The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Dalai Lama ticket reservations go smoothly: Tickets readily available to students, faculty and staff

Tickets to see His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who is visiting Macalester in March, were released on Feb. 5, and the reservation process continued smoothly despite concerns over the large quantity of tickets distributed. The Dalai Lama’s visit to Macalester promises to be one of the most significant and most attended events on campus this year. Despite the popularity of the event, tickets were not sold out as of press time.
As of 8 a.m. on Monday, students, faculty and staff had ordered a total of 2,215 of the available 2,300 tickets: 1,584 were sold to students and 631 to faculty and staff. The event will be held in the Leonard Center Fieldhouse in order to accommodate this vast numbers of attendees.

The reservation process was open until Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. and no student request made prior to the deadline was turned away due to the number of tickets allotted for the student population. The number of tickets for faculty and staff was limited to 800. Still, many students rushed to reserve their ticket quickly and secure a place at the event.

“I wasn’t in class at the time and I found out about it right away, but I still had this unfounded fear that all the tickets would be gone in the few minutes I took to fill out the registration information,” said Laura Abril ’17. “I didn’t want to miss an amazing opportunity or feel like I had wasted this chance.”

Despite the rush, however, the ticketing process proceeded smoothly, thanks largely to advanced planning and extra precautions. The quantity of tickets distributed prompted the school to make use of Marketplace, an online program used to request tickets. Those in charge of the distribution process found problems with using the Info Desk, or some other in-person system.

“A live ticket sale [at the Info Desk or elsewhere on campus] would cause a number of logistical challenges, including how to handle a line of 500-1,000 people people camping out overnight in potentially dangerous temperatures, and additional stress for both ticket seekers and staff distributing tickets,” said Andy Williams, Assistant Director of Campus Center & Conferences.

The online system solved those logistical problems and has worked as expected, as Williams has only had to follow up with 16 people after they placed their requests. This uneventful nature is likely due to the extra testing Marketplace underwent prior to ticket sales going live. Instead of launching ticket sales on Tuesday, Feb. 4, Campus Center staff decided to test the system further, a choice that ultimately paid off.

“We we received 1,450 requests … in the first two hours that tickets were available,” Williams said. “So playing it safe was the right way to go, in my opinion.”

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