Q&A With Michael Penn, Vice Principal of Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA)

Terry Rosoman | Posted on Mon 24 December 2018 at 9.17AM
Categories: Case Study
Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA)

BOA is an academy for 14 to 19 year olds in the heart of Birmingham, specialising in the Creative, Digital and Performing Arts. Michael Penn, Vice Principal, explains how TicketSource's event ticketing platform contributes to the life of the school.

Tell us more about BOA.

The academy opened in 2011 in purpose-built facilities and is attended by over a thousand students from across the West Midlands. We offer pathways in Technical Theatre Arts, Visual Art and Design, Creative Media Production and Performing Arts. Although all our students are selected by aptitude, similar to an audition process, BOA is a state-funded comprehensive and not a fee-paying school. We are seriously over-subscribed, which is due to the fact that a lot of schools have cut drama and music provision. The students are here doing what they want to do – they have got passion and drive, and they really want to succeed.

When did you start using TicketSource?

We started using TicketSource about a year after the academy opened. At first, we were trying to manage ticket sales in-house with our own system that was linked to our finance portal. But it wasn’t working for us – it was cumbersome and you had to pay extra for any add-ons. We looked at other options and one of our technicians suggested TicketSource, as they had used it in another venue. TicketSource looked manageable and easy to use, so we went for it.

For what events do you use TicketSource?

From October half term to the end of the academic year, there is a performance every week. The quiet periods are at the start of the year, when we’re bedding in, and exam time. Otherwise, week in and week out, one of the year groups will be producing a musical, play, dance show or music showcase. The students are involved in all aspects of the productions, both performing on stage and providing the backstage support.

In what ways does TicketSource work well for you?

With some systems, you have to pay someone to create your seating plans. We have a number of different spaces that can be used in different ways, such as 80 seats in traverse style, 144 in raked seating or up to 200 standing. With TicketSource, we have the flexibility of creating our own seating plans at no cost. Also, because the students manage the event software for each performance, we can train them in operating TicketSource. It’s a definite bonus that the box office system is so user-friendly, and the students can use it effectively.

Any top tips for using the system to manage events?

If you have a long run of shows, for example over a three-month period, consider splitting the run into weekly or monthly events. The ticket income is transferred to you at the end of an event, so if you set up several smaller performance periods, you will be able to bank it more regularly.

Looking ahead, will TicketSource continue to meet your needs?

We will definitely be using TicketSource for the foreseeable future. It’s working well, so why change it?

For more information about BOA, visit www.boa-academy.co.uk
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