We are often asked to set up unusual events for ticketing. These have included everything from entering goats in livestock shows to reserving painted parking spaces. But when Hillary Holden, Activities Director with Minooka Public Schools, called about seating for their prom, that was a new challenge!
Not only did she want to use eReserve Ticketing for handling the online ticketing to attend prom, she wondered if we could arrange for students to reserve their seats on the coach buses that transported them to the prom site.
“We looked at RevTrak and their partner web sites,” Holden said. “We saw eReserve Ticketing. We knew you handled ticketing for theaters, so wondered if you could do it for buses.”
This was no small task. She estimated a total of 800 students who would be using 16 buses, with 53 seats per bus. Holden wanted students to be able to go online, choose their seats, pay for them online, then receive a ticket reserving their chosen seat.
Minooka had started busing students to prom the prior year. The high school event was held in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, about an hour and a half drive from Minooka. The school administration didn’t want students driving into Chicago for the evening, for reasons of safety and convenience.
The first year they handled ticketing the old fashioned way. Tickets were sold only on campus, with students waiting in line during lunch period. Signup was done by hand, using pieces of paper and printouts posted on the wall.
“It was a mess,” Holden said. “We had to figure out how to do it online.”
Now anyone who has ever been a teenager knows this is tricky territory. In high school, it is very important who else might be on your bus and who will be seated next to you, especially on prom night.
But eReserve Ticketing was up to the task. We created a seating layout for each bus, then opened up reserved online seating for all 16 buses at the same time. After that, it was first come, first served, for the students.
Did it work?
“Oh, yes, it was definitely easier to do online,” Holden said. “It not only saved staff time, it saved students hassle and time as well.”
It was so popular they ended up registering more than 900 students, and adding a 17th bus.
Minooka definitely plans to continue this system for the upcoming prom. They already have some ideas on taking advantage of eReserve Ticketing’s exclusive benefit of adding sponsors to the tickets to help raise funds.
“We had to change some things while doing it, but Ian was great to work with,” she said of eReserve Ticketing’s owner. “I would definitely recommend it, and already have done so to other schools in our conference, if only for the time savings and convenience of doing it online.”