Shows and Ticketing

Does Audience1st work with online or streamed events?
Yes. In Audience1st you designate whether each performance takes place in-person, is available for live streaming at a specific time, or is available for streaming anytime during a specified time period.
How do people who buy tickets to an online event access the event?
Audience1st does not host your online content; there are lots of great platforms out there for streaming and interactive online events. Audience1st allows you to provide instructions to patrons for how to access your online events. The patron will see these instructions when they purchase their ticket and they will also be included in the purchase confirmation email. Additionally, patrons can view access instructions at any time in their Audience1st account.
Does Audience1st provide telephone sales service to our patrons?
Audience1st supports online sales and in-person (at the box office or front-of-house) sales. However, your box office agents can accept phone orders and enter them into Audience1st.
Is reserved seating supported?
Yes. Any in-theater performance can be either general admission or reserved seating, even differing between performances of the same production. If you can make a spreadsheet, you can create a seating chart. You can also create custom graphics as a background for your seating chart.
Can you designate differently priced "zones" of reserved seating?
Yes, and you can also designate differently priced tickets where the price differentiation is based on when they are purchased.
Can Audience1st do dynamic pricing, in which ticket prices get higher as a performance gets closer to being sold out?
You can do dynamic pricing with fixed price points. For example, a particular type of ticket can be priced at $20, $30, or $40 depending on how many remain. You can do this by limiting the number of tickets that can be purchased at each price point.
Can you offer limited quantities of tickets that must be purchased within or during a certain time period (e.g. early bird or rush)?
Yes, you can control start and stop sales time, and maximum sales allowed, for each ticket type as well as for a performance overall.
Can you offer discounted tickets or comps by having patrons redeem "promo codes"?
Yes, and you can choose whether to limit the quantity and/or redemption windows for each.
Can you offer "Buy one, get one free" (BOGO) or other minimum-purchase sales?
Yes, for each ticket type you can specify a minimum purchase as well as a maximum purchase. For example, a "BOGO" would have a minimum purchase of 2, and could optionally have a maximum purchase of 2 if you wanted to limit the BOGO offer to one pair of tickets per transaction. A group discount might have a minimum purchase of 10, and so on.
Can you offer discounted tickets or comps by having patrons redeem "promo codes"?
Yes, and you can choose whether to limit the quantity and/or redemption windows for each.
Can you sell subscriptions?
Yes, you can sell regular subscriptions, "flex passes", discounted subscriptions (e.g. for students or other specific groups), and so on. Philosophically, we believe developing a subscriber base is critical to smaller organizations, and many features in Audience1st are designed around whether a patron is a Subscriber or not. For example, you can choose to make certain ticket types available to Subscribers preferentially or exclusively, such as high-demand tickets or discounts if they bring friends; Subscribers are visually called out on the door list; you can optionally filter customer reporting by Subscribers vs. non-Subscribers; and so on.
What if I also sell some discount tickets through Goldstar, TodayTix, or similar sites?
Audience1st can import the will-call lists from third-party vendors and integrate them with your regular patron database, so you have all patron sales accounted for in one place and only one will-call list to manage at front-of-house time. Importing third-party vendor lists works for both General Admission and Reserved Seating performances.
Does Audience1st support Pay-What-You-Can tickets?
At this time Audience1st doesn't support the ability for the patron to specify an arbitrary amount, but you can offer tickets at multiple specific price points so that patrons can choose the price most appropriate for their circumstances. You can also issue tickets as Comps at walkup sales time, and accept and record a donation.
Will you set up my season for me?
Audience1st is designed to allow self-setup of productions, performances, seating charts, and so on, to keep costs down for you, but we will work with you to train your staff to do this work.

Donation Tracking & Back Office Functions

Does Audience1st track donations?
Yes, patrons can donate directly online or you can manually enter check, cash, or in-kind donations, and run all the usual donation reports. Credit card donations go through Stripe, which is low cost and offers nonprofit discounts. Donations and ticket sales are tracked in one place for all patrons.
Can donations be coded to different campaigns or funds?
Yes, you can create landing pages that code donations to different account codes, which you set up and which are always included in exported reports.
Do customers receive acknowledgments of donations automatically?
Donations made online receive automatic email acknowledgments.
Does Audience1st generate hardcopy letters to acknowledge donations?
Audience1st lets you generate a list of all donations and generate mailing-list labels to use with mail merge in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
Can I import my previous customer lists, donation/ticket history, and so on?
Yes, we'll work with you to import whatever information you have, as long as you can arrange to get it in an importable format (CSV, SQL, etc.)
Do you back up my data?
Yes, your data is backed up nightly, encrypted, and stored on separate servers.
Do you see my data?
Your data is yours and we don't look at it unless you ask us to, for example to address specific problems or concerns you're having.
How does my organization get paid?
You set up a Stripe account (free) that can be tied to your organization's bank account. All transaction revenue goes directly into that account, from which you can sweep it into your organization's regular bank account. Stripe deducts 2.9%+30 cents per transaction (3.5% for AmEx) directly from your revenue, with no other fees ever. We are never in the path of your cash flow and we have no visibility into your credit card processing.

Front of House

Can I sell tickets at the door?
Yes, "walkup sales" by cash, check, or credit card (using Stripe for processing) are all easy, and those sales are also directly integrated into your main database. You can even speed things up by purchasing an inexpensive (under $25) credit card "swipe" attachment that plugs into a USB port.
Can I use Audience1st to sell concessions?
Yes, you can sell fixed- and variable-priced retail items through Audience1st as well, so you can centralize all your credit card processing.
How is check-in/will-call handled?
You can generate a printed will-call list or use Audience1st's interactive check-in feature, which keeps track of how many have arrived (even if only part of a group arrives), how many are left to check in from advance sales, and how many available seats remain in the house.
Does Audience1st print tickets on ticket stock?
No physical tickets are produced. It's 100% paperless, though printable receipts can be generated for patrons who desire them.

User Experience and Branding

Can Audience1st serve as my organization's main web site or home page, so that patrons never leave our site while conducting a transaction?
Audience1st doesn't serve your theater's home page, but we can match the look and feel of your existing web site, and we have plug-ins and widgets that make linking to and from your web site seamless. The user experience will be very close to that of staying entirely within your site.
Can branding in the form of images, color palette, fonts, etc. be applied to Audience1st?
Yes, you can customize all of this via a CSS file served from anywhere that serves static files (such as your theater's existing Web site). We'll help you set it up and your Web designer can enhance it from there.
Do I need to know how to program in order to integrate Audience1st with our theater's site?
No. Audience1st generates links that will land patrons on a page for a specific production, a specific performance, a donation campaign for a particular fund, and so on. You just place those links in your publicity emails or on your theater's main site.
Do patrons get confirmation emails when they do an online transaction?
Yes, this is included with Audience1st at no cost to you and with no setup needed on your part. You can optionally provide an HTML template for "styling" these emails to match the UI of your website or marketing emails.
Can I use Audience1st to send marketing/publicity emails?
Audience1st doesn't directly send marketing emails, but instead integrates with MailChimp, a best-of-breed and inexpensive email marketing solution that is highly recommended for nonprofits. Your organization sets up an account with MailChimp (nonprofit discounts are offered), then connects that account to Audience1st. You can generate customer lists matching almost any imaginable criteria, such as "Customers who saw any performance of 'Hamlet' using a Goldstar discounted ticket", and export the result list to Mailchimp for an immediate email campaign. If you don't use MailChimp, you can export any report to Excel for use with a different email solution or to print mailing labels.
Do buyers get email reminders that their event is coming up?
Not right now, but you can easily generate reports of who has reservations/purchased tickets for an upcoming performance and send that directly into MailChimp to do an email campaign.

Getting Started

Audience1st is open source—does that mean it is free?
Audience1st follows the same financial model as the open source WordPress software, which we have no connection to but we think is awesome. If you want to host and deploy it yourself (which requires substantial IT expertise), you may do so license-free and royalty-free. The public code repository has instructions. Or, we can host it for you and take care of all server operations and regular data backup, for a price that covers just our direct costs. We're not looking to make money from this.
Is there any long-term commitment or contract?
No, it's month to month. You can stop anytime, and we will promptly send you an archive of all of your data in CSV and SQL formats.
Who pays the credit card processing fees?
When a patron purchases something, the money goes directly to your Stripe account and Stripe deducts their fees from there. We do not touch your revenue stream at all.
Can't Audience1st just charge a service fee to the patron so we don't have to pay for it?
We do not collect any money from your patrons and we never will. This keeps us out of the critical path of your revenue stream. You can configure Audience1st to add a service fee to each order, but the decision whether to do that should be between you and your patrons, no one else.
Can you provide technical support to my staff for self-deployment?
The technical documentation is pretty thorough, but because we try to keep costs extremely low, we don't have the resources to do custom deploys.
How long does it take to get started?
We can usually have your site up and selling tickets/accepting donations within 2 business days. Importing your historical data may take a bit longer. Contact us and we'll figure something out together.
What steps does my organization have to do for setup, and which steps will you do?
You will need to open a free account on Stripe (if your organization doesn't already have one) to receive payments from patrons, and once we have your installation set up (usually within 2 business days), you'll enter some basic information like your organization's contact info, some preferences around how you want to handle various aspects of ticket sales, and the information to connect it to your Stripe account (and optionally your Mailchimp account, but you can always add that later). That's it.
Can I try it out before getting started?
Yes! Contact us and we'll set up a “sandbox” for you to try everything out free of charge and with no obligation.


Have questions? Want a demo? Email us at We're happy to provide testimonials from the organizations we work with now and set up a demo for you!