December 20th, 2021 - Posted in Client Highlights, Editors pick
SimpleTix + Four County Players Theater
Since 1973, Four County Players, a community theater in Barboursville, has served as a cultural landmark for Central Virginia. As the area’s longest continuously operating community theater, the non-profit has extensive experience selling tickets online and at the theater.
Four County Players houses a main theater with about 220 seats, where it presents musicals, plays, concerts, and various special events throughout the year. Their smaller Black Box theater, named The Cellar, has about 50 seats for more intimate and experimental shows.
The facility also offers a small onsite bistro that sells snacks and drinks to patrons, including wine, craft beer, and ciders from local manufacturers.
Making the Most of Virtual
As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, Four County Players had to contend with virtual offerings to continue with their mission of providing art and entertainment to their community. Around the same time, their previous ticketing software was bought out by a larger company, creating a desire to transition to a different solution.
As the board and volunteers began researching new ticketing platforms, SimpleTix quickly stood out from their competitors, most notably since it offered a seamless partnership with Zoom.
“The other systems we looked at didn’t have the easy Zoom integration [SimpleTix has],” Four County Players Director Andy Phelps said. “We knew we were going to use Zoom, so the ability to tightly integrate purchasing tickets with Zoom was key.”
The theater is an intimate operation made up of two full-time staff members and dedicated volunteers. A smaller staff meant Four County Players needed a more versatile and holistic ticketing platform for everyone to use. “We only have one person who manages the box office so a more complicated ticketing solution would have made things more difficult,” said Andy.
In addition to its Zoom integration, SimpleTix’s affordability was appealing to Four County Players. SimpleTix does not charge an initiation fee or any monthly fees beyond that, while other ticketing solutions “had monthly fees as high as $10,000 dollars just to get started,” according to Andy.
Spending such a large sum of money to implement a system simply wasn’t viable for the non-profit community theater. Andy described the theater’s need for affordability: “Revenue wise, we wouldn’t have been able to bring along more shows if we had to spend so much money on systems.”
“We have to buy the rights to bring shows to our stage,” he continued. “That alone costs $5,000-10,000 sometimes. We need to be able to make that revenue back, and if we are spending so much on monthly fees for various systems it’s harder to do that.”
Since SimpleTix only charges a small fee and percentage of ticket sales, Four County Players didn’t have to spend a ton of money to sell tickets and thus compromise the theater’s offerings. Since they are saving so much on ticketing software, the theater is able to “make more of a profit with fewer people in the theater, which has been a requirement the past year and a half,” Andy explained.
The team at Four County Players found SimpleTix easy to implement and learn. While its integration with Zoom and affordability were the initial attractors, Four County Players has utilized many of its other unique features.
SimpleTix’s integration with Square has helped streamline operations at the theater by providing quick and easy sales on site, both in the box office and in the theater’s onsite bistro.
“Not only were we replacing our ticketing system, but we were also trying to figure out a better way to handle our sales for our bistro,” Andy explained. “Previously we were using two different systems, so we were able to combine and reduce complexity by using SimpleTix.”
The bistro sales were essential to everyone at Four County Players because proceeds fund scholarships for local high school graduates who volunteer or participate in shows at the theater. With sales streamlined through one service, the theater has been able to continue raising money for this endeavor.
Receiving ticket profits through SimpleTix’s instant payouts has also been a vast improvement from the theater’s previous ticketing software. Prior to signing up with SimpleTix, Four County Players received their ticket profits only once a month.
“The ability to get paid out within one or two days is awesome, especially during the pandemic, when we weren’t having a lot of revenue,” Andy explained.
Flexibility and Safety
SimpleTix’s social distancing ticketing feature also helped Four County Players transition from their virtual shows on Zoom and back to the Mainstage. By allowing the theater to customize their seating arrangement, SimpleTix facilitated a healthy and safe environment for the theater’s guests and performers while maintaining compliance with local and state ordinances for events.
“The social distancing algorithm in SimpleTix, being able to block off a seat around each ticket, was really critical to us being able to open up in person,” Andy explained.
Members are vital to the success of Four County Players, so keeping track of their information and communicating with them easily is important. Andy was able to upload the theater’s members into SimpleTix and regularly sends them emails through the platform.
Four County Players has also found value in SimpleTix’s dedication to improvement. Since the ticketing platform consistently adds new features, Andy and his staff have added them to provide guests with more payment options and opportunities to purchase items beyond tickets.
“Monthly there are new features, like the ability to use ApplePay,” said Andy. “As soon as that was released, we enabled it because a lot of our younger patrons want to use it. SimpleTix also just opened up merchandise sales through ticketing, so we turned that on a few days ago.”
As Four County Players continues its legacy into the future, Andy hopes to continue to use SimpleTix to sell tickets at an affordable price. “I see us continuing to use SimpleTix,” Andy said. “The pricing is good, being able to use promo codes and vouchers and keep track of everything in one system has been really important. So we are happy with it; we love it.”
“SimpleTix has been great,” he continued. “The theater has gone through a few systems in the past few years, and SimpleTix just makes things easier and more efficient in one place.”
SimpleTix has offered an affordable, premium event ticketing platform that outperforms Eventbrite and similar apps for over 12 years. Compared to the competition, SimpleTix offers better options at a better price point. To learn more, call us at +1 (855) 550-3670 or email us here.
All of this for just $0.79 + 2% per attendee
Zero up-front cost, with a low rate fee of $0.79 + 2% per ticket. Seamless integration with Square, Stripe, Authorize.net, and more. And instant payment means no waiting for payouts by check.
Yes, ticketing can be this simple… With SimpleTix.