We’re Smart Enough To Fix The Online Ticket Buying Experience (Aren’t We?)

I enjoyed a fascinating Facebook discussion yesterday that started off with someone ranting about ticket buyers being required to create accounts before being allowed to enter the online purchase process. The stream of anger and frustration from ticket buyers participating in the conversation was palpable but this problem has been known for years yet very little changes. Why aren’t we smarter than that?

Adaptistration People 124I’m not at liberty to share a link to the thread but at one point, one of the participants pointed out that while most major online retailers have adopted one-click purchasing processes, meaningful required registration, and  single click account creation, arts organizations publish paragraphs of instructions on how to complete a ticket purchase.

In response, a long-time arts marketer pointed out that quagmire is the byproduct of ticketing software companies not making the process simple enough to not need instructions.

Normally, I would point out a few examples but there’s no value in calling anyone out.

Instead, we can serve a greater good by acknowledging that this topic has been, and continues to be, driven by outdated FOMO attitudes.

This is where arts orgs need to move the discussion in different directions and expect our box office and ticketing providers to deliver platforms that conform to contemporary ecommerce user experience standards.

How much more earned income are we willing to lose before it becomes too much?

In the end, it feels like we need something to serve as a catalyst to get the conversation moving. To that end, I’m going to begin exploring the idea of holding a technology summit here in Chicago where providers, arts organizations, and patron groups can address these topics with an eye toward ending the cycle of trying to catch up by going slower.

Stay tuned…

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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