Luther College is a liberal arts college in Iowa, and for the past 35 years they’ve produced a musical celebration called Christmas at Luther. The event is so popular that box office at Luther needs to hire an extra six or seven staff members for the first couple of days after the on-sale is announced. For Bradley Phillips, the Box Office manager at Luther College, Christmas at Luther is easily the most interesting time of the year.
“September, October, and November are some of our busiest times. It’s so phone heavy, it’s kind of nuts. We’re getting about four times as much call volume as we did in June or July, and it’s not just the Christmas concert,” Phillips says. “All the other concerts and performances at the Center for Faith and Life do very well, people just seem to be more excited to go see shows in the fall.”
Online sales have increased year over year since Luther College introduced the ability to buy them with AudienceView. Although online sales account for 75% of all tickets sold, Bradley and his team still need to set up a war room in a special telethon room where the staff has access to ten phone lines.
“We could have 25 phone lines open in that first hour and still not have enough, but I’m only willing to go to ten because I have to train them on the system,” says Phillips. “I do a little bit of one-on-one to set them up in AudienceView, then I do a group training for all the people who are helping out on the on-sale dates. For people who come in to help out only once or twice a year, a refresher is always important.”
Only after everything is sold out can Phillips exhale and enjoy his favorite part of the holidays. “Watching the crowd’s reaction and getting their response is great. The concert is always great because it involves so many people, but to see the audience’s reactions and how happy they are after the performance, that’s almost more amazing than the actual holiday show.”