I recently came across the most adorable and altogether (almost) too-cute-for-words video by Time Out New York, which features two very sweet kiddos tasting some of NYC’s most inventive ice cream flavors. While I chuckled along with the rest of the background audience, I was also struck by three interesting lessons that could be easily applied to the process of selecting a ticketing system.
But first let’s start with the video:
Cute, right? Time Out New York’s esteemed taste-testers, Lily (5) and Darien (6), are very liberal when expressing their thoughts and opinions on each of the different ice cream flavors. In fact, they reminded me of how performing arts organizations and educational institutions should approach their selection process when considering different ticketing systems, and what those systems offer their organization and patrons. With this in mind, here are three lessons that Lily and Darien can teach us about selecting a ticketing system.
What Sounds Appealing to Some, Isn’t Appealing to Others
This lesson is apparent right away with their very first taste test – the Red Plum & Blueberry Popsicle. Maybe it’s because I’m an adult or maybe it’s because I love red plums and blueberries, but I thought this popsicle would be an absolute hit with the kids…
As it turns out, I was very wrong.
Darien: “Baddest ice-cream I tasted.”
Lily: “It’s disgusting.”
Much like this popsicle flavor, ticketing systems are not created equally. As such, a ticketing system that appeals to one organization might sound dreadful to another. This is why it is absolutely imperative that you do your own research: determine what your organization needs, determine your target price-point, and take advantage of the complimentary demonstrations that most ticketing companies offer.
The Bottom Line: Referrals and reviews provide further insight, but you won’t really know if it’s the right fit until you try it.
First Impressions Count
It was very interesting to watch Lily and Darien review the Raspberry Pink Peppercorn Sorbet. Now I knew that the flavor was a quirky twist on a very popular traditional sorbet flavor, but the kids were simply expecting regular raspberry sorbet.
Darien: “I think it’s going to be like raspberry…because it smells a little like raspberry.”
In this tasting we see a classic example of the way first impressions count in determining an overall opinion of something. The children recognized the smell and sight of the sorbet as one of their old favorites, and were therefore more predisposed to like this flavor before they had even tasted it.
In this regard, Lily and Darien remind us of theater patrons. First impressions are formed within seven seconds, so your patrons will draw very quick conclusions about your new ticketing system. This is why it is so important for you to consider what your ticketing system’s first impression will be. Clean, concise, and easy to navigate? Or cluttered and confusing?
The Bottom Line: Put yourself in your patrons’ shoes and consider what type of first impression your ticketing system makes. Make it a good one!
They Call Them Classics for a Reason
Last but certainly not least, Lily and Darien quickly confirm that classic flavors and formats are considered classics for a reason. We see this when they sample the Organic Midnight Mint Cookie and the Lumberjack sandwich.
What they had to say about Organic Midnight Mint Cookie:
Darien: “I can’t resist the taste!”
Lily: “So delicious!”
And their dialogue in discussing the Lumberjack sandwich:
Lily: “Ice cream sandwich.”
Darien: “Ice cream sandwich.”
Much like a chocolate flavor or the classic ice-cream sandwich format, there are a few key ticketing system features that are absolute classics. In my opinion, reserved seating compatibility and ticket customization options sit at the forefront of these ticketing system classics for two specific reasons: 1) patrons enjoy (and have come to expect) these features, and 2) organizations benefit from the additional branding opportunity and the ability to employ an optimal tiered ticket pricing strategy.
The Bottom Line: Classic flavors in ice cream and classic services in ticketing systems are considered classics for a reason. They’re tested and liked by organizations and patrons alike, and provide choices that we’ve come to expect.