Chris Marr is an alumnus of Spektrix.
We’ve been thinking a lot about ticket agencies recently. What’s the best way for theatres to work with agents, and how can we best support them both? Agencies selling allocations of seats has been an important part of of the way theatres operate for a long time, particularly in the West End. But for many box office teams, this has meant manually allocating tickets to particular agents. This will usually take up lots of time and effort that might better be spent elsewhere, and means theatres lose visibility on how well tickets are selling from one hour to the next.
We want to create a better service for audiences and generate higher margins for theatres, so have been working hard to create a way of automating this agency process. The Spektrix Agency API – part of API v3 – is a pretty significant step forward in allowing theatres and agencies to do this. This update allows approved third-party agents to connect to a theatre’s Spektrix system and sell tickets live off the seating plan, in real-time. Working with agencies in this way, the theatre keeps full control over their pricing, discounts and availability throughout the lifetime of each performance, and has full visibility of the data processed for agency sales too. They also do away with the hassle of manually moving allocations of tickets around, and can keep on top of what agents are selling at what price, helping them maximise yield and occupancy (and reducing the risk of having big allocations of unsold seats given back to them at the last minute).
London’s Dominion Theatre, one of the largest in the West End, is one of the first to open its system to agents using the Agency API. Emma Gates is Deputy Box Office Manager at the Dominion and has been one of the first to get to grips with it. Here’s what she told us about it:
“Our trials so far have been seamless and it’s really exciting to see the agent bookings sat there on the system, with the customer’s details and without having had to lift a finger. Going forward, it is definitely going to ease our workload as there will be less need to manually allocate tickets and extra allocations. The support we received from the Spektrix team was, as usual, superb.”
We had a quick chat to our Managing Director Libby about our Agency API too, to ask why we’d introduced this new change:
“Our aim is to enable theatres to adopt some of the best practices in yield management from the travel industry, gaining live control over pricing and granular visibility of current inventory. It’ll help theatres work more effectively with their agent partners to respond to demand signals and provide the best possible service to theatregoers.”
We’re really excited about the new Agency API. So if you’re a Spektrix user and want to start selling via agencies through Spektrix, get in touch with Support and we’ll set it up. (For free, of course!)