Defining The Requirements of Your Museum Ticketing Software – What Do You Want The System To Do?
This is arguably the most vital step and needs to really carefully considered during the selection process of a museum ticketing software. It should also absolutely be your first step. This planning phase will help you to define exactly what you need out of the system and ensure that when it comes to implementing, you’re ready to hit the ground running – and with the exact functionality you need.
When introducing a museum POS, you might want to consider whether it’s able to do the following:
Integration With Your Website
For many people these days, they’ll use the internet to book events and visitor attractions, and that’s no different for museums. Your website will their first port of call for information gathering and booking, so consider integration when looking at a museum ticketing system. Not only does this speed up the process for visitors and gives them the freedom to choose exactly when they’d like to come with ease, it also frees up a lot of time for you teams to focus on more value-adding tasks, as opposed to repetitive admin duties.
Find out as much as you can about the integration of your website and new museum ticketing software – how easy is it to manage and maintain? What will updates look like, and what is required of you during that process – will they affect accessibility to your site and booking system?
Simple Purchase Process
This step is really important. You don’t want to move to a more modern sophisticated system and then find you’ve placed more barriers to entry by overcomplicating the process and trying to gather too much information, presenting too many steps. It’s important to have some freedom over what information you gather in your museum ticketing software, but you don’t want to get carried away – only gather the information you need.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about your audiences too. Consider whether the system can integrate with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform which will then allow you to see who’s visiting your museum – that way can get a better idea of your audience and who engages with you, which will come into play when making plans in future.
Managing visitor capacity numbers
You may already be all too familiar with guest numbers dropping off on the day of arrival. It can sometimes be more apparent with free entry. It can result in a fully booked time slot, but having to potentially deny other visitors their admittance on the occasion the original bookers don’t turn up. You can combat this though by making it clear at the time of booking with a personal message which dictates you must turn up ten minutes prior to your booking time, or entry could be denied.
Consider whether you will host special ticketed events which are an additional fee. Will the cost of the tickets vary depending on the event? Can your museum ticketing software easily facilitate those changes? This will be key to consider if you know that you need to have some freedom to easily amend the pricing structure at your venue.
Also, if you are offering free entry to your visitors, then this is a really good opportunity to take advantage of Gift Aid if it applies to you. Having said that, ensure that your museum ticketing software can facilitate this easily. That way you can allow customers to donate during the booking process and track your gift aid declarations during the transaction, which would allow you to take full advantage of that revenue.
Multi-Room or Venue Setup
In the same breath, if you’re hosting special ticketed events, does your museum ticketing software have the ability to differentiate effectively between locations? For example, if you’re hosting a ticketed event in one area of your museum, but the remaining space is free to roam around with a free ticket, can your museum POS acknowledge that difference so you can effectively allocate tickets and data to each area?
Choosing The Right Technology Partner
Once you’ve defined these requirements and you’re happy you know what you need out of your museum ticketing software, you should carefully consider your technology partner. Remember, you want to choose a partner not a platform.
Choosing a partnership rather than just choosing software means you have a consultative approach. You partner that has a total understanding of your requirements and future plans rather than just replacing like-for-like systems.
Managing the impact on your organisation
Finally, implementing a new museum ticketing software at your organisation is a really big step, especially for those employees that maybe work on a voluntary or part-time basis. Just as it is important your technology partner can guide you through choosing the right software and implementing your new system, can they guide your teams through the system with effective training and support too? This will be the final piece to your puzzle, so it’s important to choose your partner carefully.