Chris, Patrick & Wouter attended TPC2022, a three-day conference in Birmingham focusing on the entertainment ticketing sector. Yesplan at a ticketing conference, you might ask? Read all about it from Patrick’s perspective.
Why would Yesplan want to be at a conference all about ticketing? Well, the truth is that it’s way more than just that. It's a conference that covers the whole ecosystem around venue management technology in the cultural sector - from online queueing systems, web design agencies, ticket printers and ticket stock suppliers to dynamic pricing and accessibility. That’s a very broad-based platform but it shows the complexity of a sector that’s not well understood from the outside.
Apart from meeting old colleagues and friends and making new ones at the social events, the conference had a well-attended exhibition space. So we were able to meet customers who we hadn’t previously met in-person, which was wonderful, along with showing other venues how Yesplan works and how it can replace cumbersome Outlook calendars and a myriad of spreadsheets all in one single system.
There's more! Patrick also signed up to be a moderator and was called on to introduce three great sessions!
Paul introduced why they wanted to use a queue, which might seem to be obvious. You announce a popular show is going on sale on a particular date and time and your systems crash when everyone hits your website at the same time and the technology struggles to keep up. But sometimes there are unexpected spikes in demand for information and tickets, due to coverage of an event (or members of its cast) in the media. Getting a service like queuing technology is a bit of a gift, if you want peace of mind.
Niels illustrated the various different ways that these sorts of systems can be configured. For example, the on-sale might be scheduled to start at 10am but people can start pre-queuing at 9am but then will be placed into the actual queue in random order. This sort of approach can help to smooth out what could otherwise be a bumpy ride. It’s all down to clear messaging, so you customers know exactly what is going on.
ⓒ Jas Sansi
Andrew Ladd from Ten4 Design
Andrew invited us to question the standard way of doing things on venue websites. For example, “Do you need a ‘What’s On’ page”. He went on to show some great examples from recently launched Cathedral websites that didn’t use this as their primary route into buying tickets.
He covered some of the ways that web logic can be used to prevent users making silly mistakes - for example, an admission on one date and car park on another date - encouraging ignoring edge cases that can be picked up by customer service.
Andy sketched out the way that customer sentiment tools can aggregate customer reviews and feedback from multiple sources and provide a platform, not only to measure the sentiments of customers towards different aspects of their visit, but also to enable responses from one point of contact.
Joep was able to take us through how they had used the Convious system to measure sentiment and had identified staffing issues as having a huge impact on their customer satisfaction. They were then able to staff up and solve the issue directly.
Andy went on to describe how AI plays a part in learning what people are feeding back about and how they feel, but unfortunately it’s not very good at understanding sarcasm. Somebody piped up about needing a “Sarcasm filter algorithm” - an idea I was so impressed with I patented it straight afterwards (not really!).
So, as this year’s TPC slips into our memories we look back with fondness at all the great conversations, sessions and socials and look forward to more of the same next year.
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