How can a professional box office system be utilised as a learning vehicle for events management students?

Bossey, Adrian ORCID logoORCID: and Randell, James (2017) How can a professional box office system be utilised as a learning vehicle for events management students? In: AEME Conference 2017, 4th July 2017, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Summary

This case study considers the extent to which a professional box office facility can aid undergraduate student learning and employability.

The Academy of Music & Theatre Arts (‘AMATA’) at Falmouth University purchased an industry standard digital box office system from Ticketsolve in 2015 and have been working with the company to test it’s value to BA(Hons) Creative Events Management and BA(Hons) Music, Theatre & Entertainment Management students wishing to administer and/or reflect upon a combination of student & public events at AMATA and trends in audience development nationally.

Members of the AMATA Production Team have delivered embedded training on the system within the curriculum and students have used it during their assessed events (on and off campus). Furthermore, academic staff have encouraged it’s use as a research tool for dissertations. Falmouth are currently the only HEI using the Ticketsolve system as a vehicle to enhance student learning.

The significant investment in industry standard AMATA Box Office provision aimed to support student employability and provide a better understanding of the audience profile for the public programme to facilitate future marketing and audience development planning. The CBI and Universities UK define employability as ‘A set of attributes and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace – to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy’ Sheldon (2009)8. Furthermore, the Future Fit report stated that ‘Universities and employers must continue to invest in employability skills development’. Sheldon (2009)8.

Since Autumn 2016, surveys have been carried out across all public facing performances to gather base data for the current audience of the AMATA Public Programme. Data is also fed into the Audience Agency’s (Arts Council England funded) Audience Finder project and this enables reciprocal access to data from other venues and organisations across England. The integration of the Ticketsolve system with Audience Finder opens up research possibilities on a local, regional and national level for AMATA Students.
Students are introduced to the system in their first term (inductions in class, volunteering on public programme) and then encouraged to engage with the system throughout their studies at Falmouth (usage on own assessed events & data for dissertation).
The Ticketsolve system asks customers for information when they book online, including contact information and address (including post code) and gathers data on each performance or event. When a customer books by phone or in person, a lower amount of data is collected, so an automated email is sent to the customer asking them to activate their account online and submit the details. Additionally, audience members are asked to complete a supplementary post event questionnaire at the venue. This is to capture the visitor experience and visitor data on attendees who have not booked their own ticket.
We are in the process of analysing the impact of piloting the system on student learning and will consider a range of feedback/metrics including student rep feedback, module evaluation forms, NSS feedback and DHLE results.
During the period 1st October 2016 till 20th February 2017 215 survey responses have been collected across an audience size of 1,106 over 12 different events. This represents around 20% (approx.) of the total audience. During the financial year ending March 2017; the most popular day to book was Friday with 19% of the total booker data and closely followed by Wednesday with 18%. This is comparably higher than the organisations within the South West region and nationally that also feed into the Audience Finder system. Within the Audience Agency ‘Audience Spectrum’ for the same period our highest customer profile fits the ‘Experience Seeker’ category.
Our aspiration for future data analysis will include post code research on the booker data through Ticketsolve, how this aligns with our surveying as well as the regional and national picture of data within Audience Finder.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects: Business
Performance > Management & Production
Courses by Department: Academy of Music & Theatre Arts > Cultural Management & Production
Depositing User: Adrian Bossey
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 12:26
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:29


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