Box Office Manager

  • Box Office Manager

One of the most important positions within the business component of all live show production and events is the role of the box office manager, also called the treasurer. This person is tasked with not just overseeing the sale of all tickets, but also with accounting for transactions and ensuring the security of money exchanged between the patron and the venue.  


Duties

There are three primary concerns of a box office manager: supervision of staff, sales and accounting, and customer service. This person works under the direction of the ticket sales manager and is responsible for overseeing the box office staff, including ticket sellers and assistants. He or she sees to it that all staff members are properly trained to operate the ticket system, whether manual or automated, and that these individuals are familiar with the policies and procedures governing ticket transactions. The box office manager will establish department schedules and determine box office hours, as well as conduct hiring and performance evaluations.

Governing ticket sales, the box office manager coordinates with the venue owner and pertinent production staff to establish ticket prices and ensure proper collection of all applicable taxes and fees. This person will put in place the system for issuing tickets and enforce policies concerning exchanges, refunds, and similar activities. For each performance, he or she is responsible for delivering the house count (tickets sold) to the house manager and must keep a watchful eye out to ensure that the audience is not oversold. Most important to sales operations is the accurate accounting of both electronic and cash transactions. This person will monitor and assign cash drawers to ticket sellers at the start of each work day and must see to it that the box office take corresponds to the tickets sold. The box office manager will produce nightly reports of sales and deliver that information to the general manager and venue operator. If a discrepancy arises, it is his or her responsibility to quickly alert the senior management of the issue and conduct an audit to determine where the error originated.

Quite often, the box office manager will have to accommodate patrons in disputes over ticket issues, such as exchanges or refunds. In most instances, the manager can come to some sort of equitable arrangement with the customer; however, he or she must uphold established policies. Return business is always a concern, but the box office manager is mindful to watch out for those who attempt to cheat the box office through counterfeit tickets or false claims. When a conflict arises between a member of the staff and a patron, this person must step in to provide leadership and a speedy resolution.

Skills & Education

A formal education in entertainment business or event management is recommended for this career, and a college degree is required. Study of business administration or accounting is also applicable to this career. An aspiring box office manager should take courses in advanced mathematics, finance, and public relations. This career demands an individual who is responsible, dependable, and trustworthy. He or she must display a great attention to detail as well as effective conflict resolution skills, and be a policy hawk. Of course, most important is the ability to accurately balance the accounting records for the box office in an efficient manner.

What to Expect

As the person responsible for large sums of money flowing into the venue, the box office manager must have an exemplary record for responsible performance on the job. Prior employment on the box office staff is a standard requirement, though experience within group sales, or telemarketing for live event venues is applicable. Many who work in the box office began as volunteer ticket sellers or ushers for community organizations and have served on the house staff at numerous venues. You should expect to undergo an extensive background check during your application for employment and will be closely supervised in your day-to-day activities. Positions as a box office manager and ticket seller are available at traditional theaters, live event venues, concert halls, sports arenas, convention halls, and all other venues which host similar functions.  

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