11 Essential Items for a Worry-Free Box Office

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Box Office TipsYou planned for months and the big day is finally here. You fully anticipate a packed house. The nerves are setting in and you envision a line of yelling, frustrated patrons all the way around the block. Don’t worry; you got this.

Make sure your box office is equipped with these 11 essential items and enjoy a stress-free, organized opening night.

1. Will call. To get all of your attendees on a single list, enter all your comps and promotional tickets as box office transactions. Bring multiple copies of your will call as backup. Alphabetize the list and break it up into manageable segments (A-H in one line, I-P in another, Q-Z in the third).

2. Signage for will call + ticket sales. Hang signs high above the table so shorties in the back don’t have to stand on their toes just to see their places in line.

3. Guest list/seating chart. Print a copy of your guest list and seating chart in case you need them.

4. Barcodes for scanner app. If you will be using the (newly updated) Brown Paper Tickets’ Scanner App, activate the barcodes ahead of time in box office tools. Test out the app ahead of time so you’re ready to scan and comfortable with it.

5. Office supplies. You’ll need pens and paper to take notes, rubber bands and envelopes to sort your money, masking tape for signs and posters. Keep markers on hand so you can write on the tickets. Bring more than what you think you’ll need so you don’t run out.

6. Cash box. Carry enough cash to make change for people who pay with larger bills. Two hundred dollars in increments of mostly $1s and $5s is typically more than enough, but always round up. Put a sign up that asks for small bills—most will be happy to oblige.

7. 2-Way radios. Bring walkie-talkies so that you can easily communicate with staff and security. Test the radios so you’re positive they work.

8. Emergency protocol + first aid kit. Have the venue’s floor plan on hand along with your emergency protocol, evacuation plan and first aid kit.

9. Handstamps or wristbands (optional). Don’t forget handstamps or wristbands if you’re using them to identify who has paid.

10. Breath mints. Stinky bathrooms and floors in a dive bar are expected, welcome even. Stinky breath is not. Bring mints and gum for those up-close encounters. Always have enough to share when someone else’s breath is kicking.

11. Hand sanitizer. When scanning tickets, making change and greeting guests, you’ll touch hundreds of hands. We know you’re tough, but keep those nasty germs at bay, so that you don’t catch a cold before your next event.

What do you bring to ensure a successful box office? Share your ideas below.

Here’s our list in a printable format, so you can take it with you.

  • Susan Kane

    Hi, We used BPT last year and will do so again for our planned events this year. Question: For one of the events we would like to offer boxed dinners purchased at time of ticket sales. We would offer 6-8 different options also with the option of purchasing an extra dinner without an event ticket (for volunteers). So is this possible?

    • Amanda Halm

      Hi Susan, yes your idea is possible. Event organizers on our site have done this two ways: create separate prices rep. different meal choices or through questionnaire, where part of the purchasing process is marking down their food choice and noting allergies. We’d be happy to discuss this further. Please call us [24/7] at 800.838.3006 or email support [at] brownpapertickets [dot] com.

  • Ivan

    Hello Susan! It is possible to do this. It would need a little bit of set up. Please give us a call at 1.800.838.3006 so we can talk about how to set this up.