Quick Fixes For Air Shows

Improving The Visit Product

IWM Duxford holds three air shows every year. They are one of the most successful events at IWM.

But there are some serious problems with the digital solutions for air shows.

The most obvious and most painful is the ticket buying process. It is also the one thing I have no control over because IWM have a third-party ticketing platform.

So, we aimed to get as many users as possible to the third party ticketing site for the September air show to sell tickets. For the first time IWM was not selling tickets on the door so it was really important to communicate that users couldn’t buy tickets on the day.

We only had four sprints of work to achieve this. So we focused on quick fixes and small development tasks. Then we need to work on making improvements for the future of the air shows which I will discuss in another post.

It’s gone well. Tickets have sold out. Here’s what we did.

Content is king

I collaborated with my Marketing colleague to improve the content.

Old content

We edited the content to ensure it was written in Plain English; added headers to break up the wall of text; edited hyperlinks to make them active links and removed ‘find out more’ calls to action; rearranged the information so that the important stuff was at the top in bullet points and edited the meta data so that Google delivered the important information about tickets.

Updated content

We also changed two high-traffic PDFs into web pages so Google could index them and users could find them. #win

The result? We improved the CTR to the air show page from search results by 22%.

Although this was a great thing to do, the conversion rate to buy tickets stayed the same. So we kept making changes.

Making the air show page easy to find

User testing is the best.

We did a bunch of remote video testing and guerrilla testing that showed a major problem.

Users didn’t know if air shows would be under exhibitions, events or ‘Flying at Duxford’ menu headings.

We weren’t signalling to users where to go, instead we were asking them to think about what an air show was — an exhibition? An event? Users spent time getting frustrated.

IWM’s website doesn’t have an air show section — I’ll write about this in my post about the future of air shows — so to solve this quickly I made some amends to the titles of the tabs. Events is now ‘Air Shows and Events’ and ‘Flying At Duxford’ is now ‘Information For Pilots.’

IWM’s menu with the addition of ‘Air Shows’

Adding ‘Air Shows’ to the tab of the event listing resulted in 37% more users finding the air show page. But we still needed to improve the number of users going to the third-party ticketing site.

Making it easier to buy tickets

The KPI was to get more users to the third-party ticketing site to sell tickets so I measured the goal using Google Analytics. So far the things we did had a very small impact on users converting.

So we added a ‘Book’ button to the event listing page on 27 August to see if more users would buy tickets straight from the listing page.

The new button on the listing page

We sold out of tickets on the 7 September.

The stats show the new button had the biggest impact of all the changes. The conversion rate for the goal improved by 28%.


Next steps

But the fun isn’t over. Now we need to make improvements for the 2016 air shows and beyond! Look out for my post on that.

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