Many attractions have been forced to adopt an advanced booking model due to the needs of the Health and Safety guidelines. It will no doubt form part of the ‘new normal’ for many attractions and so needs to be addressed in a professional manner, integrating the old with the new. A ticketing system is central to the operation of an Attraction/Experience. It is the beginning of the guest experience and drives the revenue. Many types of ticketing solutions are available, and careful consideration must be given to the choice of system and the attraction requirements and budget. They can be as complex or as simple as required and can be bespoke to the attraction or a cheaper option is clearly ‘off the shelf’ but customisable and flexible dependent on budget.
The basic Point of Sale requirement is as follows:
- Online/onsite booking facilities
- Admission control
- Online sales (Webstore/combined offers/F&B etc)
- Payment integration (Apple wallet etc)
Advanced and integrated systems also provide:
- Hardware solutions
- Variable pricing/price calendars
- Capacity management
- Stored value
- Food and Beverage POS and integration
- Membership system & portals
- Groups/Schools bookings
- Wider reach through global sales channels
And providers will work to enable bespoke solutions to your attractions’ particular requirements – at a cost. Much of the software is customisable however, and can be tailored to the needs without bespoke work necessary, minimising potential cost.
Ticketing opportunities relevant to the Covid-19 Pandemic challenge:
- Pricing/Capacity management: Systems can be programmed to maximise yield through timings and through put – in sessions/hours etc. – See ‘Yield’ Management & Pricing sections below.
- Timed entry and virtual reservation models can not only alleviate risk and ensure Covid-19 compliant attractions, but can also ensure staff planning is accurate dependent on the known visitor numbers at each particular time of day/session.
- Ability to gather more information on the visitor needs and the detail of the visitor group – for contact tracing purposes, but can be used to advantage for the Guest Experience.
- Contactless transactions and Guest journey – QR codes/ticketless transactions ensure that guests can enter your attraction without personal interactions.
- Kiosks – Whereby ticket systems can be integrated with human interaction from behind screens, and seamless contactless payments taken if necessary onsite.
- Deeper relationships with Visitors: Use of integrated social media and marketing communications can ensure deeper relationships with visitors through maximising communications throughout the guest journey from initial visit to the website, through booking engine, and to entry and flow through attraction. More data collection/knowledge of the customer from the outset - so more meaningful contact with visitors when they do flow through the attraction. Both the above will encourage customer engagement and increased loyalty. This will result in repeat visits and Word of Mouth recommendations which will deliver increased sales in the longer term.