If you love waiting in lines for hours for things, then I’ve got some bad news for you: Bend-based Flybook recently debuted its new Smart Ticket technology, which aims to create more efficient ticketing operations for adventure parks, rock gyms, zip line tours and the like. All that line time? Just gone. Now when are you going to look at Facebook?
CEO Craig Langer says the idea for the product evolved after a customer discovered his company at the American Outdoors Association show last year in Salt Lake. “They were looking for other options when it came to their ticketing process, and they weren’t finding much,” he says.
Creating a Smart Ticket system proved a natural extension of The Flybook’s flagship product, online booking software for tour guides and outfitters. The system releases tickets in batches, allowing customers to buy tickets for a predetermined time, instead of waiting in line. An integration with Smartwaiver (two Bend tech companies working together: I’m crying) wraps all the release waivers into the purchase as well.
From The Flybook:
One of the many features of Smart Tickets is a control called “ticket rationing.” This allows business owners to flex in real time their availability. For example, imagine a waterpark that has a capacity of 500, and the facility opens at 8:00am. The water park can release tickets for entry based on their maximum capacity. They can release a larger block of tickets early in the day in order to encourage a ramp up to their daily capacity. Then the system can hold at that capacity. In other words the rationing allows for segmented ticket disbursement so that businesses can get to capacity faster, stay there for longer periods of time. Business then can leverage that data for targeted micro-promotions for forecasted attendance variances.
In addition, a QR code on each ticket means that tour operators know when their customers have completed the activity (which they often do before their time limit) and allows them bring in more adventurers. The tour operators essentially have a real-time look at the capacity in their parks or tours, and can maximize their operations as a result.
The Flybook earns a fee per ticket. The Smart Ticket system is currently at 12 locations, and Langer anticipates they’ll process 500,000 tickets this year.
In meantime, the company’s reservation software remains steady business, even as the market has exploded with competitors. “Our product is as stable as it’s ever been,” Langer says. The Flybook was a growth stage finalist at the Bend Venture Conference in 2013.
The company remains fully bootstrapped, though Langer says he’s still open to funding. It currently has 8 employees now and a planned 13 by the end of August. They also moved into office downtown. And Langer assures that there’s more news from to come. We’ll keep you posted!
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].