Box Office Systems Improvements Requested by In-Person Ticket Buyers


Box Office Systems Improvements Requested by In-Person Ticket Buyers


As reported in previous posts, we recently surveyed 200 people and asked about a recent ticket buying experience. This post focuses on what people said they would like to see improved with event organizers’ box office systems as it relates to in-person ticket purchases – i.e. situations where the customer travelled to the box office or other retail outlet and purchased the ticket in-person.

In-Person Purchase Improvements Desired

Although the respondents answered in free text format, most of the answers fell into certain categories. The following chart shows the percentage of respondents who said they would like to see an improvement in each of the summarized categories:

Ticket Buyers Want More Counters and Places to Buy

The number one improvement requested is for more ticket counters.  This finding is consistent with the previous posted that reported the number one frustration with buying tickets in-person is the long wait times. Not surprisingly then, the number one improvement suggested is more ticket counters – in order to reduce wait times.

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They also would like to see express counters – e.g. for people paying cash, who can complete the transaction faster, or for people who are there just to pick up their tickets. Sample comments on the topic of more counters include:

  • Open additional counters and be faster at providing the tickets.
  • The number of ticket windows number should be increased.
  • Have an ‘express’ counter only for people who are paying in cash and don’t have questions – i.e. it is written up front ‘no questions’.
  • Locating shops in more central places.
  • More ticket selling booths and proper protection from the sun or rain.

Event Organizers may look at this data and conclude that they should indeed add more ticket counters.  However, that would of course be an expensive proposition.  You would have to pay more people to staff those counters. Sure, it would make customers happier, but at what cost? We propose instead to move more of the ticket buying to online, so fewer customers have to buy in-person to begin with.

Customers Are Asking for Newer Technology and Better Information

It is interesting that ticket buyers are asking event organizers to use box office systems based on newer technology. This item is in keeping with the fact that consumers have gotten used to having the greatest and easiest to use technology available to them on their home computers and smartphones. They then wonder why a venues’ box office systems are so far behind.

They are also asking for better information. Some said basic questions like how many tickets at a certain price are left could not be answered.

Representative comments include:

  • I’d like more detailed information to help me make my decision.
  • I’d like to be being able to order tickets online and pick them up at a kiosk to make the process faster.
  • SMS ticket, QR Code ticket, or a point program to get future discounts.

Implications for You

In-person ticket buyers despise the long lines and would love to see more counters, more retail locations selling your tickets and even special counters for express or cash transactions. Adding counters and staff, however, would be expensive.

There is a better way – move more of the ticket buying online and eventually to mobile. This approach is also consistent with customers’ desires to see venues using more current technology in their box office systems.

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