With an array of options available, choosing a ticketing partner for your festival or event can be a bit overwhelming to say the least. Whether you’re just starting out in the industry, or you're having issues with your current system or provider, making an informed choice of what company to go with is paramount to your events success.

Although it is a daunting task putting so much trust into a company separate from your own, there are a few key questions to ask when assessing a ticketing partner.

Are they trustworthy?

This might seem a bit obvious, but if your potential customers don’t trust the system they're using to buy tickets, it’s very unlikely that they will follow through with the purchasing process. A good thing to look out for is a provider with years of experience in the industry, building a reputation for great service along the way.

This not only means that they know what they’re doing, but it’s more likely your consumers will be familiar with them and feel more at ease purchasing tickets through them. A trusted provider means more customers!

Can they fulfil my customers' needs?

Hand-in-hand with being trustworthy, it’s important that your ticketing provider can adequately satisfy your customers’ needs. This could vary from offering a customer support helpline, to payment options, right the way down to simply offering a website that’s optimised for mobile devices (this is actually a big one, as consumers are increasingly moving from desktop to mobile).

A good idea when exploring a number of different partners is to complete a mobile order on each of their websites and see how they compare with one another.

Do they offer reports?

Whether this is your first event or your tenth year of operating, having access to event sales reports is crucial in comparing your events success to both previous and future years.

There’s a few things to consider you might need for your reporting. Is it important to get a grasp on your audience age or demographics? How about how many tickets you sold, say, a week after your on-sale date? Or what if you want to see how your latest social media campaign affected your event sales?

All of these questions and more could be key data when planning your event(s), so be sure you choose a ticketing partner who can provide you with the relevant information at any point from a clear, easy-to-navigate dashboard.

What features do I need?

This is likely to vary depending on the scale of your event. Are you managing a 50,000 capacity festival, or a smaller-scale event with significantly less attendees? Either way, start by making a list of essential criteria versus would-be-pretty-cool-to-have criteria. When contacting potential ticketing partners, have this list with you and cross off which ones they can offer to make a properly informed decision.

What do their other users say about the software?

A good technique when purchasing any product or service is past customer reviews. This can contain multiple layers when looking at ticketing partners, as you will need to consider reviews of both other event organisers as well as customers (the event attendees).

Looking at the two of these aspects will give you an insight into both the user experience as a fellow organiser, as well as the customers experience when interacting with the provider.

A good place to start when undergoing this step is Google reviews, but you may also want to consider Facebook reviews as well as general interactions on other social media. For instance, are they responding to customer comments on Instagram, or issues communicated via Twitter? All this is available publicly for your consideration, and could be the difference between an okay and an exceptional ticketing provider.