Categories: Social Networking

Understanding the 5 Types of Event Ticketing Platforms

Nothing indicates the success of a gig, play, tour or event than the sale of tickets to those events. When choosing from event ticketing platforms, it's important to examine the method of the event ticketing platform. Your choice will impact when and how your revenue is collected, how tickets are delivered, and ultimately, the price of tickets and its effect on sales and consumer satisfaction. Making sure you select the right event ticketing software for your venue starts with an understanding of the five types of event ticketing platforms available.

1. Monthly Service Model
This new model offers a monthly service with zero per-ticket fees. The lack of convenience charges means lower ticket prices for your patrons. ThunderTix falls under this category by offering venues a pre-defined monthly service price. For venues using ThunderTix, all ticket proceeds are deposited nightly directly to your bank. Ticket delivery is usually offered via email. If you have on-site thermal ticket printers, integrated printing allows for hard ticket delivery by regular mail.

What this means for venues:
Patrons love venues that don't add fees. It's that simple. Lower ticket costs through no added fees translate into higher sales and greater patron satisfaction. In addition, the financial benefits of having cash on hand through nightly deposits cannot be overstated. Further, for venues choosing to add their own fee, they retain 100% of all fees collected. For music venues, this type of revenue is generally not shared with the band and adds a new revenue stream. Ticket delivery is via automated and barcoded print-at-home ticket absolving you of the time and costs of hard ticket delivery. Integrated barcode scanning facilitates quicker gate entry and reduces fraud through duplicated tickets.

2. Fee Added to Ticket Price
This is the ticketing model that made Ticketmaster (in)famous. With fees upwards of 25% or more of the total ticket cost, Ticketmaster and others have made this form of ticketing the most reviled. Tickets may be delivered as an emailed, printable ticket, or consumers may select--at even higher cost--a hard ticket by regular mail sent by the ticketing company. The "convenience fees" to order online are often forced onto the ticket cost even when tickets are sold at the door. It is the oldest online model, garners the most profit for the ticketing company, and has the obvious effect of depressing sales for small venues when fees are too high.

What this means for venues:
Let's face it: there is nothing to like about high fees. Ask for a show of hands to learn who doesn't mind paying online "convenience fees" and you'll hear a series of groans from your audience. High fees engender ill will towards venues that apply them--even if the choice is not yours! Your ticket prices will be higher, but you share in none of the profits, as all fees are retained by the ticketing company. The higher the percentage of the price going to fees, the greater the impact on sales. This is particularly acute for venues geared towards perpetually poor college students.

Not sure which event ticketing platform is right for you? Talk to Sales.

3. Fee Rolled into Ticket Price
The same fees apply as those above, but they are hidden from the consumer by rolling the fee into the ticket price itself. Consumers are generally not fooled by this service model especially when they see sudden jumps in ticket price for online sales or when you first make the switch to these styles of event ticketing platforms. Smart patrons will review the websites of the ticketing provider to learn if fees have snuck into their ticket price.

What this means for venues:
Since this is the same model as above, you'll experience the same disadvantages. Moreover, if word gets out that your fee is "hidden", you risk losing the trust and confidence of your fans. This type of ticketing company usually turns proceeds over to the venue after the event takes place.

4. Fee Sharing
This is a new twist on the old model. Basically, ticket companies provide you with a share of the fees collected. So, if the added ticket fee is $5.00 and your share is 10%, you get 50 cents towards your ticket sales revenue. The lions share (90% in this case) goes to the ticket company.

What this means for venues:
Like the examples above, these ticketing companies collect the money on your behalf. Again, you do not receive the sales revenue until after the show takes place to ensure the ticketing company doesn't face a glut of refunds if the event cancels. As in previous examples with higher ticket costs though added fees, the laws of supply and demand as prices rise indicate fewer sales. Ticket delivery is usually via email.

5. Percentage Based Ticketing
This model is fairer to venues and their patrons, as fees are not added to the ticket's cost. Instead, you agree to share a percentage, say 10%, of the total ticket price with the ticketing company. A ten dollar ticket nets the venue $9.00, and proceeds are normally paid to the venue after the event takes place. Venues generally handle all aspects of ticket delivery after receiving emailed notification as sales are made.

What this means for venues:
Most percentage based companies require you to manage the delivery of your tickets. This is the reason the ticket fees are lower in comparison with the first three styles of ticketing service. While it may seem like a bargain when a $25 ticket only costs the venue $2.50, the design, printing, mailing, and administration of the ticket deliver may prove costly. Moreover, the portion of the sale retained by the ticketing company can be significant--often well above that which you'd pay in our last event ticketing platform example--the monthly service model.

Choosing the Right Event Ticketing Platform
Choosing from all the different event ticketing platforms starts with an understanding of how a service affects sales. Sales are driven by more than the event itself: fair ticket prices, low or no fees, and consumer confidence all weigh in on your customer's decision to buy and, in the end, dictate the success of your venue.

Should you charge ticket fees?
If you are not sure of the best practices for charging ticket fees, we encourage you to read our guide Sell Tickets Online. No Fees..


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