The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union (UPSU) is on a mission to have a positive impact on every Portsmouth University student. To achieve this mission, Union staff take an agile approach to projects, they embrace the digital age of tech-savvy millennial students and are always ready to take on the next adventure.
UPSU is an independent charity which enriches the daily lives of Portsmouth students by providing access to over 200 weird, wonderful and thought-provoking activities and services. These services promise to broaden student’s horizons, increase their employability, help them to make lifelong friends and provide support to them throughout their time at Portsmouth.
A large part of the Union’s funding comes from organising events. These vary from weekly nightlife events and housing fairs to the widely anticipated Freshers Fayre and the annual Graduation Ball. The Union also support other University of Portsmouth societies and sports clubs where possible. Three years ago the Union sought to streamline the ticketing for their events by going digital to reduce administration work for staff, offer simple order management, and make ticket buying easier for students. When choosing an online ticketing platform, the Union were looking for three requirements:
1. Cost efficiency
Ticket Tailor allows event organisers, the ability to pause their account billing when they have no events on sale. This works great for the Union because there are periods when they have few or no events on sale, and times where they have multiple large-scale events happening. Because of this inconsistency in the Union’s events calendar, they simply switch between lower or higher subscription plans when needed, or even completely pause their plan when not hosting any events. Andy Dixson, the Events Coordinator at the Union expressed his delight with the pricing model: “It’s great to have such good pricing options and the ability to use a cheaper package when we have fewer events!”
2. Analytical tracking capabilities
Social media plays a significant role in promoting the Union’s events. With the use of Ticket Tailor’s tracking tools, the Union are able to create unique referral tags to use when posting to each social media platform i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which allows them to accurately analyse the source of their ticket sales. Andy said: “The referral tag feature is great as it shows what platforms are performing well and need to be capitalised on.” Equipped with this data, the Union also knows which platforms need to be used differently when promoting events.
The Union also utilise Ticket Tailor’s Facebook widget feature. The widget allows the Union to sell tickets directly from their Facebook page, so ticket buyers can purchase tickets instantly and seamlessly. This feature has helped increase ticket sales for the Union and continues to play an important role in their sales strategy.
3. Scaleable ticketing for both small and large events
Ticket Tailor was an ideal platform to support the Union with scalability. The Union sells tickets for events of all sizes, which means that sometimes it is important for them to get creative with the platform, by using it to efficiently collect money from sports team individuals. For bigger events, the Union can sell over 2,000 tickets for a single evening. The Union has benefited from Ticket Tailor’s mobile check-in app for larger events, specifically the synchronisation ability that allows multiple staff members to operate the check-in with multiple devices simultaneously. Andy said: “The multiple device check-in system is very useful for events that have lots of guests arriving at the same time.” The mobile check-in capability is available for free to all Ticket Tailor customers.
The Union have been using Ticket Tailor for three years now, which is a testament to how well the platform is working out for them. To ensure they achieve their mission of ‘having a positive impact on every Portsmouth Student’, the Union prides itself on being an agile organisation that keeps on top of digital trends. When asked what recommendations Andy has for other universities and Students’ Union’s, he simply replied “give Ticket Tailor a go!”
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