Ballet Kalamazoo Case Study: Can LocalHop Handle an XL Capacity Event?

March 5, 2018 — Event Management, LocalHop Adminstrators, Organization Management, Registration

Ballet Kalamazoo has been using LocalHop for their website calendars, registration for classes, and promotion of their events since 2016.  Ballet Kalamazoo owner, Amy Russell says, “LocalHop is amazing and this new calendar makes my life so easy. One spot for me to post and it appears on my calendar, and for people to discover on LocalHop.  A huge timesaver and it’s also mobile friendly.”

Ballet Kalamazoo logo image

It was back in early December of 2017 when it was time to start selling tickets for Russell’s first big stage production, Rapunzel~ A Fairytale Ballet.  It was then that the realization hit that this was the biggest event LocalHop was about to host.  Were they ready for it? Could the system handle this large capacity size? It was time to really test the software and see what it was capable of. With Rapunzel being the largest event that both Ballet Kalamazoo and LocalHop have hosted, there was no clear direction on what was to be expected.  Would at least half the seats be filled? Will the tickets sell out? With no prior reference, this was a great test for both companies to see what direction they need to go in moving forward. There would be lots to change, work-around, and learn by the fast approaching show time of January 27th.

Ballet Kalamazoo booked their venue and set the date. There was a combined goal between the two companies to sell at least 700 tickets.  Not full capacity, but larger than what had been done in the past and enough to cover costs for Ballet Kalamazoo. From there, 788 tickets were set and priced and the event went live on LocalHop and the Ballet Kalamazoo website.

As the tickets quickly began to sell, the first obstacle was met.  The unclear wording of the confirmation email had many confused patrons writing into Ballet Kalamazoo and LocalHop.  Within a few hours, a change to the confirmation email was made and a much clearer message was sent. Like most first attempts at something new, there were some things that needed tweaking and a lot of things to be learned. There were four major challenges these partners faced, and here is how they overcame each of them:

  1. The Confirmation Email
    • The Challenge: The unclear wording in the confirmation email that was sent out to patron immediately after purchasing tickets to the event.
    • Overcoming the Challenge: Ballet Kalamazoo brought this issue to the attention of LocalHop. Immediately upon discovering the issue, LocalHop met with its developers and discussed a much clearer message that was sent out from then on.
  2. Group Ticket Sales
    • The Challenge: LocalHop had a feature put in place for free events so that one person could buy up to 10 tickets at a time to ensure that no one group or individual could register for all available spots and then not show up. Ballet Kalamazoo was receiving requests to purchase tickets for groups larger than 10.
    • Overcoming the Challenge: LocalHop developers met again and this time had the problem fixed within minutes! That is the kind of service that LocalHop prides itself on.
  3. Available Tickets
    • The Challenge: It came as a relief when Ballet Kalamazoo had sold 700 tickets, but it became a problem when they realized the demand for these tickets was much greater than the supply.
    • Overcoming the Challenge: Ballet Kalamazoo was able to reserve two additional balcony sections to sell more seats to the show. Using LocalHop ticketing, Ballet Kalamazoo was able to add to the ticket quantity in minutes. The two additional sections were also sold out by the date of the show. This was a challenge they were happy to face.
  4. Check-In
    • The Challenge: Searching for attendees on the guest list was something that was a concern for Ballet Kalamazoo as LocalHop does not have an internal search bar.
    • Overcoming the Challenge: LocalHop informed Ballet Kalamazoo that as long as they use their laptops to search for guests, they can use the keyboard commands to search keywords. (‘command’ + ‘F’ on a Mac, ‘control’ + ‘K’ on a PC)

With a little help from LocalHop to promote and boost the event on social media, to the simple registration process for the patrons to follow, to their check-in upon arrival, the event met and exceeded both organizations expectations. With the standing ovation at the end of the ballet, it is safe to say that Ballet Kalamazoo will have gained some new students and new fans, raising the bar for their next major performance. It was critical that LocalHop was quick to respond and able to make changes based on the needs of Ballet Kalamazoo.  Russell emphasized, “LocalHop being a local business was able to work closely and efficiently with us to get the issues resolved so that we could take care of our patrons and focus on the ballet.”

Each event is different and there will be specific instances for all of them that will be learning lessons for LocalHop, but the biggest takeaway is the new-found confidence LocalHop has in hosting any XL sized event. They will do the job, they will be a helpful partner to their organizations, and they will get people to the event!