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7 Surefire Ways To Make Next Year Successful Right Now

Updated: October 24, 2019 | Share on LinkedIn

It’s that time of year again, when the decisions you make right now have an almost immediate impact on your operational performance next year. Translation: this is your time to shine. So be your venue’s operational super star by exploring the full breadth of services and support Galaxy has to offer beyond your standard functionality. We’ve lined up seven features and modules to consider and recommend to your higher-ups that will set your venue for success next year. Increase your revenue, increase your attendance, improve your guest experience, save money, and ensure your foresight is 20/20 as you head into 2020.

#1: Get yourself or your new system admin Galaxy certified (or both of you!)


“Whether you are new to Galaxy or a seasoned pro, I highly recommend the Galaxy Certification Program to everyone. You learn how to effectively configure and use the features of Galaxy by ACTUALLY doing it.”

Breanne Allan | System Administrator | West Edmonton Mall


Did you hire a new system admin this year? Or are you a system admin who wants to take advantage of the full functionality of Galaxy and be ready for future upgrades? We designed our 10-week Galaxy Certification Program to help you efficiently on board a new hire and keep your own Galaxy skills sharp.

The program incorporates self-paced courses for independent learning in addition to guidance from a Galaxy certified instructor at Gateway. Candidates are provided with a training environment to complete industry related configuration scenarios, which allows for practice that does not impact your live operation. With successful results on the configuration-based exam at the end of the program, you can be assured that your system administrator can complete core configuration for a Galaxy-supported operation.

GALAXY INSIDER INFO: Right now, we’re offering 10% off the tuition of this comprehensive training opportunity to customers who register for a start date within the next year by September 27, 2019. We have a session kicking off in October of this year and we’d love to have you on board.

But don’t take our word for it. Let Jarrid Vaughn from the Cincinnati Zoo, Ben Watson from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Brianne Quackenbush from Wildlife Conservation Society tell you how we helped them on board their new system administrators. Then,  David Lee and Breanne Allan from the West Edmonton Mall can tell you how the course is useful for current system admins as well.

 #2: Open more sales channels and increase your attendance and revenue by selling through OTAs with Galaxy {Connect}


“Connect has saved us 40-50 hours a month in reconciling vouchers, and we saw about a 20% bump in sales with our largest distributors when we started using the platform”

Joe Wagstaff | Sales Manager | USS Midway Museum


If you haven’t heard of Galaxy {Connect} yet, winner of the 2016 IAAPA Brass Ring Best New Product Award, where have you been? And if you do know about {Connect}, what are you waiting for?

One way more and more attractions are looking to increase revenue and attendance is by building relationships with third-party distributors (OTAs). But many of these distributors provide vouchers to your guests, meaning they have to stand in line at your gate to redeem it for a live ticket. Additionally, for each distributor you have a relationship with, you have to build a one-off integration which takes IT resources away from other important responsibilities.

{Connect} eliminates these challenges, enabling you to sell live tickets through any number of OTAs with just a single integration. In fact, in 2019 to-date, our customers using {Connect} have sold $300 million in tickets and over three million guests have skipped the redemption line and gotten into their venues quicker. The USS Midway Museum gave us their thoughts on how Galaxy Connect has improved their business.

#3: Save money next year by getting your Boca printers and Boca stock in bulk right now


“All equipment options have been thoroughly tested for quality performance with our Galaxy point-of-sale ticketing and admission control software. Additionally, we evaluate hardware to ensure high performance in a range of conditions, including temperature extremes. We work directly with hardware manufacturers as well as global suppliers to ensure peak performance and competitive pricing.”

Kendra Kreider | Sr. manager, Customer Care | Gateway Ticketing Systems


Boca stock and printers are an absolute necessity for most of our customers, and with a little bit of planning and foresight right now, you can save your venue money later.

GALAXY INSIDER INFO: We’re offering 10% off new orders of Boca Printers if you purchase by Nov 8, 2019. You can also buy your Boca stock from us; purchase custom ticket stock within two months of ordering your Boca printer and receive $50 per printer off your custom ticket stock order. When you order Boca stock, you get free print head replacements for the life of your 200 and 300 dpi printers provided they exclusively use Boca tickets. That’s a savings of $200-$350 per printer.

Increase the savings by purchasing your stock in bulk right now, saving with bulk pricing instead of one off purchases throughout 2020.

Just as a savings example of buying stock in bulk: we pulled the numbers for standard sized Boca stock at 2.0” x 5.5”, and credit card size at 2.11” x 3.375” – based on a four color process front and text on the rear. If you buy 1000K for each item vs 100K, you will save your venue 50% of the original cost for standard size and 42% for credit card size. Depending on the artwork and whether it’s new or a reprint, plus the total quantity you decide to order, that could represent a huge savings for your venue.

GALAXY INSIDER INFO: We can even split ship the stock to you at intervals you choose so you don’t have unmanageable inventory. This is a great option to spend leftover budget in 2019 and save budget in 2020.

 #4: Have an expert consultant do an audit of your site and system and make impactful recommendations for improvements in 2020

Your busy season is winding down and the successes and failures of the past several months are fresh on your mind. Quarter four is the optimal time to reflect on your business operations and engage in a System and Site Audit.

Leverage Gateway’s 30+ years of industry experience and subject matter expertise to analyze your Galaxy system and related business processes. We’ll send an expert consultant to holistically analyze how your business is running, from operations to configuration, data collection to interfaces and functionality. Then we’ll deliver an actionable improvement plan based on insights from similar attractions around the world.

#5: Better protect your bottom line with Fraud Protection


“In just three weeks, we’re experiencing online sales back up to 10% of our total sales and with zero fraud. Before this fraud service, we spent anywhere from 15-30 minutes responding to each chargeback. That was easily a 45-hour work week. Now we can monitor activity in real time and watch out for changing trends to stay ahead of determined fraudsters.”

David Lee | Senior Accountant | West Edmonton Mall


Selling tickets online can provide a profitable revenue stream to your venue and a great convenience to your guests who can skip long lines and head straight to the gate. Yet ensuring online sales are legitimate and not the result of fraud has become more and more complex. Fraudulent online orders of easy-to-resell attractions tickets can cost venues up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Then there are chargeback fees and the countless manpower hours spent investigating and managing the chargeback process.

GALAXY INSIDER INFO: Fraud protection services used to be cost-prohibitive, but about three years ago we engaged in an exercise to develop a pricing model that worked for our customers, giving them real-time and effective fraud protection at a price that made sense. Data and financial fraud is an incredibly relevant issue in 2019/2020 – to your operations and even to your guests. Now is the time to ensure you’re keeping both of them safe.

West Edmonton Mall purchased Fraud Protection and saw almost immediate financial and bandwidth benefits that far surpassed the cost of the service. Read about their story right here.

#6: Get more actionable data into the hands of every department


“The benefits of the new web store extend beyond the value of enabling customers to pre-purchase on any mobile or fixed device. It is an essential tool for upselling our multi-site options and for tracking customer behavior to inform our marketing decisions.”

Patricia Dunlop | Commercial Manager | Roman Baths


Our Reporting Plus module captures all your transactional data from point-of-sale, membership and admission control. From there, you can access a suite of standard reports from your desktop or mobile device. You can track sales by order. See the impact of promotions on revenue. Compare issued tickets vs. used tickets on your daily attendance reports. And so much more. Reports can be exported in a wide range of formats and automatically sent to your Finance, Guest Services, Operations and Marketing departments.

Then, take your data driven decisions to a new level with our CRM Plus module. Capture all the same transactional data from your Galaxy solution, then segment your audiences, identify purchase and guest experience behaviors, and send powerful targeted marketing campaigns that increase attendance and revenue.

GALAXY INSIDER INFO: You’re already generating an immense amount of data through your normal operations with Galaxy. Smart organizations and your competition are using Business Intelligence, robust reporting tools and CRM to influence their decision making. 2020 is your opportunity to leverage your own data and do the same. 

#7: Empower your team to make smarter decisions with better Galaxy training


“In order to work effectively within Galaxy, you need to understand the way it processes data and how all the different pieces connect.”

 Alison Maloy | The Salvador Dali Museum


With a Learning Portal subscription, Galaxy users can walk through a series of interactive e-learning presentation of configuration options and examples. Our catalog of self-paced courses ranges from basic system setup to advanced configuration. Course offerings include topics for system administrators, finance personnel, end-user cashiers and more. Each course includes real-world scenarios, a conceptual overview of the Galaxy feature, screen-by-screen walk-throughs, and simulations or exercises.

GALAXY INSIDER INFO:  With a Learning Portal subscription you also receive a 20% discount on the Galaxy System Administrator Certification Course, so they make a great bundle. You can test run certain modules within the Portal for free for four weeks to help make your decision. Many of our customers add a Learning Portal subscription, valid for up to 25 people within your organization for one year, when they do their tier renewals.

BONUS: Why are smart attractions putting their online shoppers into a virtual queue during peak sales periods?


“It’s true that with an online queue, not all guests who want to access your site will be able to. But remember, capturing any sales revenue in a peak traffic situation is better than the alternative. A crashed website pulls in nothing in sales. Nada. Zip. Zilch.”

– Queue-It –

There’s nothing worse than a crashed website when tickets are available for your big seasonal event or holiday sale: like a Christmas Lights event or a huge Black Friday promotion. Doing your job too well could mean a surge in visitors and a system overload. When this happens, your website performance will slow and, for some or all users, crash entirely (and this means lost revenue).

But how does high traffic actually crash an attraction’s eCommerce website or app? In technical terms: system requests—made by visitors browsing your website—exceed the processing capacity resources of your site.

However, savvy attractions have found the solution. They’re putting their online guests into a virtual queue to prevent site crashes, reinforce their branding, and improve sales conversions.

GALAXY INSIDER INFO:  We have partnered with Queue-it to offer a virtual queue that will prevent your site from crashing during peak traffic periods. The key here is planning ahead. If you can anticipate much higher than normal site traffic during certain times of the year, especially based on historical data, then you can put in place and test the right fail safes with plenty of time to ensure optimal performance.


If any of these recommendations resonate with you, reach out to your Business Solutions Manager to discuss your options and see how you can take advantage of the exclusive support and services available to you as a Galaxy user. In a rush to start improving your operations? Contact us right here and we’ll get back in touch shortly.

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