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6 min read

New in Spektrix: Do even more with Ticket Subscriptions

New in Spektrix: Do even more with Ticket Subscriptions

Take a look behind the curtain at the work our Engineering Team is doing to make your life easier. 

Jade Walton is Product Owner for one of our engineering teams, currently working on Ticket Subscriptions. As the link between Spektrix users and engineers, she takes time to understand exactly what users need from new features, shares that with engineering teams to structure their work, and connects back with users to test and continually improve the way the system works. Jade has over six years of experience in product management, and is passionate about solving users’ problems, data-driven decisions, and collaboration. In this blog, she shares what she and her team are working on, and the lessons they’re learning along the way.

 

Learn more about Ticket Subscriptions

 

Last spring, we launched Ticket Subscriptions, a feature that enables you to offer a loyalty program that’s as flexible as your busiest patron’s schedule. Ticket Subscriptions, often known as flexible subscriptions, flex passes or smart passes, are a prepaid set of ticket vouchers that a customer can use to purchase a range of events across a season, at their own convenience. Events can be selected at the point of purchase or after having bought the subscription, and can range in flexibility from a “fully flexible” set of tickets that can be used to see any show in a season in any combination, to a seasonal pass that contains exactly one ticket to each event in a season.

Now, we’re working on enhancing the Ticket Subscriptions functionality to make it even more efficient and intuitive, by adding the ability to use Ticket Subscriptions as customer eligibility criteria.

product-team

Members of the Spektrix Product Team gather in London for a Together Day.

 

What are eligibility criteria?

 

Eligibility criteria are used to select which customers have access to benefits and/ or offers.

If you’re already using Spektrix, you may already be using Customer Eligibility to quickly choose which clients are eligible for a number of features. For example, you might use Customer Eligibility criteria to offer priority booking to patrons who are members. This functionality will be expanded to work for Ticket Subscriptions as well. 

The eligibility picker in the Spektrix System, with Ticket Subscriptions newly available as a category.

You’ll be able to use Ticket Subscriptions as customer eligibility criteria for:

As always, head to our Support Centre to learn more about these features.

Another exciting piece of functionality that will be unlocked with this feature is in-basket eligibility: the ability for your patrons to purchase a ticket subscription and redeem any extra benefits you’ve made available to ticket subscription holders in the same transaction. For example, if you want to open priority booking for a comedy show to all customers who have purchased a ticket subscription, customers will now be able to add a ticket subscription to their basket and get early access to book a ticket for that comedy show in the same transaction. 

 

Why are we developing this feature?

Members of the Spektrix Engineering team who worked on the Ticket Subscriptions Feature on a video call together.

We strive to make the Spektrix system as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible. That means it's crucial for us to get feedback from our users as we develop features so that we know what’s working well and which areas could use further development. Currently, to make benefits or offers available to ticket subscription holders, users need to manually create a tag group of ticket subscription holders. This new update will remove that manual step. Ticket Subscriptions will be one of the available criteria when setting up Customer Eligibility, so you’ll be able to enjoy the same ease of serving offers to this group of customers as you already do with Memberships and Fixed Series subscribers.  

Engineers at work

Why are we developing this feature now?

At Spektrix, we balance improvements that we can deliver today with iterative enhancements we add in the longer term. We developed Ticket Subscriptions based on feedback from our users, in addition to arts industry research that told us flexibility is increasingly important to patrons and that offering it is a key way to drive loyalty and revenue. 

We planned a multi-phase rollout of Ticket Subscriptions that would enable us to achieve two goals. First, we wanted to release the essential functionality as soon as we could. Next, we wanted to continue to enhance the feature, weaving it more closely into the Spektrix system, in addition to making updates based on user feedback.

The feature rollout looks like this:

  • Beta Phase

    • A group of Spektrix users tested a beta version of the feature
    • We collected feedback from our beta testers and refined the feature
  • Full Rollout Release

    • Once the essential functionality of the feature was ready, we released it to all users
    • We continued collecting user feedback, which we used to inform the next phase, the…
  • Enhancement Phase

    • We are continuing to weave Ticket Subscriptions into the Spektrix system, ensuring that it has all the functionality that users enjoy with Memberships and Fixed Subscriptions. This phase is iterative and has the latitude to shift based on user feedback.

From plan to action

We released Ticket Subscriptions in February of 2023 to serve the needs of users who wanted to be able to offer flexibility to their patrons. Ticket Subscriptions has already made a big difference for Spektrix users. The Toledo Alliance of Performing Arts (TAPA) were one of the first Spektrix users to offer Ticket Subscriptions to their users, and they’ve seen big results:

“You can’t deny the amount of money we’ve brought in by making this feature available. It’s a no brainer to give people the flexibility.”
-Vanessa Gardner, VP of Marketing & Operations, TAPA

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (Cincy Shakes) have also been offering Ticket Subscriptions to patrons, and see the flexible option as a great way to bring in younger audiences:

“It’s that ultimate flexibility, and trying to force a reappraisal by younger people who say, ‘No, I hear subscriptions, it’s not what I’m into,’ to stop and say, ‘Wait a second, let me think about that, could I do that, what benefits could I get.”
-Jeanna Vella, Director of Marketing and Data Analytics, Cincy Shakes

Since we’ve launched Ticket Subscriptions, we’ve received lots of valuable feedback. Based on that feedback, the scope of the enhancement project shifted.

 

How user feedback shifted the scope of the project

 

Initially, in-basket eligibility – the ability for customers to purchase a ticket subscription and, in the same transaction, redeem offers like priority booking or access to seats reserved for subscription holders – was not part of the scope of the customer eligibility work. However, we heard from our users how important it was to be able to offer this to their patrons, so we expanded the project scope to include it. Now, we’re excited to be able to deliver a feature that will make accessing benefits even smoother and purchasing a subscription even more attractive to your customers. 

“This project has shown the importance of slowing down to speed up - of taking time to understand and explore a problem space, consider different approaches, and break a large piece of work down into smaller tasks. As a software engineer, I’ve enjoyed working with this level of autonomy, supported by our wider team - and am proud of the more complete and well rounded feature set delivered as a result.”
Ollie Freeman, Software Engineer, Spektrix

Two members of the Spektrix Engineering team participate in Together Days.

 

How will this make a difference for your teams?

 

Making everything from priority booking to lock type eligibility available to patrons with Ticket Subscriptions will become quicker and easier. The ability to create eligibility criteria for Ticket Subscriptions means you don’t have to manually set up auto tags to group together patrons who have purchased Ticket Subscriptions. Instead, they’ll be automatically grouped together, which makes it easier than ever to serve your patrons offers and to report on their behavior.

If you’re using Spektrix already, this new release will mean that you’ll be able to make offers, benefits, and much more available to patrons who have purchased flex passes in the same easy, drag and drop way that you currently are able to extend these offers to patrons with fixed subscriptions and memberships. 

 

How will this make a difference for your audience members?

 

Once the feature is released, patrons will be able to purchase a ticket subscription and access offers associated with that subscription within the same transaction. For example, if you offer waived commission fees to Ticket Subscription holders, once a customer has Ticket Subscriptions added to their basket, any commission fees will be waived. But if that customer removes Ticket Subscriptions from their basket, they will no longer fulfil the criteria to be eligible for that offer, so the fee will return to their cart. Customers have even more of an incentive to purchase subscriptions, and their purchasing process will be even more seamless.

By working with Jade as Product Owner we can understand how changes to one feature impact other parts of the system, and think about real-life use cases when writing and testing our implementation - working with a Best Available seating option when testing Lock Types on a seat map was a new one for me!
Suthathip Kaewsamsee, Software Engineer, Spektrix

 

Are there any other updates coming to Ticket Subscriptions?

 

The last addition we’re currently planning for the Ticket Subscriptions feature is to make it available in our API. This will offer greater control over how you can showcase Ticket Subscriptions online, including the ability to purchase ticket subscriptions and redeem tickets against them in custom baskets. It also means that you’ll be able to add Ticket Subscriptions to your website in more dynamic ways, spotlighting them with one-click bundles that contain ticket subscriptions and tickets for specific events.

 

This information was interesting and engaging, and is relevant for me or my team

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Jade Walton (she/her) is a Product Owner at Spektrix