Thermal ticket printers and ticket stock can strain budgets with pricing as high as $2,000. As a result, having a clear understanding of how thermal ticket printers work and the different options you have for event ticket printing will ensure you make a wise investment. For example, both label printers and desktop laser printers provide similar functionality at significantly lower prices. Label printers are tiny, inexpensive and a fantastic choice for small box offices. Desktop printers offer two compelling reasons for consideration: a larger ticket canvas (8.5" x 11") for print options (advertising and sponsorship partners, including coupons good for future events) and a price of under $500.
The Space, Speed, Security & Cost of Event Ticket Printing
As part of our three-part series covering all aspects of event ticket printing (Thermal Ticket Printers - A Buying Guide, Thermal ticket stock options, in this section, we'll consider space requirements, speed, security, and cost to help you determine the best printer for your event ticket printing needs.
Available space plays an important role in narrowing your choices for event ticket printing. Thermal printers can be as small as 7.7H x 6.5W x 8.25L and are convenient in environments where multiple printers are needed. The small footprint is made possible by the absence of the ticket cabinet. Ticket cabinets have historically offered locking storage for tickets to help prevent fraud. For many venues where ticket duplication is not a concern, the smaller printers are a great option.
Laser printers are considerably less expensive, and using standard letterhead size paper, there is no additional outlay for ticket stock. Like all electronics, laser printers have become smaller and cheaper. Many models are available in compact sizes that can accommodate a small working environment at very affordable prices.
Print speed determines how quickly your event ticket printing happens and in turn, how quickly you can process your patrons through your box office. A standard thermal printer can print an average of 30 tickets per minute at normal speed, and many laser printer models can print up to 30 pages per minute. The main disadvantage of a laser printer is the fact that it can take up to a couple of minutes to start printing when left idle for a prolonged period of time, while thermal printers begin printing immediately.
Thermal printers require specially coated thermal ticket stock. Thermal ticket stock can be manufactured with a variety of security features such as thermochromic ink, ultra violet ink, coin activated ink, and holographic foils. These special characteristics along with professional design impact the "souvenir value" of event ticket printing.
Laser printer paper is also available with security features like hidden images that appear when copied, watermarks and invisible ultra violet reactant fibers. Both printing options offer unique and effective security measures that can adapt to your venue's individual security needs.
Printing costs go beyond the price of thermal stock or letter size bond paper. In the case of thermal printers you need to consider the cost of replacing print heads and the wear and tear on movable parts such as the cutter. Laser printers require frequent toner cartridge replacements, and regular maintenance.
Additional Thermal Ticket Resources
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