For any event organizer, online ticketing service is an important aspect of the event and for the last UnPluggd, we used 4 ticketing options.
In fact, this was the first UnPluggd conference where we didn’t even add an option to ‘pay at venue‘- i.e. our focus was mostly on maximizing the online conversion.
The Online Ticketing Services We Used for UnPluggd
For the sake of discussion, I am removing PayUPaisa from the list, as I believe the solution is more geared towards smaller merchants and we generally found the product to be a bit unstable (discount codes didn’t work well).
First, the Average Conversion Ratio
Before I share the conversion ratio, let me mention that there is no standard way these ticketing sites define ‘view’. For example, is ‘View’ defined as view to the event payment page? Is number of widget impressions also added to the view?
I believe, it’s the former. For the sake of clarity, MeraEvents views aren’t clear – the dashboard doesn’t contain any detail (that I could find), so I looked at the numbers that were shared in the daily emails.
Instamojo’s high conversion is primarily because of the simpler checkout process – the widget is way too cool as opposed to any other payment platform.
Features Important to any Event Organizer
1. Daily Reports Delivered Via Email.
Any event organizer would want a daily report on number of views and sales conversion. This helps one gauge marketing RoI and unless you have a dedicated analytics team, you won’t get all the time to go through GA and track conversions on ticketing sites.
Given that most of the organizers are (probably) too busy organizing the event, an email with daily reports just adds to the stickiness.
As of this date, only MeraEvents sends out daily emails and I must say that it’s pretty well done.
2. Attendee Details.
So somebody buys 5 tickets – wouldn’t you as an organizer want to collect the names of all 5 attendees? Explara and MeraEvents do a neat job. Instamojo needs to get it’s act together – even the attendee report doesn’t capture the number of tickets bought by the buyer. For event organizer, this is a huge pain (imagine the scene at registration desk!).
Okay. Who cares about the dashboard? How much of your marketing efforts impacted conversion? What was the traffic source like?
Big shout to Instamojo for their awesome dashboard. Explara does a decent job, though needs to improve.
MeraEvents has a long way to go.
4. Ticketing : Pricing/Cancellation/Refund/Setting up policies.
Refunds/Name change etc features needs to be standardized. None of the solutions offer a comprehensive view, though organizers get a lot of such last minute requests.
A self-serving platform is an ideal way to go.
In terms of pricing, Instamojo has a standard pricing package (5% of transaction), followed by Explara (Rs. 15/convenience fee + 3.99%). MeraEvents has a complex pricing option, which is more geared towards event marketing solution than pure ticketing.
5. Adding more accounts with different ACLs
Except Explara, others do not allow addition of more accounts to administer the event (correct me, if I am wrong?). This is a basic feature request, I believe.
Collecting attendee feedback is important and while organizers will do their own bit, these features could be enabled by the ticketing platforms. It just makes them more useful and meaningful than just being a ‘transaction play’.
Only MeraEvents does a good job of this.
7. Failed Transactions
Now, this is interesting. As an event organizer, you should be in the know of failed transactions and why they failed. Both Explara and MeraEvents offer a feature around this, but the feature is almost hidden.
I believe, they should provide a support solution and reach out to customers whose transactions failed, citing reasons. This just makes the entire process more transparent.
There are various other aspects of event organization (like replacing the ticketing platform’s support contact details with event organizers’ details in the ticket) etc etc that are important to look at, but I would recommend the above online ticketing companies to look at easing the life of an event organizer and also, focus on analytics part.
Agreed that 90% of your customers don’t care about analytics, but it’s just a matter of time that they will start evaluating your solution against competition and importantly, will revisit their marketing RoI.
TL; DR: Long way to go. Most of these companies have reached a product-market fit. The actual product needs some serious improvement.
What has been your experience with the online ticketing services?
* We did try using DoAttend, but by that time, we were exhausted with the different options we were using for ticketing – so decided to not go ahead with it.