Portland News

Reopening Events After a Pandemic

David Boehme founded VBO Tickets when live events were more or less taken for granted, but March 2021 changed all of that. His quick response to the country’s lockdown allowed venues to continue offering programming via video streaming. Now, his advanced ticket sales platform is helping venue owners and event planners safely reopen their doors.

VBO Tickets puts customer solutions at the forefront

East German immigrant David Boehme started VBO Tickets almost by accident. As an independent website developer, Boehme accepted contract work to build a custom ticketing solution for a client. When that customer neglected to pay for the completed software, Boehme could have become angry. Instead, he decided to market the business himself. 

Over the following months, Boehme interviewed venue owners and event managers to determine their specific needs. Tailoring software solutions to address each client’s concerns became his top priority. 

Headquartered in San Jose, California, VBO Tickets quickly expanded to serve clients across the country. The software seamlessly integrates with clients’ websites to create and manage events anywhere. Since going to market in 2012, VBO Tickets has served performing arts venues, concerts, theatres, educational institutions, sports events, museums, festivals, and comedy clubs.

Boehme continues to listen to his customers’ needs and solve their ticketing issues. Without a doubt, the greatest challenge facing event planners today is the post-pandemic regulations for reopening. VBO Tickets has evolved to offer a customizable platform capable of handling every aspect of social distancing and capacity regulations. They helped clients navigate the pandemic, and now they are ready to join in the reopening. 

Ensuring social distancing at indoor events through advanced ticket sales

Social distancing guidelines add a new wrinkle to ticket sales as events reopen. Selling tickets in advance through a platform like VBO Tickets keeps the process manageable. 

Before ticket sales begin, event planners can designate a preset number of seats to remain empty around purchased seats. When viewing the seating map in the ticket buying interface, patrons can select as many adjacent seats as they like. Once those seats are purchased, other ticket buyers will instantly see non-selectable seats to the left and right of the seats sold on their computers and phones.

Defining venue capacity limits through advanced ticket sales 

Event planners are also looking for the best ways to comply with limitations on the number of people they can allow in the doors. As with social distancing, setting capacity limits is best done through advanced ticket sales.

When planning an event through VBO, a planner can adjust the number of tickets for sale to comply with capacity limitations. For example, even if a venue holds 200 seats, the event planner can specify availability of only 100 tickets. In this case, patrons will see a message at the top of the seating map in the ticket buying interface explaining the limited seating and the number of seats still available. Once patrons have purchased tickets for that preset number of seats, the site will no longer offer tickets.

Controlling crowds by selling food and merchandise through advanced ticket sales

Another logistical concern in reopening events after the pandemic centers around purchasing food and merchandise at venues. Crowds at concession stands or merchandise tables are a health risk. VBO Tickets enables venue owners to sell merchandise and food ahead of time. Patrons make these purchases as they buy their tickets online.

Advanced ticket sales for outdoor events

Event planners can avoid many reopening concerns by shifting their events outdoors. The seat map building tool in VBO Tickets generally creates indoor assigned seating venue maps, but there’s no reason it can’t create outdoor venue maps as well. Event planners first design their outdoor background graphic, then use the seat map tool to generate their seating arrangement.

Timed ticketing systems to improve traffic flow and capacity control 

As businesses and venues reopen, many find that the new normal includes stricter patron flow monitoring. Timed ticketing allows promoters to sell groups of tickets with a timed entry for better capacity control. Many museums, attractions, and tour operators are moving to this type of controlled entry. Even some restaurants, retail stores, salons, gyms, and community pools are exploring how timed ticketing keeps clients safe and businesses compliant.

VBO Tickets allows event planners to make the number of available tickets for each time slot visible in an easy-to-read, color-coded grid. In this layout, blue slots indicate many tickets remain, yellow slots show tickets are running low, and red slots are sold out.

Advanced ticket sales can help venue owners negotiate the hurdles of social distancing, capacity control, merchandise sales, and traffic flow. Each business will have different needs, and regulations are bound to change over time. VBO Tickets’ personalized solutions for each event allow promoters to plan safely and patrons to book confidently.

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.