Show Of Hands: Who Is Interested In On-Demand Ticket Printing?

H/T Michael Granados for posting a link to a blog post by on-demand ticketing provider WW&L where they espouse the benefits of on-demand event ticketing. Nutshell: instead of paying for ticket printers, stock, and related labor costs, performing arts organizations can outsource the entire thing to a third-party provider.

I’ve had a number of conversations with colleagues over the years about this idea and while there are a few groups like WW&L providing this service, it’s never seemed like more than a peripheral service.

For groups that have already invested in hardware that is far from its end-of-life cycle, there’s less immediate benefit but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering. Now that I’m looking at this from the perspective of a CRM Ticketing provider where users are more likely to consider new hardware purchases along with starting a new service, it’s certainly an idea worth considering.

For example, my company’s platform is a digital first ticketing solution. That doesn’t mean we don’t have the ability to offer print solutions, rather, we allocate our design and development resources to providing a superior digital experience for ticket buyers.

At the same time, I fully acknowledge there will always be a segment of ticket buyers that prefer print tickets. But as that ratio decreases, the decision to invest in hardware becomes a more fluid process. Many smaller to mid-size budget groups finding themselves in a position to handle ticketing directly could also benefit from the service by offloading cost and learning curve pain points.

I have not seen WW&L’s offerings but the idea of charging a service fee for ticket buyers opting into a print option is a good way to cover potential costs. And with the ability to provide both standard and VIP packaging options, it provides a way to create something like a traditional subscription package more special with the addition of higher quality tickets and upscale packaging.

I’m curious to hear from anyone that’s used an on-demand ticket printing service. What was/is your experience like? Do you utilize standard and/or upscale stock and packaging?

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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