Merlin Venue is tailored to meet the many varied needs of the modern visitor attraction. Adding on- and off-line ticketing, barrier control, CRM connectivity and other functions to the powerful features already embedded within Merlin, Venue provides a complete admissions and retail management solution.
Merlin offers a range of access control options which can be tailored to suit a variety of requirements, each with integrated barrier control linked to a point of sale system which can keep track of your retail sales.
In addition, the installation of an affordable, automated solution allows the skills of employees who were previously required to staff access control stations to be put to better use elsewhere in the business. All the installation and fitting is taken care of, along with the link to all till and ticketing systems which are also provided by Merlin Software.
Using a barrier in conjunction with an admissions terminal provides accurate information regarding exact visitor numbers you have had associated revenue using powerful built-in reporting features. In locations where barriers are already installed, Merlin can work with existing hardware to provide the same full-integrated level of functionality, without any additional hassle or stress.
Merlin are the first to offer the facility to print directly onto wristbands which can be loaded or preloaded with a cash value; excellent for school trips and days out, meaning that carrying cash around can be a thing of the past. Funds can be loaded onto a wristband at the point of entry, meaning that purchases can be made throughout the venue simply by scanning the barcode.
Wristbands are a great alternative to standard tickets and offer a unique opportunity for visitor attractions to reinforce their brand whilst also offering advertising space, hereby increasing business profitability.
For charitable attractions, the Merlin solution offers the additional benefit of automatic Gift Aid claim processing. Complying with new 2013 legislations, Merlin allows claims to be done directly through the HMRC Charities Online portal, requiring the minimum of user effort and input whilst ensuring that claims are processed in the shortest possible time. All entrants are tracked and logged automatically onto the system, then, after a user-specified period of time, the claim is sent off to HMRC online. This not only enables faster payments for Gift Aid claimants, but also cuts carbon emissions; saving the planet and making more money.
Rather than attempt to reinvent the wheel, Merlin Software links to a great number of external CRM systems, leaving the creation of them to those companies who specialise in that area. Following extensive research into the visitor attraction arena, it became clear that a large part of ensuring profitability is based upon marketing: getting people through the doors of the attraction and, having done so, ensuring that everything is done to encourage them to visit again.
Rather than creating an in-house solution, Merlin Venue provides the option to interface with the many CRMs already in the marketplace, putting the choice in the hands of the attraction and catering for forward-thinking organisations for which CRM is already a vital tool.
Consumer studies suggest that, in a time where recession has hit retailers hard, visitor attractions are busier than ever as a result of holidaymakers electing to stay in the UK for days out rather than vacationing abroad. With numerous surveys stating that most visitors now purchase their tickets before the event, online ticketing is essential to cater for this market.
The Merlin Venue ticketing module is a simple widget which sits on your existing website requiring no fuss or coding. It seamlessly integrates into the rest of the Merlin system, allowing tickets to be purchased via the internet and validated at the gate in the same way as a customer-present ticket sale; even tickets issued via mobile phone are catered for, with the provision for barcodes to be scanned directly from visitors smart phones.
No online ticketing system would be complete without a box office to redeem and validate ticket purchases. With Merlin Software, pre-purchased tickets can be scanned in access granted, or new tickets can be purchased and printed out at the point of sale; with the facility to offer souvenir tickets, print marketing information directly onto the reverse of ticket media (including advertisements) and provide access to the attraction via a range of colourful and waterproof wristbands, Merlin is the total attractions solution.
Whilst much attention must be paid to the issuing of tickets and processing visitor entry, no attraction would be complete without gift shop and on-site vending options. With this in mind, Merlin Software provides an integrated retail manager and point of sale system, giving total control of admissions and sales operations from a single solution. Included in this is full stock control and account functionality, customisable, easy-to-use EPOS options and a powerful suite of back office utilities to keep an eye on exactly how retail operations are performing.
Merlin offers a complete solution - from initial consultations right through to delivery, installation and training. All the logistics, cabling, data conversion, hardware and software setup is taken care of, with all systems arriving at the point of installation fully pre-loaded with all your data and ready for action from day one. Running a visitor attraction is a busy and often stressful occupation; let Merlin Software ease some of that stress by taking care of the whole process.
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