by Lesli Bandy, Broadway/L.A. Season Services Manager
In all my years in the ticketing field, I have come to realize that every ticket manager and director I have met all started their careers on the “front lines.” They become mangers and directors because they’ve been through the experience of helping customers face-to-face and working with that initial level of questions or problems that all events have with tickets. If you think about it, there is no specialized class or schooling you can go to become a ticket seller. It’s all experienced based. And, I would bet they all have a unique story as to how they got their first job.
My first job in ticketing started from a series of events. I credit it to taking my dog out for a sunset walk on the beach. That day, I met a chatty guy and we talked about our dogs, and I then learned he worked for the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium. I was still in school and in between part-time jobs, so he told me to come to the stadium the next day after class and he would introduce me to the Director of the “Compadres Crew,” their Fan Rewards Program.
After starting a position there, it didn’t take long to meet a group of roaming Suite Representatives from the Chargers, the pro football team that shares use of Qualcomm. Meeting them led to a position as a Customer Service Rep in the Chargers Season Ticket Office, which was my first job in ticketing. I still work for them now, helping out on busy game days, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog had not met that chatty guy while walking my dog, or met the roaming suite representative during the games, or worked with all the football fans who needed help with their tickets at the box office.
As you might imagine, working with Broadway shows is vastly different than baseball or football, but ticketing is easily translatable. If you can understand the details of tickets -- how they relate to each other and the customer -- then you can understand ticketing in any venue. And I enjoy that detail. It poses many challenges in all its confusing complexities, but for the most part, by the time tickets reach the customer the complex process appears surprisingly simplified.
That’s the mystery of ticketing, and maybe it is so because those who are in the position to direct and manage the tickets once worked on the front lines. And if you ever find the need to call the customer service line or approach the box office window, it might just be one of those directors or managers assisting you, since occasionally we still like remembering where we started.