2 min read

What Fans Can Expect at the Gate with Digital Ticketing

What Fans Can Expect at the Gate with Digital Ticketing

Digital ticketing is here to stay as the primary method of ticket sales for high school sporting events. Fans love the simplicity and security of purchasing tickets on their mobile devices. Schools love the time-saving aspects of scheduling and reporting, and fewer staff members are needed to operate an event.

Yet, saying it and doing it are two different things. In other words, yes, digital ticketing is great, but it’s a new process for schools. Every school’s community, venues, and staff are unique. Schools should look for a digital ticketing platform that is flexible enough to handle differences while still maintaining the quality and ease of service for ticketing.

As the official partner of 39 state associations, GoFan supports events at thousands of schools nationwide, each with specific requirements. We created this overview to outline the ideal (and real) process that works for schools and associations using digital ticketing in the playoffs and regular season.

Fan Experience at the Gate

Digital ticketing is simple for fans to use. Three years ago, schools might challenge that thought. But now, schools and fans are ready to leverage the efficiency of digital ticketing and remove cash from the gate.

“One of the first districts we saw adopt GoFan beyond playoffs was a fairly urban school district that said, ‘Hey, we're doing this because we don't want cash for our games.’ They felt that it was the safest thing to do for their staff.”

- Ryan Tos, Commissioner of CIF Central Section

So how does it work? Here’s an overview of what happens at the gate:

  1. Discovery: Before fans can buy tickets, they need to find the events on the digital ticketing platform. This happens from a link distributed in email, social, text, or on signs at the event via QR code. Fans can also find the event on the event owner's website, whether it’s their school, the opponent school, or the association.

  2. Purchase & Checkout: Once a fan finds their desired event, they can add tickets and check out with a credit card, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. This process takes under 30 seconds for a new user. For returning users, the process can take as few as 10 seconds - seriously! To save even more time on the initial purchase, fans can check out as guests rather than spending time creating accounts and entering additional information.

  3. Validation: Once fans arrive at the event, staff members or volunteers need to validate the tickets before granting entry. Fans retrieve their tickets by text, email, or directly from the website or app. They select their ticket and show their phone to gate staff, who will confirm the ticket is valid and instruct the fan to press Use Ticket. Fans can enter one at a time, as a group, or they could even transfer tickets to other members of their group who are arriving later.

  4. Customer Service: More than 99% of the time, no customer service is needed because the purchase experience is simple. However, if fans need help, they can easily search for their answer on the Fan Support webpage or contact the GoFan support team.

  5. Outlier Audience: Though seldom, there are situations in which a fan shows up and doesn’t know that tickets are required. Again, this relates to less than 1% of fans, who perhaps had no idea that the event is paid or needed to access tickets primarily on mobile phones. Schools are encouraged to support their fans in this scenario. If the fan has a smartphone, they can complete the checkout process quickly and easily. If they don’t have a smartphone, suggest that they work with family or friends to order tickets on their behalf. Schools that wish to provide another cashless option for walk-up fans to buy tickets can process payments easily with iPads and card readers using the GoFan Box Office solution.

Self-service functionality can save time for schools and fans alike. Fans can buy tickets and enter events quickly and easily, and schools will have significantly reduced staffing requirements at the gate.

To learn more about elevating the event experience for your fans with digital ticketing, contact us or check out our guide on How Schools Can Handle Fan Questions During the Playoffs.

How Schools Can Handle Fan Questions During the Playoffs


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