Believe it or not, All-Starz was already around in those days of yore and we know the pain of ticket sales from a non-modern era. Here were the options:
1). Sell tickets to the shows during class times. Which class do you start with? Somebody has to be last. Do you set a limit on the number of tickets purchased so that you are certain there are seats left for other classes? The last class to purchase, are they stuck with seats in the balcony?
2). Sell tickets at the door. Disgruntled people show up hours before the box office opens in order to get their desired seats. Patience runs thin in a long line and hopefully the weather isn't bad and that the older folks can stand. Not to mention, our staff needs to be prepping for the show instead of selling tickets.
3). Sell tickets at the studio. Is there a time when everyone is available for this? Friday at 5:00? What does the mom who works nights do? The line will be around the building. Again, do we limit tickets? Weather worries at play here, too.
No surprise, none of these methods worked well and we were left with unhappy people regardless of our efforts to be fair.
Fast forward and enter "Tututix" online ticketing for dance studios, essentially a Ticketmaster for dance studios. What??? We were thrilled. Surely this would be an amazing option. And in my opinion, it has been because:
1). You can order tickets from wherever you are! We have had people ordering from vacation, from work, from ballgames, etc. It's easy to take this for granted this day in age but if you stop and think about it, it's super convenient!
2). You can skip the line! You do not have to wait to purchase tickets and you can quickly enter the event just by showing your ticket (or email even!). Delete your email or lose your ticket? Not a huge deal, Tututix sends us a list of which families reserved which seats.
3). Just like ANY event you would buy tickets to via a sales site, you have an EQUAL and FAIR chance to get the seats you desire. Sometimes you get lucky and get what you want and sometimes you don't but everyone has equal opportunity. Taylor Swift hasn't found a way better than this y'all! (Other than to pay a premium for certain seats and we aren't going there). You can also give others the link or code and have them purchase directly which eliminates the need for collecting money or awaiting reimbursement.
Why am I pointing this out? As a reminder. A reminder of how much better this option is. A reminder of the alternative. A reminder of how lucky we are to have this option.
We are also lucky to have Norton Auditorium. What an amazing theater--the orchestra and mezzanine levels both offer comfortable seating with great views. We make sure that All-Starz families get the option to avoid the balcony altogether as we want to be sure you can see your dancers on stage clearly.
So is the online process perfect? Of course not. There's always the risk of a glitch or that a code doesn't work correctly. I can assure you we do all we do to get things set up perfectly and thankfully we have had very few of those.
We also give a lot of thought to what's "fair." Team moms have commented that team kids should get to purchase tickets first since they are more dedicated and spend more time and money in the studio. Others argue that team parents get many opportunities to see their dancers on stage during the year and should go last. First year moms have commented that they should get to purchase first since it's their first recital. These are generally the ones who purchase the most tickets so others have felt like there wouldn't be much leftover if we did that. We decided to just let everyone have the same chance at their desired seats with the exception of seniors who do get to prepurchase in the Spring since it's their last show.
The front rows seem to be the most desired seating. Similar to a movie theater, I don't think those are the best seats. But regardless, there will always only be a few front rows. Not everyone will get in the front rows. There is no facility that has more front rows than what we use.
Everyone should work with the public at some point, they say. I agree. I also think everyone should be in charge of an event at some point. Until you have been, you probably do not consider all of these things. I wanted to share not in response to those who have complained but more to give you insight on how things used to be and what all we consider in setting this up for our families.
I have gotten better over the years with realizing I can't make 100% of everyone happy. After all, I'm not pizza :)