Box Office/Ticketing


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We are considering getting ticketing software and a thermal ticket printer for our 850 seat public school theatre. We will probably only have 4-6 school events per year that require tickets, but we're also trying to rent the theatre out and ticket fulfillment could generate extra revenue. I've looked at several packages and am leaning towards BOW ( and a Boca Sub Micro printer. Total cost with computer, software, printer & ticket stock will run near $3000 (USD). Anyone have any other suggestions?
I've never shopped for this sort of software before. Given my IT background, $3000 for vertical market software w/ hardware really isn't that bad.

I persued their webpage, and I would probably not even consider getting this from waht I read:

Website is slow and just plain ugly - a software company's website goes a long ways

The system requriements spec a Windows 98 box and a Pentium class computer. This tells me that the software is old. Wouldn't you rather something that is designed to run an an NT class OS - e.g. 2000 or XP? I as an IT person cringe when I hear 9x.

The fact that they sell the tickets and the hardware tells me you're likely locked in. Their software works with their template and the two models of printer they tested with.

I could not find a mailing address for the company any place obvious

They do have a demo, make sure you test it on multiple systems that you forsee using it on, preferably with XP SP2 as that's where things are going in the long run.

Just my two cents.
Here at DCT we use TicketMaker. Seems to work very well. As far as I know, you can configure it to your exact requirements, and as long as you have a ticket printer, you are good to go.
We've always just had our tickets printed by Ticketcraft ( They will print just about any type of ticket you want including numbering and they just send the whole batch to you at once. We normally order each night's show in a different color so it's easy to distinguish them.

You really don't want to handle ticket printing yourself, not unless you have a real house management person who can take care of it. Those Boca printers are pretty picky about what they will do and it's a pain to have to keep buying ticket stock. For school's, it's just so much easier to farm it out. You can even offer to handle ticketing for rentals, just get the information and have Ticketcraft print the order.
At our school we do a bunch of productions, multiple shows each normally. But we just use regular old cardstock and copy it in the teachers lounge, then find someone willing to hangaround and cut em up. Simple, effective, and as long as you only print as many as you need and collect them at the door, theres no problem with numbering, etc.
We have Wintix in our box office and have had tons of problems with it. company says it's all our fault due to out-dated equipment. So, we bought all new computers, a dedicated server and guess what? Yeah, it still doesn't do all that it's supposed to.

Whichever one you decide to go with, make sure that they have a good service agreement and are very clear on equipment requirments. I sure wish the office had been a little more pro-active before purchasing ours

Well, I've decided to try to breathe some life back into this thread.
I've been looking at ticket software, and box ofice software trying to find something that is hopfully amazing, and yet not super expensive, I really like Tessitura, but their prices are set based on your budget with the lowest tier being a operating budget of just under 3 million, and while my operating budget hasn't been set won't be anywhere close or resembling that number.
Has anyone on here tried Patrons Edge? Or any suggestions for an all-inclusive software(tickets, marketing, audinece dev.,fundraising, etc), preferably that allow you to sell online?
Our theatre uses Box Office Professional. It is a pretty good fit for our operation but your mileage may vary. Our cost was around $900 CAD for the software and $2,000 for a thermal printer. There are no ongoing licensing and support fees. TSD makes their make their money on printing supplies.
We recently, two years ago, bought into the Tessitura System. I have to say it's amazing. I think you should make a few calls before completely writing it off; They are interested in gettig more folks invovled and may be willing to deal, they are an Open Source sort of, you are really making a donation to the tessitura network, which let's you participate in ongoing upgrade voting processes, it does a heck of a lot more than just box office.
Selling tickets is easy, and almost anyone could write a program to make Excell, and Access do it. Tessitura is more of an all around solution for book keeping, donation tracking and marketing cross referencing. Try to get Names, Numbers, addresses from Ticket Master and see haow far you get. It's expensive I agree, but in the long run what you get from it is worth it. you can also make up your own schedule for instituting new capabilities. Let's say you plan on wanting to sell tickets from your website but you don't have the gear in place yet, that's cool you can always add those services to Tessitura later, like turning on a switch.
All around I'd say it pretty neat.
Our high school performing arts center uses Ticketing by Vendini, Box Office Software. Ticket Software. Ticket Printing.. I looked at quite a few systems. One of the big things for me was online ticket buying and how 'user friendly it would be to our patrons. The Vendini site is customized to match your schools website, so patrons don't even realize they navigated away from our school site to buy tickets. The site can do some pretty cool e-marketing, which has been pretty successful for us. They also can accomodate the credit card processing, which for me as a school was great since I didn't want to manage a merchant account. Events are easy to set-up, and most everything is customizable (not much is 'canned' jargon).

Costs were about $1,000 for set-up and venue map creation. Then we bought the Boca ticket printer. Since last January when we purchased it, they have continued to add new features and upgrades. Tech support has been great whenever I had a problem, which was more 'operator error' than anything else.

I would certainly take a look at it if you are in the market for a professional looking, flexible system.

Feel free to cantact me if you want more info....

We have a custom made program created by one of our alumni who is a computer programmer. It's even web-based, so it can be accessed anywhere, and tickets can be reserved and purchased online. However, his customer service has been lacking lately, so we're thinking about moving on...
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