CASE STUDY: CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE – BOX OFFICE
In 2017 Chiddingstone castle launched their school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The outcome was a sold out event from pre-registration emails, before public sales had even launched.
Historically at Chiddingstone Castle all tickets were sold in the castle box office and on the gate when events took place.
LIVE IT came on board in 2017, initially to offer the ticketing system, however the marketing team was quite stretched and it was established they required a higher level of service and expertise. Together the LIVE IT Venue team advised, shaped and created an annual programme helping the team become event experts themselves. Resulting in an increase in advance ticket sales, growing the number of events and improved off peak sales, and making the most of the quieter seasons.
- Customer Service
- High Volume Management
- Marketing Consultancy
- Event Advisory
Chiddingstone Castle was struggling to maintain visitor numbers year on year. Chiddingstone Castle established that other attractions were offering more events, to give customers additional reasons to visit as well as encourage repeat visits over the year. Whilst Chiddingstone Castle did have several annual events planned they had not maximised their use of these and decided they could do more.
The Castle also didn’t have visibility on what would be busy or non busy days at the events they already had, as they only sold tickets from the on-site box office. This led to issues with managing correct staffing levels. Advance sales would also help with managing cash flow and budget setting for each event.
Therefore it was decided they needed to first modernise the box office system and secondly find a way to increase the number of events hosted.
Together the castle event team and the LIVE IT Venue team shaped and created an annual programme. LIVE IT offered their event expertise to help the castle team become event experts themselves.
To test out the annual plan and launch the use of the system the two teams first concentrated on the October school half term. There was a suggestion to put on a family event to take advantage of the demand for holiday activities. Hence the School of witchcraft and wizardry was born. An exciting morning or afternoon session complete with potion making, wand skills and broomstick flying.
LIVE IT Venue set up the booking page and a marketing schedule to try to maximise demand and cut through the many holiday events aimed at primary school parents.
It was decided that pre-registration to gain access to a 24 hour priority booking window was the best way to entice demand. This included a link to tell your friends via social media networks that you had pre-registered, spreading the news of the event encouraging them to sign up too. Essentially offering The School of Witches & Wizards event, free marketing. All those pre-registered received a priority booking email at a later date with a link to purchase advance tickets, before going on sale to the general public.
Pre registration resulted in 1.4 applicants for every 1 place, with the event selling out within 24 hours in the pre sale period.
The key momentum here was that the pre registration allowed people to plan to meet up and book in on the same session. It also created an urgency to get into the same session and a domino effect when ticket sales opened, generating an impressive conversion rate. The team at Chiddingstone Castle were delighted, Ali Ditzel commented, “Pre-registration certainly boosted demand for our ticket sales. We had a limited number of places but had no idea we would sell out so quickly. LIVE IT played a key part in creating our schedule of events and were vital in providing the idea of pre-registration. This completely tapped into our audience and their use of social media. Overall it was a brilliant event and one we will be putting on again in future years.”
LIVE IT is designed for professional event organisers, venues and festivals and has a full service offering, including customer service and insurance. It allows a seamless operation from start to finish.
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