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Notes on Running the Box Office

posted 15 Mar 2009, 12:08 by Chilbolton Players
These are intended as a guide only!
  • Need the green box file from the unit - or similar – to use as a storage base.
  • Design and print the tickets. It is useful to have different coloured tickets for the different performances. It makes life easier if these are numbered.
  • Where people are sitting at tables for a production it is useful to have a numbered list so that when people book you can list their names down immediately and match them to the number of their ticket.
  • Have a seating plan. For something like a pantomime or a play this is relatively easy as the producer/director decides the number of rows and how many in a row etc. 
  • For productions where a meal is being served things are a little more complicated. It is often difficult to finalise seating until the very last minute. This is because the seating is usually in groups of 8 around a table. Not everyone books a whole table, some book more than 8 seats and want everyone to sit at adjacent tables, often there are odd numbers to accommodate as well as cancellations etc. etc.
  • .It is helpful to have a couple of copies of the final seating plan on display in the foyer and on the door into the main hall. Some other body to help people find their seats is also a good idea.
  • Payment before the performance is best as it cuts down the confusion in the foyer and enables people to have a good look at the raffle prizes and buy lots of tickets! This may mean phoning people nearer the performances and gently offering a reminder.
  • Cheques should be made payable to The Chilbolton Players.
  • If tickets are to be collected on the door they should be put in an envelope with the name of the person who has booked together with how much money is owing etc.
  • Regarding cancellations and people asking for money back. This is a difficult one and largely depends on how close to the performance this is. Where food is being served, if you can sell the ticket to someone else that’s fine, otherwise use your own judgment or talk to the chairman and treasurer before making a decision.
  • If we have bought the food and cannot re-sell the seat, then they should at least be charged for the food.
  • Where food is being served it is helpful to assertain approximate numbers who require a veggetarian option and to liase with the catering team.
  • You need to let people know whether it is BYOD (bring your own drink) or whether we will be providing a bar. There is nothing to stop people bringing their own drink even if we do run a bar. Glasses in all cases will be provided.
  • The person running the box office is responsible for producing numbers to go on the tables or letters and numbers to go on the rows for other productions.
  • Above all you need a sense of humour, a pleasant telephone manner and a stiff drink to hand for that inevitable call when someone changes their mind at the last minute and doesn’t understand why they can’t have exactly the seat they want 3 hours before the performance!!