Online booking is becoming the go-to for many customers and guests. At the same time, operators are enjoying timed ticketing to help regulate the flow of patrons and reduce long lines and overcrowding.
Most people are familiar with online booking, and all indications show that it’s here to stay. In normal times businesses want to keep guests pouring through the door, and online booking helps facilitate that. However, today we’re in new territory, and operators need to think about safety and capacity limits unlike any time in the past.
Disney just announced a new system that combines the best of both worlds. Disney pass holders will need to make online reservations within their Disney account. To control capacity, reservations are limited and have time and location restrictions.
Let’s take a look at online reservation and time entry ticketing for attraction and entertainment businesses. What’s working? What needs improvement? And what can you expect in the future?
Pros of timed entry ticketing
Whether you’re operating an amusement park or any other type of attraction and entertainment venue, timed entry ticketing will control capacity, sell more tickets, and maximize your resources.
1. Control capacity
Controlling the capacity and flow increases customer satisfaction by eliminating long wait times. At the same time, you can eliminate overcrowding and enhance the guest experience by managing how many people can be in your venue at any given time.
2. Sell more tickets
When you distribute ticket inventory across customizable dates and time slots, you prevent overselling at peak hours and encourage ticket sales during lower-demand times. You can maximize your bottom line by selling the highest possible number of tickets throughout the day without worrying about a bottleneck occurring during particular times
3. Maximize your resources
Knowing when the largest crowds will be present is a huge asset in planning your staffing needs. When you use attendee data from your timed ticketing system, you can easily identify your attraction’s busiest times and schedule staff accordingly. You can also have your onsite food, beverage, and merchandise vendors prepared for the rush.
Cons of timed entry ticketing systems
Although timed-entry ticketing systems solve a lot of problems, and come with a lot of benefits, they’re still in many ways an emerging technology. Accessibility, software hiccups, setup costs, and guest perceptions are hurdles that amusement businesses need to consider before incorporating a timed-entry system.
1. Reliable internet access
A reliable and consistent internet network is a must if you’re to run your booking services online. If you’re managing in the cloud, you may need to upgrade your internet capabilities, so you’re never disconnected or stalled out of your valuable information. The same goes for your guests. Most people have internet access today, but the transition from calling or buying tickets at the gate will be an obstacle for some guests.
2. Finding the right online booking system
Making the transition to online booking can be a big win, but if you get the wrong booking system, it can quickly turn into a nightmare. There are a lot of options and providers out there claiming to be the best. Find an established and proven system – one with the flexibility to grow with your business. If the software has problems or stops functioning, it can put a major dent on your reputation.
3. Setup costs
If your business does not currently have a strong network, then the initial cost of building your online business and implementing new online systems can be shocking to your budget. Modern websites are instrumental to your business success. However, the initial cost can come as a surprise.
4. Customer frustrations
Longtime pass holders and loyal guests may be off-put by these changes. Guests have grown accustomed to your old system and have found strategies to get the most out of their experience. When presented with a new booking system that may alter their options of accessing your venue, they may feel frustrated. It’s important to communicate the benefits of the system change to the guest to overcome their objections.
Amusement and entertainment specialty insurance
Always remember you don’t have to jump on the latest trend if it doesn’t make sense for your business. Incorporating a time entry ticketing system required time and investment to understand. We hope the pros and cons listed here can help guide your business towards a decision that makes sense for you, your team, and your guests.
McGowan Allied Specialty Insurance is dedicated to the amusement and entertainment industry. Our goal is to provide specialized insurance services and create a long-lasting partnership for years to come. Learn more about us and how we can help.