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Category: BookEazy

Interested in Acquiring an Online Movie Tickets Technology? This will help.

by Santosh

Santosh Dawara.

Movie tickets services for India have recently found renewed interest in papers and popular media. Entrepreneurs approach me expecting help with creating one. I think that’s great. Also, the technology behind the movie tickets service BookEazy.com is still a viable option to help you get to market early. This post is to help you clarify your priorities before you were to assume that having the technology alone is the key to help you break into the market.

The market is primarily divided into two multiplex backends – ShowBizz and Vista (resold by BigTree). Any movie tickets service would need to plug into both of these technologies to address the complete multiplex market.

It makes sense to talk about redeploying BookEazy, or building it from scratch, after you’ve signed an operating contract with a local or national multiplex chain. Why so? Most multiplexes will issue access to their backend test service only after an operating agreement is in place. Or at least a verbal yes is given by the multiplex to test your technology with their backend. Also, if you’ve been able to reach out to any of the individual technology vendors to get a multiplex test backend (ShowBizz, or Vista resellers BigTree) that will work too. Essentially, without a test backend you cannot conclusively establish the viability of any online movie tickets technology, including BookEazy (learn about how it works).

In addition to the automated booking process, BookEazy also has a manual booking and reconciliation mode which allows you to sell tickets independent of the multiplex backend. Here too, without an operating agreement in place it won’t make sense for you to deploy this technology. I’d be happy to arrange a demonstration of this manual mode if you’d want that.

Look forward to being in touch when you have agreements in place.

How BookEazy’s Movie Ticket Booking Engine Works

by Santosh

Santosh Dawara. May 23, 2012.

Here’s some key concepts behind how BookEazy’s booking engine works to book tickets with Multiplex systems ShowBizz and Vista. I wrote it out as a business associate was interested in the details. Here is a closer look at how it worked.

A few notes that will make it easier to understand the terminology used. A Show is a unique combination of Multiplex (Inox Pune), Screen (#2), Date – Time (May 21st, 4.30pm). A Multiplex is always a single unit with multiple screens each. For instance – INOX Pune, City Pride Deccan and City Pride Kothrud are each Multiplexes. In all cases “Multiplex system” refers to the centralized Multiplex online booking service or API.

Retrieving Schedules from the Multiplex and Creating Shows.

The first step is to synchronize with the Multiplex system and retrieve show information every week. Multiplexes will usually create and release their shows weekly a couple of days in advance.

BookEazy makes it easy to help you pull in the shows as soon as they’re available with the Multiplex by offering your operators a manual method to check for new shows and by itself periodically polling the Multiplex servers for new shows.

When new Shows are found, BookEazy pulls in Show information from the respective web-services – including Screen layouts, and then releases these Shows on it’s online booking interface. When creating Shows BookEazy supports any seat booking or quota restrictions that have been preconfigured for each Screen. Shows are then verified and released by your Operator for booking by your Users.

Blocking Seats.

After a user has selected the Show she prefers – BookEazy supports temporary seat blocking across classes. The experience is optimized for the best User experience possible and considering seats maybe booked simultaneously by multiple Users and vendors.

Users are shown their seats and the Screens seating arrangement to learn how far away from the screen they really are.

On confirming their seat positions, User’s can use BookEazy to block seats for a limited time-period with the Multiplex. If the User does not complete her booking within the same session, the blocked seats are released by the Multiplex system after the time-period has expired.

Automatically Closing Shows.

You can configure BookEazy to automatically ‘close’ shows for booking at a preset time before the Show begins. Once a Show is closed, Users may no longer book tickets and the Show is removed from Show Search listings. Multiplexes may require vendors to close shows ahead of Show start time for business or logistical reasons. BookEazy also allows your operators to close a Show if it has been canceled under exceptional circumstances.

Reconciling Audience Attendance.

This feature pulls in payment and attendance information from the Multiplex system and can be used to track attendance percentages.

Questions? Leave a comment below and I will get back in touch.

Related Posts.
Interested in Acquiring an Online Movie Tickets Technology? This will help.

How BookEazy got its groove back

by Santosh

On December 15th, we discontinued the membership based BookEazy movie ticketing service. An overwhelming response from movie-goers perplexed by our decision to pause operations, compelled us write out our own experiences and why we decided to hibernate for the time being.

All startups and first-time entrepreneurs struggle in their search for a definitive identity in their formative years. Our own journey started with the determination to provide a service around movie tickets that was secure and convenient to use. Some time in the latter half of 2006, we fixed on a “pay-at-the-multiplex” service in order to achieve this. Our focus was the movie-goer and any barrier that stood between the movie plan and the multiplex had to be removed.

With the movie-going experience as a yardstick, we did incredibly well. My honest surprise stems from the fact that we exceeded the expectations of consumers in an area where none of the team members had any formal training.

Read the rest of this entry »

No time to go for the 6th International Pune Festival?

by Anjali Gupta

PIFF films

Aneesh and Badal bring you all the action on BookEazy’s blog

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

From what I hear, the short student films by Whistling Woods are a great catch!

Does Ctrl+Z work at your startup?

by Anjali Gupta

I often wonder if it’s fair to label the actions of startups. For example, is this startup good or bad? Is the idea right or wrong? Is the market small or big? Has the VC come in early or late? Are the founders passionate or experienced or both? Did they hire tech guys first or sales? Did they raise good money or dumb money? Is the plan conservative or aggressive? and so on…(Pardon my venting, I carry around a list of 100+ questions that I’ve repeatedly heard from co-founders, colleagues and investors).

Almost everyone out there has an opinion on everything a startup should and should not do. These questions beg for a boolean answer that labels the startup one way of the other. That’s fair if there was really a right answer. Trust me, even two partners of the same venture fund don’t agree on what the answers should be. As for startup insiders, they base the “right” answer on what’s happening at their own startup. They forget that if we had played the game any other way, our learning would have been different but the questions would be the same. Now you’re a startup that did X instead of Y. But hey, you missed out on learning Y.

My personal belief is that an attitude based on getting labels, or believing one label is better than the other is detrimental to the entire team. It highlights past mistakes vs. past learnings. It instills fear of failure, kills motivation and creativity, and worst of all, hampers the ability to set newer and bigger goals. I like to think of it as taking away the Ctrl+Z (Undo) option from an author who is writing her new book.

The first two years is all about probing, trying, quitting and retrying. Seriously, how much time can you spend looking in the rear view mirror in a ever-changing unpredictable market like India?

As Seth Godin rightly said, Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt.”

If you’re the founder of a startup give yourself an applause every time you press Ctrl+Z. Let’s undo what we did last month and fix it. So what, if we took 6 months to figure out what’s wrong? Let’s take 1 month next time. Let’s bet on more than one idea. Let’s bet on more than one person. If we’re not happy, let’s reinvent the context of our company. No guilt attached. That’s the key. Undo without guilt.

Don’t let anyone – insider or investor, take away your ability to press Ctrl-Z. Don’t let them give you the guilt pill for trying, for taking your time to learn. The faster you accept that no past job or degree is going to help you swim, the faster you will learn to swim. Just dive in. Label yourself “Student #1” rather than “Life Guard” and get going.

The day you make it, call yourself a company and not a startup.

P.S. This post is inspired by my colleague Nigel who shared this quote with me.

“We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit.” – Seth Godin.