Burning Man’s box office is Black Rock City’s 24/7 on-playa ticket sales center, located in an ingeniously modified semi container just outside BRC’s Gate. It’s where participants head for on-playa ticket sales and Will Call.
Box Office implemented fun and interactive improvements in 2006 – both in internal processes and systems, and in outward-facing customer relations – which meant increased Box Office visibility for management and crew, who all shone brightly! The Black Rock City Box Office crew was stellar in 2006!
One of the biggest challenges for Box Office is that it is a 24/7 operation; however, as this was the second year in a row under new management, with a year under their collective management belts, management was more familiar with previously implemented changes of 2005 and able to focus on refining details and delegating tasks. The result was a more evenly distributed workload. Plus, the addition of a new manager to the management team and the clear understanding and delegation of duties within the management team allowed everyone – managers and crew — to focus on their area of expertise and to flourish in those conditions as a team. The ticket check-in system was upgraded this year as well. Still using the electronic-based check-in system, 2006 was the advent of new, touch screen technology. As with any new technology, there are kinks to be worked out and refined for future years. Also new this year was the creation of an online manager’s log that was used by managers and shift leads to record issues and strange situations. This allowed for much clearer communication between shifts – if an issue arose during a shift, the log could be referenced to see if there was information about it from the previous shifts. This also came in very handy post-event as a resource to resolve outstanding Box Office and ticketing issues.
One of the goals for 2006 Box Office was to make it more fun and interactive. This was accomplished in pre-event Box Office set up, and also during the event. Working closely with the Gate and Perimeter crews in the weeks before the event, the Box Office crew was able to get the Box Office set up and organized in record time while forming new bonds with friends at the Gate — very important as both crews are very removed from the rest of the happenings in Black Rock City. Since the set up crew was so efficient in getting things up and running, they were able to take some time to decorate the formerly blank canvas of the Box Office giving the Box Office more personality and making it a fun place to work. This was the first year for the new Box Office crew to handle set up on their own and it went faster and smoother than anyone imagined! During the event, Box Office managed to turn things up a notch with the addition of a PA system that was used to communicate messages or PSA’s to participants in line. This was very successful. There were also several spontaneous fire performances and random acts of clowning by Box Office crew in the evenings making the Box Office a fun, interactive, first playa stop for many Burning Man participants.
Finally, for the first time ever, Box Office created a logo and had it printed on hoodies and t shirts and the crew had the option to purchase items to cover the cost of their creation. This proved to be a wonderful gift and really helped to create team identity and cohesion in The Box. Look forward to finding our crew wandering the streets of the world sporting our new Black Rock City Box Office duds: BRC Box Office, Better than Minge!
We saw many veteran Box Office crew members return in 2006 — always a good indicator of a stellar Burning Man work experience – each one of Box Office crew and management, a shining star!
All in all, this was perhaps the most successful year ever for Black Rock City Box Office!