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Behind the scenes with adMIT ONE

adMIT ONE – the Institute's centralized box office – is a popular campus resource for student groups and DLCs that are offering events.

If you're a member of the MIT community, chances are you've been on the receiving end of adMIT ONE — but do you know what it is?

Here are a few clues:
  • It's played a role in everything from the Next Century Convocation to Beaver Dash 2011, from "A Conversation with Mark Zuckerberg" to Senior Ball.
  • It's cool with HTML, Kerberos certificates, bar codes, credit cards, TechCash, journal vouchers, SAP and iPod touch scanners. And it's been touted through Facebook and Twitter — it was the "be there or be square" website for last year's hot balloon and skydiving events during Senior Week.
  • It's fully customizable and can parse categories, parameters, restrictions, early bird sales and even orders for polo shirts. While it handles transactions with savvy, it's only 1 year old.
Drum roll, please, and three cheers for adMIT ONE — MIT's centralized box office.

The back story

adMIT ONE is run by MIT CopyTech in collaboration with University Tickets, a provider of online ticket sales and box-office solutions for colleges and universities. Right now the service is hosted on the Division of Student Life website, given the original focus on student events. Since adMIT ONE has expanded to include events offered by DLCs and other community groups, online access to the service will move to CopyTech this summer at the time it launches its new website.

As CopyTech's Manager Steve Dimond notes, the first year with adMIT ONE came with quite a learning curve, as different customers asked to use the service in different ways. Or as June Milligan, CopyTech's marketing development manager, observes, "Everyone thinks they know how to sell tickets until it comes time to sell tickets."

Here are just a few examples of how CopyTech customized adMIT ONE for student groups and DLCs:

The MIT Museum's F.A.T. Chain Reaction
This past fall was the first time online tickets were sold for the Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction, held each year in Rockwell Cage. A key feature that convinced the MIT Museum to use adMIT ONE is its ability to accept payment by MasterCard or Visa. The Museum was also able to charge different prices for different audiences, from Adult ($15) to MIT students / seniors / youth / MIT ID holders ($5), to children under age 5 (free).

In adMIT ONE you can also specify exactly when you want online sales to begin and end. As soon as ticket sales for F.A.T. closed, CopyTech sent museum staff the complete list of ticket holders, which allowed them to plan accordingly.

Senior Ball
The seniors in charge of MIT's 2011 Senior Ball wanted an understated reservation list so that attendees wouldn't have to pull out PDF printouts when they arrived at the Park Plaza Hotel. CopyTech provided a reservation list that included the names of seniors purchasing tickets and their guests, along with their choice of menu options and alerts about dietary restrictions.

As Milligan notes, adMIT ONE lets you fill in as many blanks as you want. You can also set multiple parameters, such as whether an individual can buy more than one ticket and who can attend an event (e.g., seniors only).

The Mechanical Engineering Polo Shirt
True, it wasn't an event, but adMIT ONE still rose to the occasion. Hunter McClelland, a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, designed a polo shirt that featured the department's logo. After getting department approval to sell the shirt, McClelland came to CopyTech to see if they could set up an adMIT ONE page for taking orders, to be paid for in advance by credit card. They could and they did.

When the sale ended, McClelland knew exactly how many polo shirts to order and in what sizes. A few days later, CopyTech used a journal voucher to transfer the proceeds into the cost object McClelland had provided up front, minus fees.

It's a deal

CopyTech charges nominal fees to help offset the cost of adMIT ONE. There's a $50 fee to set up a page, which involves working through the details of an event, the design of the page, and its HTML coding. CopyTech also charges a standard fee of 4 percent of net sales to cover the cost of credit card transactions. Of that 4 percent charge, CopyTech nets less than 1 percent, a modest return given that they assume the costs when customers choose to return tickets.

If an MIT group wants paper tickets, CopyTech prints them in house for 50 cents each, plus a $25 setup fee. Groups can also opt to use scanners at events to read the bar codes on printed PDFs. CopyTech rents these scanners for $25 a day for each scanner.

Dimond notes that adMIT ONE works well with other services that CopyTech provides. Many groups on campus use CopyTech for their event materials, from notebooks and large-format posters to direction signage and images on Infinite Display, MIT's digital signage. The adMIT ONE system helps round out the cycle of event planning.

To find out more about box office options for your next event, go to the adMIT ONE web page. If you have questions about the service, send mail to

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