Beta Release of TicketSignup’s Patent-Pending Multi-Day, Timed Entry Ticketing

We are very excited to announce the beta release of TicketSignup’s patent-pending multi-day, timed entry (MTE) ticketing. Since 2023, our team has been working on our next-generation solution for timed ticketing and admissions. MTE solves problems for events that sell tickets for multiple dates and/or time slots, such as haunts, holiday light shows, tours, seasonal events and festivals, bookings, and admissions.

Why MTE?

TicketSignup has a great timed ticketing solution that works well for many events today. As we learned more about the common problems faced by recurring events, we realized that there wasn’t a purpose-built ticketing platform that solved the three major challenges of multi-date, timed entry events:

  • Optimizing storage and retrieval of information in a multi-tenant SaaS system with hundreds of thousands of events each with potentially thousands of time slots over a period of decades. In other words, a very large and complex database structure that needs to be optimized.
  • Ease of setup, edits and reporting for Event Directors in creating and managing their event ticketing for recurring events.
  • Ease of buying tickets for ticket purchasers.

What is MTE?

TicketSignup solved these challenges by developing a unique database architecture that allows for efficient storage and processing of recurring events. Calendars make it easy for event directors to configure, edit, and report on their events. It’s easy for attendees to buy tickets with a highly configurable purchase path that works whether your event is 3 days or perpetual.

How Did We Build MTE?

Benny Chen, a Senior Developer at TicketSignup, and Stephen Sigwart, our CTO, worked together to design the patent-pending database architecture of MTE.

Benny spent weeks studying how Google Calendar works to inform their design. For example, what happens when you set up a recurring meeting on Tuesday at 3pm for 6 weeks, then edit one of the meetings on one of the dates to 4pm, then update the recurring meeting to start at 3:30?

Stephen and Benny created a database for MTE that has rules tables for time slots, additions, and calendar dates. There is also an exceptions table that captures edits. In addition, there are more exception and audit tables, along with tables for associated settings like pricing, caps, questions, and store. On top of all this, they designed algorithms and functions that efficiently standardize how different parts of the system use these tables.

Patent signing at the office during our Monday development meeting!

In addition to the challenge of creating a patent-pending database architecture, we also faced the challenge of talking about it. Benny came up with the abbreviation MTE so that we could communicate internally without having to say “multi-date, timed entry” every time. The term stuck, and we needed a way to differentiate our next-generation timed ticketing from the simple and advanced tickets we have today.

MTE for the Long Term

Taking time to build a database architecture for the long-term is a huge investment in great technology. TicketSignup spent the past year working on MTE Beta because we are a long-term company that builds software that solves real problems. And timed ticketing is extraordinarily complex. MTE is not some calendars on top of our existing architecture, like other ticketing companies do. It is a highly efficient database architecture for timed entry events – including admissions that have no end date – that can support hundreds of thousands of events with no downtime.

How Do I Use MTE Beta?

Anyone can set up an event using the MTE beta wizard: MTE Beta includes:

  • MTE Wizard to create ticket types, dates, and time slots.
  • Advanced time slot rules. These will be replaced with friendlier calendar-based rules in the coming weeks, but rules are the efficient way the database creates and stores MTE data! See a quick demo below.
  • Pricing and caps per ticket, rule, and/or time slot.
  • Configurable purchase path.
  • MTE reports, including a new Time Slots report that lets you filter tickets by ticket type, date, and/or time slot. There is also a ticket sales summary report.
  • All of the TicketSignup features you love. Ticket management, free websites, free Email Marketing, Store, Apple Pay, Apple Wallet, Donations, and more!

There are some features that are not live for MTE Beta: Ticket App, Self-serve ticket transfers, website builder tiles per date, email lists per date/time slot, and some summary reports.

What’s Next?

Our MTE development focus is shifting from database architecture to creating a friendly and easy-to-use interface. Our focus is making the product self-serve. This means a lot more calendars. MTE is going to evolve a lot over the next several months. As the product matures, we will release more blogs and how-to content. In the meantime, we look forward to getting feedback from MTE Beta customers and starting to onboard events.

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