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No-fee Ticketing Systems?

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by Randy Storms, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Randy Storms

    Randy Storms Member

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    Hello all -

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of a ticketing system that does not charge the venue a per-ticket fee. Seems like it would be easy to host a ticketing system entirely in-house, without employing any sort of cloud-based solution. Basically I'm looking for a software system, not a service.

    Cheers,

    Randy Storms
    Operations Manager
    Newport Performing Arts Center
    Newport, Oregon
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Ya, that software is called Theatre Manager and written by artsman. https://www.artsman.com/

    Its used very heavily in my area. Our box office runs on it and has for at least 10 years. 3 years ago or so the largest road house in town did a massive investment in infrastructure and actually took in our ticketing servers along with 5-6 other venues. We all remote into a VM to interact with the ticketing system.

    Theatre manager is a stupid complicated system. You need to be up on network security and be OK running apache updates and a bunch of other stuff. Its in no way turnkey. One of the reasons we went to the remote system was that theatre was going to dedicate a full time IT guy to just take care of that system.... and when it goes does he really does some sweating. If you want me to put you in contact with them I'd be more then happy to.

    Theatre manager still isn't cheap. We sell 200,000+ tickets a year so it makes sense to pay 5-10k for the software access and support. If you don't sell that much the systems like Vendini are a better idea.
     
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  3. danTt

    danTt Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    It also stores all user passwords in plaintext...
     
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  4. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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    What an IT nightmare. Can only imagine the security involved to protect the system. I’m surprised the IT guy allows remote access due to so many possible breeches that could happen.
     
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  5. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    I want free actors, free electricity, free labor, and audiences to pay double.

    And a pony. ;)
     
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  6. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @TimMc Will you be needing 5.1 or 7.1 with the subs on your pony Sir?
    What front fills work best on a pony??
    (This may depend upon how much cow bell you prefer and if you like your cowbell flanged?)
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    It doesn't do that anymore... they just moved it to a 64 bit architecture. They even force all employees to change their password every month or so.
     
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  8. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    More Cowbell? In Kansas that means more livestock in the venue...

    Next week we strike our gear in a venue for a feline event. More "Catbell", anyone? :rolleyes:
     
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  9. danTt

    danTt Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    Yes, but have you ever tried clicking the forgot password button? You get a nice plaintext email with your current password...
     
    macsound likes this.
  10. Randy Storms

    Randy Storms Member

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    Yeah, so - the snark is not helpful. There is nothing magical about selling tickets. It should be a simple e-commerce type arrangement. I don't need to pay my web provider a percentage every time I sell a widget on my web store, why do I need to pay a ticket software company to "host" my ticket sales? I'm not asking for free software, just a stand-alone platform that I can purchase once and then be done.
     
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  11. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    They want to make money, and somebody needs to pay the credit card company their pound of flesh too.
     
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  12. Randy Storms

    Randy Storms Member

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    Yes, I get that that^^^ is a common model. It can't be the *only* model. And any cheap ass e-commerce site can handle credit card transactions.
     
  13. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    It's hard to imagine any significant cost savings when banking transactions and cyber-security are involved. Maybe you can do seat reservation with a premise-based system but you're still going to have to pay some trusted agent to exchange money for tickets.
     
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  14. Randy Storms

    Randy Storms Member

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    *shrug* I really don't see that as a significant hurdle. *Everything* is sold online. Tickets are in no way special. My objection is to paying a software company a per-ticket percentage (or flat fee) per ticket on top of the banking costs. A thousand here, a thousand there - pretty soon you're talking about real $$!
     
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  15. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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    Sounds like you should create your own ticketing system.
     
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  16. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Randy: are you willing to spend the money to do PCI-DSS compliance on your server and server room? :)
     
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  17. Crisp image

    Crisp image Well-Known Member

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    I know you don't want to pay an online ticket provider but I use www.trybooking.com it will cost the ticket buyer 30cents and you get charged 50 cents + 2.1% credit card fees (disclaimer. Check the fees for your self before using and my prices are in aud.) You can check ticket sales, do refunds, seat allocations or general admission, reports of many types. Even scan tickets using a mobile app.
    We like it and it suits our purpose.
    Regards
    Geoff
     
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  18. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    Hey, a guy can dream, can't he? I'm holding out for the pony, it's more likely to happen than free actors & labor. :D

    And no, @RonHebbard I'm not telling you about the sound rig. That's between me and my pony.

    The satire wasn't meant to be biting, sorry, Randy... I've not found a solution that works in today's connected world that is "buy once", either. Custom solutions are very expensive and require support for years after the 'sale'. The on-line ticketing providers present their own limitations. How many tickets do you have to sell to amortize a software investment compared with the annual and per-ticket fees from an outside provider over 5 or 10 years? As unappealing as it may be, the service providers may have the edge.

    Good luck in your search, and if you see a unicorn it means the prop shop got ahold of my pony. :)
     
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  19. Massey28694

    Massey28694 Member

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    I am new to our community theater and am working on several fronts to bring us into the 21st century. Top of the list is an online ticketing system. Take a look at http://www.tktassistant.com . Robust little program ideal for smaller venues. I have been vetting and so far have seen no red flags. You pay a one-time fee of $100 for the software and $100 for annual hosting if you want to sell tickets online. No per ticket or % of sales fees! Check it out, think you will be as impressed as I am! Best of luck!
     
    TimMc likes this.
  20. Randy Storms

    Randy Storms Member

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    Thanks, Massey28694 - this seems very close to what I am after, I'll check it out!
     

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