Saturday, 14 March 2020

Event Bookings

I've recently been organising an event which needed to have tickets issued, and also capture contact details of the attendees to allow follow-up email messages. A couple years ago I'd come across www.trybooking.co.uk which is an Internet Cloud based system run by a small British company based in Kendal. I liked it then and used it successfully for some free ticket events. They don't charge a fee for free tickets. It is fully featured and takes the pain out of issuing, controlling and following up of tickets.

For the recent event I decided to charge a small fee, to weed out the non-serious prospective attendees. I've looked at several different USA based systems, but was not happy with the features. I recalled the Trybooking system and decided to give it another go. Since my last use of the system a couple of years ago they have improved an already good system. From the attendees viewpoint it works well on PCs, tablets and Smartphones. 

  • Their fee for chargeable events is 15p per ticket and 5% for card processing.
  • After collection, they deposit the money into your chosen bank account.
  • It has a good automatic interface into our wonderful Xero accounting system.
  • It handles refunds well.
  • It handles VAT correctly.
  • You can do gift certificates and flexible offer voucher codes.
  • It has good reporting facilities.
  • There's automatic interface into social media such as Facebook.
  • It is easy to embed the booking interface, such as "Book Now" buttons, into other web pages.
  • It is multi-user.
  • It gives barcode check-in with an internet connected smartphone for multiple "gatekeepers"; reads pre printed tickets or smartphone screen tickets.
  • You can view who was checked in to the event and when the check-in took place.

I'm in the process of using integromat.com and zapier.com to provide sms alerts and voice message alerts in the case of needing to announce changes to events and/or reminders that the event is about to take place. This is a bit more complicated, but doesn't require programming skills per se. The next step will be to add a squared.com interface to allow the use of touch bank card, apple pay and google pay payments at events. I'll also add an automated Mailchimp interface for marketing at some point.

For one-to-one meetings I use Acuity Scheduling. This ties into my personal Google Calendar and allows people to book meetings with me, in my free time slots from their web browser. It can also take credit/debit card payments for the meeting fees. This uses my squared.com account to process the payment. All is tied into my Xara accounting system.

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