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After a few years of being empty due to COVID-19, museum visits are back on the rise. In fact, some estimates put 2023 attendance levels at 98.6% of 2019’s. Visitation may even climb to new heights in 2024.
If you’re a museum operator, you no doubt want to ride this wave of rising popularity. This means you need a reliable ticketing platform that can handle your customer volumes. But with so many options available, choosing the best online booking software for museums can be challenging.
There are endless factors to consider, such as price, features, and customer management capabilities. In this guide, we’re breaking down three popular platforms to help you determine which museum ticketing software is best for you.
Resova is the ultimate booking software for its diversity, price, and exceptional integrability. Founded in 2015, Resova has had nearly a decade to prove itself in the booking platform industry—and prove itself it has.
To get a better sense of why Resova is a top choice for museum ticketing, particularly for interactive museums, consider these pros:
- Capable clientele management – With Resova, customers can easily make and manage bookings, complete interactive museum waivers online, and more. Plus, Resova can collect fees via multiple platforms—including their new, homegrown payment service, ResovaPay.
Likewise, it facilitates breezy Customer Relationship Management (CRM. Resova allows you to build detailed profiles for your clientele and send them relevant offers that match their preferences and demographics.
- Countless features – Beyond customer bookings, Resova keeps customers up-to-date with timely, automated email and SMS reminders. This significantly reduces the chance of no-shows and helps effectively market special offers and events, like discounted days or upcoming exhibits. Plus, you can easily manage your staff and set schedules via a shared calendar.
- Powerful insights and marketing tools – Resova compiles and organizes critical
reporting and analytics about your sales and attendance so you’ll always know what days and exhibits perform best. Resova lets you compile reviews, facilitate automated email campaigns, and share customer testimonials on social media to attract more visitors.
- Impressive integrations – From Facebook to WordPress, Shopify, and more, Resova offers a seamless experience when integrated into the web’s most popular platforms. This means customers can book without having to leave their current page.
- Incredible pricing – Resova boasts a month-long free trial for interested businesses. Paid packages start at just $35 a month and increase exponentially in value, yet only slightly in price. As a bonus, there are no terms or contracts—so you can upgrade or cancel anytime.
However, every booking platform has potential disadvantages to consider. For Resova, these may include:
- Monthly maximums – Resova supports up to 600 monthly bookings and scheduling for 10 team members. If your business requires more, you must speak to Resova’s sales team about their Enterprise plan.
- Regionality – Resova currently focuses operations on the North American and European markets. They have data centers in the USA and Europe and accept USD, CAD, EURO, and GBP for payment. Your payment and website hosting options may be limited if you’re outside these regions.
Want to learn more about modern museum marketing? Read our ultimate guide.
2: Planning Pod
Planning Pod is a ticketing system created to help event professionals organize and manage their bookings. Having evolved from a prototype back in 2006, Planning Pod has had many iterations over the years. Some of the upsides of its most recent version include:
- Booking diversity – Planning Pod is, first and foremost, an event booking system. While it works for museums and timed entry tickets, it also functions well for various other occasions, such as concerts, corporate parties, and camps.
If you frequently host special events, such as galas or social gatherings in your museum, it might be a potential booking system to consider.
- A useful proposal generator – Planning Pod’s proposal generator simplifies group quotes by quickly calculating product and service costs in line with the number of guests and time requested. Then, it lets you customize the proposal with templates, descriptions, images, and color coding.
- Detail tracking capabilities – Events often have many moving parts, and Planning Pod allows you to keep track of them relatively easily. In addition to selling tickets and collecting RSVPs, it lets you track factors such as individual food and beverage orders, equipment rentals, and vendor assignments.
While Planning Pod certainly has some evident benefits, there are also some blatant downsides to be aware of. Some of the platform’s key cons include:
- Lack of focus – Planning Pod aims to be a catch-all booking platform for events and venues. However, their software may lack the specific features museum owners like you need from a booking platform. For instance, interactive museums may be unable to offer patrons digital waivers before their visits.
- High prices and fixed-term contracts – Planning Pod is one of the most expensive and contractually inflexible booking software options currently available. Their most basic plan starts at $150 monthly and requires signing a one-year contract (billed annually) before you can access their suite of services.
- Limited payment options – Customers booking and paying through Planning Pod have few choices for payment processing. There’s no internal support for PayPal, Zelle, or transfer services, and it doesn’t have its own credit card processing platform. It does integrate some major payment services, such as Stripe and Square, but these come at a high cost. Customers can expect an extra 3.2% plus a fixed fee to pay through these channels.
TicketingHub is a well-known and widely utilized booking platform despite being potentially the most expensive on this list. Regardless of its high price, TicketingHub does boast some favorable features, such as:
- Functional booking and insight services – Like other booking software, TicketingHub allows your customers to make and manage their bookings based on your museum’s availability. It also offers some essential insights—such as sales figures and audience demographics—to help you better steer your marketing and business decisions.
- No contracts – TicketingHub doesn’t require you to sign extended agreements or pay monthly installments. Instead, it’s flexible to your museum’s specific needs—so if your guests are seasonal, you won’t have to worry about paying when profit margins are slim.
Despite this flexibility, TicketingHub’s billing structure isn’t as generous as it seems. Its primary disadvantage comes down to:
- Hidden costs – TicketingHub takes 3% of all payments processed through their services. For museums making over $1,200 monthly, that’s more than Resova’s $35 Lite plan. For any institution pulling in over $5,000 monthly, it’s more expensive than even the highest-end plans on this list. While TicketingHub does allow you to pass this fee on to your customers, raising prices is generally off-putting to customers.
Exhibit Your Museum’s Wonders by Booking Through Resova
When it comes to quality of service, diversity of features, and affordable pricing, there’s simply no better museum ticketing service than Resova. Resova lets you easily manage bookings, quickly and affordably collect payments, and effectively market to potential clientele via email, SMS, and social media—all on one platform.
Plus, Resova is reliable and user-friendly, ensuring that your customers return to your site (and your museum) again and again. For the ultimate booking platform for museums, choose Resova. Start your Free Trial today.
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