How many hours have your staff spent organising events, selling tickets, collecting cash, giving refunds, explaining the details of the events to parents, all during the school’s busiest periods? Trybooking is a service which does all the legwork for staff and can be used from parents’ evening to the Christmas concert – and some of the service is free. Here, managing director Joan Lind answers QA Education’s questions on how it works…
Where did the idea for Trybooking come from?
Trybooking was founded in Australia and was designed to solve the problem of too much paperwork, admin time and cash handling when putting on any size or type of school event. We were parents in Sydney who enjoyed the ease of booking online with Trybooking from any device and then immediately receiving emailed tickets. Be that for concerts, fundraising events, sports camps, parent teacher meetings etc.
When we returned to the UK, we launched Trybooking in 2014 to schools and other community-based organisations – for example charities, choirs and amdram.
What does Trybooking offer in terms of booking, tickets, notifications etc?
Trybooking enables any type of event to be easily booked online with all details easily completed be that a simple concert with a chosen seat, or a parent-teacher meeting with individual time slots for each teacher, or open days, school trips, exam papers, courses and conferences.
All booking confirmations are fulfilled with an automatic email and emailed tickets and booking confirmation which have both barcodes and QR Codes, so great for scanning if required. For example, a concert in a venue outside of the school.
Additionally the school can set up various notifications so they get an email when a booking is made, or they can email all ticket buyers at any point to advise new information like a change of venue or start time. They can also set up an email that is sent at the same time as the automatic email, with tickets from them showing further details like a map.
Do schools buy a one-off product or a subscription to your service?
Neither, it is a simple pay-as-you-use approach. They can use us as regularly or irregularly as they wish. All clients open a complimentary account. We only get paid when the school is being paid for an event. All free events are free to manage via Trybooking. Details of our transparent and simple pricing approach are on our website.
How many schools offer Trybooking?
We work with hundreds of schools, colleges and universities as well as educational associations, across a mix of independent, state and grammar schools.
Because we are not a software solution, but a cloud-based solution, we sit nicely alongside other software solutions in schools to enable much easier event management of bookings and ticketing. There are so many nuances to events be it registration forms for trips, dietary requirements for a fundraiser or time slots for parent-teacher meetings. And of course easy and quick payment means improved cashflow for the school.
Is Trybooking suitable for primary as well as secondary?
Yes it is, but we find most of our schools are secondary as primary schools don’t always see it as relevant, as they think they are too small. This is not the case, and those primary schools who use us find it incredibly valuable and saves staff time, as well as making it easier for parents. Primary schools mainly use Trybooking for parent-teacher meetings, fundraising events and concerts, especially the Christmas nativity, to manage numbers. So if they have a smaller hall, they can limit tickets per family or show it over two nights and parents book their preferred evening.
What kind of feedback have you received from staff and parents?
All positive! Before Trybooking, Holly from The Hollywood Studio of Performing Arts in Kirkby Lonsdale spent countless hours sorting registrations, collecting data, selling tickets and chasing payments and less time doing what she loves. She needed a solution that would work quietly in the background and enable her to focus on teaching.
She came to Trybooking and found everything she was looking for and more. Holly said, “TryBooking has been the best experience for selling tickets that we have tried. It’s so simple to use and easy to operate.” They now have a new virtual staff member that works 24/7, collecting registration details and payments.
The Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls are currently hosting several events with us, including an open-air cinema in September, and other schools we work with include Kingston Grammar School and Cardinal Vaugham Memorial School Concert (Sunday Times State School of the Year).