Chris Marr is an alumnus of Spektrix.
We all love a good ticket. Don’t we? Well, we do at Spektrix. Still box office managers at heart, the whirr and hum of a thermal printer gets our hearts racing. But there’s a not-so-new ticket on the block that we have a lot of love for too – the print at home ticket.
An idea borrowed from the travel industry, print at home tickets give audiences a unique barcode or QR code that can be scanned by front of house staff on the way in to the theatre. It’s easy for customers, who can print their ticket on their own printer (and print another one if they lose it). Or even if they forget to bring it on the day, in most cases their ticket can still be loaded up from an email and scanned from the screen of their phone. And of course they’re great for theatres too, who save time and money on buying and printing ticket stock.
So to co-incide with the launch of our brand new scanning app, we asked our Support team: what makes a great print at home ticket? Here are some highlights from the theatres we think are leading the way in print at home.
The marketing team at Northern Stage are always developing and improving their print at home tickets to find which designs work the best. We think the one below is a great all-rounder, with a clear and simple layout. Alongside the space to print a unique barcode and other information about the show, the ticket offers clear practical instructions for audiences on how to get to the theatre or get in touch if they have any questions. Crucially, it also acts as a promotional tool for the theatre, advertising an upcoming show and reminding the customer of a special offer at the bar.
Like Northern Stage’s ticket, Derby LIVE’s is a successful and vibrant extension of the theatre’s brand, with practical information alongside promotions. The offer here is a particularly eye-catching and successful one – a multi-buy deal, which serves the focal point of the entire printed ticket. We can see one of our favourite theatre sales maxims in action here too, demonstrating that it’s much easier and cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to bring in a brand new one.
The promotions here in the BAC’s print at home ticket are successful in a different way. Rather than promoting additional visits to the theatre, the BAC focuses on food and drink offers that will enhance the experience they’ve already paid for. Make a night of it! In addition to this upsell, they also include their fundraising message to audiences, with a reminder to their customers that they are a charity and that their donations are an incredibly valuable source of income to them.
The best print at home tickets take their cue from examples like these. They make the most of this extra opportunity to send a message to audiences, in a format that can be updated or customised to suit any show or offer. So, newly inspired by these examples, here are our top tips for print at home tickets that’ll knock your customers’ socks off:
- Make sure it matches your brand. Do you get a designer to create your brochure and your posters? Get them to create design assets specifically for your print at home tickets.
- But don’t over-do it… Remember that your audiences are going to print these using their own printer ink. And that stuff is expensive.
- Edit the content regularly. Make sure you tailor the offers or promotions on your ticket to the audience you’re speaking to, keeping them current and fresh.
- Get the balance right between practical information (their ticket, how to get there) and your promotions. Don’t bombard them with offers – just give them one or two great ones.