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Ep.42 Ticketing systems: how to ensure yours is fit for purpose with Sarah Bagg

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7 May, 2024

About Episode 42

Ticketing Systems – Make your ticketing system work for you

In this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Sarah Bagg, founder of ReWork Consulting, about ticketing, EPOS, and CRM systems – the technical systems that are core to any business in the visitor economy.

While they work well for the visitor services, retail, and finance teams, they can sometimes be frustrating from a marketing perspective.  I’ve worked with several solutions over the years in various types of organisations, and I’ve noticed that they seem to lack the automated link from email to CRM system.

As a result, it’s challenging to execute smart marketing strategies without manual intervention.  This can be frustrating and time-consuming. It restricts personalisation and generally feeds a lack of enthusiasm for email marketing.

Since ticketing or booking systems are at the core of many businesses in the visitor economy, I wanted to speak with an expert in this area.

“don’t let your organisation go into a reactive relationship with your tech provider. Really look at what you are doing to engage with that partner to get the best out of the system.”

Sarah is well-versed in ticketing systems and operational systems supporting all departments. She has many years of experience working in this area of the visitor economy, both on the client and supplier sides.

Her career includes many senior operational roles with time spent at Chelsea football club and Vinopolis the wine experience near London Bridge.

In recent years, she crossed over into the supplier side of systems before setting up her successful consultancy ReWork, to help and advise businesses on systems and processes for operational effectiveness.

Any investment in a new ticketing system is a huge undertaking. Sarah has some really useful advice for those thinking about it. She also has some suggestions for those who have already made the investment and have found their system lacking.

We chat about:

> Why you might want to change your ticketing system due to a relationship breakdown with a supplier or because you feel that the current system is no longer fit for purpose due to your growth and expansion.

> How different departments in the business can be frustrated with their chosen solution, and why it is important that when you choose your solution, you get all relevant departments’ input into what they want from a system. Get your finance, marketing, retail, visitor management, or operations around a table.

> Sarah’s three-pillar approach for choosing the right ticketing system: 1) what are the organisation’s goals, 2) what are your priorities, and 3) where are you willing to compromise? Compromise is a really important part of this discussion as no solution will do everything, so you must decide what is more important.

> It’s really important to continually review those three priorities, e.g., once a year, to see if they still serve a purpose.

> Choice of ticketing systems often comes down to cost. Cheap is not always the best option. You’ll need to look into the added value from the supplier and how they can help deliver your goals.

> Legacy systems are often difficult to integrate with other software. If a ticketing system is cloud-based, you are more likely to be able to connect your email software with your ticketing software through an API (an integration piece of software such as Zapier).

> Engage with your account manager or customer success manager. Ensure you understand where their business is going over the next 12 months—two years. Ensure they know where your business is going, too. This ensures you can work together.

> If buying a new ticketing system, don’t rely on references – do your investigation. See what others are using. Make sure you speak to people from different departments.

> Don’t underestimate the process of procuring a new system. It’s a big job, so consider how much time and resources it will take your head of operations to do their day job as well as manage this process effectively.

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