AFTERBURN REPORT 2007
Inspired by the difficulties faced in 2006, the entire ticketing team, along with invaluable guidance from the Burning Man technical team, was determined to do everything possible to rise to the challenge and create a smooth ticket buying experience for our community. All the hard work up front paid off in the form of a flawless ticket launch in January 2007. The new queuing system proved to be the perfect solution to ensure proper flow for participants going through the ordering process. This was the first year that positive feedback via email, stating things like "my ticketing experience was great!" far outweighed the negative "being stabbed in the eye would have been better than my ticket ordering experience" variety. As a result of everything clicking along so seamlessly, the first two ticket price levels sold out in record time. The pleasant ticket buying experience apparently left people in good spirits and feeling generous and subsequently they opted to donate over $43,000 to the Black Rock Arts Foundation while they were making their ticket purchases. The support of our community never ceases to amaze!
Possibly as a result of the aforementioned ticket levels selling like hotcakes, there were more applicants than ever for our Low Income and Scholarship ticket programs. Thankfully the team was able to accommodate the majority of those who applied for these lower priced tickets. Unfortunately, a deluge of last minute applications the week of the deadline overwhelmed the team. This was far more exaggerated than in any previous years -- in the past a couple hundred applications were received during the deadline week, and this year there were over 600. This put a huge strain on the tiny ticket team during the summer when in the throes of pre-event preparation. If you do not retain anything else from this here report, remember to please, please do not procrastinate and wait until the last minute to apply for a discounted ticket! It puts a huge strain on the team and makes it more difficult for us to offer these worthwhile programs to our community. Be like a scout, BE PREPARED.
In addition to our online ticket sales and other mail order ticket programs, tickets were offered through a handful of wonderful stores acting as walk-in ticket outlets. Not only was the team happy to have the return of all of these amazing outlets from last year, but we also forged a new relationship with another local business with three incredible locations that really served the community well. The team was committed to diversifying the areas where tickets are available, and the types of stores in which tickets are sold, and this new partner fit the bill perfectly. On the whole things went well with all of the outlets, but unfortunately, without the incentive of a price increase the last two weeks of sales, our community proved once again how much we love to leave things to the last minute. This belated flood of sales puts a real burden on the outlets and threatens Burning Man's relationships with them. Please remember that these outlets are members of our community and sell our tickets free of any additional service charges as their way of participating, and they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Help make their experience the best it can be by being friendly and prepared and by getting your tickets early!
In 2007 the team was fortunate to be in a position to be able to take the lessons learned from 2006, and with concerted effort by many people, make for the best ticket launch to date. This proved to be a great start to a wholly successful ticket season, serving our community to the best of our abilities. The team can't wait to make next year even better.
Frog Gilmore & Rebecca Throne