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Ticketing Systems

Ticketing systems manage and automate online, kiosk, and box office ticketing for special events, theatres, parks, festivals, fairs, travel, and other activities. Ticketing platforms help manage seat selection, event management, exhibitor data, performer assignments and locations, as well as online and onsite payment processing. Online Ticket Booking systems also often integrate other business processes such as inventory control, transaction control, fulfilment history and sales tracking. Ticketing software is related to Event software, Registration software and Kiosk software. Find the best online ticketing system for your organisation in Australia.

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Ticketing Systems Buyers Guide

Ticketing systems are software solutions that manage and automate tasks related to an online, kiosk, and box office ticketing. Its application can be for any special event, though the industries that most commonly use this software are recreation and entertainment, such as theatres, parks, festivals, and other similar areas. Ticketing solutions sometimes integrate with or incorporate other business processes, such as inventory control and sales tracking. These applications can also help manage seat selections, performer assignments, and other event-related details.

Some core features in a ticketing systems solution include the ability to provide automatic booking services whereby a customer can choose their seat or location and have that choice approved or not based on predefined rules. It will also handle automated order confirmations for online customers. In situations where it is relevant, inventory control can also be incorporated into the system for inventory to be updated when a ticket sale affects the organiser’s inventory.

The centralised nature of a ticketing system often means that mistakes like selling too many tickets or selling the same seat more than once are largely avoided. There is also much less labour involved in managing the tickets using one of these systems, particularly in the case of online sales where a human needn’t be involved in the transaction unless the customer has an issue.

While ticketing systems focus on selling tickets, they have close relations to other types of software. These include things like kiosk software, and inventory management software. This type of software can work in tandem with these other software solutions to provide more automation of the routine tasks around ticket sales.

When purchasing ticket systems solutions, there are many considerations the buyer will have to factor in. This includes the technical skill levels of the employees working with the software and any training that may need to be funded. However, most of these considerations will revolve around the features that the potential software solutions offer. The “core” features should be present in all ticket solutions, whereas other features can vary from system to system. Generally speaking, to be included in the ticket systems category, the solution will have most—if not all—of the following features:

  • A user-friendly event setup system that streamlines the process of creating new events and making them live for customers to purchase tickets for
  • The ability to brand an event and its tickets with custom logos—also known as “White Label Ticketing”. This feature is often a premium option, meaning it is not available in free versions
  • Support for multiple payment gateways is a critical feature for any merchant system because not having a payment option that a customer can use presents an unavoidable block to the sale
  • The system should provide event check-in functionality also so that the system can be updated to show that a particular attendee has arrived
  • Email marketing is another crucial part of events management, as customers who attend a particular type of event are more likely to attend other events of that nature
  • The ability to customise fees is also an integral feature in event management, as the way event and ticket fees are structured can make a big difference in the appeal of a particular deal

What is Ticketing Systems Software?

Ticketing systems software is designed to make the process of selling tickets for an event effective, more efficient, and more profitable. Rather than having to rely on more traditional methods, such as updating spreadsheets or bespoke software applications, companies can use this type of software. It will ensure that tickets are sold with the minimum of fuss, a significantly reduced chance of mistakes in the sale and ticket-booking process, and generally improved customer satisfaction.

Customers are expecting more control over their experiences when they visit a venue or event, something that event organisers are usually happy to provide, but that adds additional complexity to the ordering process. That additional complexity naturally increases the chances of mistakes, such as double-booked seats, or incorrectly counted sales. Ticket systems automate many tasks related to ticket sales, removing the possibility of human error in those areas, and making the process of running an event much simpler.

Businesses that have to arrange events and sell tickets are turning to these software solutions more readily as they become largely cloud-native. The ability for a company to put its branding on an event and that event’s tickets makes Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) a feasible option, allowing those businesses to take advantage of not having to host their centralised system for handling ticket sales. This software also integrates with other related systems for additional automation, such as inventory management and transaction control. In many cases, analytics are included (or available as an optional extra) that allow event organisers to gain valuable insights from the data collected during past events.

What are the benefits of ticketing systems software?

There are several benefits to ticketing systems software, with many of those benefits centring around the improved customer experience gained by automated ticket sales. Furthermore, it allows for a more efficient process that requires fewer human workers to be involved. Some of the specific benefits gained from using ticket software such as this include:

  • Accurate data tracking: Data tracking is essential when running an event, especially large events that include thousands or even tens of thousands of people. A simple miscalculation regarding the number of tickets sold can result in too many people arriving at the venue, which leaves organisers with a choice between turning customers who have paid for a ticket away or violating rules regarding the number of people in the venue. This ticketing solutions ensure all data is tracked accurately.
  • Ability to sell tickets online: Having tickets only available from the box office puts additional strain on an event due to the queues generated by the ticket sales lines. It also puts some customers off since not everyone will want to make that kind of trip if they can’t be certain they will get a ticket. Selling tickets online solves both of these problems.
  • More cost-effective and sustainable ticketing system: With ticketing solutions like these, it is no longer necessary to have physical tickets. Attendees can have a barcode sent to their email address which can then be scanned on their phone on entry. This removes the expense of producing those tickets and makes the operation more sustainable since fewer resources are required. It will usually still be possible for a customer to print out their ticket.
  • Reduced lines and wait times: Customers who have already bought their tickets online and know they have a specific seat waiting for them are less likely to arrive early to attempt to get a good spot in the ticket queue or a better seat. This results in fewer lines and shorter waiting times.
  • Control admission prices: Having the ticket sales process all come through one centralised system ensures that the event manager can have complete control of their ticket prices.
  • Additional support for ticketing teams: Indirectly, this system can mean more support for the teams running the ticketing operation. This is because many tasks that would ordinarily have been their responsibility will be taken care of by the software, freeing them up to take care of other areas of the ticketing process, and helping out where needed.
  • Create a personalised experience for ticket-buyers: Customers like to get a tailored experience from the companies they are purchasing things from, even when that company is dealing with tens of thousands of customers in a short period. This type of software makes it possible to create a customised experience for those customers, such as sending them follow-up emails with directions or other relevant information regarding their trip.

What are the features of ticketing systems software?

The features of ticketing systems are focused on making the process of selling tickets more efficient for the seller and more enjoyable for the customer. The software generally aims to automate as much of the process as possible. As a result, many of the features are based on that automation. Here are some of the most common features found in ticketing systems software:

  • Streamlined event setup process: The process of creating a new event, including setting up the details and establishing the prices, is typically made very straightforward in these software solutions. The software will generally aim to make the whole process from setting up to the event being live on the organiser’s website as fast and simple as possible. The simplicity of this process will also reduce the amount of additional training that the employees who will be using it require.
  • Multiple payment gateway options: While it may be a minority of customers that would decide not to attend an event because they couldn’t pay using their preferred gateway, that minority isn’t zero. Additionally, it’s considered best practice in business to make it as easy as possible for the customer to purchase whatever they are purchasing. This is why ticketing systems solutions usually facilitate multiple payment gateways, giving customers more choice in how they pay for their tickets.
  • Event check-in functionality: Most ticketing solutions will include some event check-in functionality that will allow for the accurate and simple tracking of who is actually at the event. This often comes in the form of barcodes that can be scanned on entry to the venue. This scanning automatically updates the system to say that that particular ticket-holder is in attendance. In addition to knowing how many people have turned up to the event, it can also provide valuable data on things like the times people are arriving, which can be used to inform future decisions on things like event times, or how the queueing system operates.
  • White label customisation of events and ticketing: White label is the term used to describe the ability to customise an event’s website and tickets to match the desired branding, both of the event organiser and the event itself. This functionality is usually included in paid versions of this type of software, whereas free versions may not allow white-label customisation, or may allow it but will also have the branding of the software provider on the tickets.
  • Email marketing functionality: Event organisers can rely on email marketing to get good results. People interested in attending certain types of events are more likely to be interested in attending other events, so keeping them informed of those events via email is a worthwhile venture. Ticketing systems often make it easy to do this.
  • Analytics and detailed reporting: Much information will be collected during general operation, and many ticketing solutions will provide tools for gaining more detailed insight from all of that data. This includes creating informative reports that can assist in future business meetings, proposals, and updating superiors.
  • Registration and subsequent data capture: The registration process when using ticketing solutions is often a win-win situation for the event organiser and the customer, particularly if that customer is likely to be attending future events. It will allow the system to maintain a record of useful information, such as the kinds of shows that customer likes to attend, as well as things like payment details for convenience. From the organiser’s perspective, it allows them to make more informed decisions about what to market to that customer.
  • Customisable fees: Fee customisation is a critical aspect of event organisation and is included in ticketing systems. There are many fees associated with events and venues, but having the ability to structure those fees in different ways can create a more attractive-looking deal.

What should be considered when purchasing ticketing systems software?

When purchasing ticketing systems software, it is crucial to consider the types of events that the organiser will be putting on. Software suitable for small gatherings in outdoor spaces won’t necessarily scale-up effectively to stadium concerts featuring several acts. These software solutions are increasingly offered in a Software-as-a-Service capacity, meaning the software hosting, development, and maintenance are all handled by a remote provider, taking a great deal of responsibility off the event organiser’s shoulders. Below, some specific considerations that should be thought through when purchasing this type of software have been listed:

  • What are the key features of the software? Naturally, the first thing to consider when purchasing new ticketing systems software is what features the software has and whether those features will meet the needs of the organisation making the purchase. These needs are not limited to explicit features such as the ability to send promotional emails to registered users, but also things like whether the software supports any legal or regulatory restrictions due to the location or type of events being organised.
  • What are the costs associated with the solution? Of course, the cost of the software is important. These days, many ticketing solutions are a software as a service cloud-native applications. These are usually paid for through a subscription model, where the buyer pays a monthly, seasonal, or annual fee. It is still possible to buy locally-deployed software outright, though the upfront cost and limited advantages of this type of software mean this option is becoming less common.
  • Is the ticketing system suitable for the type of events to be held? Many ticketing systems aim to cover all bases relating to the type of events being held, but not all of them do. If an event organiser purchases this software, it is critical to ensure that the chosen software is suitable for the type of events they are likely to be organising.
  • How does the ticketing system handle customer data? The handling of customer data is a key point of contention in this day and age, with consumer privacy and the security of their data being a matter of regulatory control. While most service providers will aim to meet any regulations regarding customer data, it’s worth ensuring that the solution being considered will meet any regulations in place in the locations where it will be operated.
  • Is the ticketing system compatible with any necessary software? As mentioned earlier, ticketing systems integrate with other systems—such as inventory control and events management—to better automate selling tickets. If the software is purchased for connecting it to other systems, it will be necessary to ensure that the software is compatible with the systems already in place.
  • Does the software have adequate tech support? While the software automates much of the process of selling tickets, there will invariably be problems that need a human to resolve. Poor tech support can lead to poor reviews and customer sentiment, so it’s worth ensuring the software chosen has adequate tech support, both for customers and the employees using the software.
  • Does the software provide white label customisation? Branding is vital in event organisation, and event organisers will want to put their stamp on any event they are organising. This is important to note because not all solutions will provide this option by default and may require a higher tier of service.

The most relevant ticketing systems software trends relate to making it easier for artists to connect with their fans, such as offering special VIP packages for fans who are willing to pay extra. Here are some of the most relevant trends to be aware of when it comes to ticketing systems:

  • Health and safety priorities: The COVID-19 pandemic and the implicit threat that that event brings—has brought a new range of challenges for events organisers, as restrictions vary from place to place, and even shift continually in specific regions. Furthermore, this will likely impact ticketing systems, such as incorporating a facility for logging vaccine passports.
  • Building closer relationships with fans: As the digital age continues to evolve, many entertainment acts are finding it more effective to work independently and cater to a smaller number of dedicated fans compared to the previous model of working with large corporations and having as large a fan-base as possible. This is likely to result in more options for acts to provide their fans with extras, such as VIP tickets, deluxe packages, signed merchandise, and more.
  • Gamification and loyalty rewards: Gamification is proving to be an effective motivator, and loyalty rewards have long been established as such. Ticketing systems will likely look to incorporate things like loyalty points and “achievements” in their software.