As you’re preparing for the curtains to rise on opening night, the last thing you want to be worried about is your box office. Tickets aren’t scanning correctly? You overbooked the house? The line is moving slower than molasses? Ugh.

Streamlining your box office operations prior to opening night will reap major benefits down the line. On The Stage explains why you should be professionalizing your box office operations, and how to do it. 

Why Should I Professionalize the Box Office?

Whether you’re a school program, a community theatre, or a professional non-equity  organization, creating a professional box office experience should be a major priority. But why? Streamlining your box office:

Makes a solid first impression with your patrons

A professional experience will impress patrons entering your theatre for the first time. A good first impression creates an impact, and an impact creates a reputation.

While patrons may have interacted with your theatre digitally, the first time they visit, they should feel good about spending money to see your production. That all starts with the ticketing experience. 

Helps with financial management

Having up-to-date, streamlined ticketing software at your box office will greatly help you manage your finances, both in real-time and later when you’re working on demographic insights and financial reporting. With easily accessible financial management, you’ll be able to track arrivals and no-shows, as well as add and denote back-office sales for front-of-house staff. 

Reduces patron wait times

Organized box offices translate to shorter wait times for your patrons. You’ll be able to eliminate ticket ripping and instead utilize a fast and efficient ticket-scanning software to get patrons out of line and into their seats faster. 

Reduces stress for your front-of-house staff

A happy front-of-house staff creates a ripple effect for everyone in your theatre. By streamlining your box office operations, your FOH workers will see a decrease in stress. This, in turn, will help them improve customer service skills and create a more welcoming environment for patrons. Win-win! 

Tips for a Stress-Free Box Office Operation

Ensure your staff is properly trained.

If you’re utilizing a new ticketing software or have recently upgraded your box office management, make sure your front-of-house staff is properly trained on how to utilize it. When teaching FOH staffers about new box office implementations, make sure your language is consistent across the board and everyone involved is fully prepared for any situation – from ticket exchanges and refunds to subscription renewals, merchandising upsells and more. 

Alongside being competent with the new offerings, your staff also needs to be friendly and passionate about your theatre during each interaction. They will be more able to provide those experiences for the patrons if they’re properly trained and ready to handle any need that arises.

Keep your software up to date.

You can’t run a successful box office will-call if your computer or technology crashes every 10 minutes. So, if you’re using desktops, make sure all computers are updated and ready to handle an influx of activity. If you’re using mobile ticketing software on phones, make sure all your staffers have fully charged, fully updated devices to avoid bumps in the road. 

Communicate with patrons beforehand. 

Make sure you’re equipping your patrons with the tools they need to succeed before they even step foot inside your theatre. Before the show, make sure you make it clear to your patrons:

  • What name their tickets are saved under 
  • How many tickets they’ve purchased
  • If you offer seating charts, where they are sitting in your theatre 
  • How to get to your theatre 
  • The exact time that the box office will open and close
  • Any important parking instructions 

By preparing your patrons for entry, you’ll create a smoother box office experience for everyone. 

Automate mundane tasks.

When we talk about ticketing best practices, we can’t ignore the role of automation features. Make sure your new ticketing software has automation services that your team can use to its full potential. Automation of tasks can help save time, avoid human error, and enhance productivity.

So, make sure you’re automating certain tasks, from ticket assignments to patron notifications/alerts and surveys after the show is over. 

On The Stage Box Office Portal

So, we’ve established why updating your box office is important, and a few tips on how to do so. The last thing you need to get started? A partner in the journey!

On The Stage offers an all-in-one Box Office Portal that professionalizes the front-of-house experience for your patrons, as well as streamlines your box office processes, resulting in a more efficient and elevated experience for everyone. With OTS’ portal, you can create a customer-first, professional atmosphere and manage all your box office needs in one robust, yet easy-to-use software. Expect help with: 

  • Flexible ticket options – You can sell and process general admission, reserved, and comp tickets any time whether in person, online, or on the day of the event.
  • Order management – Quickly look up orders, resend/reprint tickets, manage refunds, exchange/transfer tickets, or convert tickets to donations – all in one centralized portal.
  • Varied payment options – Easily collect, manage, and process cash, check, and credit card sales as well as professional comps in one place.
  • Donation processing – Make it easy for your Front-of-House teams to take donations from patrons at the door and generate additional funding for your organization.
  • An empowered front-of-house team – Our Box Office Portal requires little to no training and offers user-specific views to ensure the best experience for staff and volunteers.
  • Real-time reporting – Receive real-time reporting from purchase to check-in with no delay. 
  • Help with selling and redeeming subscriptions – Sell, upsell, and redeem subscription and flex pack ticket packages anytime, even on-site the night of your show.

Now that you’ve found a partner in your journey, it’s time to begin. Elevate your box office experience with On The Stage by booking a personalized demo today.

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