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8 Steps to Successful High School Playoffs with Digital Ticketing

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It’s that time of year again – the 2021 postseason is rapidly approaching for fall sports nationwide. Teams throughout the country are working hard to secure a spot in the finals, and fans are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to cheer on their schools at the next level.

Athletic staff and fans are well aware that postseason events are typically managed differently than those in the regular season, with state associations often determining the policies. It’s important to note that ticketing procedures may be different from what schools are accustomed to using in the regular season.

The transition to digital tickets and cashless systems for postseason athletic events has accelerated over the past year. Many state associations have adopted digital ticketing as the faster, more secure way for fans to purchase tickets and attend playoff events.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro with digital ticketing or will be using a cashless platform for the first time in the playoffs, you can set your staff and fans up for success by following these key steps:

  1. Communicate your digital ticketing policy to your fans ahead of time.

    Some schools may not use digital ticketing for the regular season, and others may use a different platform in the regular season than the official partner for the playoffs. Make sure your fans are aware of your digital ticketing policy for the postseason by making an announcement on your website, social media channels, newsletters, and other forms of communication. You can also forward your announcement to your league commissioners, other association schools, and local media outlets to get the word out. Your digital ticketing provider can assist you with these announcements by providing standard messaging templates and social media graphics.

  2. Promote playoff events with social media and email outreach.

    In addition to posting playoff events on your website, you can amplify your reach with social media and email. Social media can be a quick and personal way to connect with fans and direct them to the right link to purchase tickets. You can also leverage your email database to communicate with fans with regular newsletters or individual emails that are specific to each round of the playoffs.

  3. Pre-sell tickets online and consider incentive pricing for purchasing in advance.

    By pre-selling tickets online, you can operate more efficiently before the event and at the gate while creating a safer and enhanced experience for staff and fans. Encourage fans to buy tickets early and communicate that doing so will help them get into the playoff events much faster. If you’re able to provide an extra incentive, offering a reduced price for purchasing tickets in advance can be a great way to appeal to fans.

  4. View ticket sales data on demand and plan accordingly.

    With a modern digital ticketing and event management platform, you can view ticket sales in real time and take appropriate action. For example, you can close ticket sales when an event is sold out, adjust capacity restrictions as needed, plan your staffing and security measures, and more with instant access to your playoff ticketing information.

  5. Send event alerts to notify fans of important protocols.

    Communication is key to successful playoff events. With digital ticketing, you can easily send event alerts to notify your fans of important protocols, including COVID-19 safety policies, capacity restrictions, weather advisories, and more. By setting expectations up front, you can ensure that there are no surprises when your fans arrive at the gate.

  6. Train staff and volunteers on ticket redemption.

    Along with some of your fans, some event staff and volunteers may not be familiar with your official digital ticketing platform for playoffs. Make sure that anyone working at the gate knows how to use the digital ticketing system and answer common questions. Your digital ticketing partner can provide helpful content to guide gate attendants through this process.

  7. Provide support resources to schools and fans.

    Schools and fans may occasionally have questions aside from the ticket redemption process. You can direct them to your digital ticketing partner’s school support and fan support resources for more in-depth assistance. Users can easily navigate these content libraries and find answers with a simple search.

  8. Display self-checkout signs and digital ticketing instructions at the gate.

    If you’re offering the option for walk-up ticket sales the day of the event, be sure to display self-checkout signs at the gate and in high-traffic areas leading up to the venue. With these signs, fans can easily navigate a ticket purchase by scanning a QR code or searching for the hosting school’s name on the digital ticketing website. If you need help creating these signs and QR codes, your digital ticketing partner can provide self-checkout sign templates and instructions.

By following these steps and communicating proactively, you can manage your playoff events successfully with digital ticketing and deliver a more professional experience. Your staff and fans can continue to benefit from these ticketing tips throughout the postseason and beyond.

Next Steps 

GoFan is the largest professional digital ticketing and event management system for high schools and the trusted solution for 38 state associations and more than 250,000 events nationwide. To learn more about the benefits of digital ticketing in the postseason, check out this blog and be sure to attend one of our upcoming webinars.

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