Gateway Ticketing Systems, a leading provider of admission control systems, has brought its Galaxy Ticketing and Guest Experience solution to Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, UK. The cathedral is both a popular historical monument and a living church, with a large congregation.
Hundreds of thousands of guests visit the iconic attraction each year, where they can take a tour and explore the sacred space, home to one of only four surviving original 1215 copies of the Magna Carta. The Cathedral also hosts school groups, concerts, art exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, talks and more.
A busy venue
This May, Salisbury Cathedral began using Gateway’s Galaxy solution to sell general admission, and then this autumn it rolled the system out for its wider events, such as the popular five day sound and light spectacular, Sarum Lights: Heaven and Earth.
This event, which opened on 9 November, is the work of artist Peter Walker and composer David Harper. It presents stunning projections inside and outside the venue, alongside soundscapes that immerse the guest in the beauty of the natural world.
The Cathedral is also using Galaxy’s box office capabilities. More than 900 guests were booked for the Cathedral’s Girl’s Choir’s recent 30th Anniversary Gala Concert. Currently, tickets are being booked for both Monteverdi Vespers in November and Handel’s Messiah in December.
Galaxy is helping the Cathedral to manage capacity in the wake of the pandemic as well, for instance by introducing a cap for popular events.
Solving pain points
The operator came to Gateway Ticketing Systems with several friction points in their previous ticketing solution. The Cathedral needed a system able to sell capacity managed and timed tickets and manage Gift Aid and donations from supporters.
Hannah Paye, Salisbury Cathedral’s visitor experience and bookings manager says, “We wanted a system that can carry out a wide range of functions, which can get complicated. We’re not just selling tickets, we’re managing capacity, entry times, taking individual bookings online and on-site, managing large and small Travel Trade groups and running a box office – all through Galaxy. Luckily Rachel Shaw, Gateway’s implementation specialist assigned to us, is a brilliant troubleshooter and problem solver.”
Thanks to the Galaxy Ticketing Point-of-Sale, the eGalaxy Web Store and Galaxy Admission Control, Salisbury Cathedral is now able to sell tickets onsite and online and admit their guests. With Resource and Capacity Management for Galaxy, these tickets are taken from a centralized database, meaning that the attraction can cap the number of guests inside the venue at any given time, and control the times they are able to enter.
In addition to this, the Cathedral is also using the Order Entry function for group visits. In the future, it may also opt for Reserved Seating for Galaxy, allowing it to offer tiered prices for tickets based on seat location and set different prices for ticket products according to the sales channel.
The operator is also considering using Group Sales on the Web to cater to its school community and corporate groups, as well as CRM Plus, to bring together transactional and behavioural data for the purposes of planning and personalisation.
A continuing relationship
“I’m absolutely thrilled to see Galaxy in operation at Salisbury Cathedral and glad to welcome the Salisbury team to the Gateway family in person,” says Joe Marshall, general manager of Gateway Ticketing Systems UK. “It was an amazing achievement by teams on both sides to turn this project around in only six weeks and have grown the project to this point in just six months.”
“With each new sale and implementation, we learn more about the ticketing and guest experience needs of attractions and venues,” adds Peter Wolf, director of sales and marketing at Gateway Ticketing Systems.
“The project with Salisbury Cathedral was no different. In a short time, we learned more about the pain points and requirements for Cathedrals and similar cultural institutions, and we look forward to a continued relationship of learning and successes. We’ll use what we’ve learned to continue to support our customers in the region and bring better solutions to those seeking a new ticketing system.”
Gateway recently onboarded Phoenix Zoo with Galaxy Connect, meaning that the venue can streamline its ability to sell tickets on third-party distributor websites.
Top image credit Ash Mills