First a suggested solution: Give the individual Branson show the option of having the link from the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB “Buy Now Button,” (BNB), for THEIR show listing on the “ExploreBranson.com (EBC) show page,” go directly to a page on the shows web site where tickets can be directly purchased OR, in the alternative, to a page of another web site, of their choice, from which their tickets can be directly purchased. i.e. The BNB for the “Bad Button Jamboree Show” could link directly to the page on the Button Jamboree Show web site where they directly sell their tickets to THEIR show or directly to a page on another website of their choice, from which tickets to their show can be purchased.
“But Seagull, why should shows even have to make a choice? Isn’t a link to their website in the listing for THEIR show on the EBC show schedule?” Yes, it is, and prior to about November 19, 2015, that’s all there was. If someone on EBC wanted information or tickets for THEIR show, they selected the link, were directed to the shows website, and went on from there.
However, on November 19, “a day, that will live in infamy,” in terms of the swiftness, stealth, and the manner in which the button magically materialized, a “Buy Now Button” suddenly appeared in the shows listing on EBC, to the left of the button linking to the shows website. If the BNB is selected, the user is sent to a third party website that the CVB, in an Ole Seagull’s opinion, arbitrarily and capriciously selected without any effective input from Branson’s shows, its many ticket resellers, or competitive bidding.
Without the knowledge or consent from the individual shows, the CVB, on its own initiative, put a mechanism in place that substantially reduces the chances of a show getting the full ticket price for their ticket by diverting prospective customers from going to the shows website to the CVB’s third party site. “But Seagull, isn’t a ticket sale, a ticket sale?” “Not unless you call getting full price for a ticket the same as getting full price minus ‘x’ percent.”
Tickets sold through both the shows own website and the CVB’s third party website are, in the majority, sold at the same price. The difference is in the amount the show actually receives from the sale. If a customer links directly to the “Bad Button Jamboree Show” and purchases a $30.00 ticket, the show grosses $30.00. On the other hand, if a customer links to the CVB’s third party site, the show receives the $30.00 discounted by x percent. If “x” was 15% then the show would receive $25.50, $30.00 minus $4.50.
“But Seagull, isn’t that what happens now when shows give resellers an FIT discount rate to sell their tickets?” “That’s true, but each show makes that decision for itself with each seller it wishes to establish a relationship with, based on their overall marketing plan.” To the best of an Ole Seagull’s knowledge, no show had entered into an FIT agreement with the CVB to sell their tickets through a third party website prior to it suddenly dropping the BNB bomb on or about November 19. “How can they do it? Can anyone just sell a show’s tickets through a third party seller without their permission?” “Evidently so.”
“How do Branson’s ticket resellers feel about it?” An Ole Seagull has not talked to any of them about their feelings, but he didn’t feel “the love” in the room this morning [Dec. 12] from them at a meeting with the CVB when this matter was discussed.
“But didn’t CVB officials tell the Branson Aldermen recently that the BNB was necessary to compete with the sites of our competitors offering similar services?” “In an Ole Seagulls opinion, that was the impression their statements intended to create.” “Is that the reality?” “Not unless you believe Branson is seriously competing with Las Vegas and New York.” When specifically asked if Gatlinburg, Pidgeon Forge, Wisconsin Dells or Myrtle Beach had a similar button for shows or attractions at the above mentioned meeting, the CVB answer was basically “No,” but that New York City and Las Vegas did.
Really, give an Ole Seagull a break! Thank the Lord this is Branson, Missouri and not like New York City or Las Vegas; at least for the moment.