While the imagery of an ‘admit-one’ yellow ticket is iconic in symbolizing cultural attraction admissions of the past, the time of traditional paper tickets is far behind us. Today, guests are not just looking for entry to an attraction – they’re seeking seamless, digital-first ticketing that enhances their experience at your venue. With that in mind, forward-thinking brands are leading the charge, crafting innovative admissions processes that meet and exceed these expectations.
Below, we’ll highlight how Alamo Drafthouse, Disney’s MagicBand, and Eventbrite are setting that pace, pioneering a fresh take on the ticketing experience, and what cultural attractions can learn from these brands to do the same.
1. And, Action: Alamo Drafthouse’s Fusion of Dining and Entertainment
Alamo Drafthouse is no ordinary cinema. If you’ve ever attended a showing at their locations, you know that they take guest experience seriously. From reserving your seat in advance to a full-fledged menu including cocktails and unique, local food offerings, the company has a cult-like following for those who are serious about going to the movies.
Alamo Drafthouse’s recipe for success stems from its holistic approach to dining and entertainment. While guests are engrossed in a film, they can simultaneously enjoy gourmet meals and drinks, making a night out at the movies an all-encompassing event.
Here’s what cultural attractions can learn from Alamo Drafthouse to enhance their bundling of ticketing, dining, and entertainment:
- Blended experiences: Consider how you can add to the main event to make it even better. For example, cultural venues can combine primary exhibits or performances with curated food and drink offerings such as menus inspired by a certain period or region to enhance a temporary exhibition. Or, offering a retail product tied to an event or experience. For example, offering glow products bundled with zoo lights tickets.
- Reservations only: Just as Alamo Drafthouse offers reserved seating, cultural attractions can facilitate reserved time slots or specific areas at their location, allowing visitors to optimize their experience, free from the hassles of overcrowding or long waits.
2. Admissions, Accessorized: Disney’s Wearable MagicBand
Disney’s MagicBand is a brilliant approach to wearable tech because it’s not only a fun customizable accessory that markets on behalf of the Disney brand, but it also serves as a useful tool for visitors at their parks. With a single wristband, guests can access multiple functionalities at Disney locations: park entrance, lodging access, touch-free payment, and even serve as part of the entertainment during shows as they glow and vibrate in line with performances. Its brilliance lies in the fact that it’s not just a means of admission but also a souvenir that guests can use long after they leave (and also when they come back!)
How cultural attractions can gain inspiration from Disney’s MagicBand:
- Souvenirs, but make them functional: The MagicBand serves both as a means of entry and payment as well as a fun collectible. Cultural attractions can likewise get creative with how they turn admissions into keepsakes, such as customized lanyards that guests can pick out based on personal preferences with each new visit.
- Making admissions part of the experience: For Disney, the guest experience starts the moment you strap on a MagicBand which allows visitors to immerse themselves even before they enter the main attraction. Similarly, cultural venues can develop creative admissions processes that feel less like a transaction and more like the start of a journey.
- Seamless services: MagicBand holds a variety of different services all in one place. Everything from hotel and park entry, to meal tickets, to photography, while you’re at Disney’s parks, can be accessed from this wristband. By integrating multiple services into one tool, cultural institutions can offer visitors a streamlined, hassle-free experience, where every aspect feels personalized for each guest. (We can help you with that. Learn more about Attractions.io’s guest experience platform here.)
3. Entry at your Fingertips, Eventbrite Brings Events into the Digital Era
Eventbrite, founded in 2006, emerged at a time when the events industry primarily relied on traditional ticketing methods and in-person promotional strategies. With its intuitive online platform, Eventbrite didn’t just digitize ticket sales; it reimagined the entire process of creating, managing, and promoting events using real-time data and easy integration with social media. Chances are, if you’ve been to (or promoted your own) event in the past few years, you’ve utilized Eventbrite in some capacity.
Here’s what cultural attractions can learn from Eventbrite’s digital-first approach:
- Utilize guest data to build better experiences- Use available data to analyze and better understand visitor behavior and preferences, optimizing exhibit timings, ticket pricing, and even tailoring specific events to different audiences through customized marketing campaigns.
- Enhance your digital presence: Consider your online site an extension of your physical space. Work to build out your digital presence not only for ticketing but also for immersive virtual tours, webinars, online shopping and online workshops.
Trailblazing the Future of Admissions
Guided by the groundbreaking approaches of brands like Alamo Drafthouse, Disney’s MagicBand, and Eventbrite, cultural attractions can reimagine and elevate their admissions process in various ways. Stay with us as we continue to spotlight the innovations of top-tier brands across various industries in the coming months.