Tickets to high school sporting events have always been a myriad of colors. At ticket booths, one ticket may be blue and another may be red. Ticket takers have to make sure the correct color ticket is issued so that the accounting stays accurate.
Today, more and more professional, college and high school events are embracing the green movement of paperless entry by utilizing digital ticketing. Ticketless entry can be beneficial for schools as it can increase revenue, create an easier buying experience as a cashless transaction, and even allow schools to reach a wider audience of spectators. Here are a few key ideas to help identify a digital ticket platform that will work for your school.
Ease of Use for Both Purchaser and Ticket Taker
With digital ticketing, the ticket booth is never closed. Individuals can now buy tickets days, weeks or even months in advance, but what does this look like at the entry gate? For schools that have good WiFi or cell phone coverage, redeeming a ticket can be as simple as showing a screen to the ticket taker who can then validate entry; however, in areas without a strong Internet connection, it may be more beneficial to have spectators print out their tickets so they can redeem them with staff at the gate. For those schools that lack the technology, some companies provide digital ticket scanners that can identify a printed ticket as well as one displayed on a cell phone screen.
With digital ticketing redemption, it is important to review safeguards against ticket fraud and methods of transfer. For instance, if a family member buys a ticket for the aunt who lives out of town, how does the aunt get the ticket to show for entry into the event? To ensure that the ticket is not copied, review how digital ticketing companies secure the accuracy and address ticket fraud.
A digital ticket also allows schools to engage in web-based marketing. Utilizing social media and school websites, schools can now send links to mobile ticketing platforms which can create a new market of spectators.
Digital tickets can increase revenue streams as well. Most scheduled athletic events occur unless there are significant weather issues, but there are always last-minute daily life experiences that may keep someone from attending a game. Refunds for normal weather occurrences are usually not a reason for refund and most spectators realize that their ticket funds help support the high school athletic programs. It is in these situations that the school may gain additional donations that it may not have anticipated.
Digital tickets also allow for creativity of sales. Many digital ticket vendors can help in the creation of family or season tickets. You can also get creative with digital ticketing companies and designate portions of the tickets to go toward specific causes. For instance, a regular ticket may cost $5 on volleyball pink night but the ticket company can give the option of selling a $10 ticket and donate $5 to breast cancer research.
More than Just Athletics and Activities
Digital tickets are currently used for a variety of activities. Whether schools use them for athletic events, dramatic plays or student dances, digital tickets may present a one-stop solution to standardize ticketing throughout the school. In addition, digital tickets can be used for other activities like fundraisers and activity camps. Many digital ticket companies sell tickets and are designed in a way that they can collect digital participation forms. They can sign a student up for a camp or fundraiser and even fill out participation and release forms simultaneously.
Digital ticketing may not be perfect for every situation, but it is a way to make operations easier and more predictable. It is important to understand that this ease of operation is an investment; some digital ticket companies charge schools for their services while others charge a fee to the purchaser at the time of sale. In either case, an investment in digital tickets may provide benefit to your school and school events.
Dr. Steve Amaro, CMAA, is a teacher, coach and athletic director at Freedom High School in Oakley, California, and is a member of the High School Today Publications Committee.