An overview of Ticketing Systems for the Performing Arts
There are two main options when it comes to ticketing – to purchase licenced software and therefore gain the capacity to sell tickets in-house, or to appoint a third party, such as an agency, to deliver the service on your behalf.
There is a number of ticketing software options that also double as venue management software, incorporating CRM functionality. Below is a brief overview of the major players in the Australian market, including their major points of difference according to each system and examples of venues currently using that software.
The Tessitura Network is comprised of more than 500 of the world’s premiere arts and cultural organisations united by a common technology in order to achieve operational excellence. According to its website, Tessitura is the leading enterprise-wide, fully integrated software system for arts & cultural organisations. Features include: ticketing, subscriptions & box office operations; complete customer relationship management; marketing and list management; fundraising, memberships, sponsorships & contributions; flexible reporting, executive information systems and analysis tools; and extensive web capabilities including full no fee internet transactional capability for ticketing (including select-your-own seat), subscriptions, memberships, donations and more.
Points of difference:
- Tessitura provides a 360-degree CRM platform developed specifically for cultural organisations, encompassing fundraising, memberships, marketing, program ticketing, and all other aspects of customer interaction. Tessitura is the industry leader in providing flexible solutions, and importantly, there are no third-party fees charged to the venue’s customers.
- Tessitura’s focus is on serving non-profit cultural and performing arts organisations, and itself is a non-profit company. Tessitura does not report to public shareholders, venture capitalists, or other stakeholders who demand a return on their investments. The Board is made up of individuals elected from member organisations and therefore, decisions are made based on what is best for the license holders and not what will generate the most profit for the company.
- Tessitura’s Innovator Series is an ongoing program of brief and inspiring presentations by industry innovators, each focused on a single theme to advance insight and innovation in the business of arts and culture. Presented periodically at no cost to a live webinar audience of Tessitura Network Members and others engaged in or studying the arts and cultural sector, Innovator Series presentations are subsequently released through the Tessitura Network YouTube™ channel to expand and extend the accessibility of these powerfully innovative ideas globally.
Venues & organisations using Tessitura: Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian Ballet, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare Company, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Opera Australia, Perth International Arts Festival, Sydney Opera House, West Australian Symphony Orchestra
SEATADVISOR BOX OFFICE (SABO) – www.seatadvisor.com.au
SABO offers cloud-based ticketing and venue management software. The comprehensive software combines ticketing, marketing, fundraising and CRM functionality. SABO was engineered to equip clients with the tools and resources needed to manage their own ticket sales. SABO was also designed to lower cost of operations and enhance productivity. There is no hardware required for installation, and the system allows venues and organisations to control the fees or service charges associated with patrons’ orders.
Points of difference:
- Cloud based white labelled box office solution that integrates into your organisation from user interface to back office finance.
- Total processing power with advanced features including subscriptions, memberships, dynamic pricing and promoter access.
- Multiple sales methods including the best seat maps on the market, through to simple exchange and refund processing.
Venues & organisations using SABO: Merrigong Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre Ballarat, Century Venues, Twin Towns and Hawthorne Arts Theatre.
TICKETS.COM/PROVENUE – www.au.provenue.com
Tickets.com provides the ticketing engine for venues to be successful and control their business and their customer relationships. Tickets.com has over 1200 entertainment, sports, and arts clients worldwide. The company strives to be a strategic partner by leveraging its expertise and technology to provide innovative, efficient, and cost-effective ticketing solutions. ProVenue is Tickets.com’s state-of-the-art technology platform that provides robust ticket inventory and customer service management tools along with the ability to handle high volume demand. Tickets.com believes in providing industry-leading technology and enabling venues to capture, retrieve and own their customer data. Unrestricted access to sales information, coupled with a client’s ability to sell tickets under their own brand, provides Tickets.com clients with a 360-degree view of customer buying habits and preferences. This level of insight allows clients to refine marketing strategies and forge long-term relationships with their customers.
Points of difference:
- Tickets.com ensures that its systems and procedures always work towards ensuring the best experience for both venues and their patrons. By helping you to plan each aspect of your system we ensure that there are no surprises
- The ProVenue system is rigorously tested and highly scalable. The same software and hosting infrastructure is deployed in small theatres, stadia and major international sporting events. Venues can trust the system will handle whatever is thrown at it.
- A dedicated support team is based in Wollongong NSW to answer your queries about your system. Our Product Consultants continue to work closely with venues after initial deployment to help with maximising the return on investment by getting the most out of the software.
Venues & organisations using Tickets.com: BridgeClimb Sydney, Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Brisbane Powerhouse Arts, Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre
enta describes itself as “the most functionally rich ticketing system available”, running on the latest Microsoft products. Used around the world, enta’s rich functionality offers all organisations their complete ticketing solution. enta allows venue managers and event promoters to stay in control with comprehensive reporting and high powered marketing tools, seamlessly integrating with your existing office systems for ultimate business flexibility. enta will enable you to increase your box office efficiency using the fast, secure sales process which features graphical seating plans, a choice of seat selections, real-time credit card payments, and captures valuable customer data both at the box office and online. Whether you are looking for reserved seating, general admission, or timed entry, the enta Ticketing Solution can handle all three flawlessly – even at the same time in the same venue.
Points of difference:
- enta places the needs of venues first, featuring advanced functionality, interfacing with the latest technology and by giving access to extended distribution through multiple sales channels.
- enta allows venue managers and event promoters to stay in control with comprehensive reporting and high powered marketing tools, seamlessly integrating with your existing office systems for ultimate business flexibility. enta enables venues to increase box office efficiency using the fast, secure sales process which features graphical seating plans, a choice of seat selections, real-time credit card payments, and captures valuable customer data both at the box office and online.
- Whether you are looking for reserved seating, general admission, or timed entry, the enta Ticketing Solution can handle all three flawlessly – even at the same time in the same venue. enta is currently used for running many single and multiple venue organisations, including both multi-venue theatre complexes and dedicated ticketing businesses.
Venues & organisations using enta: Adelaide Festival Centre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Cairns Civic Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Darwin Festival
TicketServ offers world-leading technology with over 600 clients and 10s of millions of tickets transacted globally. TicketServ partners with clients across the Asia Pacific, implementing industry-leading ticketing and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, aiming to maximise your revenue opportunities and improve the customer experience at every stage. The systems are adaptable to venues of all shapes and sizes. Whether you need an in-house enterprise system or a fully hosted solution, whether you have constant loads or infrequent ramp-ups, TicketServ can deliver.
Points of difference:
- A true white label solution with no system or supplier branding, labelling, url links etc. where the client’s brand and identity is maintained all the way through all touch points.
- All product areas from tickets, merchandise, memberships, packages, donations, gift certificates and more are included.
- All areas of hall design, documents, tickets etc, and reports (system, wizard report creation and report scheduler) are included meaning no external need for assistance.
Venues & organisations using TicketServ: RACV, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Air Asia Red Tix, Theatre Royal Hobart, The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Frankston Arts Centre
Community groups are at the forefront of event ticket management with TryBooking, which aims to provide sophisticated technology while keeping it simple, accessible and affordable. TryBooking offers an online ticketing solution for any event, and tickets can be printed immediately at home or work if a ticket booth will not be present at your event. Attendees can stick their tickets on the fridge so they can be found easily and remain at the forefront of their mind.
Points of difference:
- No third party marketing – Venue’s and event organisers are in control of their own email communications and marketing database. When a customer purchases a ticket, they do not join the TryBooking database and receive emails from our system promoting other events or products. This is particularly important for private events or community events. Privacy is very important and we don’t ever promote someone else’s events to your customers.
- Flexible seating plans and scanning – TryBooking allows venues to create flexible seating plans for customers to book seats conveniently online. We also provide a scanning technology called Gatekeeper, which doesn’t require an internet connection so that venue staff will always be able to scan tickets and prevent ticket fraud.
- Australian support – The TryBooking customer support team is based in Australia and are dedicated to helping users to learn the basics and extending their knowledge so that ticketing becomes a simple extension of operations. Pick up the phone and get help anytime you need it. We have over 8 years experience working in the music, theatre, sports, community and education industries.
Venues & organisations using TryBooking: Port Fairy Folk Festival, Harvest Picnic Festival, City of Melbourne, Australian Icy Hockey League
NOTE – JAM Creative, CircuitWest and its representatives accepts no responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of any of the information contained in this document. Organisations should make their own judgments about this and seek expert advice if necessary. To the extent permitted by law, JAM Creative, CircuitWest and its representatives excludes all liability for loss or damage arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this document, whether or not caused by any negligence on the part of JAM Creative, CircuitWest and/or its representatives.