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Armando Fox edited this page Apr 20, 2019 · 14 revisions

Audience1st: Ticket Sales, Subscriber/Patron Management, Donation Tracking Features and FAQs

Audience1st integrates your own ticket sales, third-party ticket sales (such as Theatre Bay Area and Goldstar), box office reports, calendar and ticket availability information (which can be easily RSS'd into your web site), attendance statistics, donor management and followup, online donations, and support for email marketing campaigns, all in one Web-based system.

Audience1st was developed specifically for the needs of small-to-medium nonprofit community theaters. In particular, it's aligned closely with the philosophy espoused by Danny Newman in his book Subscribe Now!: the idea of someone being a subscriber or not-a-subscriber (even if you sell multiple different types of subscriptions) is deeply wired into Audience1st's design, so that (for example) you can create ticket discounts and promotions available to subscribers only, give subscribers earlier access to purchase tickets for popular shows, get reports that help you both manage and understand your current subscriber base and identify prospects for future subscription, and so on. I also spent several years on the Board of Directors of Altarena Playhouse in northern California, and many of the lessons I learned there during our revitalization of the theater's operations in the mid 2000s informed the features of Audience1st.

The table of contents at right will help you navigate this users' guide. This page is a summary of the main features; the other sections step you through using the actual software.

If you're interested in standing up and operating the software yourself, see the README in the main code repo. If you're interested in having me host and operate it for you, click "Hosting quote request" at right.

Flexible Ticketing

  • Payments are handled via integration with Stripe. For walk-up and phone orders, you can also choose to accept cash or checks.

  • Set up multiple ticket types and price points for each production. Per-performance overrides are possible if you want to offer special tickets, promotions, etc. for selected performances only.

  • Set up, redeem, and track "promo codes" that reveal special prices.

  • Any type of ticket can be capacity-controlled and have start sales/end sales dates that override the defaults for the production (allowing, e.g., a "preferred" group of patrons to have early access to ticket sales, or allowing a time-limited promotional ticket price). Holdbacks (such as for group sales, TBA Free Night of Theatre, etc.) are easy to do on a per-performance basis.

  • All actions are audited so you can tell who entered what transaction, in case a customer claims a discrepancy.

  • Comps can be added to customer accounts by boxoffice staff. Different types of comps (professional, performer, media, etc.) can be tracked separately and capacity-controlled per performance.

  • Sell course enrollments and retail items (swag, raffle tickets, etc.) as well as tickets.

  • Patrons can buy or reserve online, or your phone staff can easily enter phone orders, all with automatic email confirmations whenever reservations are made or cancelled.

  • Create and sell virtually any combination of tickets imaginable as a subscription: per-show, restricted to specific performances only (e.g. "Matinee Series"), flex pass (vouchers valid for any performance), individual series, or one of everything. Easily identify subscribers on all reports and give them exclusive or advance access to certain tickets.

  • Subscribers can make and cancel their own subscriber reservations online with no fee (at your discretion) and no box office intervention.

  • Customers can self-purchase online with a credit card or you can have orders entered by your phone staff on behalf of a customer, with email confirmations automatically generated. The phone staff see the same user interface as patrons, so it's easy for a patron to become a phone staff volunteer.

  • Comments can be added to any reservation by customer or staff, at time of purchase or after purchase (e.g. special seating needs, guest of honor, etc.)

Front of House

  • A separate, one-screen, streamlined user interface for walk-up sales (at the box office) makes it easy to train volunteers to do limited box-office-only work selling tickets at showtime, accepting cash, checks, a manually entered credit card number (when patron presents card), or a USB-attached card swipe device (ditto).

  • Front of house "dashboard" displays the number of seats sold for tonight's show, number remaining, number held back, and number of advance purchasers who have checked in. When a will-call patron arrives, just check off their name and the totals are updated. Close-of-boxoffice report lets you easily reconcile total walkup sales against box office cash inventory.

Back office: Audience Development & Stewardship

  • Flexible reporting can be used to select any subset of customers (e.g., "all customers who saw show X" or "all customers who have made at least 3 purchases in the past year"). Reports can be exported to Mailchimp for mail campaigns, or to Excel spreadsheets to create mailing lists or mailing labels.

  • Customers can donate online at time of purchase; donations received by mail or in person can also be recorded by staff. Donations are tracked and tied to customer record along with ticket purchases, giving you a comprehensive view of patron behavior over time.

  • Track donors, donations, and acknowledgment letters. Donation reporting/search allows exporting of selected donors to Excel for further analysis or mail-merge.

  • Setup different donation campaigns with their own landing pages and separate QuickBooks account codes, and run reports on donors based on almost any donation critera. You can also track in-kind donations.

  • Define your own customer "tags" (VIP, Prospective Board Member, etc.) and search for customers by tags.

  • Import historical data--mailing lists and customer lists--in Excel format. Import will-call lists from popular third-party ticketing services like Goldstar and Brown Paper Tickets.

Integration With Your Own Site and Other Services

  • Match your Web site's look and feel using CSS.

  • RSS feeds provide real-time ticket availability info directly to your website.

  • Customers can opt out of email, paper mailings, or both.

Features Not Supported At This Time

  • No reserved seating: we expect this feature to become available in Fall 2019.

  • No printing on ticket stock: While customers are free to print out confirmation pages, Audience1st emphasizes an electronic ticketing/will-call scenario.

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