How Brooklyn Botanic Garden Thrives as a New York Horticultural Treasure

With roots dating back to 1897, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) has long been a staple of urban gardening and horticultural display in New York. Creating a public garden was local conservationists’ way of ensuring the beauty of plant life was encapsulated among the rising city infrastructure. Over a century later, the Garden has grown to 52 acres of pristine landscape, connecting people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity, and inspiring appreciation and a sense of stewardship of the environment.


Since first opening its doors in 1911, the Garden made quick work to not only showcase and conserve native plants, but to also give back to the community. They developed the first-of-its kind Children’s Garden program, which offered a one-acre vegetable garden for city children to grow their own food. Over several decades, the Garden continued to grow, welcoming tens of thousands of attendees annually to both browse their vast horticulture collection and experience Sakura Matsuri, the extremely popular cherry blossom festival that marks the end of the month-long Japanese celebration of the cherry blossom, hanami.


Today, Brooklyn Botanic Garden inspires people of all ages through conservation, display, and enjoyment of plants. They offer educational programs that emphasize learning with hands-on activities, and promote research that’s focused on understanding and conserving regional plant communities. “We like to call Brooklyn Botanic Garden ‘A Garden for the Next Century,’” says Megan Murphy, Director of Visitor Services and Volunteers at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. “We are in the final phase of a garden-wide renewal to help ensure it remains vital in its second century, and to strengthen the Garden’s role as an integral resource for the larger community.”

A Budding Need for a Better Solution


As Brooklyn Botanic Garden continued to expand and attract more attendees to their vast exhibits, workshops, and garden tours, their need for a modern ticketing system became evident. “When I joined the BBG team in February of 2017, we were only using online ticketing for a few festivals,” said Murphy. “There were no electronic points of sale, so we had to use old-fashioned registers and credit card machines for all our general admission tickets.” The ticketing provider they initially partnered with couldn’t handle the additional event needs the Garden was rapidly growing into, and Murphy knew they’d need a partner who could handle not only full-service ticket sales, but also on-site assistance and improved customer communication as well.


Lacking Support

Efficiently ticketing a venue as large and as popular as Brooklyn Botanic Garden was no small feat. Even though the team’s combined decades of experience meant they knew how to work as a well-oiled machine, when it came to their ticketing and admissions, they wanted a ticketing partner who could provide expert advice if and when they had questions. “When we first ventured into online ticketing, our provider didn’t offer much assistance,” Murphy said. “It gave cause to a lot of stressful days.” The BBG team needed a partner they could rely on for on-site support at large festivals, as well as guidance on best practices when they needed it.



“ShowClix is a reliable system, and they showed that they’re the ideal solution for any garden, museum, or other venue that requires both daily admissions and ticketing for special events.”

- Megan Murphy, Director of Visitor Services and Volunteers at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



Unrefined Admissions

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s mission, first and foremost, is to connect people with the world of plants, so much of the team’s time and attention is spent nurturing the garden and its wildlife. With their previous admissions strategy, however, BBG had to spend a lot of time ushering customers through the gates just to see the garden every day. Because they didn’t have a viable solution to manage the sheer number of daily admissions and walk-up sales they were processing, or the necessary hardware to handle them, queue times became a real problem. “We could have thousands of people visiting on any given day, and we couldn’t do anything except have them wait at the box office as we fulfilled orders as fast as we could,” Murphy said. “I loved seeing so many people willing to line up for this wonderful garden, but in an ideal world they wouldn’t have to.”


Limited Customer Outreach

Being able to reach out to customers and update them on upcoming festivals and special events was a top priority for Murphy and her team. They wanted an easy way to group customers based on events they've either bought tickets for or shown interest in. “Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers so much more than just the garden, and we want to spread the word,” Murphy said. The BBG team needed a ticketing partner that could easily store and segment customer data, so they could both send important information to their existing customers, and create targeted marketing campaigns to further grow their audience.

A New Technology Partner Comes in Full Bloom


Soon after joining the Brooklyn Botanic Garden team, Murphy proposed the idea of making ShowClix their full-service ticketing and technology partner, as she knew from working with them at a previous museum that they could provide the Garden with everything they needed. “ShowClix is a reliable system, and they showed that they’re the ideal solution for any garden, museum, or other venue that requires both daily admissions and ticketing for special events,” said Murphy. As a “Garden for the Next Century,” Brooklyn Botanic Garden needed a system that had tools and features that were suited for the next century as well, and ShowClix proved well-prepared for the challenge.



“There has yet to be a challenge that their team couldn’t face head-on and come back to us with a solution for. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what you’re looking for in a partner?”

- Megan Murphy, Director of Visitor Services and Volunteers at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



Steadfast Support

ShowClix provided BBG with a dedicated team of event experts who were eager to assist them with all their event-related needs. “Our relationship with the ShowClix staff has been wonderful,” Murphy said. "They’re responsive, knowledgeable, and willing to spend as much time as possible working through a situation with us until we come up with a solution.” ShowClix was able to provide expert on-site guidance and support during their Sakura Matsuri festival each year as well, offering training on hardware usage, streamlined admission procedures, box office sales, and more. “Their on-site team was so helpful and hardworking the entire time they were there! In previous years, our Sakura Matsuri festival had been quite the handful for our team, but with the additional support we received from ShowClix, we were thrilled with how smoothly everything ran.”

Streamlined Admissions

Thanks to ShowClix’s powerful admissions technology, Brooklyn Botanic Garden was able to transform their admissions process and get excited attendees through the gate faster. By utilizing more sophisticated ticket scanning hardware, BBG was able to mitigate wait times and free up staff to focus on other aspects of the Garden. “The whole process was totally transformed right before our eyes,” said Murphy. “The technology ShowClix provides is top-of-the-line, and it’s noticeably sped up our entire box office.” Plus, once Brooklyn Botanic Garden implemented online ticket sales for their daily admissions, attendees who pre-purchased these online tickets were able to bypass any crowd and get more out of their visit.


Effortless Attendee Communication

With the ShowClix Segments tool, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden team was able to filter and group ticket buyers based on previous event attendance, purchase history, and shared customer information. The benefits of this powerful tool were two-fold: BBG could alert customers of updates to events they had purchased tickets to, and they could use the customer information they collected to enhance their marketing campaigns and target granular audiences. “Segments makes it so easy to communicate important information to our customers,” Murphy said. “For instance, there was a threat of rain one day and people were concerned about cancellations, so we were able to reach out to the appropriate ticket buyers and assure them our event was rain or shine. It helped give a lot of people peace of mind that day!”

ShowClix Delivers Results



54%

YoY increase in daily admission tickets sold online

4,000+

Orders scanned in per hour at peak times

100%

Visibility into online ticket order data

32+

Hours of dedicated on-site support annually

ShowClix is the Trusted Event Technology Partner


As Brooklyn Botanic Garden ushers in their second century of operation, they’ll continue to foster horticultural curiosity and inspiration in the minds of visitors from all walks of life. They know that ShowClix will always be there to offer assistance both on- and off-site, enhance their attendees’ experiences, and provide important customer data they can use to help grow their business.



“Our relationship with the ShowClix staff has been wonderful. They’re responsive, knowledgeable, and willing to spend as much time as possible working through a situation with us until we come up with a solution.”

- Megan Murphy, Director of Visitor Services and Volunteers at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



Always eager to go above the call of duty, ShowClix will help Brooklyn Botanic Garden further their mission through leading technology, effective admissions strategies, and anything else the Garden may need in the coming years. “There has yet to be a challenge that their team couldn’t face head-on and come back to us with a solution for. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what you’re looking for in a partner?”

“Working with ShowClix is like night and day from working with our previous ticketing provider. The team, the technology, the passion for what they do is unmatched, and I like having them in our corner. They’re the experts in what they do, so we can be the experts in what we do.”

- Megan Murphy, Director of Visitor Services and Volunteers, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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