Box office management is tricky; learn from leaders

ENTERTAINMENT

Event technology showcased!

Ever wondered how concerts take place and how everything is managed inside a ticket counter? Well, it’s more than flashing your e-Ticket and redeeming it with physical tickets or just swiping your card and picking up your ticket. It all has to do with the venue, city, artist and the expected crowd. Estimation of the crowd size can be assessed based on the live data on the number of tickets purchased and number of complimentary passes processed provided by the organiser dashboard on MeraEvents platform. This helps the organisers understand what kind of numbers would throng the venue and how much of preparations is needed.

As a ticketing technology partner, MeraEvents not only issues tickets, but also checks people in to the venue, and sees that everything else is running smoothly too. There is technology involved in the process — from sale of tickets to attendee check-in. Events have their own set of challenges and they can get a little too hectic as much as awesome and exciting as it sounds. The nature of each event, the city where it is hosted, the venue capacity, and facilities do present their own challenges. The timing, approximate number of attendees, and the manpower to manage all the passion-filled crowds need to be essentially taken into account.

The box office technology that enables the ticket management for the entry of attendees need to be planned with great precision.

In order to facilitate setting up of counters for issuing of tickets, it requires a server, laptops, wireless routers, LAN cables, barcode scanners, data validation devices and uninterrupted power supply and obviously a capable manpower, according to Business Head (Ground Operations) Hirish Reddy.

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Challenges

Business Head Sreekanth Rao Ponnala says: “We were once presented with a challenge of operating out of two box offices for the same event and the number of people that turned up were way more than 10,000. So, we have integrated them with local area network to help the attendees. This has helped us identify some of those trying to redeem their already redeemed passes, more than once.” Just like issuing tickets, checking people in to the venue is another challenge. If the process gets delayed, it can cause a chaos. “So, we used android barcode scanners that would check-in a person in just 2-3 seconds, as opposed to the regular check-in procedure that usually takes up to 15 seconds per head,” said Hirish Reddy.

Card payments throw up a major challenge. With people in large numbers gather at the venue, the internet networks get jammed. So, MeraEvents always sets up temporary high-bandwidth Wi-Fi at the box office, exclusively to empower the devices that accept credit/debit cards.

The transactions are tallied based on our ticket sales, people checked in and cash purchases.  This reconciliation process is usually validated by auditors from the big four (KPMG, PwC, Deloitte or E&Y) by auditing the sale of tickets online and offline (cash) and also the guest lists (free passes given to sponsors and VIP guests).

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