Selling Tickets

Let’s talk about selling tickets. For Graveyard Swing, I used Brown Paper Tickets, which is a pretty standard ticket processor—I’ve used them as a customer plenty of times, buying tickets for other shows. It’s fine, and they seem really committed to supporting indie theatre, and I told myself very early on in planning for Halloween that I would not let myself write software for this, even if I was super displeased with all existing services, becuase that time was better spent building the show.

I think this was the right decision for that production—BPT was fine—but I learned a lot about what I actually want from a ticket processor now and I think, for Bobby’s Birthday and all future shows, I want some custom software. Here’s what I learned:

I really don’t want to make this sound like a takedown of this particular service—it’s just the only one I’ve tried, and others might even be worse for my unconventional needs. If you’re looking to sell tickets to your show, I can’t recommend using my experience as research! This is so super anecdotal.

Anyway, like I said, I’m building something from scratch that will satisfy my needs precisely. It’s actually almost done, too—I’ve got the temporary-hold-to-permanent-reservation thing working (i.e. the little countdown timer while you’re filling out your info); the next step is to add real payment processing, which sounds complicated but it’s something I’ve done so many times before (I’ll be using Stripe online and Square at the door). After that, I’ll spend some time working on some employee-facing screens for ticket redemption and get everything looking right in time for the start of the ad campaign, which will be…February? March? More on that later, when I start thinking about it. Bye!