The British Airways i360 is a ‘vertical pier’ that rises 162 metres into the sky with the viewing pod reaching a height of 138m above Brighton beach.
The attraction is the vision of David Marks and Julia Barfield, the architects responsible for the hugely successful London Eye, and is the world’s tallest moving observation tower.
TOR Systems provide the British Airways i360 with its fully hosted, integrated ticketing, booking, retail and stock management system, which is pivotal in supporting the operation of the attraction, as well as maximising its commercial opportunities. At the base of the i360 the attraction incorporates a restaurant; tea rooms; hospitality rooms; an exhibition and shop. All of the ticket and retail sales at the attraction, online and by phone are managed by TOR’s Maxim software system.
The BA i360 opened to the public in August 2016, but the benefits of using TOR’s Maxim solution were felt across the business many months prior to opening. These included advanced sales and redemptions of gift vouchers through all sales channels, as well as taking advanced bookings for their large trade and events business.
Understanding the behaviour of visitors is key for TOR’s clients, says Sarah Bagg, TOR’s Business Development & Marketing Manager, therefore Maxim has been designed to maximise the opportunity to collect data in the most efficient way possible through all sales channels.
The Maxim system is also in use in other museums across the country including all five Imperial War Museums, the British Museum, Leeds Castle and Brighton Pavilion.
“Our aims for successful delivery of our solution is to significantly reduce staff time and administration, improve the visitor experience, and for our clients to be able to access and analyse valuable visitor data and maximise potential revenues,” she says. “Maxim helps our customers to build sophisticated customer records, report on all activity and enable an effective marketing and customer relationship management strategy, improving the way they interact with their audience.”
Maxim system provides:
- Fully hosted solution – no on site server
- Connections to approximately twenty tills/booking workstations
- Capacity and functionality for total number of visitors exceeding seven hundred thousand
- Timed ticketing for all visitors taking a flight, as well as any special events
- Front of house ticketing including touchscreen operation and fully accredited PCI Chip and PIN system
- Back office booking functionality to take credit card transactions for all event and exhibition bookings as well as reservations for educational groups
- Online booking portal for all members and trade customers, which enables management of their own bookings
- MaximCloud ticketing solution for mobile locations, such as the boarding area
- Intuitive pricing on advanced ticket purchases
- Intuitive product upselling across all sales channels
- Hosted check-in software for ticketing scanning/validation
- Fully integrated retail and catering stock control system
In addition to the standard customer data collected, further information can also be obtained in the form of special needs, nationality, or interests. All fields can be configured by the attraction, which provides maximum flexibility and further opportunities to gain a better understanding of its audience. Maxim can be installed on any device therefore providing opportunities to collect data, take bookings, sell membership, or even ask for donations in any location across attractions.
The customer demographics can be used as the search criteria for reports and mailings, so that an organisation can target specific segments of its customer base. Maxim has built in CRM functionality to manage communication with customers and create targeted marketing campaigns, which will save organisations time and money.
“Maxim also provides the attraction with the ability to organise targeted mail-outs to customers, including schools and groups, which are based upon tightly filtered criteria therefore targeting specific visitor demographics,” she says. “This is an integral part of Maxim and provides attractions with an overview of their customers, marketing responses and buying pattern, which has become increasingly important for the sector.”
TOR Systems also offers flexible reporting tools from a range of real-time exportable reports, which are created in Crystal Reports, to MaximDataExtract which allows users access to the database to create bespoke reports.
The benefits of the system do not stop there, as the attraction also makes use of MaximPortal, a self-service booking portal, used by their travel trade business and members. All local residents can join as a member for just £1, which entitles them to several benefits and discounts across the year. Users of the portal can manage their own bookings, without the need to contact the attraction, benefiting from being able to book reduced priced tickets which are only available to members.
The system ensures that there is a streamlined booking process through all sales channels – offering many key features like up-selling, variable pricing, gift vouchers, and unique promotional codes.
“The real-time, hosted service offers the British Airways i360 one system which meets all the attractions needs, including stock control, ticketing, booking, events, retail, membership, access control and CRM. It is an extremely reliable product for a business critical requirement. Our team at TOR provide a service which we believe is best in class for the sector,” says Sarah.
TOR hosts an annual customer user forum, where customers are able to network with other attractions, keep up to date with changes at TOR and also feed into its development road map.