Ticketing software for film festivals is essential. That we know. But finding the right solution among the many vendors takes work, especially since film festival organisers need different features than organisers of other types of events. On the surface, a film festival looks similar to an event like a music festival: it’s a multi-day collection of scheduled events. Yet fundamental differences may stand in the way of using a ticketing partner that’s a proven fit for a music festival. When it comes to film festivals, it may simply come up short.
So, how is a film festival different from, for instance, a music festival, and what should you look for in festival ticketing software to ensure smooth operations? To help you, we’ve made a checklist of the most important questions.
Can the festival ticketing software handle a large number of pricing options?
Film festivals offer a lot of pricing options. Each ticket for a film screening can easily have seven or more different price options, which is significantly more than the regular ‘early-bird, regular and last-minute’ pricing of a traditional festival. So, this is an essential feature to have in your festival ticketing software.
Can it cope with events occurring multiple times?
Each event (film screening) may be planned several times in different locations during a film festival. These various screenings of the same event are typical of film festivals and are less common at a music (or other) festival.
Can it handle large amounts of tickets?
At a music festival, to watch ten shows, one would buy a single one-day or multi-day ticket. In contrast, at a film festival, one typically would buy ten tickets to see ten films. This means that many tickets are sold and checked for access at different venues during a film festival.
So, look for festival ticketing software that can handle a lot of separate tickets and access checks.
Can you integrate the software with your other systems?
The abovementioned structural differences often lead to problems integrating ticketing software with your other software and systems. Suppose your festival ticketing does not integrate well with your event management platform, website and payment provider. In that case, this will hurt you, especially when making (last-minute) changes to your program.
For example, your program team pushes back a screening 15 minutes to fit the schedule, affecting your website, ticketing, volunteers’ timetables, etc. If your systems work separately, you’ll need to put at least four (already swamped) people to work, leading to overtime and extra costs. So good integration is a vital feature to look for to save time and money.
Can it perform when the demand is high?
As with most successful events, many people will queue up for ticket sales, creating a high demand for tickets in a short period. Inferior or poorly configured software cannot handle this and will malfunction, preventing your audience from buying tickets. This can damage your film festival’s reputation and result in revenue loss. So it is critical that your festival ticketing software can handle any demand. A common solution is to add dedicated queuing software to meet high demand without losing visitors.
Does it have good customer support?
Accidents can happen during hectic events, even if you use the best ticketing software. A small mistake or malfunction can cause a big problem if not dealt with quickly. To minimise the impact of any malfunction, make sure you can rely on good and swift customer support so you will never be without help in finding a solution for any problem.
Many festivals work with local ticketing partners. It can’t hurt to consider other international alternatives, providing they deliver good communication and reachability outside office hours. Ideally, you would have a dedicated contact person who knows your film festival well.
Does the festival ticketing software have good reporting tools?
Ticket sales data are essential for film festivals. Not only are sales reports indispensable for financial accountability. Moreover, the data provides a great insight into your audience’s behaviour. This information is valuable for marketing to understand its target groups better. It’s also valuable to the program department, for instance, to see how films sell out better in certain venues or at certain screen times.
In closing, the most important thing is to ask the right questions of a ticketing partner. Find a ticketing partner with a proven track record with film festivals or a flexible platform that suits your specific film festival needs.
Need help finding the right film festival ticketing software for you? We’ve integrated many different ticketing software with Fiona Festival. We are happy to help!
At Fiona, we love tech and film festivals. That is why our film festival clients love Fiona’s film festival management software: designed to be effective, user-friendly, and easy to use. We are constantly adding new features and learning from our trusted film festival partners. Meanwhile, we stay updated on new technologies to keep Fiona the best film festival management software.