Redeam Is Not a Ticketing System…But What We Are Definitely Helps You Sell More Tickets!
If you just want the skinny explanation, skip ahead to the end of this article. You can always come back and read the detailed explanation afterwards!]
Say you own or manage a tourist attraction, activity, or tour operation. In this business, the confirmation of sale has long been a ticket or a voucher, whether that gets the visitor a reserved admission or unreserved (“free sale”) one. Regardless of the type of admission ticket you sell, your goal is to sell as many tickets as your attraction’s or activity’s capacity allows. You sell to individuals, to groups, to member organizations – the name of the game is to get people through your doors (or gates, or launch site, or departure destination).
The Growing Complexity of Selling Tour, Activity, and Attraction Tickets
Over the years, to sell as many tickets as possible, activities and attractions have gotten clever and the business of selling has grown more complex. In addition to selling your own tickets directly — either through your own physical ticket windows or your website — you now also work with chambers of commerce, strategic partners, wholesalers, ticket brokers, aggregators and discounters, employee benefits companies, multi-pass providers, hotel concierges, traditional travel agents and custom tour package companies, and lately online travel agent websites (“OTAs”). These outside entities make up your distribution network, and these distribution partners make money either by buying your tickets upfront and then reselling them or by asking you for a commission or discount on tickets they sell. Your distribution network is valuable because it places your tour, attraction, or activity in front of more people. The more people who learn about your offering, the greater the chance you will sell more tickets. Of course, the more resellers and distribution partners you have selling your tickets, the more challenging for you to manage, keep track of, and reconcile the payment for them all. Hold onto that thought for a moment.
Redeam is NOT a Ticketing System
In an age where many people now want to buy tickets online or through their mobile devices, how do you technically sell and manage all of these tickets? The answer is a ticketing system. In its most basic form, a ticketing system is software that processes the purchase of a ticket and then generates that ticket. When the activity or attraction is an unreserved sale, the ticketing system allows for an unlimited number of single-use tickets to be sold (though the ticket may be used only for a set admission date). When the activity or attraction has limited ticket inventory or crowd capacity, the ticketing system must also be able to have built-in parameters to control and time ticket sales. In this case, tickets are more like reservations and the systems used may even be called “reservation” or “booking engines.” In the case of timed ticket sales, distribution partnerships and reseller relationships make sales even more complex to manage because your system needs to know that for each sale a distribution partner/reseller makes, you have one less ticket to sell in that time slot. If your distribution partner’s software sales system isn’t “talking” to your software system, you may end up overbooking or double-selling the very same reservation slot…and then you’ll have some very unhappy visitors when they arrive to redeem the ticket they’ve rightfully purchased. Hold onto this second thought, too.
What Redeam Is and How This Benefits Tours, Attractions, and Activities
Earlier we talked about tickets and vouchers that give the visitor access to the tour, activity, or attraction they purchased. Until fairly recently, these tickets and vouchers were in paper form. Even companies that sold tickets online, facilitated by their ticketing system, either just sent an email confirmation that had to be printed out and taken to the ticket counter/window to be redeemed or a PDF version of a ticket was attached to the email and the buyer still had to print out that PDF version. This system works fine when people buy their tickets in advance from the comfort of their home or office, where a printer is available, but paper tickets present a challenge when visitors make their purchases while they’re in the middle of their vacation, through their mobile device, and without a printer!
Enter Redeam Solution #1: Paperless Redemption. Redeam’s first product provides a way for tours and attractions to accept both paper and mobile vouchers. Redeam’s scanning technology allows tours, activities, and attractions to instantly accept, validate, and admit mobile and paper vouchers, not just from your own ticketing system but also from any reseller, all with NO technical integration required by the operator! Redeam even provides the hand-held scanners operators will need for instant voucher redemption. Every voucher scanned then instantly shows up in the operator’s Redeam reporting and reconciliation portal for easy, single-source, end-of-day reporting and accounting. Our Redemption Device solution also means no more counting stacks of paper vouchers! Because your voucher process is now electronic, Redeam enables you to dramatically increase the number of resellers you can work furthering the odds of selling more total tickets or reservations. Electronic redemption is also safer for the operator because it eliminates common and accidental fraud.
Sidebar Benefit #1: API Management. As you’re talking to new resellers and distribution partners – particularly the ones that are digitally-enabled themselves – the acronym “API” might start coming up a lot. The API – application programming interface – is the way software systems talk to one another in real-time, passing information back and forth. In the case of tour and attraction ticketing, that information could be the purchase of a ticket, the kind of ticket, and the date and time for which it was sold. The tour and attraction operator’s system would receive this information automatically and then remove that ticket from their inventory, accordingly.
The tricky thing about APIs is that there is no single API standard that connects in the same way between ticketing systems (“Supply API”) and resellers (“Demand API”). As you can imagine, between the number of ticketing systems and resellers worldwide, there are hundreds of system API connections required, many of them customized by the needs of the tour and attraction operators. For any single operator, building and maintaining all these API connections individually is virtually impossible and would be extremely expensive, even if you had a significant in-house technology team. It’s just a lot of work. But this is the added value of what Redeam does: manage and maintain all of the API connections so you don’t have to.
Speaking of working with more resellers, here’s Redeam Solution #2: Channel Management. In simple terms, a Channel Manager gives the tour and attraction operator the ability to control all of their resellers and distributors in one dashboard. This allows you the ability to give more inventory to one distributor over another or to base inventory distribution on which distributors are selling your tickets most profitably for you. Redeam has over 400 resellers and dozens of ticketing systems already on its platform giving you vast ease of integration, control, and flexibility. All Redeam operator customers work with a Customer Success Manager to configure their account in a way that best suits their distribution strategy.
Read more about how to develop an optimal distribution strategy for your tour, attraction, or activity here.
Sidebar Benefit #2: We’re agnostic! Since Redeam is neither a ticketing system nor a reseller, our only obligation is to you, the operator. And our product suite is already preparing you for the next wave in the future of tour and attraction sales and marketing: Demand-based pricing, enhanced collection of customer data, more personalized guest experiences for your customers. And that means more profits for you and more satisfied customers through your doors.
If Redeam solutions sound like something your company could benefit from, we should talk. Contact us today, and someone will be in touch soon!
The Skinny Version: Redeam is not a ticketing system. We are a technology provider that eliminates the need for customers to have paper vouchers, helps connect an operator’s ticketing system with the operator’s reseller systems, and manages all of these transactions and connections seamlessly so all you have to do is log into one dashboard to control the whole shebang! If this is what you need, contact us today .