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Choosing a Ticketing and CRM System for Arts & Culture

Is your ticketing and CRM system still a good fit for your organization?

The ticketing and CRM system is the machine that runs your organization. Fundraising, sales, marketing, analytics, and trends: a good ticketing & CRM system is the center of all of these, driving your organization to meet its mission.

Choose the wrong system, and productivity drops. Emotions and frustration run high as your team members can't do their jobs effectively. And what if you are in a long-term contract that is difficult to change, with a vendor who is unresponsive to your needs?


Making the right system choice from the beginning is vital to your organization's success.

You can certainly choose a ticketing and CRM system on your own. We've outlined a 5-step process. But organizations continue to come to Group of Minds for independent guidance in choosing the right system. Our process limits risk and helps protect the investment. Group of Minds assists organizations in procuring systems by:

  • analyzing and synthesizing the costs/options/values of different ticketing & CRM vendors in a common language you can understand, so you can compare intelligently

  • exploring the impact of pricing changes on patrons, staff, and your budget, so you can forecast accurately

  • identifying hidden costs, so you can avoid being unpleasantly surprised

  • migrating the valuable data you have already gathered, so you can use it to create new insights

  • auditing that vendors deliver on what they promise -- that you are both in agreement on expectations, so that your expectations will be met, and exceeded

  • acting as your independent guide, representing your interests

Today, we are happy to add a new tool to our vendor-selection services.


Introducing the Ticketing/CRM Functionality Builder

Created by international arts consultant Roger Tomlinson, the Functionality Builder is a web-based tool that allows us to compare the software functionalities, limitations, and "bells and whistles" of 25+ ticketing & CRM vendors, over 600 different criteria in 23 categories. Group of Minds has partnered with The Ticketing Institute, and over the last 18 months has worked to adapt and expand this useful tool for launch in North America.

Take a quick tour in this video:


The system adds several benefits to our vendor-selection service:

  • Save time -- compare the capabilities of 25+ ticketing/CRM vendors in minutes, instead of weeks

  • Save money -- a wider range of vendor options allows for more competition and lower costs

  • Match fit-for-purpose -- our scoring system will tell you exactly which systems best match your specific needs

  • Remove emotion -- avoid any chance of being influenced by excellent salespeople by making your initial inquiries based on how well the system actually does what you need it to do

  • Serve as a platform -- run your entire procurement process via the Functionality Builder -- no more Excel spreadsheets or confusing RFP responses

But wait, do you help people to choose systems, or do you sell ticketing & CRM systems yourself?

We do not sell ticketing and CRM systems, nor take any finders fees, commissions, or any sort of compensation from any vendor. We simply assist arts & cultural organizations on choosing the ticketing and CRM that is the best fit for them, and work solely in the interests of our arts & cultural clients.

What does it cost?

[caption id="attachment_3084" align="alignright" width="499"] A sample of an organization's criteria being flagged as either "met" or "next version" from one vendor's response to the Functionality Builder[/caption]

The use of the Functionality Builder is one of the benefits to our ticketing & CRM consulting process.

The needs of each client are unique -- some clients simply want to compare systems, and other clients wish to have our assistance all the way through system implementation. Please get in touch, and we will learn more about your needs and provide you with a quote for vendor selection assistance.

Who is part of the system?

We work with many major ticketing & CRM vendors, and more are being added all the time. A selection of vendors participating in the Functionality Builder currently include (in no particular order):


What if the vendor I want to vet is not in the Functionality Builder?

They probably are! But even if they are not, when you run your RFP through Group of Minds, we will invite any vendor you would like to participate in our process, so that you can compare multiple vendors using the same criteria. Those vendors then stay in our database so that their scores can assist in future system selections.

How about listing some recent clients?

Recent clients using the Functionality Builder include: The Mount Baker Theater, The Handel & Haydn Society, Club Passim, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver International Film Festival, The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Sadlers Wells Theatre London, City Lights Theater Company, The Western Stage, and many more. We have assisted on selecting ticketing systems for theatres, symphonies, museums, community arts centers, jazz clubs, university performing arts programs, and many other types of cultural groups. References available on request.


In your future: a ticketing and CRM system that helps you do your very best

  • Advance to one comprehensive system that supports you in sales, fundraising, email marketing and CRM

  • Recapture staff time spent working with the old, difficult-to-use system

  • Simplify the user experience so it is easier for your patrons to transact

  • Raise the perception of your organization to patrons and funders

  • Increase revenues with the launch of powerful new functionalities

  • Gain a valued vendor partner who puts effort into the relationship to help you succeed


Independence has its benefits

We are deeply involved with the vendor community, as independent advisors representing our client nonprofit organizations. Consider the dollar amount running though your organization's ticketing & CRM system each year. It does not need to be a difficult process. Our job is to give you peace of mind that you are collaborating with an independent expert who knows each system and can shepherd you through the process.

Let us know your needs. We will discuss your current situation, explore your future expectations, and map out the milestones of how to get there.


Curious how your organization matches your current ticketing and CRM system? Get in touch for a tour of our tools and services. We look forward to helping you succeed in choosing the right system.

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