Mandatory Data Tab

Defining Mandatory Data for Marketing Purposes

On the Mandatory Data tab, you can define which information is required when adding new patrons, households and companies. Normally, you would want:

  • Patron name or company so that you can identify the patron when they call back or have tickets printed for them
  • Full Address Information (street, city, state/province, zip/postal) so that you can mail items, obtain better credit card rates with AVS (address verification) and better identify patrons with similar names during your next interaction with them
  • A Phone Number in case you need to contact them in cases of a show being cancelled, time altered, moved venues, or any other emergency requirement
  • Email cannot be made mandatory at the box office since there is no guarantee that a patron has one and email addresses must be unique to a patron or household


Full Profile vs Limited Profile (AKA Guest Checkout)

The behaviour of patrons can be different for phone/walk up sales and to online/web sales. You can indicate what kind of data is mandatory in either case:

  • BoxOffice/Phone Orders the left side of the mandatory screen indicates which data is mandatory for patrons who contact you at the box office or via phone. This is considered the complete set of data for a full patron. Typically is is the name, address, and phone information described above
  • There are good reasons to have Online Sales follow the same data requirements as box office. Implications include consolidation of all interactions with the same patron under one account.

    It is possible to relax those rules and gather less data for online sales by indicating what the minimum data is for Partial Profile Patrons on the right side of the screen. If you gather less data than a full profile, the patron record created is called a Partial Profile patron.

Full profile patron information applies to BOTH box office and web sales, unless you choose to allow Guest Checkout for online sales, which has some operational and data merging implications

Guest Checkout causes a Limited Profile Patron to be created, unless the patron chooses to supply all the mandatory information of their own volition along with password when buying online.

Full Profile Patron Data Requirements

Name Info Select what names must be given before a patron record can be saved.

Full profile patron information is for BOTH the box office and web patron sale data, unless you are allowing Limited Patron Profiles for online sales.

Patron Address Checking this box means that the patron's address must be entered before a patron record can be saved. Only one out of the two address lines need to contain information.
Patron City Checking this box means that the patron's city must be entered before a patron record can be saved.
Patron Province Checking this box means that the patron's province must be entered before a patron record can be saved.
Patron Postal Code Checking this box means that the patron's postal/zip code must be entered before a patron record can be saved.
At least on telephone number Checking this box will require a minimum of one phone number be given before a patron record can be saved.
Area codes on all phone numbers Checking this box will require all phone numbers given be accompanied by an area code before a patron record can be saved. These days, this option should always be enabled du to the prevalence of 10 digit dialing and cell phones

Payment Data

Why Did Patron Buy Checking this box means that the reason that the patron has made a purchase must be provided before a sale can be completed. The why did patron buy data is entered via:
  • a drop down list that is found on the payment window.
  • a list window on the web checkout screen if there is a ticket and/or gift certificate in the cart
  • a hidden field in tmTemplates/tmCheckoutDonationReasonToBuy.html containing the default reason to buy for donations. (This file is normally customized for each venue). This enables a patron to check out online with only a donation in the shopping cart faster and with less questions.
The values listed in why did patron buy code table can be customized for each outlet. If you have made the donation reason to buy mandatory, you will need to select a value from this code table to out into tmTemplates/tmCheckoutDonationReasonToBuy.html
The why did patron buy code table value must be enabled to be used otherwise it will be rejected for online donations.
Pressing this button will set the above options to the default settings that Theatre Manager recommends.

Limited Profile Patron

Mandatory Data Options Please refer to a more complete description of the Limited Patron feature and the ramifications.

Limited Profile Patron Implications (Guest Checkout)

Using the Limited Profile feature is a venue choice. While it allows the patron to specify less information during checkout, it also:
  • shifts the burden of managing correct data from the patron to the box office after the fact, including de-duplicating patrons who buy online frequently without creating an account
  • May affect credit card rates on authorization and increase chargebacks
  • May limit ability to deal with emergency situations like show cancellation due to weather or other conditions of force-majeure

Limited Profile Patrons are enabled in System Preferences->Mandatory Data tab. If enabled, it allows for Web sales checkout on the web site as an option. The limited patron profile creation and checkout web pages note which fields (e.g. name, address, etc) a venue expects the user to enter.

There are some general pro and cons to using the feature that we've heard from Theatre Manager users that we've listed below. Most venues that try it realize that the burden of data management shifts to the venue and eventually disable it. Most web sites that deal with any sort of shopping cart require full identification these days for fudiciary responsibility to the credit card issuers.

  Pro's Con's
Full Profile
  • Patron provides all the address and contact data for use be the entire organization
  • Patron can achieve benefits from frequent buying such as:
    • cumulative ticket discounts of better seat offerings
    • aggregation of donations for recognition
    • renewal of subscription seats
  • Patrons can have pre-sales access based on a mail list that identifies them as belogning to a group with benefits
  • can get replacement tickets for print-at-home easily
  • expedited checkout in the future
  • can review any past purchases at any time.
  • etc.
  • patron is responsible for managing their account
Limited Profile
  • minimum requirements of name and email address make check out relatively fast for a one time thing.
  • contact data that is elective may affect future marketing capmaigns
  • limited ability to aggregate data for a customer as they are all separate customers
  • patron may have limited customer service options
    • cannot access the account later on without requesting a password reset
    • cannot reprint any print-at-home tickets until they can log in
    • will call tickets should require extra verification of the identity of the patron
    • phone exchanges should require user to provide extra identification related to the purchase such as the specific credit card
  • venue may pay more for credit card charges is there is lack of Address Verification.
    • Some banks may actually decline cards more often in cases of limited identification sent with the credit card. Often address and zip code verification mitigates rejection and charge rates.
    • generally, venue may be subject to more fraud (and liability if it occurs for incomplete data)
  • the venue is responsible for managing the extra accounts that are created and merging them. Limited data tends to pollute the database (garbage in-garbage out)
  • does not encourage repeat business
  • etc.

To enable limited profile patrons/guest checkout:

  1. Choose Setup >> System Preferences and choose the Mandatory Data tab.

  2. Under Allow Limited Profile Patrons On there are the following selections:
    • Web sales checkout - checking this box enables patrons with limited patron data to buy tickets.
    • Web sales mail list add - checking this box enables patrons to sign up for mail lists giving only essential information (email address, name). Click here for more information about this feature.
    • Credit card swipe - checking this box will enable patrons to purchase using the information on their credit card (name on the card). This is most useful for auctions and is described further here.
  3. Make the appropriate selections for your organization's needs.
  4. Next, you define the mandatory fields you want limited profiles to contain in the Limited Profile Web Sales Checkout Patron Data section.

    This is where you set the minimum data patrons must provide to access the web sales checkout.

    If you mail tickets, please make patron address, city, state and zip code mandatory.

    If all tickets are held for will call or print at home, then set as many of these options as you'd like (even none).

Limited Profile Rules

This section contains some of the rules that Theatre Manager implements, depending how the limited profile patron is created.

Guest Checkout for Web Sales

Enabling Guest Checkout for online sales means that the patron:
  • Can buy online and add items (tickets, gift certificates/passes, donations) to their cart
  • Begin the checkout process
  • The web sales process will ask them if they want to:
    • Log in to a previously created account using their email/password. This attaches the cart to an existing full profile patron.
    • Create a new Account which will ask the user to supply all information - and create a new full profile patron
    • do a Guest Checkout which will use the data requirements on the right side of the mandatory data window. If the patron enters:
      • Only this minimum data and no Password, a Limited Profile Patron is created during guest checkout and an employee may need to subsequently find and merge them (if its a duplicate), or capture more data later. A guest checkout cannot log back in online and see their prior purchases
      • All the information and a Password, then a full profile patron will be created. By providing the password, the patron will be able to log in online and review prior purchases.


Guest Checkout Options are Based on Cart Contents

If the Web Checkout limited profile is set, you can restrict when the Limited Profile option is available based on the contents of the cart. The choices are any one or more of:

  • Tickets - if only tickets are in the cart, the patron can do limited profile checkout

    Do not set this option if you are selling live streaming events (see note below)

  • Donations - if only donations are in the cart, the patron can do limited profile checkout
  • Pass/Gift Certificate - if only Passes/Gift Certificaes are in the cart, the patron can do limited profile checkout
  • If Multiple items are checked, then the patron can check out using limited profile if only those checked items are in the cart. Eg if Donations and tickets are checked, then the patron can use limited profile if a donation and/or ticket are in the cart, but not if a pass is in the cart


What the Patron Sees Online at checkout

If the Limited Profile Patron feature is enabled in System Preferences -> Mandatory Data, the following will apply during checkout:

  • Patron still has the option of logging in to an existing account to see prior purchases
  • Otherwise, a new patron will always be created if they choose the quick checkout process and provide their name & email (at minimum), and other data you deem mandatory
  • Theatre Manager always verifies the email address.
    • If the email address already exists in the database, this 'new' patron will be added to the existing household.
    • If the email does not exist, a brand new household will be created.
    A patron who checks a shopping cart out online as a Limited Profile Patron has no login credentials.
    • Ordinarily, this means they cannot log in and see past purchase history.
    • However, if they visit the web site and ask for their password to be emailed, they can log in with their email and password and purchase again. If they do that, they will be required to complete the patron information that they did not complete the first time (thereby becoming a full profile patron),
    • If they never log in and simply buy again (they don't ask for their password), they will have to provide their name each time they checkout.
    If limited profile is used, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that all events be set to require print at home - so that the customer is emailed their tickets.
    DO NOT USE limited profile for tickets if the event delivery is live streaming (a this time). If the patron has a full account and buys the streamed event using limited profile and the same email address, this will cause the streamed event to be inaccessible.

    This is because the patron who logs in using the email, always logs into the main account, but they cannot see events in the limited profile patron.

  • At the box office, 'Limited Profile Patrons' are indicated on the patron list using a new icon. If you edit the patron contact card for one of those patrons at the box office, you will then have to complete the missing information before the data can be saved.
  • You should implement a data management policy to find and merge 'Limited Profile Patrons' on an ongoing basis if you allow the feature. This is because several records are created for the same patron if they never log in, but use the same email.

"Quick Add" to a Mail List online

The limited profile patron feature can be used to allow patrons to do a "quick add" to a Mail List online using a quick submit form. This will allow them to be added to a Mail List without providing all the standard patron data normally required for a full log in. Instead, all that will be required is name, address and email.

The form is a standard part of the Theatre Manager web pages. Refer to mail list quick add feature.

However: If you wish to place it on your main marketing site, please contact your web designer to implement this advanced web feature in an iframe or equivalent.

To use this feature:

  • the mail list be visible on the internet.
  • You must allow limited profile patrons to be added using mail lists
    • If the patron's email address already exists within the database and the first and last name match, the existing patron will be added to the mail list.
    • However, if the first and last name do not match, a limited patron will be created under the patron owning the emails address.
    • Your Box Office staff will need to be vigilant about finding duplicate patrons by email address and merging then created this way.
  • At minimum the form will need to collect three fields in order to subscribe the patron to the Mail List:
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email Address

Credit Card Swipe

There is a convenient quick-add feature that creates a patron by swiping their credit card. This might be best used during the admittance process for Auctions. The process works as follows:

  • You start by setting the Patron List window to search by credit card. For more info on the Patron List window, click here.
  • Then, when you swipe a credit card, it will find the patron if that card number is in the database.
  • If the card number does not exist in the database, TM gives you the option to quick add the patron attending the auction.
  • Patrons added in this way will be 'limited profile patrons'. That is, the name on the card along with their credit card on file stored in the database.
  • In an auction setting, if there are bid packets, you can give the patron the patron number created during the swipe.
  • You can now sell auction items to this patron using the auction process.

As with any limited profile patron, if you edit their actual address data, you will be required to provide the minimum information normally required of the box office.