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Digital Ticketing Checklist for Schools in the Winter Playoffs

Digital Ticketing Checklist for Schools in the Winter Playoffs

Playoffs create significant additional work for busy athletic directors. Thankfully, digital ticketing and other technologies are helping schools save time during the postseason as they fly through seeding meetings, early rounds, and championships - all while running their day jobs on campus!

We've compiled a fantastic pre-playoff checklist for schools in collaboration with Ron Marquez, the Events and Operations Manager with CIF San Diego Section, in San Diego, CA.

“GoFan has been a great experience. It's part of our pivoting we've had to do to adjust to what's going on nowadays with events. GoFan is a great solution for a lot of our schools and has helped us host events with reduced staff.”

- Ron Marquez, CIF San Diego Section

For more insights, watch the full interview with Ron Marquez

Pregame Playoff Checklist for Ticket Sales

As you head into playoffs, be sure to use the checklist below to reduce your workload and stress levels. In collaboration with associations and schools, GoFan has compiled a quick guide to take information from your seeding meeting directly to your fanbase and increase attendance with minimal time and effort.

Step 1: Prepare a Contact List

Promoting ticket sales thoroughly before the week or day of the event prevents questions during hectic times at the gate. To do this right, you need to build a list of contacts to promote ticket sales. 

Before your seeding meeting, identify your target audience for sending ticketing information. The list should ideally be a spreadsheet with the names and emails of your contacts. In our experience, the families of the student body are the most critical members of your audience. Following families, the local community is powerful as well. 

Some schools already have this in place. That’s fantastic! If you don’t have a contact list yet, consider asking your coaches and booster clubs to send you a list for ticket sales promotions. If there is a dedicated resource on campus who is responsible for sending messages to your community, then make sure to alert them about the upcoming playoff events and even the date of your seeding meeting. Make sure they get this on the schedule.  

Step 2: Craft a Message to Your Community

The best way to get people to purchase presale tickets and to reduce questions at the gate is to write a simple message illustrating where to buy tickets and what the user should expect. With ticketing, the message simply needs to say ‘Buy Tickets.’ 

The ‘Buy Tickets’ message should link to your GoFan sales page. All your events that are managed with GoFan are posted on your school sales page. To find your school sales page, visit gofan.co and search for your school name. 

When you send a message to fans, all you need to do is clearly tell the fans where to buy tickets with a Buy Tickets link. Beyond that, try to include as much information about who, what, when, where, and why as possible. 

Pro tip: Don’t post the specific time of the event in your Buy Tickets message, unless you are certain it will not change. Playoff times and venues change all the time. This will have to be updated on your GoFan page, and we will do this as associations communicate with us. Don’t waste your time re-sending emails when something changes! Think through the one place that you will need to update information and make all messages point there.

Step 3: Communicate with Your Opponent

Whether you’re hosting or visiting, it’s important that you and your opponent both thoroughly understand the ticketing process. Hosts should send a quick email to their visiting opponent with the ticket sales link for the event. For hosts, this can save you critical time at the gate. 

GoFan is seamless and easy to use for fans that visit the site and order. However, if a fan doesn’t get a message that tickets are for sale in advance, then they will be forced to buy tickets at the gate. 

You can dramatically reduce your staffing and volunteer needs when more fans purchase pre-sale tickets. Be sure to contact your opponent and remind them to get the message out to their fans as well. Not only will it lead to better promotion of the event for the students, but it will also minimize your workload on game day.

Step 4: Prep the Gate

Nobody wants issues at the gate during playoffs. Luckily digital ticket sales can reduce questions at the gate if you follow this checklist. Setting expectations is crucial. Make it easy for fans to find where to buy tickets. 

Signs serve two purposes. First, they let people know that tickets will be purchased on mobile devices at the game. The best-case scenario for hosts is that pre-sales went great because you followed steps 2 and step 3 above; however, there will undoubtedly be walk-up traffic that does not see the emails. For walk-up fans, use a sign to get their attention before they are standing in line to get into the event. Place the signs in prominent areas leading up to the ticket validation area. 

Second, signs actually connect the mobile device to the website. The ‘connect’ piece is the QR code. A QR code sends people to a web page when it is scanned with a mobile device. You now have the ability to download QR code flyers directly from the GoFan HQ platform. The QR code can link to your school event page or to a specific event. Once you download the QR code flyer, print out multiple copies and place them where they are easily visible and accessible. Fans can scan the QR code with their mobile devices to view the ticket sales page quickly and complete the checkout process.

The last aspect of preparing the gate will be to train your staff. There are two aspects to preparing your team. The first is to learn what to look for when validating tickets. This process is so simple that it takes 30 seconds to learn. Visit our How-To Guide to view some short training videos on ticket validation.

Staff members also need to consider fan questions. We sell millions of tickets per year, and 99% of people that use the system do so without one question. In case you encounter a question you can’t answer, please refer to the support resources linked below. Schools and fans alike can typically find the answers they want with a simple search.

Click here to log in GoFan HQ and download QR code flyers

Click here to train your staff and fans on the ticketing process

Click here for school support

Click here for fan support

Step 5: Log in GoFan HQ

Playoff schools typically get access to the GoFan portal, along with existing GoFan customers. This is great because it puts the ability to manage an event from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer right at the fingertips of a busy school administrator. Specifically, you can view sales up to the second and edit any details that may change, such as the date or time. 

Expanding on step 2 above, changes happen regularly during the playoffs. The best way to edit an event is directly from the portal. We recommend that you log in the portal prior to showing up when the gates open. While the system is seamless and straightforward to use, we want to make sure you have time to ask any questions you may have and review some of the helpful articles and videos we also have available.  

Next Steps

To learn more about best practices for digital ticketing in the playoffs, check out our blog linked below or contact us for further information. 

Digital Ticketing Tips for Schools in the Winter Playoffs

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