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How Meadowcreek High School Pioneered Digital Ticketing with GoFan

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Founded in 1986, Meadowcreek High School is a public high school located in Norcross, Georgia. Upon opening, the school soon grew to serve a diverse student population representing more than 60 countries and 75 languages. This diversity continues to flourish and reflect the vibrant cultures of the surrounding Gwinnett County community.

In 2018, Meadowcreek saw an opportunity to adopt digital ticketing for athletics and activities. As a Title I school with a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students, Meadowcreek acknowledged and addressed initial concerns over accessibility with the new ticketing policy. With effective communication and alternative solutions, Meadowcreek was able to overcome these obstacles and deliver remarkable results. Meadowcreek’s success ultimately provided Gwinnett County with the confidence to move their entire district to digital ticketing in the 2020-2021 school year.

In partnership with GoFan for digital ticketing and event management, Meadowcreek has achieved these key outcomes:

  • Provide comprehensive, transparent data for audits
  • Save time and simplify account reconciliation
  • Reduce event expenses and increase revenue


The Story of Meadowcreek High School

Guided by the principles of collaboration, inspiration, and ownership, Meadowcreek High School works jointly with students, parents, and the community to ensure high student achievement, character development, and leadership opportunities. Meadowcreek inspires students to love, appreciate, and respect lifelong learning. The dedicated faculty and students at Meadowcreek take pride in the school’s traditions and are committed to continuous improvement, striving to uphold a performance culture of excellence.

Such dedication to improvement permeates all departments and the entire administration. Meadowcreek was one of the first high schools in the nation to implement a digital-only solution for event ticketing and management. Inspired by Mercedes-Benz Stadium adopting a cashless mentality, Meadowcreek embraced the model in 2018 for winter and spring events. Their commitment to innovation and proven results resonated with the district finance office, which transitioned the entire district to digital ticketing for the 2020-2021 academic year.

 

The Initial Obstacles

While the switch to digital ticketing was ultimately successful, Meadowcreek initially faced some obstacles when they first introduced the new system. Since many of the students and their family members don’t have credit cards or smartphones, Meadowcreek needed to make sure that all fans were aware of the changes and could plan accordingly. They were able to overcome this situation by communicating the new policy in multiple ways to help fans be prepared.

“The kids have adapted to the cashless system now. They’ve got a buddy system. If they don’t have a cash card, they can get money from a friend. At our recent events, we didn’t have to say anything. They knew what to do.”

- Dr. LaShawn Smith, Meadowcreek Assistant Principal and Athletic Director

To offer another solution to event attendees who may not have access to smartphones, Meadowcreek adopted the GoFan Box Office system, which allows fans to walk up to the gate and purchase a ticket with a card.

Making the switch to digital ticketing was an adjustment at first for faculty and away fans as well, but everyone quickly saw the benefits of the system after using it. In particular, Meadowcreek realized increased revenue and a better event experience for employees and fans alike.

“Initially there was a little anxiety with our staff and visiting teams, but overall it was a smooth transition and one we embraced,” said Dr. Smith. “As we analyzed our year-over-year revenue, we generated as much, if not more revenue for our events.”


The Opportunity to Achieve Event Transparency and Simplify Audits

Prior to partnering with GoFan, the primary challenge that Meadowcreek faced was providing comprehensive data for audits. With more than 100 events across campus each year, Meadowcreek needed an efficient way to gather transparent data and streamline financial reporting.

A major benefit of using the GoFan digital ticketing and event management platform is the ability to report financial data on demand. Digital payments dramatically simplified the account reconciliation process and enabled Meadowcreek to save a significant amount of time.

“What makes GoFan so unique is that we can quickly understand how many people are coming to events and track our sales in real time,” said Dr. Smith. “This is highly convenient and helpful for accounting and planning purposes.”

Rather than having to count cash and make deposits after each event, Meadowcreek staff members could view ticket sales information on demand and have full confidence in the accuracy of the figures. When audit season approached, Meadowcreek was already prepared and able to provide transparent data. In their initial season with GoFan, Meadowcreek easily passed their first audit with zero findings in accounting for athletic events.

The ease with which Meadowcreek completed the audit process caught the attention of the district finance office, and it wasn’t long before digital ticketing was implemented in all 19 schools in the Gwinnett County Public Schools district.


The Partnership

Many of the schools in Gwinnett County were already using GoFan in some capacity, so there was an existing familiarity with the system. The trust GoFan established with Meadowcreek’s staff across campus for athletics, performing arts, prom, and other events assured them that GoFan could address their unique requirements.

GoFan worked closely with Meadowcreek to ensure successful onboarding and use of the digital ticketing and event management platform. While some local schools were skeptical that a digital solution would work, they soon saw the positive outcomes at Meadowcreek and were inspired to adopt digital ticketing as well.

Meadowcreek also emphasized the importance of training their staff on the new solution. As their employees became more familiar with how to help fans purchase and redeem tickets, it significantly enhanced the overall event experience. GoFan provided resources to assist Meadowcreek with training and equipping their staff with the tools they needed to succeed.


The Results

Beyond improving transparency for audit purposes, Meadowcreek wanted to minimize event expenses while increasing revenue. As the trusted ticketing solution for more than 300,000 school events nationwide, GoFan was uniquely qualified to help Meadowcreek realize more revenue from ticket sales and improve event management.

“With GoFan, our administration has greater visibility into ticket sales across campus,” said Dr. Smith. “We’re also able to reduce our event personnel expenses and provide an enhanced experience for our fans.”

After launching digital ticketing with GoFan, Meadowcreek was able to increase ticket sales for larger events while reducing the event staff needed. With no paper tickets to sell and no cash to count, Meadowcreek didn’t need to staff as many people at the gate to manage event entry and reconciliation. When they no longer had cashboxes to transport and monitor, Meadowcreek could limit the security needed at their events and devote more resources to other important aspects of event safety.

“Now that we use digital ticketing with GoFan, we no longer have to worry about monitoring the money,” said Dr. Smith. “The benefits from a safety and security perspective are immeasurable.”

Digital ticketing also helped Meadowcreek’s bookkeepers and event staff by saving them significant amounts of time. By streamlining ticket sales online, Meadowcreek’s employees could spend less time pre-selling tickets, managing walkup sales at the gate, and reconciling accounts and devote more time and resources to their students and community. Meadowcreek fans have enjoyed the benefits of digital ticketing as well, including convenient purchases in advance, contactless ticket redemption, and faster event entry.

After realizing such success with athletics, Meadowcreek soon implemented digital ticketing for their fine arts events, along with their homecoming and prom dances. They now have complete visibility into all events throughout the entire school.

“Now the whole building uses GoFan,” said Dr. Smith. “It’s been a great solution for us. I finally got everyone to see it my way.”


Looking Forward

As a pioneer of digital ticketing for high school events, Meadowcreek’s success is a testament to their steadfast commitment to improvement. Another academic year is well underway, and the students, faculty, and fans at Meadowcreek are continuing to see the benefits of challenging the status quo and embracing innovation.

Next Steps

GoFan takes pride in helping high schools throughout the country save time, increase revenue, and elevate the event experience. To learn more about how your school can achieve the same results, contact us or check out our blog on the Top10 Benefits of Digital Ticketing for High School Sports. 

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