Booking Protect Announces Launch of US and Global Product Ahead of AVConnect 2015


February 13, 2015 – Booking Protect Limited, a market leader in booking protection, is pleased to announce the launch of its US and worldwide product ahead of AVConnect 2015, AudienceView’s annual North American users conference. AudienceView is a world leader in e-commerce software for events and entertainment organizations.

Following a successful rollout of the comprehensive refund guarantee in the UK, a Booking Protect delegation led by James Hastie, Commercial Director, is attending AVConnect 2015 to meet with North American and worldwide AudienceView clients

“The feedback we’ve received following our partnership announcement in October has been extremely positive,” said Jeff Koets, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, AudienceView. “We have customers in the US and internationally that are keen to consider adding this comprehensive refund guarantee to their sales process, both for the protection of consumers and because of its revenue potential. AVConnect is an ideal forum for these discussions.”

AudienceView and Booking Protect Limited announced an international partnership in October 2014, which allows AudienceView clients in North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific to offer a ‘booking protection guarantee’ product to their customers. The product is market leading, both in terms of coverage for consumers and income potential for AudienceView clients.

Consumers who purchase tickets through e-commerce platforms operated by AudienceView clients are able to opt in to the ‘booking protection guarantee’ during their ticket purchase journey.

The product is backed by an insurance contract that covers the liability of AudienceView’s clients. All refund requests are managed by Booking Protect’s in-house team and not outsourced to any third-party providers.

Booking Protect’s product enables consumers to obtain a refund if they cannot attend their event for a number of reasons, including personal illness with no exclusion for pre-existing medical conditions, severe weather disruption and delays to scheduled transportation.

“The Booking Protect team is really looking forward to AVConnect 2015. It is a great opportunity to meet more AudienceView clients and discuss how we can get them live quickly so they too can benefit from our market-leading product and its associated revenue opportunity,” said James Hastie, Commercial Director, Booking Protect Limited.

AVConnect 2015 takes place in Savannah, Georgia from February 17 to 19, 2015.

About AudienceView

AudienceView is a complete entertainment business solutions provider. Rapidly approaching $2 billion in annual transactions, our innovative, engaging software is helping more than 550 venues in 15 countries deliver exceptional shopping, in-venue and overall customer experiences. It also powers self-serve e-commerce, ticketing and events management portals, which can be used for events of any size or type. AudienceView was founded in 2002 and has received equity funding from the Ventures West 8 Limited Partnership fund, which remains the largest shareholder, and private investors. Learn more at, or connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

About Booking Protect

Booking Protect is a market leader in product development and fulfilment in the booking protection guarantee market. Booking Protect is a partnership of ticketing and IT expertise combined with award winning insurance broking services. Booking Protect aim to offer its customers products that enhance the end customer experience and provider revenue development and protection opportunities.

Further information:

Christine Payne
Primoris Group Inc.
+1 416.489.0092

Crowdsourcing – 17 Networking Tips

The convenience of technology has changed the way we interact with each other, both professionally and personally. Our mobile data plans are far more important than the number of minutes we have each month. Most of us spend much more time emailing, texting, Tweeting and ‘liking’ than we do chatting on the phone or in person.

At the same time, workplaces are facing shrinking travel and professional development budgets, which restrict the number of conferences and industry networking events we can attend each year.

This can mean less face-to-face contact, which is where the greatest opportunity to make a deeper connection with people lies.

The one thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the importance of networking. It’s critical on a professional and personal level.  And it’s a skill – like any other – that needs to be performed on a regular basis to see benefits and improvement.

In advance of AVConnect 2015, AudienceView’s annual North American users conference, I’ve crowdsourced some valuable networking tips from people in my network. They come from current colleagues, industry peers, friends I’ve connected with on Twitter and people from my ‘past lives.’

After collecting these tips, six themes bubbled to the surface:

  1. Be prepared.
  2. Be genuine, honest and sincere.
  3. Listen more, talk less.
  4. Add value to the relationship.
  5. Make deeper, more personal connections.
  6. Have a system that tracks your interactions (notes on business cards, spreadsheet, etc.).

Valuable Networking Tips

“I really believe that you can find a shared experience with anyone at any event. It can be an activity such as sharing a drink, a moment such as sharing a laugh, or an interest such as baseball. Always be authentic and natural and don’t be afraid to approach first, often people are uncomfortable at these types of events and appreciate you starting the conversation.”
– Genevieve Jacques, Director of Customer Services at AudienceView

“The key to successful networking is building authentic relationships. Find a personal connection you both have, like a love for social media or the Indianapolis Colts, and go from there. Whether you’re interacting with someone in the real or digital world, by simply creating that relationship people will be more prone to help you.”
– Kacy Capobres, Social Media Director at Moorehead Communications

“Professional networking is about finding genuine connections. I try to learn more about someone’s life beyond work until we find something shared between us. People remember each other when they think of the non-professional connections you share whether it is being from same hometown, sharing in sleepless night of having young kids – or finding passion in the same hobby or sports team.”
Garry Golden, Academically Trained Futurist

“Have a purpose.  When participating in a meeting or event, imagine, in advance, what you want to learn and who holds that knowledge. Once you’re at the event identify those people, briefly introduce yourself, then ask them to share what they’ve learned. Use open ended questions starting with ‘what’ or ‘how’ to get them engaged, then enjoy the conversation!”
– Jena Hoffman, President & CEO at International Ticketing Association (INTIX)

Jena Hoffman (middle) poses for a photo at the 2015 INTIX Annual Conference (photo credit: INTIX)

Jena Hoffman (middle) poses for a photo at the 2015 INTIX Annual Conference (photo credit: INTIX)

“When networking, remember to think about ways to add value to a relationship. It’s not just about collecting names for your LinkedIn connections. Listen closely and consider multiple ways you can help that person now or in the future. Share good content, make introductions, and ultimately become someone they appreciate and trust.”
Russell Scibetti, Vice President of Product Strategy at KORE Software and Sports Business Blogger

“Networking is about building relationships and the best way to start off on the right foot is by being yourself. Treat your new connections like you would treat your own friendships and build genuine rapport. Ask thoughtful questions not only to get to know someone, but to understand how you can help them. Keep in mind that you may not be able to help someone directly, but you probably know someone in your network that can. It’s not only about growing your own network, but sharing yours as well. Finally, if you’ve had a great conversation with someone, follow up after the event and stay in touch! Networking is all about developing and maintaining relationships.”
– Melissa Raquid, Manager, Human Resources & Recruiting at AudienceView

“Don’t beg for a Twitter follow. Interact and engage with others in a meaningful way and the ‘networking’ will take care of itself.”
Eli Langer, Social Media Producer at CNBC

“Bring business cards with you! Set a goal to hand out a number of cards to people who you have never met. If you still have the business cards at the end of the conference, you haven’t talked enough to people outside your existing network.”
Sara Chebishev, Relationship Manager at AudienceView

Sara Chebishev (middle) shares a moment with Ashley Casale (left) and Katie Engle in Denver.

Sara Chebishev (middle) shares a moment with Ashley Casale (left) and Katie Engle in Denver.

“Always be interested in the person you are talking to. Ask how you can help them. Find out something about them that is personal. If you only care about what you get, you’ll likely end up with nothing. But helping others can pay off with a great friendship or relationship and you never know what might happen when you are there for someone else.”
Troy Kirby, Director of Ticket Operations at UC Davis

“My mantra on networking is… when in-person networking, ask people something they normally wouldn’t be asked – go deeper right away and see what happens. When reaching out to people to network, let them know clearly you’re intentions on the first contact. People don’t respond to, “I’d like to connect,” as much as they respond to something like, “I am very interested in the way you have done recent projects and want to see if any of it is translatable into my business.”
Andrew Foxwell, Co-Founder and CEO at Foxwell Digital

“I hate the word networking as it implies that you want something. I prefer to think of it as an engagement between two people and just having a conversation. To me it is an opportunity to give and in the giving I always get something back. I try to make the moment meaningful and authentic by being myself. I look people in the eyes and I actually try to spend more time listening than talking. I try to go outside my industry and to never ever consider someone irrelevant but rather to look for the similarities versus the differences. Bottom line, I try to always MEAN IT and in that I also must nurture and care for my relationships and my contacts.”
– Maureen Andersen, Vice President of Arts & Entertainment at AudienceView

“Make sure to record two to three things you touched on with any new contacts and get their business card. A week later, send a note mentioning specifics in the conversation, then follow it all up with a LinkedIn invite.”
April Moon, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at The Canadian Stage Company

Maureen Andersen, April Moon and Amy Constantine Kline at an INTIX networking event (photo credit: INTIX)

Maureen Andersen, April Moon and Amy Constantine Kline at an INTIX networking event (photo credit: INTIX)

“I am a big believer in Bob Beaudine’s Power of Who. You must really build mutually beneficial relationships and help people who can in turn connect you with others who can open doors for you.  But keep in mind it is all about reciprocity – be a giver as well as a taker.”
Dr.  Bill Sutton, Founding Director, Sport & Entertainment MBA//MS Graduate Program, University of South Florida & Principal, Bill Sutton & Associates

“Keep the conversation two-sided.  You won’t learn anything if one person does all the talking.  Answer questions openly and honestly, but also ask the right questions to get the other person telling their story.  I find I get a lot of great information both from the things we have in common and the things we don’t.”
Heather McLaren, Relationship Manager at AudienceView

“Always be networking. You never know who you will run into or who people know. Be genuine, honest and sincere. Remember, the key is to develop solid, long-term relationships built on trust.”
Kathryn Chappetto, Director, Partnership Strategy at Women’s Tennis Association

“To expand your network, get involved in activities outside of work. Joining a charity is the best way to meet C-level executives because most established charity boards recruit these kinds of professionals. Once you’ve made a connection, always follow up and let them know how nice it was to meet them. And then catalogue all your contacts and make notes about them – spouses name, number of kids, interests, etc. Finally, stick your neck out – no one is ever going to meet you if you don’t extend your hand.”
Michael Burns, Vice President, Corporate Development at AudienceView

One More

With all this valuable advice, I’d like to leave you with one last tip – my own:

Don’t wait until you need something to reach out to your network. When you don’t need anything at all and just want to say hello, the email, phone call or Facebook message is always very well received. I encourage you to interact with five people in your network each month and just ask them how life’s treating them. It will make them feel good and will keep you well connected.

Do you have some powerful networking advice to share? If so, I’d love to hear it and to hear from you – email me, send me a tweet (@nickbegley) and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Talking Innovation, Competitive Advantages and the Future of Digital with The Lowry’s Rachel Miller

After spending three years as Head of Ticketing for The Lowry and Quaytickets, Rachel Miller is taking on a new challenge. Promoted in June, she is now Director of Marketing and Communications for The Lowry.

In her new role, Rachel is continuing to unlock value for her organization, which has partnered with AudienceView since 2010 to manage two diverse businesses – theatre patrons at The Lowry and regional customers and clients at Quaytickets – with a single solution.

In a recent interview with AudienceView, Rachel shared her thoughts on innovation and the role data plays in the ever-increasing competition for consumer’s leisure spending. She also offers some advice to current and prospective AudienceView clients, makes a prediction about the future of digital ticketing and shares her idea of a dream vacation!

Name: Rachel Miller

Time in Entertainment Industry: 20 years

Past Organizations: Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), Live Nation

Dream Vacation Destination: The Seychelles

Why the Seychelles? Looks beautiful, it’s hot and she’s never been. “I love the sun!”

Rachel is a strong believer in innovation and the vital role it plays in all parts of an organization.The_Lowry_logo

“Without innovation, you stand still and you don’t look at things in a new way,” says Rachel. “I think innovation, creativity, entrepreneurialism – they’re all very important aspects of any team, not just a marketing team, not just ticketing, but any organization.”

The ability for organizations to examine their data in real-time and at a deeper level is also important, helping organizations control the overall customer experience, create personalized marketing programs, uncover patterns and connections, understand how customers are engaging and more. Why?

“There are a lot of things competing for people’s spend, so understanding our customer we can really start to direct the right messages to them, we can communicate with them in the right way, we can change the way we market to these people,” Rachel explains. “So rather than a blanket email, we might send five emails out for a show because we use a different language for each of the different customers. You have to really hone down into what that customer needs, what is suitable to their tastes and their requirements as a customer of the organization, and understand how they make the journey through your organization. So let’s say we’re collecting data from the restaurant, the box office, through development and as well as through learning and education. We may have known in the past that they bought a ticket to the show, but now we’re able to say they’ve also eaten with us, they’ve also engaged with us through our learning and education program, they’ve also donated or helped us from a traction perspective. Getting that whole journey, getting that whole picture of the customer really helps us with regards to maintaining a relationship and also hopefully developing a relationship.”

The Lowry and Quaytickets take great pride in their partnership approach with each of their clients. This underlying organizational style is achieving revenue growth while maintaining a personal touch. AudienceView is proud to play an active role.

Lyric Theatre at The Lowry (Photo by David Lake)

Lyric Theatre at The Lowry (Photo by David Lake)

“AudienceView have been extremely supportive of our organization and has really made huge efforts to understand our business and understand how they can support it. They are very much engaged with us, look to understand what our requirements are, look to understand where we are trying to grow our business and have really helped us with regard to how we use the solution,” says Rachel. “I always call out the fact that AudienceView is almost like a dictionary [of available features and functionality] from A to Z. We used to be at about G but I think we’re getting towards M now. There’s always going to be more that the system can do that we don’t know, so by AudienceView understanding our business and understanding our needs they can help us maximize what the system can do for us. I think that has certainly helped us with regard to growth, certainly with the number of clients because of the range of services we can offer. Probably one of the most pointed areas is the ancillary income that we’ve been able to generate also through the ticketing circles, while there’s the purchase of the ticket, add ons and all of the extra ancillary sales and purchasing data that we can do as part of that transaction.”

At Quaytickets, AudienceView “allows us to offer a white-label solution to a number of different clients, so we have upwards of 20 white-label sites. It’s a great service that we supply to our clients,” Rachel explains. “I don’t think that is something that other ticketing providers would be able to offer, that sort of flexibility.”

The Lowry and Quaytickets also place a high value on the stability of the AudienceView solution. Additionally, Rachel describes the data they can extract via Business Intelligence reports as a “huge advantage to us.”

Moving Mountains in Marketing

While it’s still early days in her new role, Rachel sees AudienceView playing an important part in helping to advance The Lowry’s marketing efforts.

Patrons at Lyric Theatre (Photo by Percy Dean)

Patrons at Lyric Theatre (Photo by Percy Dean)

“We’re going to be looking at how we are tracking customers and tracking their transactions a lot more, following the audience patterns through the advertisement or other media that gets the message out about the show through to the person making the transaction. While we use AudienceView at the moment, it’s a case of how we can use it more. I think linking up all the stuff that we are doing from a marketing perspective and seeing the results in our sales is going to be a link that will probably become much stronger.”

Rachel continues, commenting on the fact that they can track every single piece of marketing activity and see the return on investment straight away.

“Being able to add correspondence codes to all of our [marketing] activity so that we can get a return on investment is vital. Putting [codes] into as many different mediums as possible that we’re advertising to is vital. We’re also looking at high frequency and high spend, running reports to look at customer tendencies over a period of time and how those tendencies have been reflected in the amount of spend that they’ve made with the organization and what they are doing when they are here at the building.”

These reporting capabilities are, Rachel believes, critical to help grow a business. Her words of advice to new AudienceView organizations that may wonder how they’ll learn to make use of all this data and functionality? “Don’t be frightened!”

Stressing that the AudienceView user community is warm, welcoming and supportive of its industry colleagues, Rachel offers another piece of advice to current and prospective users.

“Make the very most of things like AVConnect, make the very most of the [Google] Hangouts that you have and speak to other AudienceView users because there is a lot of support…We talk to each other quite regularly, even without AudienceView initiating that, so the network of users as well as AudienceView networks, make the very most of them.”

Bringing our interview full circle, Rachel shared her thoughts on what she hopes digital will bring to the entertainment industry in the future. Beyond Facebook and Twitter, she sees it as something exciting and larger than life.

“One thing that would be lovely to move forward in the future [is] that on the front windows of buildings you’ve got a touch screen where you can look through the season’s guide, see what’s happening and purchase a ticket without even talking to somebody.”

She describes this type of future, saying “it’s big, it’s massive, it’s very impressive,” and adds that the prospect of a practical link between this type of digital initiative and making a purchase is quite exciting.

We couldn’t agree more.

What Did the Fox Say?

The premise of the viral hit song “What Does the Fox Say” is, rather obviously, figuring out what the fox says. It’s a secret, ancient mystery, or so the lyrics go.

There is much less secrecy around the thoughts of Michael D. Fox, Director of Operations at Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City, Utah, one of the largest and most respected community theatres in the country. I recently had a chance to speak with Michael about his organization’s planned expansion to Sandy, Utah, the theatre’s success with AudienceView and our mutual love for delicious pie.

Name: Michael D. Fox

Years at Hale: 12

Favorite pie: Chocolate cream from Marie Callendar!

On Canada: Knows all the provinces, loves Toronto, wants to visit BC

Little Known Fact: Father spent part of his childhood in Newfoundland, Canada

HCT_Logo_Banner“We just announced a new location for an expansion, which is very exciting,” says Michael. “We are also in a record year — we have 23,600 season ticket holders this year.”

The new Hale Centre Theatre will be located in Sandy, Utah, approximately 15 minutes from the current venue and still in the greater Salt Lake Area. Expected to be up and running in several years, it will have an arena-style centre stage theater, which is the venue’s main signature. As well, one or two smaller acting spaces are in the plans. “These new spaces will allow us to expand our programs and answer the demand we’ve had for many years. We have been running at 100% capacity for almost 10 years,” adds Fox.

Working with AudienceView

Hale Centre Theatre first selected AudienceView as its technology partner in 2012. Many people don’t know that AudienceView actually rose to the top of the Hale Centre Theatre’s industry-wide search not once, but twice. A hiccup in budgeting and some unforeseen expenses delayed the project the first time. “The next year when we were ready, we decided to do a double check,” says Fox. “So AudienceView actually won twice!”

Several things were important to the Hale Centre Theatre in choosing its partner. Software as a Service (SaaS) was a main consideration because Michael’s team did not want to be responsible for updating the product on their servers. Reputation was also a key factor in their decision. “We wanted to know that other people were pleased with the product,” Michael emphasizes, adding that AudienceView’s flexibility and mobile capabilities were highly valued, too.

HCT_SeatingChart_Overview“The ability to have our seating chart truly in the round was a really a big deal to us,” Michael continues. “We did not find another product that could offer a curvature all the way around. The other products needed to do everything straight and could only turn corners equaling 180 degrees. We had always had that incorrect look online, so [the curved seating chart] was an exciting piece for us as well.”

Hale Centre Theatre found further value in AudienceView’s flexible season ticketing capabilities, which is critically important because these patrons account for 50% of attendance. The system is configured to allow patrons to pay for their seats, then return to choose them later, even weeks down the road. “When patrons log into the system, it recognizes that they are owed specific products, correctly and easily protects them from overbooking and allows them into their correct performances.”

Prior to partnering with AudienceView, the Hale Centre Theatre was using a platform with several different databases that could not be easily integrated to provide a true picture of each patron. “AudienceView’s all-in-one database is also a very important component for us and we really appreciate the business intelligence system and use it regularly. It allows us to pull data out and create a clearer picture of the individuals that attend and support Hale Centre Theater,” Michael said.

The Online Experience

In terms of the overall service experience, AudienceView has helped the Hale Centre Theatre transition many of its patrons online. “AudienceView has eased the burden of answering over 300 phone calls a day in our box office because 35% of all our tickets, season tickets and individual tickets are now purchased online. We can give better customer service to individuals who do call in and prefer that method. It also offers better customer service to those who are not interested in speaking with a live person by offering them a system that they can navigate and understand. Giving them a true picture of the theater [via the curved seating map] if they haven’t been here before is key to their satisfaction as much as talking to a live person, depending of course on preference.” As the producer of Hale Centre Theatre’s YouTube channel, Michael has also produced a video that includes discussion about the online and box office service experience. It is part of the HCT Rah series.

Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat live at Hale Centre Theatre

Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat live at Hale Centre Theatre

Michael continues, “It really comes down to the understanding of what do people consider customer service. For people who are used to, customer service is the online experience. It’s not about whether you talk to someone, it’s not about how polite they are, or any of those things. It’s about how well you can move through a system and whether or not you get your product and get it easily, that’s customer service too. I think we are only breaching that as a generation of customer services providers, understanding that customer service is not only live interaction but also electronic interaction.”

AudienceView’s content management system has also brought convenience for parents of children attending Hale Centre Theatre summer arts camps. During online registration, they can complete and submit all required forms, saving them from downloading PDFs, printing, filling them out and returning them.

“We are excited about the future and continue to participate in AVConnect, both in person at conferences and via the online Hangouts. This gives us the opportunity to learn about what is coming and be part of the dialogue. I feel AudienceView still listens and wants to grow with us. [Some other vendors have simply said that their product] ‘doesn’t do that.’ With AudienceView, it’s like, ‘Hmm that’s an interesting idea. What if we could do this for you now and then help us develop this idea later.’ I really appreciate that and feel right from the top down like I have a voice.”