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Ticket payment options?

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:35 pm
by thatcambridgebird
It's become increasingly popular over the past few years - probably thanks to Glastonbury - for music festivals to offer payment options on their ticket prices: Early Bird, installment payments, deposits, and so on.

We sadly couldn't make FF2014 because of money issues this year, which was a royal pain for us because it only happened to fall unluckily due to some contract payments my other half was waiting for. By the time payment due to him had cleared, tickets had pretty much sold out for the days/numbers we wanted.

It got me thinking...have the organisers ever thought of following the music festival example and offering different sorts of ticket types for purchase in the earlier months leading up to the festival, rather than only a couple of months beforehand? I'm sure it'd be appreciated by people who want to guarantee a spot but perhaps can't afford the entire festival pass/set of day tickets in one hit, for whatever reason. I know it might prove tricky given it's all booked through the cinema's website, but I just wondered if it'd been considered for 2015, or for years gone by and dismissed for whatever reason? Certainly from previous years we've found that in order to get a good deal, we've had to book our hotel pretty much in Feb/March, so knowing at that point that we'd put down a deposit for our tickets would also be a great way to start the excitement up to August!

Just a thought.

Edit: Realised I put this in news, like an idiot. Mods feel free to move to the right place!

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:57 pm
by DJBenz
thatcambridgebird wrote:Edit: Realised I put this in news, like an idiot. Mods feel free to move to the right place!
Like Dante The Great... *shazam!* :)

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:17 am
by TheDukeAbides
I'm sure everything related to ticketing it the main thing that is being looked at.

Obviously cinema websites can't overhaul their websites just for one event, so you would think the way to go would be an external handler.

Eventbrite springs to mind.

Though of course you'd probably see a rise in booking fee if it was handed out to others.

I doubt Early Bird is a goer, that's more Sleepy Queue territory, the reward being the film, and a load of additional FF mates to boot.

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:00 am
by leytonrocks
London screenwriter festival do a monthly payment scheme each year and there's 700+ delegates there... So it's doable

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:39 am
by jonbly
TheDukeAbides wrote:I doubt Early Bird is a goer, that's more Sleepy Queue territory, the reward being the film, and a load of additional FF mates to boot.
Not to mention the wasted time, the hotel room and the two-way trip across the country.

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:10 pm
by thatcambridgebird
That's fair enough, but there's nothing to say that in-person Sleepy Queue tickets couldn't be released on the day before general sale, with the general sale being put through a central ticket seller rather than a cinema's own site.

I just think it'd make attendance, for some people, a much more of an appealling prospect (and perhaps less "exclusive", for want of a better word) for individuals to have an option to reserve a ticket, with full payment expected by a certain date or the ticket would go back up for general sale.

Like I say, it's just an idea, and it sounds like it's been done for other film festivals with success elsewhere. *shrug*

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:51 pm
by jonbly
Counter-proposal - all online, put the best tickets up for sale at a higher price, then drop the prices & add stock over time until sold out.

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:46 pm
by thatcambridgebird
Counter-counter proposal!

A pre-sale password for forum members only, similar to that which big bands do for tour dates. I just got my Foos tickets that way a few days ago :green:

So, everything online, like you say, but with the option of sleepy queue regulars/others to be able to log in a few hours/the day before general sale using a password, in order to secure the better seats at the usual price. Again, this would really rely on a ticket selling site, rather than the cinema's site.... I think?

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:32 pm
by iomega
I've been following this thread with a great deal of interest. While the move to the Vue last summer came off better than we expected with many pluses arising from the move, ticketing wasn't one of them. The physical selling of tickets to people who queued up on sleepy queue day went off without a hitch, however being charitable the same can't be said for the online sales. The basic problem was that the ticketing system that Vue have is geared to sell up to 1000 tickets at any one time across the complete cinema circuit. It was never designed for the deluge of requests that the system was faced with at the same time for just one location. So, is pretty obvious to anyone something needs to be done.

At the moment I can't give you any hard and fast answers, other than it's been seriously looked at and the ticketing may be taken away from the cinema to an outside body such as Eventbright or Ticketmaster. For the moment nothing's been taken off of the table and all options are being looked at including several mentioned here.

For instance I had a lady who emailed the office the other day looking to buy tickets as a Christmas present. A really nice idea and not unattractive to us. Apart from being able to facilitate something nice for somebody, it would be good for our cash flow and allowing us to build up in financial base earlier in the year to cover some of our upfront costs.

Anyway, keep this conversation going as all suggestions are appreciated.


Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:04 am
by thatcambridgebird
Hi Ian,

I'm glad to know that this has given you and the guys some food for thought, because that's how it was meant to come across - not as an arseholey moaning suggestion because I missed out on attending last year. That was our own cashflow problems, and nothing to do with ticketing. But it had just got me thinking in general about how other festival events run their ticket sales, and I for one would definitely welcome various purchasing options, be in deposit schemes, installments or whatever. I definitely would love to be a recipient of a FrightFest festival ticket for christmas in future years, like the lady who got in touch with you wanted to buy for someone, for example! So although I've drained my brain dry of ticket purchasing options :lol: , I'll definitely be keeping an eye to see what might transpire. And hey, if it's just an improvement to the usual way of buying, well then i'll make sure I definitely have the ticket money to one side this year! :green:

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:38 pm
by IndianaM
The only thing that concerns me about buying tickets with a preorder code/farming it out to ticket venues, is will we still be able to choose our screen and the seat that we want to sit in?

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:01 pm
by kinotonman
As much as I love the sleepy queue and the fun that surrounds it, I find it sometimes difficult to get there coupled with the extra expense of travelling 120 miles or so each way..

I'd love a reliable online ticketing system like Eventbrite, I understand they are going to be incorporating allocated seating as an option for the event organisers in their services.

Another note, although the 3x main screens worked well as compensation for 1 large screen (Empire 1), I don't understand why the films were overcomplicatedly rotated? Surely the 15 minute staggered start is enough for the same film, even for introductions which would be over in one 45 minute hit across the 3 screens?

The starting times were staggered on the advice of the cinema management. We were told that the cinema couldn't cope with the flow of people that would be generated if the three largest screens, two of them on the same floor, starting and ending at the same time.

It was also a way that everyone regardless of the screen they were in mostly got to see the film makers attending and participate in, should they choose, the Q&As.

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:26 pm
by MalJutley
I posted in another thread the same concerns. I'm happy with an online system provided i can choose the screen and seat i want. However How would this impact sitting next to a mate you are going to the festival with. Would we have to decide in advance and make sure we get the seats we want?

Payment wise as long as we have a way of confirming purchase, that's key. I am part of an "Auto Cup" scheme for football games for the club i support. Before the season starts you opt in at the cost of 10 pence. Then when the system goes lives they allow you to log in and select your seat. This becomes your seat for every home game. The money is automatically debited from your account. This idea could work quite easily for frightfest in some way.

You simply get everyone to register (charge for this if you wish) and the registered user go online at a given date and choose the seat they want. This becomes their seat for the festival and as before festival pass holders get to pick the discovery screen tickets they need. For day passes the same could happen but on the following day. Split up the Festival pass purchases and then day pass purchases and single tickets as per normal (the issue still persists about sitting next to your mate but that's minor in the grand scheme of things (unless we enable maximum of 2 or 3 purchases for festival passes per person or day passes or something like that)

Just my two pence worth

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:40 pm
by Stevey K
Having some kind of password for forum users seems to me potentially even more 'elitist' than the sleepy queue. So if I'm not a forum regular I don't get to go - having attended every fest since it started :-)

I still hope you can sort out some kind of in person option and I know you asked in another thread about if folks paid with cash - if they don't and pay with credit/debit won't you get the issue of 'floor limit' that Odeon used to have and having to pre approve the cards?

As for the staggered times - I don't have any objection to that - but don't see why the same films couldn't be shown ... The big 'issue' with the films being different meant you might see one of your FF buddies who is in another screen and you can't discuss certain films as they haven't seen it yet!!! And that was half the fun - disagreeing/agreeing on films.

Re: Ticket payment options?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:50 pm
by Deadjilldando
There's a cost element to screening the films at the same time in 3 separate screens - they'll need 3 DCP's of each film, with this method they can just ferry the 1 DCP between the 3 screens.

Cinemas such as the Vue have management systems, so we only need one DCP for three screens.

The staggered times are for managing numbers. The cinema can't cope with the three largest screens starting and finishing at the same time. Also if we ran all the films at the same time, only one screen could have the intro and Q&A with film makers etc.