Introduction to Selling Tickets through Agents

Rachael Norris
Rachael Norris
  • Updated

Agents, or third parties, can be set up to sell tickets on your behalf through Spektrix. 

In this article, we’ll introduce our approach to selling tickets through Agents and how to record this in your system. We’ll also signpost to where you can find more information and step-by-step guides to walk you through setting this up.

 

Ways you can work with Agents

Working with Agencies can be a great way to reach new audiences and sell more tickets for your Events. An Agent is a third-party seller who has permission to sell tickets on behalf of your organisation. 

Agents are sometimes known as third-party resellers, distribution channels or ticketing partners. You can search for Agencies that we already work with in our Partner Directory (set the services category to Ticket Agents). 

There are two ways which allow Agents to sell on your behalf. Before moving on to set up your Agencies, you’ll need to decide which approach you want to take.

The first is through the Agency API, and the second is what we call Agencies Offline. In this section we’ll cover the benefits and challenges associated with each option.

REMINDER: Before you get started, it’s important to understand that all sales made by Agents through either option are made through their Individual Agent Customer Record. This means that customers who purchase through Agents won’t have their own Customer Record on your system.
Additional information about the customer such as name and address can be added to Orders processed by Agents. Further to this, it’s not possible to sell Ticket Subscriptions, Fixed Series or Memberships through Agents because for these items it’s important that the Customer Record attached is the individual who has purchased.

 

Agency API

The Agency API is a tool which allows Agents to access the live Seating Plan for your Events and sell tickets in real time. This means they can access any available seats and process sales instantly - just like someone booking online. 

Using the Agency API you can allow Agents to sell as many tickets as they can without restriction or you can also use Locks to limit the number of tickets an Agent can sell. 

TIP: The Agency API is specifically designed for working with Agents. If you’re looking for information about integrating your website with the Spektrix API then take a look at the What is an API? Support Centre article.

 

Benefits

  • We already have an established partnership with a number of Agencies which will save time setting up the API connection. Take a look at our Partner Directory to learn more.
  • Using the API, Agents can sell directly from your live allocation by replicating your Seating Plan and hosting this on their website.  This means that real time changes made to Events and Seating Plans on your system will be reflected on their website.
  • No manual administration is required to handle orders. By using the API you can see the details of everything that Agents are selling. An Agent can add First Name, Last Name, Customer Address and a Reference number which you can use to identify Agency orders.
  • You can allow Agents to sell without restriction or you can also use Locks to limit the number of tickets an Agent can sell. 
  • If you allow Agents to sell without restriction this means that Agents won’t run out of tickets to sell unless the Event sells out. Using this method there will be no need for Agents to get in touch to request increased allocations.

Challenges

  • Setting up the API connection can require a larger initial time investment versus working with Agencies Offline if the Agent you are working with does not already have an established integration with Spektrix.

TIP: If you’d like to work with an Agent that does not have an established integration with Spektrix, you or the Agent can contact our Support Team to receive help with setting this up. We also have a Guide for Ticket Agents on our Integrate Portal.

  • Because all Agency sales are processed through the Agent’s Customer Record, the Customers who purchase tickets through Agents won’t have Customer Records on your system. This means you can’t use their details in Customer Lists or Reports based on customer data. You can, however, ask Agents to supply customer data and use this to search for their Orders.
  • Agents cannot sell Fixed Series, Memberships, or Ticket Subscriptions via the API. Customers wishing to purchase these will need to book through your Box Office.
  • Buying tickets via the Agency API is limited to only two delivery methods- COBO/Will Call and Care of Agent.
    COBO/Will Call means that the customer will collect the tickets at the venue.
    Care of Agent means the Agent will send the tickets either by Text, Post, Email or E-ticket. You do not receive a copy of the tickets provided by the Agent, but you can always re-print the tickets generated via Spektrix from the Order.

 

Agencies Offline

Working with Agencies offline is an alternative to using the Agency API and is an approach which also has its own benefits and challenges. 

Working offline requires you to Lock an allocation (also known as set-asides or holds) of tickets for each Agent, and then manually process a transaction against the Agent’s Customer Record. Any unsold seats which are returned to you will also need to be returned and unlocked (sometimes these are referred to as ‘Mark backs’).

Benefits

  • You can use this with Agents who have not built an integration.
  • You control the seats that Agencies can sell, and you’ll have a clear view of how well they are selling. 

Challenges

  • Because there is not a live link to the Seating Plan, updates to allocations need to be communicated with the Agency regularly.
  • If the Agent want does not sell the tickets they have been allocated and wants to return them to you, you’ll need to process this manually (also known as mark backs).
  • It is more difficult for Agents to process last minute sales - the offline process relies on the Agent communicating sales to your organization.
  • You won’t receive any customer information alongside your Order.

 

How to start selling tickets through Agents

Before you start selling tickets through Agents, you’ll first need to check that the Agency feature is switched on for your system.

To check if you have the Agency feature switched on, navigate to any Individual Customer Record in the Sales Interface. Below Contact Preferences, and above Tags, you should see a panel which says Agent Commission and a checkbox marked Allowed Access to Agency API.

If you can see this then the feature is switched on. If you can’t see this then you’ll need to contact our Support Team to request that the Agency feature is switched on for you.

 

 

Further Reading

We’ve created a number of articles on the Support Centre to guide you through setting up your system to start working with Agencies. We recommend you read Setting Up Agencies first and then moving on to either Agency API or Agencies Offline.

  • Setting Up Agencies: Start by following the steps in this article to create Agency commission structures and Individual Records for each of the Agents you work with. 
  • Agency API or Agencies Offline: Once you have decided if you want to set up the Agency API or work with Agencies Offline, follow the steps in the corresponding article.
  • Searching for Agency API Orders on your system: This article will help you find orders made by Agencies using the Agency API.
  • Reporting and Invoicing for Agencies: This article will guide you through creating and running invoices and Reports for Agents on the sales for your events