Ticket Buyers Prefer a Simple Ticketing System

Ticket Buyers Prefer a Simple Ticketing System

Having just reviewed the 2011 Ticketing Software Satisfaction Survey on the Technology in the Arts website http://www.technologyinthearts.org/ was struck by how much the respondents value a simple ticketing system, and how features that many of us in the ticketing software business think are important are really not being asked for by the majority of respondents.


Some background on the study: It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License by Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Arts Management Technology. It surveyed 957 respondents representing performing arts and theatre organizations ranging in size from very small (budgets less than $500,000) to large (budgets greater than $5 million).

Simplicity Preferred

The survey asked respondents to identify which software functions are critical in a ticketing solution.  Not surprisingly, attributes that are indeed asked for by the majority of respondents are the basics – as shown below . (The percentage is the percent of respondents who said that attribute was critical):

  • Online sales (91%)
  • Credit card processing (90%)
  • Seat mapping/reserved ticketing (82%)
  • Custom reporting (78%)
  • Multi-user (multiple sellers logged in at once) (77%)
  • Customer support / tech support (77%)

Even this information is interesting though. Ten percent of respondents said that ability to do online sales or to process credits cards is not critical. 23% said a single user system is OK.

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What is more interesting though is what they said were the lowest ranked attributes:

  • Mobile integration (24%)
  • Demand-based pricing capability (37%)
  • Barcodes/gate control (38%)
  • Ability to print images or logo on ticket (38%)
  • Social media integration (40%)
  • Security features/ticket forgery prevention (41%)

So, the majority of respondents are telling us that mobile integration, social media integration and security features are not critical. They prefer a simple ticketing system.

Easy and Low-Cost Are Desired

When asked about the most important aspects that led to the decision to select the system they did, the most common answers were “easy to use” and “cost effective”. This survey is a great reminder to software vendors that event organizers value a simple ticketing system that gets the basics done well, is easy to use and is cost effective.

The other implication is that software vendors need to do a better job identifying and explaining the benefits of some of the lower ranked attributes.  Attributes like barcodes, gate control and forgery prevention are basics in even the most simple ticketing software systems. These are features that have a true revenue implication as they help ensure you are indeed getting paid for all the seats you fill (other than comps).

Are you looking for a new ticketing system? Check out our White Paper: How to Select a Ticketing System in Five Steps:



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