Should you sell rodeo tickets online ...or not?
With the Age of the Internet well underway, it is a foregone conclusion you should sell rodeo tickets online...or is it? Two big rodeos in Oklahoma and Oregon are selling tickets the old fashion way, but that may not be the best way to serve the needs of the buyers. Find out if time honored traditions for ticket distribution still makes sense or if ticketing software is now so easy to use, there is no excuse not to sell rodeo tickets online.
No, the other Miami
Almost everyday a new cutting edge innovation in online ticketing debuts. Some of this technology is more viable than others, but the needle is always moving forward. In 2013, popular events sell tickets using a combination of the cutting edge technology, online and at the box office, with a dash a good old fashion midway barker thrown in for good measure - whatever it takes to succeed.
Those popular events include rodeos, but just not all rodeos. Take for example Rodeo Miami. No, not Miami Florida, Miami Oklahoma. The popular outdoor festival and rodeo has been a fun, family friendly tradition in the northeast corner of the Sooner state for years. What is also a tradition is the method by which tickets for Rodeo Miami are sold.
Rodeo Miami does not sell rodeo tickets online. Tickets are sold at local outlets including the Miami Visitors center, but advance purchase on a website is not an option. In addition to the walk-ups, tickets are also available from the rodeo “Queen or Princess contestants.” This quaint method is similar to how the Louisiana State University women’s softball team sell their tickets door-to-door. The charm of buying tickets directly from a rodeo beauty pageant contestant is not to be denied, but could Rodeo Miami better serve the needs of the community by also selling tickets online?
There is a genuine economic incentive to sell rodeo tickets online as well. Rodeo Miami has won numerous awards, most notable being 'Rodeo of the Year' from the American Cowboys Rodeo Association (ACRA), and is also a major attraction for out-of-town visitors. Amanda Davis, director of the Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, says that Miami Rodeo "brings a high amount of non-locals into our region and is great for the tourism industry." But by not offering online ticket sales, those out-of-town visitors cannot plan their trip in advance and don't get the peace of mind online ticket sales provide.
As popular as Rodeo Miami, but having a much longer tradition, is the Sisters Rodeo in Sisters Oregon. The Sisters Rodeo began in the early 1940s and, as described on the official website, its beginnings were quite humble:
In the era when life still moved slowly enough for day dreams, and neighbors visited each other on front porches, cowboys competed in the first Sisters Rodeo. These cowboys, amateurs and professionals, wore cloth squares hand painted with numbers pinned to their backs and waited for their events. Because the small-town rodeo offered purses of $500, equal to Pendleton and Cheyenne, the cowboys tagged Sisters Rodeo “The Biggest Little Show in the World.” The year was 1940.
From those humble beginnings, the Sisters Rodeo has grown to be one of the largest outdoor events in Oregon, yet ticketing the distribution method has not changed much since 1940. Just like Rodeo Miami, the Sisters Rodeo does not sell rodeo tickets online. But unlike the Oklahoma rodeo, there isn't even a walk-up outlet for Sisters Rodeo tickets. To get tickets in advance, one must call a telephone number and then receive the tickets through postal mail. The lack of modern ticket distribution is in contrast to the well designed website and the productive use of social media to promote the Oregon event.
In a final parallel with Rodeo Miami, the Sisters Rodeo is major tourist attraction for folks throughout the northwestern United States. The lack of online ticket sales may be preventing many, many more people, outside of the immediate area of the event, from attending.
It's much easier to sell rodeo tickets online than you think!
Alpha Si Rodeo does it, you can too
Bringing attention to the lack of online ticket sales is not to suggest the time honored methods being used by both rodeos an ineffective way to do business. But to sell rodeo tickets online can only serve as a greater patron convenience today and make for a much wider potential audience tomorrow.
An example of a rodeo using software to sell rodeo tickets online is the Alpha Psi Rodeo in Alabama. Tickets for the 2013 Alpha Psi Rodeo are made available on the official website well in advance of the April 13th start date. Alpha Psi tickets are general admission with a separate parking pass available during the purchase process.
Being a nonprofit, overhead costs are a concern for Alpha Psi Rodeo. If the cost of ticketing software or dreaded per-ticket fees are the reasons other rodeos are not using modern tools, one need only look at non-profit Alpha Psi Rodeo. ThunderTix is proud to be the ticketing software of choice for the Alpha Psi Rodeo and we can provide any rodeo with the same value, ease of use and helpful customer service. Best of all, big events like rodeos and outdoor festivals can save money because we never charge per ticket fees.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons