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Situation: A large Boy Scout Council in a major US city had been holding an annual "Scout Fun Day" for many years and the youth participants sold tickets to the event for $5 each. These paper tickets entitled the purchaser's family to be admitted to the event and to participate in a door prize drawing. Purchasers were also entitled to a group a special discounts from local merchants who had paid a sponsorship fee to the group. These nominal discounts included such deals as free toppings on a pizza at a local restaurant chain or a few dollars off on the next oil change for a car.

The group has a large web site but wanted to drive more traffic to the site so they could make more people aware of their many creative programs and activities. They would also like to build a database of "Friends of Scouting" so they could send periodic emails on various opt-in topics. The group wanted to consider a web-based ticket sales system that would include each purchaser and allow each of them to indicate their special areas of interest or concern. When visiting the web site, purchasers could also indicate if they knew of youth who could benefit from participating in the program or adults who might be interested in becoming volunteers.

Action: Dupree & Associates is working with the Boy Scouts to design a replacement for the the paper admission card and coupon sheets. Instead, scouts would sell a plastic admission card that would be the size of a standard credit card. Each card would be serialized and have a unique bar code. On the back of the card purchasers would be instructed to visit the group's web site to activate their card. Once activated, the card would be good for admission to the event and optionally entered in the door prize drawing. For those without Internet access, a phone number would be provided as an alternate way to activate their admission cards.

Each major sponsor's logo would be on the card with a very brief description of that sponsor's special offer. Purchasers would visit a scout web site for additional details and possibly to print a discount coupon. The web site would also have a link to each sponsor's web site for maps and directions to the sponsor's various stores in the area. The sponsors could judge the effectiveness of their marketing investment by establishing a special "welcome" landing page and track the traffic being driven there by their scout sponsorship.

Result: The web-based ticket system is scheduled for possible implementation in spring 2005. Dupree & Associates has identified several potential suppliers of these admission cards and has proposed a card design for the client's consideration. A prototype of the purchaser's activation page has been developed along with a sample real time scoreboard that can be used to track the number of ticket activations to date - by scout pack / troop, by geographic area, and overall.

At the entrance to the event, the ticket checkers could be equipped with bar code readers so they can quickly scan each admission card and later track which purchasers actually attended the event.

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