An ArtsProfessional feature sponsored by Tessitura Network

How can you make your box office a more powerful contributor to the success of your organisation and the happiness of your customers? Dana Astmann and Brooke Gallagher offer three suggestions.

Packed auditorium at Royal Albert Hall

The box office is most customers’ first point of contact with your organisation. A warm welcome and a seamless transaction make your patrons feel at home. Over time this will help you to build loyalty and maximise revenue, turning patrons into repeat buyers, members, and donors. Here are our top three recommendations for every box office.

Get the right technology in your hands

Box office professionals want to focus on running their ticketing operations. Technology can help by taking care of the mechanics. When you find the right tool that supports your needs, you can stop worrying about the technology itself and concentrate on the big picture.

Smart automations provide a personalised experience to each customer while helping you operate at peak efficiency

The organisations that make up the Ticketing Network East Midlands Consortium in Nottingham understood the importance of this when they decided to re-evaluate their online ticketing infrastructure. The member groups – Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, the Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, and Dance4 – decided to move away from their individual custom web integrations. They selected Tessitura’s TN Express Web (TNEW), a white-label online transaction platform, and TN Mobile Plus, a parallel platform for mobile engagement. These products take care of the transactional functionality, are fully-supported and upgraded each year, and let each organisation control their own visual experience and branding.

Consortium Manager Annie Scally said, “We chose TN Web Products because we knew we could rely on Tessitura to keep the products up to date with the future of Tessitura Software. Plus, we could still maintain separate brands for each consortium partner while sharing training and support resources.”

With the right technology, these organisations were able to keep customers engaged by prompting patrons to update their preferences if they are not current. They also encouraged increased loyalty and support by prompting them to add a small contribution to their order. These changes created more personalised customer interactions, deepened institutional support and increased revenue, while freeing staff members from the work of maintaining a custom web solution.

Automate, automate, automate

Smart automations provide a personalised experience to each customer while helping you operate at peak efficiency. Organisations of all sizes rely on Tessitura to power high-volume on-sales that provide an excellent customer experience while maximising revenue.

The Royal Albert Hall, a Tessitura user since 2004, has greatly improved the online booking process for the BBC Proms, the world’s largest classical music festival. This year, a record 57,551 tickets were sold in the first hour of booking, over 25,000 tickets more than in the equivalent period in 2015. A total of 118,000 tickets have been purchased so far, over 109,000 of those online. All of these online sales utilise the Tessitura Web API to communicate between the Royal Albert Hall’s website and Tessitura database.

James Ainscough, Chief Operating Officer at Royal Albert Hall, said: “We are delighted with the success of first day ticket sales. Since last year we have invested in our website and booking system which enabled us to sell nearly 58,000 in the first hour, nearly double the number sold in the same period last year and setting a new record for the Royal Albert Hall‎.”

Make customers happy

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas was able to vastly improve its customer experience with Tessitura products and services. Working with a web development firm, they created a customised online visit planner that integrates with the TN Express Web platform. With limited capacity, even members opt to reserve tickets online.

Lucy Hale, the Director of School Programmes, said: “That has really been helpful with increasing our member happiness, that they can make sure they know what they’re doing in a day and they haven’t double-booked themselves. It’s very smooth.”

The museum is also now able to sell true ticket bundles, which is helping to increase theatre and traveling exhibit attendance and, in turn, raise revenue.

The museum has also improved the registration process for its children’s camps with Tessitura. On their previous system, the volume of traffic broke the website when camp registrations opened, frustrating members. With Tessitura, the museum is able to segment their member groups to control access to the five different on-sale dates. In addition, they can create waitlists, which benefits both customers and the museum itself.

Hale noted: “Because of how desirable our camps are and because of the limited availability, we would sell camps out very, very quickly. We were able to go to the waitlist and sell camps to folks that maybe have never gotten in before. It also really maximised the revenue potential for our camp programme.” The following year, she reports, “we’ve been able to logistically reconfigure our physical space to create entire new classes based on the waitlists, which is truly phenomenal.”

Arts organisations in the UK and around the globe have been using Tessitura for over 15 years to support wide-ranging ticketing needs. These capabilities, combined with the power of a unified CRM system, allow organisations from theatres and orchestras to performing arts centres and multidisciplinary organisations to operate far more effectively.

Sarah Woods of the Royal Albert Hall has said that Tessitura enabled them “to put the customer at the heart of our business… Today, as a result of Tessitura (and its API) we have improved our service to our customers. Our staff have the ability to find information quickly and efficiently to drive revenue and validate new business ideas.”

Dana Astmann is Content Producer and Brooke Gallagher is Product Specialist, Client Development at Tessitura Network.
T: +44 (0) 845 834 0212 x 115

This article, part of the Making the Most of the Box Office feature, is sponsored by Tessitura Network.

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Photo of Dana Astmann
Photo of Brooke Gallagher