If you’re looking to ensure an equal experience for everyone visiting your organisation, it’s worth considering making free Personal Assistant tickets available to those access visitors who require 1:1 support. By offering these additional tickets at no extra cost, you’ll be ensuring that these customers can have their access requirements met without incurring an additional cost.
NOTE: your organisation may currently refer to people offering this 1:1 support for your access customers as Carers or Companions; however Attitude is Everything advocates for “the use of the term ‘Personal Assistant’ in relation to providing free tickets to a customer who requires assistance [...] as this is a neutral phrase that can apply to all forms of personal support.” See their guidance here for more information.
Whether you’re looking to get started offering free Personal Assistant tickets or already do but want to make these tickets bookable online, this article is designed to help.
Steps to take
You could, if you wanted, make Personal Assistant tickets available online just like any other tickets. However, chances are you’d prefer to make sure that only eligible customers can make use of these tickets. With that in mind, we suggest using an Offer in Spektrix to let only eligible customers purchase these tickets online – here are the steps you’ll need to take in order to set this up:
- Decide upon and publish eligibility criteria
- Identify and flag eligible customers
- Set up a new Ticket Type
- Build the Offer to apply the discount
Eligibility for free Personal Assistant tickets
Free Personal Assistant tickets are for people who provide a service without which the access customer would not be able to attend an event, class, workshop or otherwise at your organisation. These tickets are not intended to be used by customers who simply want someone to attend with them, or who just need assistance with transportation to your venue.
Not all of your access customers will require a free Personal Assistant ticket, so it’s important to ensure everyone is aware of who is eligible, what evidence they need to provide, and what expectations you have regarding the 1:1 support their Personal Assistant will give.
We’d recommend you have a thorough read of Attitude is Everything’s guidance on free Personal Assistant tickets. You should also strongly consider devoting a page on your website (or a section of your access page) to explaining who is eligible for these tickets, what evidence you will require and the commitments you expect a Personal Assistant to make when visiting. If you’d like any guidance on this, please do get in touch with the Spektrix Support team and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.
Identifying eligible customers in Spektrix
In order to allow customers to purchase these tickets online, you’ll need to flag them in the system. We’d recommend using a Tag that can be applied to a customer’s record once they’ve provided evidence of their eligibility. If you already have an Access Tag Group that’s available online, you’ll want to create a separate one that’s only available via the Box Office.
In the Admin Interface, go to Customers > Tags and click Add to create a new Tag Group. You can then create a normal Tag called something along the lines of ‘I require a Personal Assistant’ within this group which you’ll be able apply manually to any eligible customer’s record in the Sales Interface.
Setting up Personal Assistant tickets
Before you create a Price List for an Event, you’ll need to set up a Personal Assistant ticket and make sure it’s available for customers to purchase online - so you’ll need to set it up as a Web Type. You’ll need to have the General Administrator user role on your account to be able to do this.
In the Admin Interface, head to Pricing > Ticket Types and create your new Web Type. See this article for more information on how to do that.
Once that’s done, go to Pricing > Price Lists and either create a new Price List or edit an existing one.
NOTE: if you edit an existing Price List that’s in use for any Instance(s), you’ll see a pop-up asking if you want to update none, some or all of those Instances here:
Any Instances you choose not to update will retain the original Price List, listed as Custom in the Price List section.
You’ll want to set the Personal Assistant ticket to have a cost associated with it here, typically the same as a full price ticket – this will ensure that, if someone isn’t eligible for a free Personal Assistant ticket, they’ll pay the same for this as they would for any other ticket. However, anyone who meets the eligibility criteria will have an Offer kick in and discount this down to zero.
Discounting a Personal Assistant ticket using an Offer
Still in the Admin Interface, head to Other > Offers and create a new Package Offer. You’ll want to set this Offer up as follows:
In the Basic Details section, both Active and Active in box office should be ticked:
In the Discount section, choose the two Ticket Types you want to include in this Package Offer and set the quantity for each to 1. Under Discount logic, choose to Discount by a percentage.
Then, tick the first box underneath Discount? next to the Ticket Type you want to discount (we’d recommend you choose the Personal Assistant ticket for ease of reporting) and set a discount of 100%. It’s up to you if you want to waive commission and delivery for the discounted item; to do so, tick the second box beneath Discount? to Waive Cmsn/Dlry?:
In the Event Criteria section, you can choose to include or exclude tickets bought for particular Events from this Offer. While it’s important that you make your programme accessible to all by allowing this discount to be used for as much of it as is possible, there might be occasions when this simply isn’t possible.
In order to make your life a bit easier, consider creating a checkbox Event Attribute called something along the lines of ‘Exclude From PA Offer’ (see this article for guidance on setting up Attributes) which you can tick as needed.
With that done, select the Specific Events option and drag down the Event Attributes criteria, then set it to include Events which don’t have this particular Event Attribute box ticked:
In the Limits section, select the Max Applications to 1 Per customer per event, ensuring that a customer can only use this Offer once per Event they book for:
In the Eligibility section, you’ll choose the criteria your customers will need to meet to receive this Offer. Set it to include anyone who has the ‘I require a Personal Assistant’ Tag against their record:
You might also have an 'I am a Personal Assistant' Tag, which you can just add as an alternative criteria using the OR rule.
Finally, in the Website section, you’ll need to tick the box for Active on website, give this Offer a Name on web and tick the box to say that there’s No website content necessary. You’ll also want to ensure that you leave the box next to Show online in savings panel unticked:
Once that’s done, your Offer is finished and ready to be used. As with all Offers in Spektrix it will automatically apply when all of the criteria are met.
The Offer will appear like this in the Sales Interface:
And like this within the iframe:
NOTE: as this discount will only apply once a customer with the correct eligibility criteria has logged into their account, you may wish to flag this within the booking pathway – you can do so by heading to Settings > System Setup > Custom Website Messages and adding text to the field labelled Custom message for basket.aspx. To add formatting to this text, you'll need to use Wikitext markup; this is a way to easily format content that works with the styling (CSS) made by your web designers. More information on how you can use this can be found in our article on Website Content.
Using Spektrix’s report tools, you can easily track sales of particular Ticket Types. Within the Insights & Mailings Interface, you’ll find a number of standard reports that can help you keep an eye on sales both ahead of and after an Event.
An Event Sales Report (instances summary) run using the By Event or By Date criteria will show you the total sales for an Instance, with a breakdown of all the Ticket Types sold in the bottom left. You might run this report in advance of an Instance in order to see how many people will be bringing Personal Assistants with them, or after the fact to confirm the number who did attend.
If you want a more overarching picture of how many Personal Assistant tickets you’ve sold over the course of a run of a particular Event, a Ticket Sales Analysis report run By Event can show you the overall number of each Ticket Type sold.
It’s likely you already run a daily Duty Manager’s report, in order to give your Front of House team a heads-up about how many people have already purchased tickets for an Instance happening that day. We can either add some further information to an existing report or create something new for you which will include any sales of Access or Personal Assistant tickets, along with order numbers and customer names. Either way, we’d ask you to make a request via our Report Request Form with a mock-up of how you want this information to be laid out (or, in the case of an edit to an existing report, where you want this additional information to be added) and a full breakdown of which Ticket Types, Seating Locks, Order Attributes and/or Memberships you want this to report on.
If you have any further questions about setting up online access booking or using Offers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team.