The Funny Way To Be Comedy Club brings some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit to Barnard Castle in Teesdale. We spoke to Peter Dixon, Director, to find out how TicketSource helps the club to deliver a great night out for their audiences.
Tell us more about the Funny Way To Be Comedy Club.
I started the club in 2010 in conjunction with The Witham, a community arts centre in Barnard Castle. We’ve settled into a pattern of booking touring shows by comedians at all levels – most comedians create a new show each year, with a focus on the Edinburgh festival. The Witham has a 250-seat capacity, so it’s perfect for well-known artists who want to try out ‘work in progress’ in a smaller venue. We host several shows a month and this year our acts include Seann Walsh, Alistair McGowan and Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy, winner of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2018).
Why did you start using TicketSource?
The club draws in a lot of people from outside the town – over 80% travel from Darlington, Cumbria and North Yorkshire – so an online presence is necessary. In 2012, we worked with The Witham in an exercise to find the best ticketing system and spoke in detail to Highlights Rural Touring, a local organisation that brings productions to village halls and uses TicketSource. We decided that TicketSource was the simplest and best system, and both the club and The Witham went for it.
How does TicketSource help you?
The main advantage is I can sell tickets at the venue and online. I can view the sales and alter the allocation if needs be, and also deal with returns at any time. TicketSource does everything I need it to do, and you have flexibility over a whole load of stuff. For example, with pre-sales, I can send a link to people who receive our email newsletter for priority booking before a show is publicly displayed. Also, if a customer can’t find their ticket details and have lost their email, I can send them another copy. It’s not difficult to do, but it always impresses them that I can do that!
Which feature is particularly useful?
Being able to embed the TicketSource code into our website. It means our shows are all there on the home page, with no messing about. It’s a neat list of 15 to 20 shows, presented really well, with a consistent thumbnail photo and a description including ticket prices and age restrictions. It’s dead easy. The code isn’t hidden away in TicketSource – just push a button and it generates the code for you to cut and paste. Once the code is inserted in the website, it drags all the information through and presents it straightaway. If a show is sold out, it tells you on our website. And if a ticket is returned, it pops up on the website too.
Do you have any tips to share?
You can download a scanning app on to your phone for checking in tickets on the night, but I keep the app on my phone because it’s a quick way of finding out how many tickets have sold in the run-up to each show. Often I don’t need a full report, just a headline figure, and it comes up instantly. It’s particularly useful when you’re away from the office, especially as a big show can sell out in a day.
For more information about the Funny Way To Be Comedy Club, visit www.funnywaytobe.com
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