Ticketing by Sean Morse

Ticketing by Sean Morse

I didn’t get to see any concerts this weekend.

So I figured I’d write on an industry topic I have much expertise in, event ticketing. I spent almost 7 years working in this field. When I would tell someone I worked in event ticketing or a box office the first thing that would usually say was “Can you get me free tickets or backstage passes?” One time a coworker of mine at Tickets.com was asked this question by a technician who was servicing our copy machine. Her response was “Can you get me free copy machines?” and he said “No”. So she said then I can’t get you free tickets.

People who are unfamiliar with this field also assume it is just a matter of cashier position where you hit a few keyboard strokes print a ticket and collect the money. It is far more complex than that.

Many smaller venues handle all their ticket sales by simply charging a cover at the door and no advance sales. However, for venues that have music on a regular basis it is beneficial for them to hire a ticketing agency to collect data on their customers for marketing purposes, to generate sales reports, and have more of an online presence among other reasons.

There are many stages to building an event and putting it onsale for the patron. It usually starts with limited information. For example, an email from a promoter or agent that says “Cake, Onsale Friday at 10am, Two prices $25 and $35.” This will give you enough information to get started building an event but you’ll likely take part in a ton more email correspondence before you can put it onsale. You’ll need to know capacity, how many holds for artists & etc, is there a presale, and what type of service fees there will be. Service fees (such as a transaction fee, or order processing fee) are typically split between the venue and the ticketing agency. However, there may be other fees associated with the transaction depending on the disposition and how complex the transaction is. For GA venue this is a relatively simple process. When there is assigned seating it becomes more complex. You need to go through your seating chart and do what is known as scaling the house (dividing up the price ranges for the assigned seats). Once you have all this information you can sync your event up with the internet piece and put it onsale. Of course, this is all assuming that your promoter or whoever is supplying the information for the event hasn’t changed anything last minute and you have redo the entire process after have you have it all complete.

When you are at this point and it’s onsale you can generate sales reports such as where tickets were sold (outlets, box office, internet, presale etc.), transaction detail reports, and direct marketing reports with patron data such as Name, City, State, email etc. You can then use the email addresses to send email blasts to target market certain cities or all people who went to see certain genres of music.

If you are selling tickets at a box office for an assigned seat venue it’s more complex than just a simple transaction. You’ll need to ask the patron do they want an aisle seat?, where in the venue they’d like to sit and what price range. Then you have to see what’s available for what they are looking for. If the show is selling well you may not have the number of seats they want together and it will come down to a decision for the patron. You’ll also need to collect the patron data (address, phone etc.) and enter it manually where if it was an online purchase the patron would enter it.

If you ever select a will call option when you buy ticketing online I would strongly suggest you bring the following to the venue when you pick up your tickets;

-The credit card that was used to make the purchase

-The I.D. of the cardholder (it many cases this person should be the one picking up the tickets)

-A printed copy of the confirmation email that was sent to you when you bought your tickets

Beware of internet scams and scalpers. It is always best to check with the venue of the show you are attending to find out who is an authorized seller of tickets for each event as this can vary. If it looks too good to be true then call venue to find out more info. It’s not worth getting your money taking away from you and finding out on the day of the show you spend hundreds of dollars and you still have no tickets.

So there is an inside look on what it takes to build an event from start to finish and some tips on what you should know as an event patron when purchasing tickets.


Sean Morse - Live Bands Touring

Sean got his start in the Entertainment Business in the summer of 1999 where he served as an Intern at Clear Channel’s KC101 FM and WELI 960 AM in Hamden-New Haven. He left the station to attend Florida State University. Sean returned to Connecticut and in 2003 landed a job at Toad’s Place where he became a key employee. Soon later he would end up working for the world’s largest entertainment company Live Nation Inc. for many years. This position led him to a key industry role as Client Services Rep. at Tickets.com where he worked with various venues around the nation including Mass Concerts (The Webster & The Palladium), Hartman Arena in Kansas, The Wellmont Theater in New Jersey and many others. Sean’s work helped Tickets.com land the prestigious 2009 CIO 100 Technology Award.

In 2007 Sean decided to create Livebandstouring.com as a side project to his regular industry job which offers a youtube channel, event consulting, venue contact info and a variety of other services for bands and other industry professionals.

In 2012 Sean released a book which was converted into a 2 CD Box Set Booklet called Peace, Poetry, and Music which offers original poems and original songs on one CD and a bonus CD with cover songs. Sean spends most of his free time doing Yoga, working out at the gym, and enjoying the company of friends and family at local music venues and festivals.

LBT Website – http://www.livebandstouring.com

LBT Youtube- http://www.youtube.com/livebandstouring

LBT Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/livebandstouring

Sean’s Original Music- http://www.seanmorsemusic.com 

2 Responsesto “Ticketing by Sean Morse”

  1. Ben says:

    Digging the article Sean! As someone who has also spent a good deal of time working in event ticketing I can definitely attest to how much people underestimate the effort and time that goes into providing tickets for an event big or small. I work for an event ticketing company called Ticketbud (http://ticketbud.com/) that focuses on helping people sell tickets online for their events and the people that run the most successful and error-free events with us are definitely, like you allude to, the ones that come in attentive and prepared with a plan for their tickets. A lot of great tips in here. Cheers to a great article Sean!

  2. Sean Morse says:

    Thanks Ben. I was checking out ticketbud.com briefly. Great concepts.