics will you be able to access?
5. Security & Privacy
Data security is an increasingly important issue. You might think all ticketing vendors have the same policies in this area, but they don’t.
The right partner will be up front and transparent with you about their data security measures. Again, even if you’re not tech savvy, a good vendor will take the time to explain their policies in a language you can understand.
You should also ask whether you’ll have access to your customer’s information, such as email addresses, so you can re-market to them easily.
Security & Privacy questions to ask potential partners:
- What measures do they take to keep your information and your customers’ data secure?
- How do they prevent fraud? What happens if a transaction is disputed by one of your customers?
- Will you have access to customer data?