We definitely save time because of how user-friendly the Accesso Box Office Ticketing System is for our patrons. Our online sales have increased so much that I’ve even lost the ability to hire a couple more agents at the box office!"

The Challenge

The Lesher Center for the Arts is the premier destination for exceptional arts and entertainment experiences in Walnut Creek, California, serving 350,000 patrons annually. The Center works with 80+ producers and promoters to present over 600 ticketed performances a year, offering a variety of season packages and subscriptions across their 4 theatres. Season packages comprise the majority of their business, reaching over 2,300 households with their renewal campaigns and allowing unlimited exchanges for their members.

With season packages and renewals being so critical to their business, the Lesher Center regularly processes over 10,000 exchanges a year which can be very tedious. They wanted to streamline operations by bringing these transactions online, but their current vendor was lacking in this functionality. "We wanted the ability to offer subscriptions in multiple venues that we could take online and out of the phone room, by walk-up and by mail,” said Courtney Egg, Audience Services Coordinator. In 2014, the Center took the opportunity to conduct a full search for a new ticketing solution. Any replacement needed to include core features like discounts, promo codes, pre-sales, access control and ticket scanners, but it needed to have more advanced online functionality across the board, including the ability to customize ticketing pages.

Furthermore, as a program of the City of Walnut Creek, the venue’s reporting and accounting needs were very important. “We are uniquely a city-tied venue,” Egg explained, “We are stewards of public money, so it’s important that everything balances to the penny.”

Real Results

84%

Reduction in Box Office Training Time

29%

Growth in Online Channel Sales

10,000

Exchanges Processed Each Season

The Solu­tion

After an intensive RFP process, the Lesher Center for the Arts selected the accesso box office ticketing system for its robust online functionality, customizable set-up and ease of use. The ability to offer season package renewals online was key to their decision: “Individual renewal notices are really critical to our structures. With Accesso, we can let patrons log into their account and renew directly as opposed to it being so laborious, paper-heavy and mail-heavy,” said Egg. The Center also appreciates the solution’s “Hold” functionality, which lets patrons save their seats without charging their credit card immediately and has helped to keep costs down.

With the accesso system, the Center has also been able to launch an online Producer Portal, allowing their promoters seamless access to real-time reporting metrics. “Before Accesso, we didn’t have a producer portal so that was exciting to roll out and it also let us take those reporting tasks away from a full-time employee,” Egg added.

Having the ability to offer a patron-friendly and consistently branded online environment was also important to the Lesher Center. With the accesso solution’s highly customizable and intuitive templates, the Center has expanded their event pages and been able to grow their online channel sales by 29%. “When we moved to the Accesso box office ticketing system, having direct access to the web event landing page experience and all of the different places we could customize information was really great. We were able to really take control over that – and it was a pretty quick learning curve," said Egg.

“With our old ticketing system, it used to take 100+ hours to train a new box office ticketing agent. Now I can have someone selling tickets in 2 days."

- Jeremiah Vierling, Senior Ticket Office Agent, The Lesher Center for the Arts

Since implementing the accesso ticketing system, the Lesher Center has found that the amount of time it takes to train new agents has dropped tremendously, because it is so easy to use. Some of the features that help expedite this process include visual indicators during the Exchange process and a variety of ways to easily search the system (such as by order number or patron ID). The latter has proven especially helpful with the Center’s need for precise accounting: “Every day with our end of day work, we double-check to make sure exchanges have been fully closed,” said Courtney Egg, “If there’s an open transaction the agent forgot to finish, there are a lot of measures to double-check these transactional loops to make sure our reports are accurate.”

Our Ongo­ing Partnership

As the Lesher Center has refined and grown their procedures, they continue to work closely with their Client Services Manager to develop custom enhancements that will drive further efficiencies. In the past few years, they have developed 59 enhancements together, with Exchange payment customizations and reporting enhancements being the most notable. They look forward to what the future holds with accesso.

“Our Client Services Manager has a running list of things we are refining,” said Egg, “and I think the next milestone will be enhancements that help remove even more human errors in reporting.”

“We meet regularly, and I always feel heard,” added Vierling, “Even if something is not actionable immediately, I know the team will be receptive. Our Client Services Manager keeps track of our needs better than we do!” he said.

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