In celebration of a successful partnership with TICKETsrv, here we take a look at the Royal Welsh Show - Europe’s largest agricultural Show!
History and background
The Royal Welsh Show attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year. Founded in 1904, the Show now runs over four days in Builth Wells, Powys. Regarded as an iconic social and enterprise calendar highlight for businesses, visitors and the farming community alike, the Show is regularly featured on prime-time national television and in regional media.
As a result of the still-growing success of the main summer Show, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society also runs two additional events per year - the Royal Welsh Smallholding and Countryside Festival in May and the Winter Fair in November.
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has been a TICKETsrv client for their annual calendar of events since 2014 and made the decision to introduce an online ticketing facility for their Show visitors in 2015. Since then, we have grown their online ticket sales by over 150% and the Show now utilises the full width of functionality on offer to them with a 360 degree approach to ticketing - with measurable benefit to their bottom line.
In addition to the many standard features that the TICKETsrv platform offers, TICKETsrv has worked closely with the Show to develop many more bespoke tools which have subsequently been rolled out to other events as a result of their success.
Managing admission of over 200,000 people across 12 separate entrances is no mean feat, and utilising TICKETsrv’s Fixed Kiosk and PDQ facilities at all payment gates to process cash and credit card payments helps ensure this is as easy as possible for staff and visitors alike. The fully auditable system ensures that walk-up ticket buyers are issued with a barcoded receipt which is scanned by the same TICKETsrv scanners that scan online e-tickets at the entry gates.
Super-fast scanning means a continual flow of entry into the event and minimal queuing, even for those paying with cash or card at the gates.
Since a discount is offered for online purchases, a significant number of tickets are sold in advance of the event, resulting in valuable ticket revenue arriving into the event’s accounts when it is needed most, thus reducing the more time-consuming cash and card payments on the pay gates.
Waterproof Mobile Kiosks, which also double-up as scanners for any pre-sold e-tickets, are employed on remote gates as well as on their Grandstand where entry to this huge, unreserved seated area are sold.
“The service provided extends beyond the effective ticketing platform to hands-on and enthusiastic support that improves our planning and the events. TICKETsrv have supported the development of bespoke features through a real partnership and clear desire to improve not only the electronic offer, but the events themselves.” Steve Hughson, RWAS Chief Executive
Selling online throughout the Show
Further to this, online sales are kept open throughout the event meaning that people can book right before leaving for the Show, or even on their mobile device en-route to the event.
Managing admission at the car parks
Equestrian vehicle passes are scanned on Horse Hill, where TICKETsrv and the Royal Welsh Show worked together to devise innovative new admission
technology allowing the passes to be scanned both in and out, preventing transfer between vehicles and resulting in a vehicle park that is 100% secure. Passes are also limited by time and date. If the vehicle arrives too early it flashes up with a clear message to both the driver and the scanning operator. Due to the effectiveness of this new technology, it has now been extended to both the caravan and livestock parks.
TICKETsrv provides the entire wifi network across the Showground in order to provide a fast, secure, robust and fully-managed service for both the scanners and Kiosks throughout the event. Trade stand wifi and site-wide hotspots are also provided, streamlining the on-site maintenance of these services.
Customised e-ticket design
The Royal Welsh Show gains additional revenue by selling advertising on their e-tickets giving a sponsor exclusive promotional space on every single e-ticket sold. Crucially, the customer often prints this out to display on their noticeboard or fridge at home reaching an elusive and otherwise untapped market.
Promotional ideas and campaigns
The Society marketing team utilise a range of seasonal marketing ideas including promotional codes which are valid over festive periods such as Easter and the May Bank Holiday weekend. They also offer group booking discounts, special rates for coach trips and early booking incentives to encourage an early commitment to attend.
The Society uses social media to its full capacity by posting daily with engaging, imaginative content including exciting images and videos of the Show. They also post regular news updates to their
Facebook event page. They consider social media to be a full-time, 7 day per week marketing opportunity and enjoy the additional reach and sales revenue that this generates. They also utilise the TICKETsrv Facebook share feature which enables customers to easily share customised event text and an image to help promote the Show to their friendship networks - free promotion which can reach several thousand people.
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society marketing team ensures that their customer database is kept up to date by downloading their email data after every event. They then utilise this to send reminders about when tickets go on sale for subsequent events as well as any discounts and offers available. This helps to drive sales throughout the year and enables the Society to stay in touch with their visitors. Building this customer database is instrumental in generating a loyal network who want to be kept informed about future event dates.
Selling other items as well as tickets
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society works hard to maintain momentum all-year round. A further way that they keep funds flowing into the organisation is by selling branded merchandise via an online shop facilitated by TICKETsrv. A full range of merchandise from clothing, bags and homeware to Christmas cards, gifts and books is on offer, and orders are fulfilled using the handy packing slip printing functionality.
It doesn’t stop there!
In addition to the above, the Show utilises an extensive range of standard TICKETsrv features including: statistics and reporting which provide invaluable insight into customer behaviour for the marketing and accounts teams alike; items that the ticket buyer may be interested in are promoted at the basket stage using the up-selling feature; and of course both the ticket and shop pages are fully mobile optimised for the increasing number of customers choosing to book ‘on-the-go’ using a mobile device. And crucially, money is paid directly into the Society’s merchant account keeping their finances buoyant throughout the year!