Will-call lists

If you’re selling tickets by multiple methods, or you like to offer the option to your attendees to simply be checked off on a list or pick up their tickets at the event, then you’ll find a will-call list to be valuable.

My Tickets can produce two different types of will-call lists, both produced by the My Tickets “Reports” screen. The first list is a list of ticket purchasers. This list shows each person who has purchased tickets, along with the types and number of tickets they purchased. If they purchased two different types of tickets (Adult and Child, for example), then they will appear on the list twice, once for each type of ticket.

The second type of will-call list is a list of tickets. This list will show all tickets registered for this event, with the purchaser name, purchase ID, ticket type and ticket price. In this case, the purchaser’s name will appear on the list as many times as the number of tickets they purchased – if they purchased 8 tickets, they will appear on the list 8 times.

Which list is best for you really depends on how your purchasers tend to buy tickets, and which type of event you run.

Printable and E-tickets

A printable ticket

Printable and E-tickets are fundamentally the same, but the templates are substantially different; e-tickets are designed for use on a mobile device, in particular. Both types of tickets use QR codes for validation, and you can use any QR scanning device (mobile phone app, iPad, etc.) to scan the QR code and go to the validation URL for that ticket.

If you want the ticket to be marked internally as used, you’ll need to be logged in within your QR scanning device. Many QR code scanning applications provide the ability to open the scanned URL in a browser of your choice, but this is not available in all applications. I’ve had success using the Scan.me app for iOS and Android.

Ticket verified on a mobile device.The validation URL for the ticket will show the name, date, and time of the event, so you can verify that the ticket is for the current event. It will also indicate whether the ticket is verified; if it is, it will show a message saying “Ticket Verified“.

If the ticket is a valid ticket, but has already been checked by a ticket taker who is logged-in to the site and has the ‘mt-verify-ticket’ capability, the message will also indicate that the ticket has been used. Tickets are only registered as having been used if the ticket taker is logged-into your web site and has the correct permissions. By default, only administrators have the capability, but you can assign it to any user.

You can assign capabilities on a user-by-user basis in their user profiles. Only administrators can assign capabilities.

If the ticket ID was not valid, the message displayed will be “Not a valid ticket ID“.

You can customize the tickets using standard WordPress templating methods. My Tickets load a template called ‘tickets.php’ for use as the tickets template; if you place a file by that name in your theme directory, that template will be used in place of My Ticket’s default template.

Payments List

The payments list (WordPress Dashboard > Payments) is a pretty straightforward custom post type screen with a few key changes.

First, the screen includes the status of the payment, the total value of that shopping cart, and the receipt ID for the cart. Receipt IDs are generated very early on in the process, so even unsubmitted carts will have a receipt ID assigned already.

Carts that have been created but not submitted for payment will be labeled as “Active Cart” in the list. These will usually linger until they’re completed; My Tickets doesn’t currently automatically clear out old data. However, all active carts also have the “draft” post status, so you can view a list of all active carts by viewing the draft payments.

Display of payments screen.

Payments can have one of four statuses: Completed, for payments that are paid and processed; Pending, for payments still awaiting payment, Failed for any payments where the payment was attempted, but failed, and Refunded, if you’ve refunded the payment.

You can filter the screen to show only payments with one of these statuses, for easier navigation. If you have a large volume of pending payments to mark as completed, you can do that as a bulk action.

Mass Email purchasers

It’s sometimes necessary to send an email to everybody who’s purchased a ticket for a particular event. Maybe it’s because there’s a last minute venue change, a cancellation, or a time change – whatever the reason, it’s valuable to be able to send a quick message to everybody coming to an event.

Send Mass Email form

For the most reliable delivery, you should generally use a mailing service like MailChimp or My Emma, but My Tickets will do the job for reasonable numbers of purchasers.

The interface for mass emailing purchasers can be found on the Reports screen in your WordPress dashboard. By default, the message will be sent in HTML format, so you can use HTML in your message.

My Tickets doesn’t provide a direct mechanism to add a header or footer to your message, but it does provide a filter (mt_modify_email_body) that you can use to mass modify all email messages sent by My Tickets. This filter is applied to all email messages sent in any context by My Tickets, so you should take that into consideration when you write filters for these messages. The filter does receive one argument other than the message body, which is a variable indicating whether the message is sent to an admin or a purchaser.

Reporting

My Tickets offers a variety of basic reports. You can generate reports of sales by date, retrieving all sales occurring between the two selected dates or reports of sales by event, retrieving all sales on that event.

Forms to select available reports.

Additionally, you can generate a list of tickets sold for an event. This is different from the list of purchases, in that it will list all of the ticket IDs that are valid for a given event, with the name of the purchaser, purchase ID, and ticket price. In the HTML view, it will provide a link to edit the associated purchase record, as well.

By default, when you enter the reporting page, it’ll show you a list of all sales within the last 7 days. If you’re running a high volume ticketing site, where this is too long of a list for comfort, you can use the filter ‘mt_default_report_start_date’ to pass a custom string formatted date argument and change the amount of data shown.

You can either view reports as HTML on your screen or export them as CSV formatted files. The two reports are fundamentally identical, except that the CSV formatted export splits the purchaser’s name into separate first and last name fields, for easier sorting.

The payment report includes first name, last name, ticket type purchased (e.g., Adult, Child, etc.), the number of tickets purchased, the price per ticket, the total amount paid for those tickets, the current payment status, the purchase date, and the purchase time.

For any purchaser who purchased more than one type of ticket – for example, a purchaser who bought tickets for two adults and one child, their name will appear on the list twice, once for each type of ticket purchased.

Editing payments

All payments can be edited after purchase. Not all fields are editable; you can’t change the tickets purchased, total cost, or transaction data, although you can add internal notes if you need to have a record of some issue handled in the purchase. Internal notes are never used on the front-end by My Tickets, and shouldn’t ever be displayed by any custom add-ons you use.

The most common reason for editing payments may be in handling Pending payments where payment has been received; if you’re tracking specific transaction IDs such as check numbers (If you’re tracking credit card numbers, you should stop immediately – this is a major security problem!), you’ll need to edit each payment individually, but if all you really need to do is mark a bunch of pending posts as completed, you can bulk edit payments to adjust this.

bulk-edit

If a user doesn’t receive their email notification, you can re-send it by checking the box labeled “Re-send Email Notification”.

Additionally, you can send specific purchasers a personal email from their payments page. Some venues will probably rarely need this, but for events that need to verify information with the purchaser, this can be very useful.

editing-payment

If you need to mass email all the purchasers of tickets for a particular event (for example, if the event had to be cancelled or delayed), you can do the from the Reports screen.

Adding a new ticket order

If you’re running a box office using any piece of software, it’s important that you’re able to add sales from the back-end. Using My Tickets, there are a number of ways to add new ticket orders as an administrator. You can only process payments by going through the public shopping cart, but if you have any other means to accept payments – cash, check, credit card terminal, Square Register, etc., then you can set up a ticket order and process that payment without going through that process.

New payments are added from the WordPress dashboard by going to the “Payments” menu item.

Payments Menu item

If you (logged as your current user) don’t have a shopping cart set up, you’ll see the message “Visit the public web site to set up a cart order”. This isn’t because you need to go through the front-end to create a purchase; it’s just because you need to add items to the shopping cart. If you have an active shopping cart on the front-end, you’ll automatically have access to that shopping cart from the admin panel.

Visit the public web site to set up a cart order.

As soon as you set up a shopping cart on the front-end, however, you’ll see that in the add payment form:

Cart item added

You’re not restricted to setting up payments using just your cart, however. For logged-in users, you can copy the user’s shopping cart from their own account into the admin panel.

Navigate to the User’s profile at Users > All Users and open their profile to edit.

edit-user

Generally, the user’s shopping cart will be visible towards the bottom of the profile screen. However, this can vary depending on what other plug-ins you have installed.

Shopping cart in user profile.

From the user profile, you can simply click the link “Create new payment with this cart” to copy the cart into a new payment.

If the user isn’t logged in, the process is a bit more labored, but still pretty reasonable. For users who aren’t logged-in, My Tickets inserts a meta field into the site header with a unique cart ID. You can ask users to view the source of the page to retrieve their cart ID. It should appear very near to the top of the source code, and look like this:

<meta name='cart_id' value='HXKFiBbmm00JfaAT' />

Once you’ve retrieved that cart ID, you can use it as a parameter to add a payment for the cart:

http://www.example.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=mt-payments&cart_id=HXKFiBbmm00JfaAT

At that point, you can submit their purchase to the system. This is a convenient way of handling ticket sales problems by phone or at your box office while keeping all of your ticket sales within a single system.

Filling in the admin payments form is a simple process, with relatively few fields. You must specify a payment status and ticketing method, and you’re recommend to provide all other data.

You can’t specify a user as “Do not email” at the time of data entry, because the system needs to be able to send at minimum the receipt and purchase notification emails. However, all subsequent email messages sent to the user using the “Contact Purchaser” forms will include a link for the user to remove themselves from your mailing list, and this data will appear in their purchase record. If they make a future purchase, they will still receive the basic purchase notification, however, as this type of contact is a fundamental business need.

Ticket Settings

In the ticket settings, you configure what types of tickets you want to support and the default values new events should use.

Types of Tickets

My Tickets supports 4 types of tickets: Printable, E-tickets, Postal Mail, and Pick up at box office (or “Will call”). On this page, you can define which of these formats you want to make available for sale. Printable and e-tickets have QR code-based validation systems; postal mail and will-call systems assume that you will produce your tickets independently of the My Tickets system, although you can produce lists of purchases using the My Tickets Reports panel.

Ticket Shipping

If you’re offering tickets available via postal mail, you need to set a shipping cost and an approximate shipping time for postal mail. The shipping cost is added to shopping carts if the selected ticketing method is postal mail. This is a flat fee; it doesn’t matter whether somebody has purchased 1 ticket or 200.

The shipping time is used to notify the purchaser of the approximate time until they’ll receive their ticket, but is also used internally to prevent purchasers from choosing the postal mail option if the time until the event will not allow them to receive their tickets. If you indicate that it usually takes 5 days for a purchaser to receive their ticket, then that options will cease to be available for an event 5 days prior to the event.

In addition to setting a shipping & handling charge that’s based on the entire cart, you can set a per-ticket handling charge. This can be valuable if you need to separate out secondary costs for the tickets that are common to all tickets, rather than wrapping them into the cost.

Closing Sales on Tickets

Close by time
You can set a number of hours prior to an event when tickets may no longer be sold for an event. For example, if you need to collate your list to prep for an event starting 4 hours before the event, you can shut off online sales 4 hours before the event. This will happen automatically, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected last minute sales.

Close by number of tickets remaining
If you want to reserve a certain number of tickets for sale at the venue, you can specify either a specific number of tickets to reserve for all events or a specific percentage of the total available tickets to reserve. Once the number of tickets falls below that point, online sales will be closed. Visitors to your site will get a notification telling them that online sales are closed and how many tickets are still available at the box office.

Can users purchase multiple tickets?

You can set an event to allow multiple tickets for each event per purchaser or only a single ticket. This can particularly be useful in combination with My Tickets custom field api. Allowing multiple tickets is the norm, in which case the purchaser can buy any number of tickets for the event; if it’s restricted to single tickets, the user will not have any of the options to adjust the number of tickets for a particular event, and will only be able to choose one.

How are tickets counted?

Total tickets available is the number of tickets available when using “continuous” ticket counting. If the counting method is “discrete”, this field will not be displayed. You would use “continuous” counting methods when it doesn’t matter which type of ticket a user buys – for example, when you’re selling tickets for Adults, Children, and Seniors. You could equally well sell out to all seniors or all adults. If you’re selling by section, however, (Main Floor, Balcony, Gallery), then it does matter which type of ticket a user buys, and you’ll want to use “discrete” counting, so that you can only sell a finite number of tickets for each section.

You can customize the price groups you use as a default. This can save a lot of time if you’re selling the same types of tickets over and over again.

The Type of Sale is mostly about the language used – whether a user is “Buying a ticket” or “Registering for an event”.

And I’ve already talked about counting methods. 🙂

Payment Settings

Payment settings cover all the settings directly related to making payments, unsurprisingly. My Tickets supports offline payment, Authorize.net, and PayPal standard out of the box – but payment gateways are pluggable, and in time there will be more options available for purchase separately.

Before you can accept payments, you need to set the currency you want to use for selling tickets. You can also define a percentage discount available to logged-in members. Right now, My Tickets doesn’t support any other discount or sales methods.

By default, the offline payment gateway is the only configured option. Using this option, tickets will not be created until you manually mark the payment as completed in the Payments management screen. You can do this prior to receiving the payment if you wish, but you’ll have to take responsibility for making certain that your notification messages reflect the fact that payments have not actually been made!

gateways

Authorize.net and PayPal settings are the usual basic configuration for these gateways; look at the Ticketing Help screen to get more information about where to get your information for these gateways if you don’t know. You’ll have to have a PayPal or Authorize.net account to use them.

You can enable Testing mode during development. In this mode, Authorize.net queries will be made against the Authorize.net developer’s sandbox. You can get a free account for the Authorize.net sandbox so that you can verify that everything works before going live. You can also use the PayPal developer sandbox to work with PayPal.

While your site is in test mode, a banner will be displayed at the bottom of your site indicating that the site is in test mode and that payments will not be processed.

If you have an SSL certificate for your site (and I recommend that you do), you can enable SSL for payment pages, and My Tickets will attempt to force SSL for those pages. There are many factors that can prevent a page from properly rendering securely, and My Tickets can’t guarantee this – it’s your responsibility to ensure that your site is secure. An SSL certificate is not required for My Tickets to operate, but is strongly recommended.

ticket-pages

Finally, you can set the payment and other rendering pages for your cart. There are three dedicated pages created by My Tickets – one each for your Shopping cart, your tickets page, and your receipts page. The shopping cart will use your standard theme template, and you can edit it just like you would any other page. The tickets and receipts page will automatically use custom templates provided by My Tickets. If you copy the /wp-content/plugins/my-tickets/templates/ directory into your theme directory, you can customize those templates. The copy in your theme directory will be used instead of the default templates. You don’t need to copy the entire directory; only the parts you intend to replace.

Custom post types

In any post type that you’re allowing to be used to sell tickets for events, you’ll have a section labeled “My Tickets Purchase Data” in a metabox for that post type. By default, it should appear underneath your main content area; although it’s impossible to control exactly where it will sit on that screen from a plug-in.

Sell tickets on this post

When you click on the checkbox to have sales on this post, the full set of sales options will open:

Define ticket sales form

This form differs only slightly from what you get when using My Calendar, because in My Calendar the date, time, and location information is pulled from the event. When creating a ticketed event from a post type, however, you need to define that information here.

It is possible to display the event date and time for a custom post type, since they’re saved in standard custom post fields. You can do that using My Tickets by using the simple shortcode [ticket_data type=’date’]. It accepts three values: date, time, and location, depending on what you choose to display.

Location is only available by default if you also have My Calendar installed; it pulls locations from the My Calendar Locations database table. You don’t need to be using My Calendar to take advantage of this, other than as a means to store your location data.

For advanced users, you can also write a custom function to map another set of location data into a format that My Tickets will understand using the ‘mt_create_location_object’ filter, and define a function called ‘mc_location_select’ that provides the dropdown menu to choose your locations.

The other options for creating events are as follows:

  • Allow sales until x hours before the event – Set an amount of time prior to the event when you no longer want sales to be possible. It’s always possible to add another sale when you’re logged in as an administrator.
  • Allow multiple tickets/ticket type per purchaser – Purchasers can buy multiple tickets for an event – (e.g. 2 adult tickets and one child) in a single cart purchase. If disabled, purchasers can buy only one ticket for an event. Instead of a text input to choose a number of events, they will see a checkbox to select a ticket.
  • Total Tickets Available – For “continuous” purchase types, this is the total number of tickets available.
  • Ticket Prices and Availability – Shows the labels and prices as well as the number of tickets sold. For tickets using “discrete” counting, the number of tickets available will be a text field and the “Total Tickets Available” field will not be displayed.
  • Type of Sale – This simply toggles the language in use for add to cart forms. E.g. “Buy a Ticket” vs. “Register”
  • Ticket Counting Method – Effects whether tickets are counted as a single total or per section.
  • Don’t display form on event – You can use the ‘ticket’ shortcode to customize where your order form is displayed. If you’re using this in the event post, you may no also want to see the default form.