Mrs Black

Best in show with Melbourne’s oldest community event

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How do you craft a custom ticketing experience for Melbourne’s biggest event?

One of Melbourne’s most enduring and beloved events, The Melbourne Royal Show has been held for over 170 years. A community celebration of agriculture, food, produce and producers, each year the festival attracts over half a million attendees. 

Calico has a long history of partnering with this iconic event, which gave us not only the benefits of an established relationship, but the experience and knowledge to draw on past research and hit the ground running.

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A more crafted ticketing experience

The Royal Show’s existing ticketing system was outdated and the entire digital experience needed a fresh coat of paint. We were called on to redesign the ticketing flow and cart while simultaneously reskinning the website to suit the event’s rebrand. 

The key was to craft a ticketing experience that would maximise conversion, while arming the system for a high user load. Extra considerations such as daily capacity restrictions and recording the contact details of the attendees were integral to a successful delivery. 

The entire project had an unmovable deadline that had to be delivered in time for the event’s ticketing on-sale date.

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Meeting new pandemic challenges

To allow for national consistency, the Melbourne Royal Show wanted to implement a new ticketing system built by RNA (the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland). 

We worked closely with the RNA, using the API from this system to switch to the updated ticketing system for the Melbourne Royal Show and adapting it to suit the Show’s specific needs.

Safety and security concerns are paramount in eCommerce – to ensure the highest levels of protection we partnered with NAB to implement the payment gateway system. 

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To meet the needs of its members, we also collaborated with RACV to implement the validation of RACV member numbers and the associated ticket discounts.

A new challenge was to crosscheck the design and structure for the ticketing pages against the Victorian government’s requirements for contact tracing, ensuring we met strict guidelines for events within a pandemic. 

The site itself had previously been built using Umbraco, so we ensured that the reskin and the new ticketing system would continue to function effectively within the existing CMS. Umbraco’s flexibility meant we could balance past functionality with updated design, keeping consistency for admins of the site. 

Future-proofing Melbourne’s biggest event

While the 2021 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Melbourne Royal Show is now much more prepared for its post-pandemic relaunch with a contemporary website and leading ticketing system under development.

The ability to monitor attendance numbers and limit sales based on daily capacity restrictions, as well as record the contact details of attendees, will be integral for all events moving forward. 

With the event set to return in 2022, the Melbourne Royal Show is ahead of the curve, prepared for a bright future and ready to enthrall the next generation of show-goers. 

Visit the Melbourne Royal Show site now to discover the full experience Calico developed. 

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Calico acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.
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