What is the Best Ticketing and Box-Office System for Independent Theaters, Venues and Ballrooms? We recommend Ticketor

 

By: Spoke

 

 

There are many ticketing systems out there and it makes it hard for independent venue owners to choose one that best fits their needs.

Some theaters choose to go with big brand names that come with a hefty price tag to the theater or the ticket buyer or both and lengthy and expensive onboarding process with long term contract.

We have evaluated and compared some available options and our winner choice for a ticketing system for theaters, venues and ballrooms is Ticketor.com, a ticketing platform, with global service and over a decade experience.

Here are a few reasons why we picked Ticketor for theaters and ballrooms:

  1. Full Control:

The platform gives full control to the venue manage / event organizer.

It is white-label; meaning that the box-office system will be on the venue’s domain and the site will have venue’s logo, branding, theme and design.

The venue’s box-office staffs get administrative full control over the system and can run it however they wish. They can set the pricing, the buyer fees, change the prices, add / remove or blocking seats, cancel events, make refunds, print physical tickets, etc. The venue can offer their own customized delivery methods including electronic tickets with barcode and QRcode, will-call or venue pick up and different mail services.

The venue will have their own terms and policies published on the site and they can pretty much customize and adjust the text and copy of anything including the sales confirmation email and the welcome email.

 

Role-Based Access:

 

The venue manager can grant role-base access to their staff and also outside event organizers and sales agents, so each individual can log in with their own credentials and perform the task that is assigned to them. Roles include Administrator (highest role with full control), Sales Agent (box-office staff or external retail locations), Event Organizers (internal or external event organizers who can create events or access reports for certain events), Gate Checker (ticket scanner) and more.

 

2. Ease of Set-Up and Use:

 

The platform is designed to be self-service and with the mindset that a non tech-savvy individual should be able to easily set up the system and manage it.

There are various walk-throughs, tutorial videos and instructions that make it supper easy. Additionally there is great customer support that we cover next.

 

Setup time:

Unlike most systems that require extensive and expensive setup and on-boarding process, Ticketor can be set up in minutes or hours depending on your level of customization.

There is no quoting process and you don’t need to wait for Ticketor staff to set up your account. Pricing is announced clearly on the site.

Simply fill out the sign up form that only asks for basic information, then you will immediately be taken to your new box-office system, customize it, set up your event and start selling your tickets. It can all be done in less than an hour.

If you need help or need a hand with the design, set up or the processes, just chat with the support and you will be happy you did.

 

Setup cost:

There is no or very little set up cost depending on the plan you choose.

 

Equipment cost:

You do not need any equipment if you are planning to sell online only. You can sell online and scan the tickets using your own smartphone. The scanning app is compatible with all devices and is included for free.

 

POS (Point of Sale) Equipment Cost:

If you are planning to sell in-person and set up a box-office, you may need some equipment such as a computer or tablet, a printer or thermal printer, a credit card reader and maybe professional barcode scanner.

Ticketor supports wide variety of devices, from budget friendly, low-cost equipment to more professional devices.

In the most budget friendly scenario, you can use your personal computer or tablet with your home or office printer at zero cost.

 

Ongoing Cost:

The ongoing cost is minimal and very reasonable compared to other systems. It is a small percentage of tickets sales and it covers customer support, POS, ticket scanning app, maintenance, backup and frequent upgrades.

Tip: The Premium plan has a small monthly fee but significantly reduces the per ticket percentage. So unless you are planning for a very small event, you should use the Premium plan.

 

Hidden Fee:

We couldn’t find any hidden fee and Ticketor denied having any hidden fees. The bills are clear and as everything else in the system are live and real-time and you can see your balance at any moment. So there are no surprises.

In contrary we found a hidden credit! Even-though it is not clearly advertised on the site, Ticketor refunds your fee whenever you refund a ticket. This is a great feature and we think Ticketor should promote it heavier as most competitors do not refund fees. We found some ticketing systems that charge again for refund invoices.

You can see Ticketor’s pricing and plans on Ticketor website.

 

3. Features

 

No system is good enough unless it provides all the features that you need. We found Ticketor very feature-full, that makes it suitable for most, if not all, ticketing use-cases.

 

Seating Chart Designer:

One of the greatest features of Ticketor is a seating chart designer tool that allows your staff, yes – you read it correctly: your staff and not the system engineers, to build any type of seating chart free of charge.

Using the tool you can build a theater-style seating chart, a round-table seating chart or a night-club-style seating chart by yourself and allow the buyers to pick their seats.

The seating chart designer tool is a unique but extremely useful and necessary tool for venues and ballrooms that don’t have a fixed seating chart and can adjust their seating plan according to the event.

You can build a theater-style chart for that dance performance and switch to round-table for that gala next night.

 

Seat Reservation:

The system offers different methods and strategies for seat reservation. From simple click-to-choose option to seatsavermode that minimizes the unsold scattered seats.

 

Flexible Price Levels and Variations

The system allows you to have complex pricing including kid, adult or senior prices, time-based prices such as Early-bird or Last-minute price, Group prices including Couple’s Price or Family Price.

It also allows a single seat to be purchased at different prices such as kid and adult price.

Some other powerful features of the system are:

  • Unlimited coupons and promotion codes
  • Recurring events and event calendar which makes the system suitable for daily or weekly events, classes, tours or amusement parks
  • Unlimited venues and seating charts
  • Season tickets and packages
  • Group ticketing
  • Complimentary and free tickets
  • Direct discount or price adjustment on the checkout page
  • Self-service returns and exchanges according to your return and exchange policy
  • Donation collection
  • Online store for merchandise sales
  • Question manager to ask questions from the buyer or ask them to fill out a form or registration
  • Multi-currency international events
  • Touch friendly POS (point of sale) app
  • Barcode scanning using cellphone or a scanners
  • Free newsletter
  • Variety of live, real-time reports
  • Photo / video gallery
  • Blog
  • Reviews module

Flexibility & Live Changes:

A hidden feature that we found very handy is that almost anything can be altered, changed or updated at any time and it takes effect immediately.

For example, you can change prices or delivery methods after the sale is started. You can block or un-block seats, issue or revoke coupons or even change the event date while the tickets are selling. Your changes get applied and effective as soon as you save them without interrupting the sales process.

 

4. Customer Support

 

Without doubt, one of the strongholds of Ticketor is their customer support and it is clearly obvious in their user reviews as well.

The system comes with live chat support. The agent appears to always be there and there is no queue, waiting list or robots.

We tried the chat several times during different hours of the day and we got response right away.

All our emails were also responded on the same day.

They also offer remote meetings through Zoom usually by appointment.

The agents are knowledgeable and usually respond right to the point.

Unlike most companies, there are no different levels of support with the frustrating first level who just reading from a script.

 

5. Buyer Experience

 

As you create an event, a dedicated search-engine-friendly URL is created for your event. Besides that your box-office comes with a home page that lists all your events, a calendar page and a map page.

You can promote and post the URL to any of these pages on your website or social media or you can embed any of the pages in other sites.

The buyer experience is straight-forward. Depending on your setup, the buyer either starts from a landing page that lists all your events or a calendar or the page for a specific event.

The buyer can select tickets to multiple events at once and checkout all together.

Then the buyer can proceed to the checkout page and can either checkout as a guest or create an account. The process is so intuitive and minimizes any friction. The system asks for minimal amount of information however you can choose to ask additional questions.

The buyer can opt in or out of your newsletter so you can use their information to send them emails in the future.

The buyer pays on the checkout page and immediately receives their tickets on the confirmation page and as email.

There is no need to install any additional app or PDF reader.

The buyer can also log back in later to print, manage, return or exchange their tickets in a self-service manner and if allowed by your return and exchange policy.

 

6. Promotion and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

 

The system offers amazing SEO so people can easily find your events through Google and other search engines. As soon as you create the event, the system submits it to Google and your event most likely shows up on the first page of Google in a couple days.

It also offers promotion on social networks, Facebook ticketing, free newsletter and Ticketor’s ad network.

 

7. Stability, Uptime & Reviews:

 

Last but probably the most important concern when it comes to ticketing is the stability and uptime.

Ticketor’s term of service guarantees 99.9% uptime but our agent told us that they do have 100% uptime. All the data and information are stored in 2 or more data-centers, several miles apart and are backed up to another data-center thousands of miles apart every few minutes for disaster recovery.

The company has been in business for over a decade and has significant up-time and consistency with great reviews, especially in regards to customer support.

The system is updated with new features every few days and you can see the list of most recent updates here.