Owning and operating a live entertainment venue is no small feat. Venue owners face numerous challenges. Managing ticket sales, ensuring beverage service, promoting upcoming events, retaining loyal customers. The list goes on and on.
But there’s one tool that venue owners can use to be successful: A POS system. The right POS system for your venue can be a game changer. For example, it can help address pain points and streamline operations.
Of course, venues have unique needs. And those needs change based on the type of entertainment the venue specializes in. For example, a live music venue has different needs than a comedy club or cabaret. Therefore, you can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to selecting a venue POS system.
To choose the best POS, start with your needs. Then find a system that’s tailored to your operation and can help you get better. Need some help getting started? This guide covers venue POS software. Learn which features you need, how to shop for software, and tips for making the right choice.
The Role of a POS in Live Entertainment
Live entertainment offers concert goers and audiences an experience. In other words, venues provide more than a show. Of course, the performance is important. But all the little details – from fast payment processing, to having enough drinks in stock – make the experience that much more memorable.
This is where a POS system can help you meet and exceed customer expectations. Here are some of key benefits of a POS system in venue management:
Streamlined Ticket Sales
- Online Booking: POS systems often come with online booking features, allowing customers to purchase tickets in advance.
- Quick Transactions: Speed up the ticket-selling process at the venue, reducing long lines and wait times.
- Dynamic Pricing: Implement dynamic pricing strategies for different shows, times, and seat locations.
Enhanced Customer Experience
- Personalization: Collect data on customer preferences and behaviors, enabling targeted promotions or personalized experiences.
- Loyalty Programs: Easily manage loyalty programs to encourage repeat visits.
- Multiple Payment Options: Accept various forms of payment, including credit/debit cards, mobile payments, and even cryptocurrency.
- Real-Time Tracking: Keep track of merchandise and concession sales in real-time.
- Stock Alerts: Receive notifications when stock levels are low, ensuring that popular items are always available.
- Vendor Management: Easily manage orders from multiple vendors.
- Employee Management: Track employee hours, manage shifts, and even handle payroll through some advanced POS systems.
- Reporting: Generate real-time reports on sales, customer behavior, and inventory, aiding in decision-making.
- Security: Advanced security features to protect against fraud and unauthorized access.
Marketing and Promotions
- Data Analytics: Use customer data to identify trends and make data-driven decisions.
- Promotions: Easily set up and manage promotional events or discounts.
- Customer Engagement: Use the POS system to capture customer emails and engage them with newsletters, updates, and special offers.
- Third-Party Apps: Integrate with other software for accounting, CRM, and more.
- Scalability: As your venue grows, your POS system can scale with you, adding new features or additional points of sale as needed.
- Remote Management: Access the system remotely to manage different aspects of the business.
- Multi-Device Support: Operate the POS system from various devices, including handheld POS devices and traditional POS terminals.
In short, a POS system touches all areas of the business. Transaction processing, marketing, labor management, inventory control…
Key Features Venue Owners Need in a POS System
Make a list of the features you need. These should align with your business. For example, some venues might process more drink sales during a show; this venue would need a POS built for fast payments and order management.
Another venue might focus primary on ticketing and look for a POS that can streamline box office sales and use handheld devices for scanning tickets. These are features you might look for in your POS platform:
- Fast Ticketing: Quick and efficient ticket sales, both online and at the venue.
- Inventory Management: Real-time tracking of food, beverages, and merchandise.
- Payment Flexibility: Support for multiple payment methods, including cards and mobile payments.
- Staff Management: Scheduling, time-tracking, and performance metrics for employees.
- Customer Data Capture: Collection of customer contact information for marketing.
- Dynamic Pricing: Ability to implement variable pricing strategies for tickets and items.
- Reporting & Analytics: Real-time sales, inventory, and customer behavior reports.
- Loyalty Programs: Easy-to-manage customer rewards and loyalty schemes.
- Remote Access: Ability to manage the system remotely for added convenience.
- Security Features: Robust security protocols to protect against fraud and unauthorized access.
POS System Buyer’s Guide for Entertainment Venues
With an idea of the features that are available, you can begin to narrow down options. Here are some steps for picking the right POS platform:
- Assess Your Needs: Determine your specific requirements based on the type of events you host, the size of your venue, and the features you need most. Choose a system that can grow with your venue. Consider whether it can handle an increase in events, attendees, or operational complexity.
- Integration Capability: Ensure the POS system can integrate with your existing tools like ticketing platforms, access control systems, and accounting software. Check if the POS system supports mobile devices or handheld POS systems, enabling staff to take orders or sell tickets from anywhere in the venue.
- Ease of Use: Prioritize user-friendly interfaces to reduce training time for staff and minimize errors during busy events. Look for systems that allow you to customize menus, pricing, and settings to suit different events and seasons.
- Reporting and Analytics: Seek systems with robust reporting features to gain insights into sales patterns, attendance, and other key metrics.
- Security and Compliance: Prioritize systems with robust security measures to protect customer data and ensure compliance with payment industry standards.
- Customer Support and Training: Choose a provider known for excellent customer support and training resources to assist you and your staff.
- User Feedback: Gather feedback from your staff who will be using the system daily to ensure it aligns with their operational needs.
Breaking Down Costs
Here are some points to consider about the costs of a new POS system:
- Trial Period or Demo: Whenever possible, opt for a trial period or a demo of the POS system to ensure it meets your venue’s specific needs.
- Total Cost of Ownership: Consider the initial setup costs, subscription fees, transaction fees, hardware expenses, and any hidden charges.
- Contract Terms and Vendor Reputation: Review contract terms, cancellation policies, and the flexibility to adjust your plan as your venue’s needs evolve. Research the vendor’s reputation and reviews from other businesses in the hospitality or entertainment industry.
Bottom line, thanks to technology it’s easier than ever to implement a new POS system. However, to save time and money, it’s important to find a system that meets your current needs and positions your venue for growth and improved customer experiences in the future.
Transform Your Venue with FTx POS
FTx POS offers an all-in-one POS system. With our platform, you get all the tools you need to grow your venue. Some of our integrations include:
Handheld and Mobile Solutions
- Effortless Order Management: Arm your staff with the industry-leading handheld tool for swift, discreet order-taking, ensuring an uninterrupted experience for your audience.
- Real-Time Order Tracking: Monitor every order in real-time, with the ability to edit or replace entries instantly. Financial reconciliations are automated and sent directly to corporate oversight.
- Full-Featured Mobility: Transform your staff’s handheld devices into fully functional POS systems, complete with the ability to sell merchandise, box office tickets, or any other customer interests.
- Cloud-Powered Efficiency: Our robust cloud-based platform simplifies data collection and allows staff to transmit food and beverage orders directly to the kitchen, all without leaving the performance area.
- Intelligent Inventory Management: Analyze best-selling drinks and track inventory down to individual ingredients, so you’re always prepared to restock popular items.
- Unified Payment Solutions: Seamlessly manage ticket sales, merchandise, and in-show orders, regardless of the number of payment processing stations at your venue.
- Empowered Workforce Management: Utilize advanced staff management and scheduling modules to optimize performance and productivity.
- Customer Data Capture: Collect valuable customer contact details, like mobile numbers and email addresses, during payment for future direct marketing initiatives.
- Dynamic Sales Promotions: Showcase happy hour specials, new drink offerings, and best-selling items through visually appealing, rotating digital displays.
- Event Advertising: Prominently feature upcoming shows, comedians, and events on street-facing digital boards, complete with date, time, and ticket pricing.
- Remote Display Management: Control your digital signage from any location, whether it’s your home office or on-the-go via a tablet or phone.
- Open Mic Organization: Utilize digital screens to provide real-time lineup cues, helping your MCs maintain a smooth, timely flow throughout the night.
- Hassle-Free Rewards: Offer a simple points-earning system that enhances customer loyalty without complicating their experience.
- Customizable Promotions: Design your own targeted campaigns, featuring special deals, discounts, and giveaways to boost sales and cultivate a dedicated customer base.
- Flexible Reward Structures: Whether you opt for a Points-Per-Item or Dollars-Per-Item system, you maintain full control over your loyalty program’s mechanics.
- Item Eligibility Control: Specify which items can earn points, and exclude those that aren’t, giving you complete authority over your loyalty program.
Let us help your entertainment business grow! Contact FTx POS today to learn more about our POS software solutions.