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Editor's letter
Advance ticketing

By Liz Terry | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4

Pretty much every leisure time activity we undertake involves booking in advance – it’s a fundamental principle of the operation of restaurants and hotels, theatres, health clubs and sports events. It enables yield optimisation, staff allocation, crowd control and budgeting and it limits fraud.

In an increasing number of cases, it also involves payment in advance – theatres and sports events have always done this: book a ticket for a show today and you might pay in advance for a performance which is a couple of years away.

This means that the treasury function within these businesses is a major part of their cash flow and makes a significant contribution to operating profits.

And other leisure operations are following suit there are now spas that take advance payments and hairdressers and restaurants which take credit card details on booking and make a no show charge if you don’t turn up.

It’s fair they do – they’re selling time and time’s perishable: it’s a matter of self-preservation in a era when people are increasingly in a ‘last minute’ mindset.

Membership has to be the ultimate goal of any business in this industry, as it spreads payments, gains commitment and loyalty from customers and gets paid, even if they choose not to use it.

Attractions are the last bastion of the ‘pay on the gate’ approach and it’s time for this to change. Too many operators sit and wait each day to see if enough customers show up to enable them to pay the bills – it’s a hand to mouth existence which is absurd when such incredible technology is available to ramp up a whole load of great alternatives (see ticketing feature on page 87).

More sophisticated operators have always offered memberships I spent practically every weekend at Legoland on a membership ticket when my children were little – but this is the exception rather than the rule and the majority of gate money is taken on the day (or not, if the weather turns nasty).

Speaking at the Annual National Conference of Visitor Attractions (VAC) in London recently, chair Ken Robinson said the industry must grasp the opportunity and implement advance payments and memberships. Not doing so is holding us back and preventing us from deploying yield management and also from engaging properly with customers.

Memberships and advance payments involve operators taking full customer contact details and once we have these, a transformation can occur in our relationship: we know who our customers are and can properly engage with them.

Long ago, when the industry was part of the black economy, operators preferred to take cash, but those days are gone and it’s time attractions got on board the 21st century way of doing things.

Liz Terry, editor, twitter: @elizterry

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Editor's letter
Advance ticketing

By Liz Terry | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4

Pretty much every leisure time activity we undertake involves booking in advance – it’s a fundamental principle of the operation of restaurants and hotels, theatres, health clubs and sports events. It enables yield optimisation, staff allocation, crowd control and budgeting and it limits fraud.

In an increasing number of cases, it also involves payment in advance – theatres and sports events have always done this: book a ticket for a show today and you might pay in advance for a performance which is a couple of years away.

This means that the treasury function within these businesses is a major part of their cash flow and makes a significant contribution to operating profits.

And other leisure operations are following suit there are now spas that take advance payments and hairdressers and restaurants which take credit card details on booking and make a no show charge if you don’t turn up.

It’s fair they do – they’re selling time and time’s perishable: it’s a matter of self-preservation in a era when people are increasingly in a ‘last minute’ mindset.

Membership has to be the ultimate goal of any business in this industry, as it spreads payments, gains commitment and loyalty from customers and gets paid, even if they choose not to use it.

Attractions are the last bastion of the ‘pay on the gate’ approach and it’s time for this to change. Too many operators sit and wait each day to see if enough customers show up to enable them to pay the bills – it’s a hand to mouth existence which is absurd when such incredible technology is available to ramp up a whole load of great alternatives (see ticketing feature on page 87).

More sophisticated operators have always offered memberships I spent practically every weekend at Legoland on a membership ticket when my children were little – but this is the exception rather than the rule and the majority of gate money is taken on the day (or not, if the weather turns nasty).

Speaking at the Annual National Conference of Visitor Attractions (VAC) in London recently, chair Ken Robinson said the industry must grasp the opportunity and implement advance payments and memberships. Not doing so is holding us back and preventing us from deploying yield management and also from engaging properly with customers.

Memberships and advance payments involve operators taking full customer contact details and once we have these, a transformation can occur in our relationship: we know who our customers are and can properly engage with them.

Long ago, when the industry was part of the black economy, operators preferred to take cash, but those days are gone and it’s time attractions got on board the 21st century way of doing things.

Liz Terry, editor, twitter: @elizterry

 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
ATTRACTIONS MANAGEMENT NEWS
ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
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