Online Ticketing For Museums – What Is It & Why You Should Use It

It’s safe to say that the last year has been a bit of a whirlwind for many Museums. Understanding new rules and regulations such as capacity management came into effect, plus a new opportunity to engage audiences through online events and exhibitions soared in popularity.

Museums across the UK had to adapt to new ways of welcoming visitors, and this has lead to new technology becoming more ‘normal’. Online ticketing for museums has been around for a while, the need for museums to manage capacity and only allow timed entries has helped with the adoption of newer EPOS and ticketing solutions.

If you’re getting to grips with why your museum should adopt online ticketing, we’ve put together a few points that might help.

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First things first, what is Museum Ticketing Software?

Museums are modernising, even free entry museums are adopting ticketing software. In its simplest form museum ticketing software helps your museum accept admissions through pre-booked tickets that have primarily been purchased by the visitor online. Most museums use a hybrid of both pre-booked online ticketing and on-site purchasing options. Museum ticketing software doesn’t just allow for entry tickets to be booked online, but also event, exhibition and show tickets to be sold and purchased easily.

How does a Museum Ticketing System work?

Museum ticketing systems work by allowing visitors to purchase their memberships or admission tickets online through a link on your website. Existing members can log in and book their time/date slots free of charge through the membership portal and non-members can also purchase admission tickets for a set date/time as a one off. You can sell your online tickets just the same as you would onsite, for example types of tickets (Concessions, family, student etc) only online you can capture your data ahead of time. Knowing what your capacity for that day is likely to be can help you organise staff levels and resources. Tickets bought online can then be redeemed by barcode at your EPOS located at the entrance of your museum, this process speeds up admissions and keeps visitor moving.

Can you capture Gift Aid and Donations using online ticketing for Museums?

Yes, online tickets capture the same information you would at an admissions desk such as personal details and Gift Aid registrations. Every ticket buyer has the option to add a donation price to their ticket, this can be easily toggled on the ticket price screen. Automatically setting ticket prices with the donation amount on top will help your museum generate more charitable donations. Plus, if you are a registered charity in the UK, you can capture Gift Ad information to claim back more revenue. Similar to an admissions kiosk, the ticket buyer must be a UK working resident and all details must be accurate. As part of our ticketing solution, we have included an opt into Gift Aid that makes it super easy for the user to fill in their details and donate to your museum. When setting up your ticketing screens you can even personalised the Gift Aid message to ensure it has your museum’s tone and messaging. As the online ticketing platform integrates directly with your EPOS solution and reporting software, your HMRC compliant reports will be ready to go when you need to submit them.

Why choose an online ticketing solution for your museum?

There are lots of benefits to using an online ticketing system at your museum, let’s start with why it’s so good for your visitors. Buying tickets online makes it super easy for couple, families and groups to plan a day out. Purchasing a ticket in advance can help visitors plan their day out ensuring they are able to visit your museum when they want to, rather than them turning up and having to queue. You want your visitors to have a great experience, that starts with the first step of buying a ticket and gaining entry at their desired date/time. Understanding who will be visiting you and at what time also helps you plan ahead. If you have sold 80% of your tickets online you can expect at rush at the admissions desk at peak times, therefore you could allocate more resources to helping with admissions at those times. No one likes to stand and queue so this will help keep visitor moving and happy.

Selling tickets online for your museum means you can sell a variety of ticket types and bundles at the same time. Day pass visitors can also purchase exhibition tickets or event tickets for the day of their visit to help plan out their trip. You could add upsells such as guidebooks or VIP tours ahead of them visiting your museum maximising on every visit and opportunity. Plus, if your visitors have paid in advance of visiting, they may be more likely to purchase items in your souvenir shop or café as the ‘on the day’ cost feels lower.

Uptake on donations and Gift Aid may also increase if the ticket buyer is purchasing their tickets online, a more considered approach may be taken and as they have to put personal details such as name, address and postcode to make the purchase, all Gift Aid related information has already been captured.

Report on everything.

Believe in the power of reporting. Not only can online ticketing help you to increase footfall, boost revenue and plan your resources, but it can help you to make informed business decisions about your museum. By capturing visitor information and understanding visitor buying patterns you can build out a picture of your audience types to increase engagement. Boosting a new message to those who may visit frequently but aren’t part of your membership scheme or offering exclusive event tickets to those members who visit the most. Capturing data means you can utilise the information to help grow your revenue and maintain your museum.

At VisiSoft, we help museums like yours manage their ticketing and EPOS with our integrated solution. If you’d like to find out more information about how we can help you, please fill out the form at the top of this page, then one of the team will be in touch. To find out more about our ticketing solution for museums, head to our dedicated page.

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VisiSoft is the UK’s #1 EPOS & Ticketing Platform for Visitor Attractions featuring online ticketing, admissions, catering, retail, stock & reporting all in one system.

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