The Ticket to a Successful Event – Incorporating Online Ticket Purchases on your Website

Sep 28, 2019

Many of the businesses that we work with regularly organize online or in-person events. These customers frequently have various similar needs:

  • Easy to use registration for their end-users
  • Secure payment processing for one-time or recurring events
  • Free or Paid registrations
  • Registration limited to the members of the business
  • Registration limited by classes or tours and based on certain dates or time slots

Below, we will expand on some of these common scenarios and share our innovative approaches to how we solved these pain points for our customers.

Free or Paid – Basic Events
events

Many of the businesses organize a monthly or quarterly meetup at their office. The majority of these events are free to attend. The critical need for these types of events is to provide a simple and easy-to-use registration system without payment processing functionality or other complex requirements. In most of these cases, we simply recommend linking to an external service such as EventBrite.com or Meetup.com. We typically set-up a mobile-friendly calendar view on the customer’s website and train our customers to quickly create an event on one of these external websites and link this event from their website.

Pros:

  • Easy setup and limited training required for customers
  • End users are familiar with these external websites
  • Plenty of basic customization options for the registration forms
  • Low cost
  • Majority of these external websites also allow for Paid Events functionality (generally, at an additional processing cost)

Cons:

  • Your website user is redirected to an external website affecting user experience. This redirect may result in your users not coming back to your website after registering causing your site to lose engagement.
  • May not be compatible if needed advanced customizations on your website.

Online Ticket Purchases for Events
online-ticket

Customers typically come to TechArk with specific requests to sell tickets online for their events. These tickets may be sold individually or in bundles with possible discounts related to the volume of tickets purchased. Customers’ events may also have designated seating with the pricing of the tickets varying based on seat location or on the day and time of the event.

These types of needs typically require advanced customization or custom coding. Occasionally, you may find plugins within your website’s content management system platform, These plugins might still need customization for functionality to better achieve your desired goals.

A recent TechArk project was a website redesign for the Chesapeake Wine Festival, an annual event in October with over 10,000 people attending each year. The founders of this event approached TechArk wanting to improve the user experience for their website visitors. TechArk updated the website to be completely mobile-friendly with a modern design that highlighted the call-to-action to encourage online ticket purchases. We utilized an existing plugin that we could customize further to meet the specific needs of the customer.

The Chesapeake Wine Festival project required tiered volume discounts when a visitor purchased a specific number of tickets or a private chalet as well as pricing discounts based on how far ahead of the event tickets were purchased. All these elements were carefully considered during the website redesign.

Pros:

  • Advanced customization is possible to accommodate very specific and unique needs.
  • Reduced costs of payment processing as you are not outsourcing to an external event registration system.
  • Reduced costs of solution maintenance as you do not have an external provider licensing fee.
  • More streamlined experience for the end-user of your website because the user is not redirected from your site.

Cons:

  • Longer setup time that requires a technical team resource.
  • Upfront costs for setup are higher.
  • Requires specific domain knowledge about the event and the ticketing process.

Custom Solution for Advanced Registration Needs

chesapean-ticket

Some customers have very specific and unique needs that can only be met by creating a custom solution. Chesapean Outdoors provides various outdoor activities tours that highlight the natural beauty of the Hampton Roads area. The Chesapean Outdoor team approached us hoping to update their website’s design and discover a more innovative, efficient process for booking tours online. Some of these requirements include:

  • Limiting event registration based on tour capacity
  • Limiting the registration based on the event times
  • Collecting electronically signed disclaimer forms from the registrants
  • Collect payments securely from the website
  • Ability to check-in a registrant at the beginning of the event
  • Ability to reschedule the reservation
  • Bulk discounts for group registrations
  • Easy-to-use events calendar with a filtering option for event type
  • Event details page to highlight the location, description, pictures of the event along with the payment functionality.

With all these specific requirements, it was very clear that a custom solution would need to be developed. The new website was designed to be mobile-first in nature with the custom ticketing module incorporated.

Pros:

  • Meets the specific needs of the process and workflow.
  • Strong return on investment (ROI) as the solution results in improved user experience and increased the efficiency of manual business processes.
  • Additional improvements can be applied as the process is reviewed.
  • A distinct advantage over your competition as you now offer an experience that no one else in your industry offers.

Cons:

  • Typically, a much more expensive solution as a bigger time investment is needed to set up the entire solution.
  • More maintenance time and cost as the solution now needs to be managed internally.

In addition to the scenarios and requirements we have outlined, there are various other requirements that may be specific to your business. Some common additional needs include members-only events, specific links or information sent to attendees for online events and barcode scanning while checking in attendees.

With various needs of each business, different solutions may be required to achieve the optimal solution possible. TechArk team specializes in understanding your business’s unique situation. We listen, solve and deliver custom solutions that meet our individual clients each and every need. Contact us to discuss a specific solution for your business that will help you reimagine your business using technology and marketing.

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