The difference between tickets and bookings

Tickets, bookings… you’d be forgiven for assuming that they are pretty much the same thing. When you run a bowling venue, you often use the two terms interchangeably and, after all, you have to book tickets to attend special bowling events, don’t you?!

Despite their perceived similarities, there are several key differences. The two systems may work in tandem, but they operate in vastly different ways, and offer distinct enhancements to your chosen bowling venue. For some, a reliable booking system is all they need; for others, ticketing lies at the core of their profit-making; and finally, for those in between, a mix of ticketing and bookings is required for different aspects of their business. They are many disparate ways in which you can use both ticketing and booking to enhance your business. Let’s talk you through the how and why.

  1. Distribution

Customers will wait in anticipation for special events and bowling-themed parties to release tickets, hunched over their laptops to make sure they’re first in line. Tickets will usually go live at a specific time and there will be a finite amount of space at each event. As a result, they often need a different distribution model to ensure that events are promoted sufficiently and that they gain enough attention both from consumers and third-party companies. Selling tickets is often a more time-consuming task – it requires an extra level of promotional effort from everybody involved. At Booked it, we’re aware of this. That’s why our system comes with a catalogue of third-party companies, all available to you and your business, to ensure your event is reaching as many people as possible. With advanced statistics regarding the reach and audience of each company, it’s difficult to go wrong when you’re selling tickets through Lane Engine.

In contrast, booking slots at different lanes are often more readily available (although throughout the pandemic, it has often felt as though they are a scarce resource). Bookings don’t have a specific release date and they don’t generate lines. However, whilst ticketing systems become crowded at specific times, booking systems are often regularly in high demand at a steadier rate. People use them more often and, as a result, they require constant care and monitoring to ensure they are constantly running smoothly. That’s why, at Lane Engine, we have multiple servers to guarantee the functioning of our system, and account managers are on hand 24/7 to provide a direct point of contact should problems occur.

2. Access management

We have established now that ticketing generates more intense periods of ticket purchasing; however, these brief spikes are often punctuated by gulfs in user activity. In the same way, event attendees often arrive in larger quantities within a short space in time, and therefore require more concentrated, immediate attention. At Lane Engine, we’re always one step ahead of the crowd – literally. Using our software, it’s easy to manage guests as they arrive in real-time. Scanning their tickets, directing them to their designated area, and bringing their details up in an instant if needs be – it’s never been easier. For larger events, we can provide you venue with a range of hardware and devices from handheld scanners through to RFID wristbands. This will make it easier for teams of staff to oversee a large quantity of guests simultaneously.

For bookings, a different approach is required. We’ve already said that bookings occur more often, and at a steadier rate. Whilst this may appear less demanding, bookings require constant vigilance to run smoothly. With bookings, customers arrive at your venue all the time, each expecting to shown to their lane quickly and experience great customer service. This means your staff must be always attentive – before, during, and after each booking. You can make things easier for them by getting your software you do the heavy lifting. Our software comes with full web integration, easy enquiry management, and automated SMS and email messaging, so your focus on the customer never falters.

3. Features

The last distinction between tickets and bookings lies in the features Lane Engine uses to enhance the user experience. For ticket buying, we have so many add-ons that supplement and strengthen our software. We can create individual referral links, provide waiting lists and resales, and offer full refund protection (if the customer pays an extra fee). That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as we also offer pre-registration to guarantee that customers will be first in the queue, security and fraud protection to ensure that your system in never compromised, and even the option to print tickets if customers feel more secure with their tickets in hard-copy form.

Our booking software has many tried-and-tested features that make your life easier every day. We’ve already mentioned the full web integration and automated messaging service, but did you know that it can also run birthday campaigns, direct marketing, and customer reports that will enable you to make informed choices about where you’re going right and where you’re going wrong? We tailor our approach to you – not the other way around.

Tickets and bookings are just what we do at Lane Engine. We understand the nuances involved with each process, and have tailored our software accordingly. Check out the key differences for yourself, here and here.

Words by Rebecca Clayton