With major advances in online sales and digital marketing, is it time to say goodbye to the traditional box office? Or is there an argument to keep staff front-of-house and maintain a human sales element within our venues?
Certainly there are some who still believe the box office should be the “beating heart” of any venue but, increasingly, we are seeing a change of use in box office spaces to retail, catering or visitor centres. Box office staff are being shifted to other customer service roles and whilst most venues can boast slick new sales methods, face-to-face interaction has taken a dramatic dip.
Ticketing Technology Forum will be exploring the issue with the aim of establishing how the customer journey will change over the next two years. Taking part in our panel debate will be:
Eric Valley, Director of Ticket Sales, Cirque du Soleil, Canada
Since early 2012, Eric has been overseeing ticket sales operations for all of Cirque’s touring productions worldwide. He has recently rethought the revenue management strategies and introduced a new demand based pricing approach currently being deployed on all Cirque du Soleil touring shows.
Dan Eastmond, MD, Firestation Arts & Culture, UK
Firestation Arts & Culture is a social enterprise based in Windsor, UK, which runs a range of projects including The Firestation Centre for Arts & Culture, Beat Magazine and Prime Studios. Dan’s career has taken him from arts co-ops and online communities, from pirate radio to the music industry, and from galleries to entertainment venues. He recently established DEconsulting, specialising in strategy reformulation for cultural and creative businesses.
Eric Solem, Head of Ticketing, A.S. Roma, Italy
As Head of Ticketing, Eric created the sales team and CRM platform for A.S. Roma and is involved in building and designing the technology that will run the new stadium. Eric has overseen a 50 per cent growth in season ticket sales and the creation of a dedicated premium programme at the recently expanded premium area at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Topics under the spotlight will include:
- Technology innovations and what is likely to have the most impact on the ticketing sector by 2020;
- The need for dedicated sales counters and sales staff, given that most sales are moving online;
- Whether ticket collection can be reconfigured to provide other customer-facing actions;
- Should back-of-house staff become front-of-house ambassadors;
- And the big question… can a data bunker and live digital marketing replace all the box office functions?