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Preparing for a Big Onsale

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If an Organization is expecting a large 'on sale' for a popular event, it is important to be prepared if the expected sales volume or pattern online might be very different than normal.

Onsale Preparation

Step Purpose
Step 1 Check Pricing At The Box Office.

It's important to ensure pricing - both at the box office and online - are correct prior to the onsale date.

To check pricing at the box office, sell a ticket to a patron record. The ticket does not need to be paid for. Use the Ticket Review tab to ensure the final price is accurate. The ticket can then be released by going back to the Seat Selection tab and clicking the Release All button. If there are multiple ticket prices or performances, each should be selected and reviewed.

Step 2 Check Pricing For Online Sales.

Pricing for online sales should be reviewed in advance of the actual on sale date for the performances. The best way to do this without offering the event to the general public is to setup a pre access coupon code. This will allow you to purchase tickets online without making the event available to the public.

Step 3 Set Performance Onsale Date and Time.

The date and time the performance should be available for sale can be set in advance. This allows Theatre Manager to make the performances available at the box office and/or online without someone having to turn them on. The option for the box office can be different than online if needed. To set the onsale date and time:

  1. Open the Event.
  2. Select the Performance tab.
  3. Double click on the Performance.
  4. Select the Sales Management tab.
  5. Enter the onsale date and time in the At The Box Office field.
  6. Enter the onsale date and time in the Via The Internet field.
  7. Close the window.

Theatre Manager will make the performance available on the date and at the time entered.

Step 4 Hold Tickets For Sale at Box Office.

Some organizations are concerned tickets will sell too quickly on the web and seats will not be available for those patrons who wish to purchase tickets in person at the box office on the day of the on sale. The web listener will sell any available ticket not sold or held. To ensure tickets are available for sale to patrons at the box office tickets can be held in the map with a select hold letter. Employee Permissions in the Box Office tab of Employee setup can be altered to only allow access to this select hold letter during the on sale. Box Office staff can sell these held seats to patrons in person as needed.

Step 5 Contact Arts Management Systems.

Contact Arts Management Systems to review any additional setup, recommendations or upgrade requirements. Arts Management Systems can test the current setup for load and make any necessary arrangements for temporary licensing.

Step 6 Set Up Additional Web Listeners.

One or two web listeners may be enough to handle the traditional day-to-day activity of online sales. However, as the demand increases, so will the need for more listeners.

Most organizations will run one Web Listener and two Classic Listeners per work station. Depending on the resources available on the machine, the number of Web Listeners and Classic Listeners can in increased. The larger the anticipated on sale the greater the number of listeners that will be needed. To ensure enough listeners are running additional computers may need to be used. This requires installing and configuring the Theatre Manager Server. Arts Management systems is happy to help with this process.

Step 7 Turn Off Marketing Images Online.

Turning off the marketing images will speed up the web sales process. The Web Listener will not need to spend resource sending the image and the page will load more quickly.

To turn off the images in Theatre Manager:

  1. Open Company Preferences.
  2. Select the Web Options tab.
  3. Remove the check next to Show Ticket Trove icons on play list.
  4. Close the window.
Step 8 Check Phone System.

Check to ensure the phone system can handle the demand of the pending onsale. If the phone system goes down patrons will not be able to reach the box office to purchase tickets. Speak with your telephone service provider and review the setup to make sure the office is prepared.

Update hold or wait messages to reflect the reason for possible delay in response times for those patrons who do not directly reach the box office. Update hold or wait messages for the main office number in the event patrons try to gain access to tickets through this phone number as well.

Step 9 Advertise.

Advertise the correct location for patrons arriving in person to purchase tickets. Add signs on the exterior of the building if needed to help patrons form lines in the correct locations.

Include in your advertising the correct phone number for patrons to call. This will help prevent patrons from dialing administration telephone numbers in an effort to find tickets.

Add a direct link to purchase tickets to the Event on the main web site. This will help patrons access the performances they want quickly and with less confusion.

Step 10 Prepare the Box Office Space.

Ensure extra staff are scheduled as needed. Stock work stations with additional supplies such as pens, envelopes or ticket stock if needed. Check floats and make sure additional rolls of coin are available if needed.

Step 11 Prepare the Lobby or Waiting Area.

Put out stanchions to form lines if available. Provide waiting patrons coffee and play music in the waiting space to help make the waiting process more enjoyable.