Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tales from the Box Office: Episode 1 - How to buy tickets at the Box Office

I have been working in ticketing/box office for quite awhile now. Having read numerous fan accounts of box office experiences and heard first hand the outrage over certain aspects I thought I would use my new blog as a way to express a few token points. Points on how to make your experience better and faster at the window.

When you come to the window there are two basic things you need to know (one will suffice, but both are preferred)
  • Know where you want to sit
  • Know how much you want to spend
This allows us to quickly find your seats. Saying things like "what's available?" or "can my group of 15 adults, 2 kids and my great grandmother get seats in a row" gets in the way of quickly assessing the basic need to define where you want to sit.

After that - Payment.
The biggest thing to remember is that one payment is faster and easier than fourteen. Planning ahead allows for you and your group to give everyone money, or convince your friend who's been drinking since 11am to use his credit card. But if you must use multiple transactions, a few tips:
  • Multiple payments are easiest with cash. Go the ATM and make this happen.
  • This takes time, patience is key.
  • When I hand you a debit/credit receipt - that isn't your ticket. The tickets print at the end (no matter where you are) and we'll give them to you when the account is paid off.
If you bought your tickets online, or from a sales person over the phone make sure to bring your ID and the credit card you used. This is especially relevant if you're picking up pre-paid tickets.

Any venue spends tens of thousands of dollars on signage. It's best to think of signs as your FAQ at the game. Read them.

Some other random points:
  • Don't get pissed when you have to stand in line. The only person that cares who you are is your grandmother.
  • There's service charges on EVERYTHING...accept this.
  • No, if you show up in the 5th inning the tickets aren't half price.
  • If there are no In and Out privileges that doesn't mean "leave for a smoke and harass the staff to let you back in". Your failure to read isn't our problem.
  • Remember that there are somewhere between 35 and 50 windows open selling tickets. If you don't make up your mind fast enough someone else will get the tickets you want. Man up and make a decision.
When push comes to shove, just be nice. If you made the mistake of leaving your tickets on the counter at home getting angry at us doesn't help. If we screwed happens. Yes, even box office staff aren't perfect. Sometimes we don't know how to ask the computer to do what we need it to. Sometimes we run out of ticket stock, change or patience. But knowing that we want you out of our window and in the seat should be enough to calm you down and reassure you that everything is going to be ok.

I work in a box office for an MLB team. I'm sure if you've read this blog you know which one, or can easily figure it out. For the sake of keeping my job, the team name will never appear in a TFTBO post.

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