Box Office Manager
You will serve two primary duties in most productions staged by BCT: Preparing tickets and making them available for customers to purchase, and collecting and accounting for the money which customers pay. It is best if one person (you) handles both the advance sales and the lobby box-office counter. If you cannot do both, select a very reliable co-worker to take the other half of the duty.
THE IDEAL BOX OFFICE MANAGER SHOULD:
- Have excellent organizational skills.
- Be familiar with excel spreadsheets.
- Be proficient in math.
- Have an eye for detail.
Do you want to be the Box Office Manager?
- Talk with the Production Manager to determine who will handle the distribution of tickets to the outlets and the collection and deposits of outlet receipts. If you will be responsible for outlet sales as well as box office sales, then agree on procedures to be used regarding where and when tickets will be sold and the procedures to collect and deposit sales receipts.
- Determine who is in charge of designing and ordering the tickets & how many to order. PBP usually provides 300 seats, BSU main stage 280 seats, BSU black box 100 seats. Tickets should be numbered and include: the Title of Show, place, day and date, time, price(s), (adult & child).
- Determine the details regarding distribution and processing of complimentary tickets.
PRIOR TO TECH WEEK:
- Tickets should normally be at the distribution outlets 20 days before the show opens.
- Develop a system to organize the outlet tickets. A multi-pocket "wallet" for each location works well. Include your name and phone number on the lid of the wallet so the outlets know how to contact you. Tickets for each day's performance should be in a separate pocket.
- Be accurately aware of closing time of each location, so you can pick-up unsold tickets.
FOR TECH WEEK:
- Before each performance, pick up unsold tickets from the outlets (so you can sell them at the box-office) and whatever money they have collected for ALL sales made thus-far.
- We do NOT try to 'balance' the money with the particular date printed on each ticket.
- If the show is popular, you may have to "juggle" tickets from one outlet to another.
RUNNING THE BOX OFFICE IN THE THEATER LOBBY:
- Secure a helper to work with you for each performance (business can get brisk).
- Develop a system to separate and sell tickets for future performances without confusion.
- Secure enough 'change' of appropriate denominations from the Treasurer. (Usually $200-$300)
- If a 'sell-out' seems imminent, begin a waiting list and then take steps to be fair about who on the waiting list gets tickets and in what sequence (sometimes a party of two can get in when four cannot). Use your good judgment, be prepared to defend your choices, keep smiling)
- DANGER: If you have sold all the tickets for a performance, DON'T attempt to use empty seats remaining just before curtain time to admit people who want to buy a last-minute seat. Whoever bought that ticket has bought the seat, whether or not they are sitting in it. They may arrive ten minutes late, or even at intermission. This is why you must keep track of how many seats are available in the auditorium, and how many tickets have been sold, and how many remain unsold.
- What about phone calls asking to reserve tickets for pick-up later? This has to be approached cautiously, to avoid holding tickets which will never be picked-up, and thus cannot be sold to a real live customer. All callers should be told that tickets are 'General Admission' and that late arrivals get poorer seats.
- If you decide to accept phone calls to hold tickets, the caller must be told that tickets must be picked up and paid for at least 45 minutes before the curtain
- We CANNOT deal with credit cards. If they call several days before the date they want, they can mail a check to you, and we will hold their tickets.
- Once everyone is seated, collect all the ticket stubs in order to prepare the Box Office Report.
- Prepare a Box Office Report for the Production Manger summarizing the activity each night. This report should include a count of how many 'ticketed' customers (including free promotional tickets) attended each performance. Don't count ushers, concessions workers etc. List adults and children separately. This number ought to come close to matching with the original number of tickets printed, and the number of unsold tickets remaining.
After the final performance, prepare a final Box Office Report compiling all the previous reports into one.