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“The Disruption Dilemma”: Exploring Approaches to Managing Audience Behaviour

What the Numbers Say

Ticketsolve recently conducted a survey involving over 350 arts organisations, on  “the Disruption Dilemma” exploring the challenges of disruptive audience behaviour. The responses provided interesting insights into experiences regarding audience etiquette from venues across the UK and Ireland. 

The survey revealed that more than 90% of respondents have encountered issues with audience members causing distractions and interruptions during shows. Common disruptions include inappropriate use of electronic devices, talking, late arrivals, early departures, and other antisocial behaviour.

Surveyed venues consensus was that such disruptions can negatively affect both the performers’ experience and the overall quality of the show for other patrons. While over 60% of organisations have policies or rules in place regarding audience behaviour, the methods for addressing violations vary significantly from one venue to another.

 

Exploring Approaches

To explore how venues are tackling the challenge, we spoke to five organisations of different sizes and programming, showcasing innovative approaches to managing audience behaviour:

Princes Theatre Using Venue Spaces

As a multipurpose venue, Clacton-on-Sea’s Princes Theatre found a creative  way to deal with disruptive behaviour among audience members. They turned part of their seating area into a dance floor – accommodating over 600 patrons, including seating for those with mobility issues.

They initially tried this idea in 2023, to great success. There were fewer issues, the atmosphere was more lively, and the Princes Theatre team received positive feedback. Providing a dedicated space for dancing helped prevent problems caused by people standing up in their seats too often.

For shows without the dance floor, they also make use of the spacious aisles by encouraging people to dance there instead. They use signs and reminders to guide patrons, and if someone does stand up in their seat, the staff allow it once before asking them to move to the aisles. While it depends on available space, setting up designated areas for dancing has proven to be an effective way for the Princes Theatre to manage disruptive behaviour while making the customer experience better.

Kilm Theatre & Cinema Consistency is Key

As an intimate venue with fewer than 300 seats, Kiln, based in Kilburn in London, understands the challenges of managing guest behaviour – and has developed a focus on consistency over rules. They start by welcoming guests with reminders about behaviour expectations when they buy tickets, and they have the same reliable security staff enforcing rules from one show to the next.

Kiln has found that directly talking to their small, close-knit audience is more effective than just using signs or posters. They aim to make good behaviour a habit for both new and returning guests by repeating their rules and procedures often. Sometimes they need to be firmer in their messaging, but overall, a consistent and clear approach helps prevent surprises that could lead to disruptions.

Ipswich Theatres Proactive Policies and Procedures

Ipswich Theatres take a proactive approach to handling disruptive behaviour among patrons by following certain policies and procedures:

  • Setting expectations

    They have formal rules, especially regarding dancing in certain areas, which ticket holders must agree to before booking. They also use signs and announcements during shows to make standards clear.

  • Empowering staff

    All staff members receive conflict resolution training and are authorised to refuse alcohol service or address issues with patrons before they escalate. Managers are available to handle serious incidents.

  • Addressing issues early

    Visible signs discourage inappropriate behaviour like filming or photography, and guests are screened at entrances to prevent entry of visibly intoxicated individuals

  • Utilising security

    Additional security personnel are brought in as needed to assist in managing disruptive behaviour, and bag checks are conducted for some shows.

The theatre sees this as a mutual commitment: they provide entertainment in a safe environment, and patrons must behave responsibly. If guests cannot follow the rules, they won’t be allowed in the venue – it’s as simple as that.

AMATA Arts Centre About the Messaging

As a university-based theatre with limited parking, AMATA Arts Centre in Falmouth faces the challenge of late guest arrivals. Unable to relocate closer to parking areas, they focus on communication strategies. By carefully assessing all messages, they prioritise informing patrons about potential delays, giving them ample warning beforehand. Although some guests still miss this information, their thoroughness helps defend against problems when they arise.

Additionally, AMATA has reviewed the language used in their guidelines over the past year to promote inclusivity. They replaced authoritarian terms like “rules” with “house guidelines”. Framing their guidelines as invitations rather than mandates has proven effective. Overall, thoughtful communication with the audience allows AMATA to establish clear expectations regarding behaviour and facility policies, fostering a positive experience. Even though they can’t control all external factors, highlighting key details emphasises the importance of information.

Riverside Theatre The Three-strike Rule

Unlike some venues,  Riverside Theatre in  Coleraine allows outside food and even alcohol into the auditorium to improve the customer experience, especially for comedy shows. However, they still need to address any disruptive patron behaviour.

Instead of a clearly stated policy, Riverside follows an internal “three strike rule” for handling issues. The duty manager gives a warning for the first offence. If the problem persists, the duty manager will ask the patron to leave. On the third incident, security will remove the non-compliant guest if they refuse to leave voluntarily. This system offers guests opportunities to correct their behaviour before being expelled.

However, staff also have a process to escalate situations if necessary. Management fully backs the duty manager’s decisions, allowing them to enforce rules without fear of consequences. By blending hospitality with clear expectations, Riverside balances customer satisfaction with limited disruptions.

These case studies demonstrate that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to challenged faced by venues when it comes to audience behaviour. However, the creative approaches taken by these venues offer early insights into potential strategies, including space design, improved communication, proactive policies, and graduated consequence systems.

For further conversation on whether venues should strictly enforce rules or adapt to changing cultural norms, to avoid excluding certain audiences, check out our podcast with cultural studies expert Kirsty Sedgeman.

Price is NOT the Problem: Rethinking Pricing Strategies in Arts and Culture

Price is NOT the problem…or is it? Pricing is challenging but critical for arts and cultural organisations. This whitepaper provides insights and advice on utilising pricing as a strategic tool to build stronger customer relationships while boosting revenue. Discover how small shifts can make a big difference.

Setting the right prices for shows, exhibitions, and events is one of the most complex yet impactful decisions arts and cultural professionals make. Get pricing wrong, and it can mean lacklustre audience engagement and financial instability. Get it right, and organisations can thrive, forging lasting relationships with their communities.

As critical as pricing decisions are, they are often made based on assumptions and incomplete data rather than using data to guide decisions. This means that all too often, arts and cultural organisations leave money on the table.

Read on for small but meaningful shifts can transform pricing into an engine for building audience relationships and organisational resilience.

This Whitepaper was produced with CEO and founder Sean Kelly of Vatic 

The Problem with Pricing is Us

  • Insular Decision-Making

    Every time patrons make a purchase they are having a conversation with you about price that provides insight around the more subtle aspects of price thresholds. Audiences are often less price sensitive than we imagine, so assuming increasing prices will discourage attendance or hamper accessibility is a trap. Customers value what they value. 

  • Conflict Avoidance

    Mission driven arts and culture organisations might find frank pricing conversations difficult, as it can seem at odds with higher missions and goals. However, without open conversations, prices can stagnate, ultimately damaging your ability to successfully achieve your mission by leading to financial instability. Pricing can be thought of as a customer loyalty tool that helps achieve organisations’ missions while supporting arts workers.

  • Status Quo Bias

    It is tempting to just benchmark pricing against other venues or reuse previous years’ prices. While this is simple and seems safe, the status quo leaves a lot of money on the table.

  • Emotion-Driven Reactions

    Slow sales, engaging new audiences, and rising inflation often make organisations think reducing prices is best, but reactionary moves undermine revenue without solving root issues; data should drive tactical pricing decisions rather than emotions and past experiences, which don’t always reveal buyer motivations.

Why Pricing Matters

Optimising revenues helps organisations achieve financial stability and lifts arts and cultural organisations in multifaceted ways:

  • Raising realised revenue on high demand shows, means capacity can be opened up to offer free or reduced tickets for underserved groups.

  • Higher total ticket value better covers costs of production, performers, and behind-the-scenes staff supporting a livable wage

  • Research shows patrons spending more are more likely to give and volunteer. £500+ ticket-buyers donate 5X more in the long-term

  • Optimised revenue can support less popular, but equally valuable offerings, as well as support free or subsidised community or educational events

Thoughtful pricing helps organisations balance mission with sustainability and what patrons value — the ultimate win-win.

Reframing Perspectives

There are four key factors that can help reframe our perspectives around pricing:

  • Use data to challenge assumptions

  • Be strategic with discounts

  • Make incremental pricing changes

  • Take an audience centric view on pricing

One through three are fairly straightforward, but four is worth exploring a little more 👇

Audience-centric Pricing and Price Elasticity

Patron value perceptions and price sensitivity vary by segment. Pricing influences:

  • Perceived quality and value, impacting decision to attend

    Higher prices signal quality, exclusivity, and better experiences

  • Psychological response

    Those paying more view experience more positively and value the experience more

  • Loyalty

    Premium prices are an investment in a beloved organisation. Casual buyers won’t buy more just because of lowered prices

  • Spend and donations

    Higher ticket spends are directly correlated to donations

Demand and value perception, which impact price elasticity, differ across shows, celebrity performers, entertainment options, demographics, and other factors. 

Understanding price elasticity through data analysis, and incrementally changing prices, allows effective dynamic pricing while managing customer expectations.

Practical Steps

Determining optimal pricing for arts and cultural events can be a major challenge. Finding the sweet spot that maximizes revenue while maintaining accessibility requires continuous experimentation, analysis, and refinement grounded in data.

To help you on this pricing optimisation journey, we’ve put together the following 9-step guide for implementing dynamic pricing strategies tailored to your audiences.

  • Analyse pricing levels, promotions, and sales trends from previous shows and seasons. Identify price elasticity thresholds by correlating price changes to demand shifts. Look for patterns around audiences, shows, and external factors.

    Look at historical data to help challenge your assumptions. What is the most your organisation has ever charged? More than £100? Why? Take a close look at your data and get customer feedback to understand what different  events are really worth to a given audience segment.

  • Factor entertainment alternatives that audiences consider into decisions around pricing sensitivity. For example, a music festival nearby might increase willingness to pay for special theatre performances or exhibitions.

  • Pinpoint specific shows, times, or audience segments where new pricing strategies can be tested or applied without major risk. Start small before implementing pricing changes across the board.  

    Popular shows and weekends likely present opportunities to increment prices upwards judging demand strength. Use dynamic pricing tools to identify and price high-demand performances.

  • Ask existing and potential audiences open-ended questions around price perceptions, sensitivities and their reaction to potential changes. Online feedback forms, post-show polls, direct outreach, and social monitoring provide quick avenues to gain regular input.

    Integrate findings into pricing decisions rather than relying on internal assumptions.

  • Small, progressive price adjustments let you continuously gauge response while managing risks and objections. Raising prices too drastically could spark backlashes. But gentle nudges balanced with feedback channels and data allows you to continually optimise pricing.

    For example, for a high-demand show, consider starting with a 5% increase. Look at your sales data – are sales still strong? Inch up the price a little more, look at your data, and rinse and repeat until you get to the sweet spot. This applies to all your pricing bands too. If sales are good, consider raising prices across all bands rather than just slow moving ones – a £20 seat becoming a £21 seat seems a slight rise but gives better revenue uptick across the entire run.

  • When making price changes, particularly increases, clearly convey what additional value patrons receive. This might include VIP access, reduced fees, premium seat locations, discounts on future purchases, donations to nonprofit partners, etc. 

    Framing pricing around service over builds support. Promote prices as investments in programs audiences love. 

  • Organisation-wide discounts train audiences to wait before buying and undermine revenue. Offering strategic promotions around specific shows, times, or audiences helps focus your discount strategy. 

    Student promotions for weekday performances, loyalty discounts, early bird sales, social media contests, and first-timer rates maintain accessibility without condition-wide price drops. Make offers based on data-backed demand forecasts. 

  • Do post-show sales analyses to correlate pricing tweaks with demand changes show-over-show. Keep surveying audiences to guide ongoing optimisations. 

    Dynamic pricing really is about being responsive and audience-led. It is less about your feelings and more about what the audience thinks – and the data that backs that up.  

  • Tools like online customer analytics, dynamic ticket pricing engines, demand forecasting models, and automated surveying minimise manual overhead to gain pricing insights and make data-backed decisions.

For Example

Most people go for afterwork drinks on Fridays, making Saturday the venue’s busiest night. A couple interested in tickets for a show’s closing weekend could go either Friday or their preferred night, Saturday.

Should tickets be

Option 1: £45 Friday, £55 Saturday 

Option 2:£45 Friday, £90 Saturday 

The highest price is typically 50-100% more than the lowest price that week. So £70-£90 is when patrons really start thinking about value. A big enough price difference makes customers evaluate what they truly want.

No one is making a value proposition decision off of £10.

In our example, Option 2 means, you will sell more tickets for Friday than normal while maximising revenues for Saturday – your busiest night. 

Key Takeaways

Small but consistent shifts in practices and mindset allow pricing strategies to build both lasting audience relationships and strong revenue.

Rather than a single perfect price, responsive, data-driven pricing strategies backed by customer insight are much more effective in finding pricing sweet spots matching demand across unique audience segments. Pricing should remain dynamic over seasons to optimise accessibility and value against demand. 

Ultimately it is all about what the customer really values.

Find out how Ticketsolve can help you to optimise your pricing strategy 

Community Focus with Farnham Maltings

Farnham Maltings is one of the leading arts centres and theatres in the southeast of England. Based in South West Surrey with a regional, national and international reach, Farnham is a diverse organisation with a varied programme including live theatre, comedy, workshops, festivals, market days and more.

What sets Farnham apart is their clear mission – which is central to the organisation’s strategy, planning and thinking: “We are committed to improving the quality of people’s lives across all the communities we work with”

This simple but effective mission gives Farnham a clear “why” for every action or plan they commit to and helps them create welcoming spaces. Over 400,000 people visit Farnham each year from diverse backgrounds to participate in workshops, attend performances, or exhibit at festivals.

Nurturing Community Resilience Their Pandemic Response

When the pandemic hit, Farnham focused on their commitment to community wellbeing to guide their response. They knew there were many vulnerable and isolated people locally who would need support.

Farnham pivoted beyond arts and culture to offer vital services like shopping delivery for the elderly, setting up a share shop where people could exchange items, and delivering prescription medicines for those unable to go out themselves.

The small Farnham team quickly engaged over 500 volunteers to help provide these services. This demonstrates the connections Farnham has built in the community over time and people’s eagerness to help out.

Community-Driven Initiatives Providing Financial Lifelines

Early in the pandemic, Farnham teamed up with the town council to create The Coronavirus Support Fund which has raised over £50,000 to help vulnerable community members. People can apply to access money from the fund for purchases big or small like a new fridge or children’s clothes. Over 200 awards have been granted so far.

This shifted Farnham’s perception of their role and value within the community. Through their pandemic response work it became clear they are more than just an arts centre, but a vital community hub.

Adapting to Sustain Community Impact Navigating Financial Turbulence

While the focus was on helping the community, Farnham faced its own financial uncertainty from closures and loss of revenue. They accessed government support schemes and unfortunately instituted staff pay cuts.

Projections showed even with spending and earning less they would hit breakeven eventually, but valued programs and supports were still at risk without additional funds.

After continually hearing the community wanted to help them stay afloat, Farnham launched their “Spring Forward” fundraising campaign.

Strengthening Community Bonds Transformational Outcomes

The Spring Forward campaign raised over £60,000 from over 600 supporters to help Farnham continue providing valuable community programmes and supports.

Farnham’s pandemic response cemented their vital role as a community anchor organisation. Their commitment to their mission guided them to step up and support vulnerable locals when it mattered most.

This strengthened Farnham’s relationships and social capital locally and enhanced their reputation as an essential community asset, not just an arts facility. Farnham’s experience shows that with a clear “why”, the scope of what an organisation can offer its community is limitless.

A Guide to Getting Started with Objectives and Key Results

An Introduction to Objectives and Key Results

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a goal-setting framework that aligns entire organisations around shared priorities. It brings visibility into individual and team progress toward quantitative goals that reflect what matters most. This focus and transparency allows arts and cultural organisations to enhance strategic direction, productivity, and collaboration. By cascading top-level organisational objectives down to team and individual key results, OKRs help prevent silos and keep all departments working towards the same ambitious vision. Implemented properly, they drive organisations forward quickly by highlighting what activities offer the most value.

Benefits of the OKR Framework

There are 3 major benefits to implementing OKRs in your organisation:

  • The framework informs the entire organisation on what really matters

    OKRs ensure that everyone is on the same page and are working towards accomplishing prioritised goals

  • It offers a clear path on what is making a meaningful difference

    This allows individual teams and departments to take responsibility for their contribution to the success of your organisation, offering a sense of purpose and accountability.

  • Most importantly, it highlights what is not successful

    OKRs avoid time being spent on tasks that don’t really matter, demanding focus and encouraging decision making based on proven results.

Image of blocks printed with arrows angled towards a block printed with a target

What we’ve learned from OKRs

Team Ticketsolve began implementing the OKR framework a number of years ago. Some of the key things we’ve gained from using the model have been:

  • A way of quantifying instead of just qualifying

    The framework helps to add numbers/dates/deliverables to the results we want to achieve each quarter

  • Knowledge of how we’re actually performing in achieving our goals

  • Periodical reviews of how we are doing in reaching these goals

    We use these review sessions as a learning tool for providing useful data on what we are working on towards the future.

OKR Model

  • As you begin setting your first OKRs start by defining 3-5 Objectives for your organisation and departments that you want to achieve during a given time period (quarter or season). Objectives should be ambitious, qualitative, time-bound, and actionable.

  • Under each Objective set 3-4 measurable Key Results. Key Results show the most important things you need to do this season, not every small task you do each day. Key Results can be based on growth, performance, revenue, or customer engagement.

  • While you should set OKRs for quarterly or seasonally, it is important to continuously review all OKRs on a weekly basis. This ensures you stay on track with your goals and acts as an excellent feedback loop for team members.

  • OKRs should be incorporated into all weekly activities. At the beginning of the week, it’s important to think about what projects and plans need focusing on. Set deadlines for these priorities and review progress internally at the end of the week.

  • At the end of the OKR cycle, you should then review how the overall performance across the different departments and your overall organisation. See what worked well and identify areas for improvement. From there you can start planning your next OKR cycle.

A 3-Tier Approach to Creating OKRs

  • Organisational OKRs 

    Organisational objectives set by leadership reflect an organisation’s overarching priorities and vision. Well-defined top-level objectives provide clarity so teams understand how their work ladders up to meaningful impact.

  • Team OKRs

    Team OKRs define the priorities for the entire  team in one department and are not a collection of all  individual OKRs.

  • Personal OKRs 

    Personal OKRs define the contribution of a specific and individual person for the organisation and highlights their own priorities and deliverables.

Elements of Creating Meaningful OKRs  

For each tier, you need to define the following:

  • Objectives

    The objective needs to be ambitious, it shouldn’t be something that is easily achieved.  the objective should feel a tad uncomfortable.
    It is useful to review an example of an OKR applicable to most organisations which is centred on fundraising.

    e.g. Objective: create a successful fundraising campaign across all channels of the organisation

  • Key Results

    Key results  are specific and measurable. Remember, it’s not a key result unless it has a number/date attached to it. This way it offers the team a clear set of deliverables to aim for!

    e.g. Key results:

    1. Launch  fundraising campaign in December
    2. Raise £35,000 by April
    3. Create a meaningful ‘Thank You’ campaign for all donors over £50
    4. Secure 3 high-level donations of over £500 pounds after 3 months

Developing A Process and Creating A Timeframe

The most common OKR trap is setting aspirational goals then failing to revisit them. To maintain momentum, teams must review progress continuously, not just quarterly or annually. Short weekly check-ins ensure visibility into advancement towards seasonal or annual objectives. Regardless of when the OKR cycle starts, these intermittent progress reviews keep teams motivated and aware of their contributions. They also prevent end-of-period surprises since everyone receives ongoing feedback about organisational progress against goals. Ultimately, regular OKR progress monitoring sustains accountability to team commitments and maintains alignment across the organisation.

Understanding the Cycle of the OKR Framework

The ideal OKR cycle aligns with an organisation’s natural rhythms. For arts and culture, quarters or seasons often fit best. Though research shows 3 months optimizes goal-setting, fast-paced groups can use 6-8 week OKR sprints. Regardless of cadence, the timeline should integrate smoothly into existing organizational planning. While leadership sets top-level organisational objectives, managers and staff should collaboratively develop departmental and individual OKRs. Regular staff meetings and one-on-one check-ins ensure employee input directs OKR alignment and maintains transparency around progress against shared goals.

Tracking Your Progress

It is best practice to score your OKRs on a weekly basis – this can be done during team meetings. Scoring and monitoring an OKR works off a percentage model. If you are hitting and exceeding your objectives, you mark your result as 100%. If you have only achieved half of your objective, your result will be 50%.

e.g. if your target is to reach 10% increase in revenue by the end of the season but you think you will only hit 7%, you mark the objective  at 70%

Be honest and realistic when scoring. Remember if you score 100% at the end of the season or quartet, your OKRs were probably set a little too easy. Think of your scoring something like this:

  • 50% – Average
  • 60% – Above average
  • 70% – Very Good
  • 80% – Great
  • 90% – Excellent. Identify areas for further growth next season
  • 100% – Overall an excellent performance but need to identify a challenge moving forward

Review, Learn and Go Again

At the end of each OKR cycle make sure you schedule the time for a  review session. In these sessions you should give each of your key results a final score, and reflect on each OKR as a whole. Using a retrospective approach, pose some (or all) of these questions to your team:

  • Were our objectives ambitious enough?

  • Were our key results measurable? Did we know what our baseline was at the start of he quarter?

  • Did we lose sight of our objectives during the season? If so, why?

  • Were our OKRs aligned with the company’s broader strategies?

  • Did they keep us focused?

  • Did we feel connected to our OKRs?

  • What have we learnt from this quarter? How do we lift the bar moving into the coming quarter?

Ready to get started? To give you a helping hand, we’ve created an OKR Worksheet for you to use when building your goals.

A Guide to Google Analytics 4

Ticketsolve and One Further have collaborated to develop one of the most comprehensive Google Analytics 4 (GA4) integrations within the arts, culture, and heritage industry. The result is a streamlined way for arts and culture organisations to integrate with the new GA4. You can get started with this reporting toolkit that pulls the most useful and actionable insights from a variety of data sources.

Why the Change to Google Analytics 4?

Mission based organisations like arts, culture, heritage and live entertainment venues produce a lot of online content, show trailers, blogs, social media posts, marketing campaigns, email, images – all digital and all available for your audiences to engage with. This amount of content and engagement also means a lot of data. The challenge is how to best interrogate that data to get actionable insights that help you meet your goals across your organisation.

That is where web analytics comes in. 

Google Analytics (GA) has been the leader in website analytics since Classic Analytics launched in 2007. 2012’s Universal Analytics, the next evolution, evolved as consumer behaviour and technology evolved, but hasn’t changed since – though people’s online behaviour has: People have moved from desktop browsing to mobiles and apps, cookies which still track users online, are (in some aspects at least) becoming less relevant

Ticketsolve’s Google Analytics 4 Integration

Ticketsolve has always been a proponent of data-driven thinking and data-driven decision making; encouraging the use of Google Analytics (GA). Our integration with GA helps arts organisations understand the full customer journey, from campaign and ad views and the first website visits, through to sales and post sales activity. 

We have dedicated substantial focus and attention to our integration with Google Analytics 4 (GA4), to ensure arts and culture organisations can get the best the actionable insights possible. At the core of Ticketsolve’s integration are Google Tags which are used to track user activity at various stages of their journey. 

Data-driven decision making is about insights, data on its own are just unanalysed observations. Findings take data and capture the patterns within; explaining what happened. Adding context to findings – gives you insights – why it happened. 

These are:

  • Ecommerce tag:

    Other ecommerce events, e.g., items added to the basket or removed, login events, start of a checkout process, etc.

  • Purchase tag:

    Value of the transaction, the products that were bought, etc. Gives insights into traffic sources and campaigns that drive different levels of revenue.

  • GA4 Config Ticketsolve:

    Page views on Ticketsolve domain.  Designed to work with Ticketsolve’s cookie Consent Manager.

An image of a laptop displaying Google Analytics alongside the Google Analytics logo and a close up of a graph

Deeper Ecommerce Data = Better Insights

Google Analytics has functionality for sending a variety of ecommerce events through the purchase pathway, besides just the order on the confirmation page. 

  • Product is added to the basket
  • Product is removed from the basket
  • Cart view the cart
  • Checkout was started 
  • Shipping information is added
  • Payment information
  • A login event

Ticketsolve’s integration tracks each small step of these ecommerce related events, giving a true picture of what is going on at each stage of the customer purchase journey. Understanding this can help you identify issues within the process, so you can refine those processes and increase your sales conversion rate.

A gif of the Google analytics logo surrounded by icons representing customers, online shopping and mobile to purchase conversions
Image of a laptop showing the Meta Ads page, alongside the Google Analytics and Meta logos

Full Lifecycle Tracking: Campaign to Purchase

Ticketsolve’s integration does not collect ecommerce data in a vacuum, it is combined with other details and purchase data, such as data from marketing and sales channels, and campaigns right through to purchase. 

This means, you get a full view into the full online customer journey. These campaign details are reflected in GA4 as well as Meta ads manager – or whatever channels you are using for your campaigns. So if for example, a customer clicks on your Facebook or Instagram ad, leading to your site and they make a purchase for £50, that purchase information is sent back to Meta, as well as tracked on GA. So you can see your £20 pound ad generated £50 in sales.

Other Page Activity: Full View into the Customer Journey

In addition to ecommerce and full cycle purchase data, Ticketsolve’s integration also tracks pageviews on the Ticketsolve domain and is designed to work with Ticketsolve’s cookie Consent Manager.

This data helps you to understand how people are engaging on pages that are in your Ticketsolve domain so you can track other behaviours outside of ecommerce events and purchases.

Close up of google analytics graphs overlayed with a magnifying glass icon

Google Analytics: Still the Best Analytics Tool

While there are other web analytics tools out there, Google Analytics (GA) has the largest market share in the space, with about 28.1 million websites using the services worldwide (1.8 million in the UK), including companies such as Uber, Airbnb and Spotify – and it’s free.

  • Digital Marketing Campaigns: Full Cycle Insight

    GA gives you insight into your marketing campaigns to better understand content performance and sales impact.

    • How did people get to your website? 
    • How much money did they spend as a result of that? 
    • What else did they do on your site? 
    • How did your social media traffic compare to your paid search, to your display advertising, to your Facebook ads etc.?
  • Website Impact: Page by Page Insight

    Gives you a view into how well web pages are doing, i.e., are people taking the action expect on each page.

    • Are your exhibition or event and show pages convincing people to click “Book Now”?
    • Are people reading your blog pages?
    • Are people donating from your Donate Now pages?
    • How good of a job are each of these pages doing?
  • Website Performance: Usability

    GA tracks your website’s overall performance and anything that might impact users ability to engage with your site. 

    • How many people are hitting dead ends when they get to your site, e.g., 404 pages, error messages? 
    • Are pages loading as quickly as they should do? For example, most people won’t wait for a page to load. If you have a large image on a show page, it will throttle the page load time – and will likely impact sales.
Gif showing a desktop computer where the user is navigating through google Analytics

Ticketsolve Makes it Simple to Move to GA4

At a high level, there are five steps to get started with Ticketsolve’s GA4 integration.  For detailed, step-by-step instructions: 

Refer to our Zendesk articles Contact Us to get started

Google Analytics 4 is Your Key to Actionable Insights

Customers are doing virtually everything online, so understanding your data is crucial. Google Analytics 4 brings together even more of your critical data to give you the insights you need to reach your goals – whatever they are.  

Ticketsolve makes it easy to move over to Google Analytics 4 and get better data and deeper insights. Whether you are new to analytics or a seasoned pro, GA4 is a great opportunity for a fresh start to your data and embed data driven decision making as a key part of your organisational thinking. 

A special thank you to One Further’s Director Chris Unit. One Further specialises in website analytics, web usability and content strategy in the cultural sector, working across the UK, Ireland, parts of Spain and the United States. Their mission is to ensure arts and culture organisations have good access to their data – and learn how to use it.

You can find their GA4 Reporting Kit, available for FREE to the Ticketsolve community, here.

Image showing a laptop displaying the One Further website alongside the One Further logo

Optimising Operations at Regent Ipswich & Corn Exchange

Discover how Regent Ipswich and Corn Exchange Theatres, two leading entertainment venues in the region, faced dramatic change and leveraged the power of technology and people to create operational efficiencies across multiple venues.

About Ipswich Theatres

Boasting a 1500 seat theatre and the 700 seat Corn Exchange, Ipswich Theatres comprised tow the leading entertainment venues in the region. The council-run theatres host a broad range of arts and cultural events, in two venues including film screenings, ballet, musicals, concerts, comedy and West End touring productions, reaching a diverse demographic.

An iPad showing Ipswich Theatres' website
An iPhone displaying a blog entry from Ipswich Theatres about Covid-19

The challenge

Post-pandemic, Ipswich Theatres faced closure of their physical box office due to budget cuts, losing box office expertise and walk-up sales. All box office calls were redirected to the council’s centralized call centre, which handles inquiries on all topics. This was frustrating for customers calling about tickets. With the box office closure, Ipswich lost staff who’d been with them for decades – plus their knowledge and expertise. This left remaining staff feeling uncertain and put pressure on them.

Besides budget cuts, Ipswich dealt with reduced ticket sales from the pandemic and cost of living crisis. This led to staff redundancies, less resources and uncertainty.

Ipswich needed to maintain an engaging customer experience without a physical box office, ensure accessibility without face-to-face engagement, manage expectations without overburdening customers, and energise burnt out staff.

The Solution

Ipswich focused on 4 primary technology solutions familiar through Ticketsolve: online help centre, chatbot, e-tickets/vouchers, email automations.

  • Online Help Centre

    They built an online self-service help centre with Zendesk, using existing website content and internal docs. This provides 24/7 answers without relying on call centre hours.

  • Integrated Chatbot

    The integrated Zendesk chatbot provides help during ticket bookings without customers leaving the page. Chatbot pulls relevant help center articles based on questions asked.

  • E-tickets and E-vouchers

    They moved to mobile e-tickets/vouchers. E-tickets are easy to scan at the venue, and customisable e-vouchers retain a high quality feeling.

  • Email automations

    Email automations through Ticketsolve send relevant, segmented communications. New customers get info 2 days after booking.

These solutions filled resource gaps, empowered customers to self-serve, and provided personalised experiences despite limited human resources.

An image of a laptop showing Ipswich Theatres' help centre

The Results

  • An Iterative Approach

    Ipswich took an agile and iterative approach: implement, get feedback, refine. They continually improve the help centre based on most viewed articles and customer feedback. Their use of technology supported this iterative process.

  • The key numbers

    After launching the help centre, the most popular questions were about reopening, refunds, exchanges, updating account details – showing it met key needs.  In the first year, the help centre had 73,000+ views of articles and 30,000+ chatbot interactions. Searches on the website increased by 2,800+. The call volume to the council call center has dropped since launching these self-service options. Initiatives are successfully reducing calls and empowering customers. E-tickets and vouchers have been well received. Customizations like gift cards retain the quality feel. Over 90% now use e-tickets, reducing printing and improving convenience

  • Quality customer communications

    Ipswich uses Net Promoter Score surveys immediately after ticket purchases to catch issues quickly vs post-event. They follow-up via email with unhappy customers. Automated, personalised emails go out based on customer segments like new buyers. This scales communications without heavy staff effort.

  • The ability to evolve

    These technology solutions sit alongside human team members, enhancing service vs fully replacing humans. Self-service and automation fill gaps and relieve burdens on the team. Ipswich credits their people and their ability to evolve as the real power behind navigating substantial changes successfully. Being open, creative, and adaptive has been key.

An infographic showing the key numbers detailed in the text

Tackling even bigger challenges

Beyond internal operations, Ipswich utilised their experience leveraging technology to tackle even bigger challenges: using Ticketsolve’s fundraising tools and email automations, they ran a public donation campaigns raising money for the Red Cross.

An image of Ipswich Regent Theatre's auditorium, overlaid with the words

Looking to the future

They are still making tweaks, but Ipswich believes this agile, human-centred approach balancing talented teams and supporting tech will best serve their audiences moving forward.

Find out more about Ipswich Theatres

Revolutionising Venue Cymru’s Online Sales Experience

Venue Cymru

Formerly known as the Aberconwy Centre and the North Wales Theatre and Conference Centre, Venue Cymru is a large arts, conference and events venue with a reputation for attracting world-class performances and events to its stage. The purpose built venue’s versatility and top-notch facilities make it an ideal location for hosting a diverse range of shows, from internationally renowned musicians like West Life and Manic Street 

 

Image of Venue Cymru's main auditorium
Image of a laptop showing a

Addressing the Big Issues

System crashes, faltering websites and crashing checkout engines mean frustrated audiences and lost sales. Venue Cymru, a prominent arts and entertainment venue in North Wales, found themselves in the unenviable position of exactly that – especially during high-demand on-sales. The result was poor customer experiences and dissatisfaction leading to lost revenue. 

In search of a better solution, Venue Cymru turned to Ticketsolve for help –  due in large part to Ticketsolve’s proven ability to manage high demand, sell out events. 

Big Shows, Big Capacity: Managing Parc Eirias 15,000 Seat Stadium

Everything about Venue Cymru is large-scale but their spaces are reassuringly versatile. The Arena can hold an impressive 2,500 standing or 1,000 sitting, with other venues in the portfolio able to manage a wide variety of set-ups depending on the show and audience makeup. 

In addition to their main venue, Venue Cymru also manages the Parc Eirias Stadium, a 15,000-seat, outdoor stadium which has played host to an impressive array of large-scale sporting events and concerts, including high-profile artists such as Little Mix and Elton John.

Image of Parc Eirias stadium hosting a large concert

From High Profile Events To Intimate Shows, Ticketsolve Brings Reliability and Scalability

With Ticketsolve’s robust, reliable and efficient platform at the helm, Venue Cymru is better able to serve its patrons for all on-sales but especially for high-profile events. Ticketsolve has been instrumental in supporting Venue Cymru’s growth and ability to host even more prestigious events.

As a result, Venue Cymru now enjoys increased ticket sales, revenue and improved customer satisfaction and trust.

Key Benefits of Ticketsolve for Venue Cymru’s Large Capacity, High Demand Shows

  • Scalability

    Ticketsolve’s platform can easily handle the increased traffic and demand associated with high-profile events, ensuring a smooth and reliable ticket purchasing experience for customers

  • Advanced Reporting

    Ticketsolve offers comprehensive reporting tools that help Venue Cymru make informed decisions regarding event scheduling, pricing, and promotions, allowing them to optimise their event calendar and maximise revenue

  • Customisation

    Ticketsolve’s platform can be tailored to meet the specific needs of Venue Cymru and Parc Eirias Stadium, ensuring a seamless and personalised experience for both venues and their patrons

  • Marketing Support

    Ticketsolve’s marketing tools help Venue Cymru promote their events more effectively, reaching a wider audience and driving ticket sales for both their main venue and Parc Eirias Stadium

  • Continuous Support and Optimisation

    Before any large, high-demand on-sales, Ticketsolve works closely with Venue Cymru to understand what is needed for that specific event so that each on-sale runs seamlessly. The team also conducts post on-sale analysis so that future on-sales can be optimised and improved if necessary

Gif of icons representing growth, reporting, customisation support and marketing

Ticketsolve’s Solution: An Established and Proven Onsale Process

Ticketsolve has an established process for managing on-sales, no matter the size or demand  for each and every one of our over 350 arts, culture and heritage customers. 

With our powerful technology, optimised processes and Queue-It integration, the result is an incredibly stable, robust and fast conversion during high demand, sell-out on-sales, Meaning our queueing system is able to handle several thousand requests by answering them in less than 10 milliseconds.

Robust Technology: Optimising Capacity and Traffic Management

  • Ticketsolve establishes a pre-queue system to effectively manage the influx of traffic to Venue Cymru’s website during on-sales. This pre-queue is especially important for busy on-sales and acts as a virtual waiting room, allowing customers to arrive early and ensures that the website is not overwhelmed when the on-sale begins. With this strategy, both the ticketing system and the website remain stable, providing a smooth and frustration-free experience for patrons.

    Screenshot of the Queue-It queue waiting screen
  • To handle the increased demand during on-sales, Ticketsolve proactively assesses the need for additional server capacity. Ticketsolve scales up resources as necessary and then can accommodate higher levels of traffic without compromising website performance or risking system crashes. This flexibility and adaptability are crucial in maintaining a seamless and reliable ticket purchasing process, even during peak times.

  • Ticketsolve works closely with Venue Cymru to ensure that event setups are optimised for heavy traffic and high conversion rates. This involves fine-tuning the ticketing interface, simplifying the purchase process, and ensuring that all necessary information is readily available to customers. By optimising these elements, Ticketsolve helps Venue Cymru deliver an efficient and user-friendly experience that encourages patrons to complete their transactions quickly and easily.

  • In preparation for on-sale events, Ticketsolve activates a range of performance optimisations designed to enhance the ticket purchasing experience. These optimisations may include load balancing, content delivery network (CDN) integration, and caching strategies, all of which contribute to faster page load times and increased website stability. Ticketsolve employs these performance-enhancing measures to minimise any potential bottlenecks and ensures a smooth and easy to use experience for customers.

Screenshot of the Queue-It queue waiting screen

Effective Processes: Active Monitoring and Proactive Support Before, During and After On-Sales

  • Monitoring Traffic During On-Sale Events

    Throughout the on-sale process, Ticketsolve continuously monitors traffic to Venue Cymru’s website, enabling them to identify and address any issues that may arise in real-time. This vigilant monitoring allows Ticketsolve to make adjustments as needed, ensuring that the website and ticketing system remain stable and responsive even under the demands of high levels of traffic. By proactively addressing potential issues, Ticketsolve helps to maintain a reliable and efficient ticket purchasing experience for Venue Cymru’s patrons.

  • Proactive Support

    Ticketsolve’s dedicated Support Team manages the entire on-sale process for Venue Cymru, so that any potential issues are promptly addressed and resolved. This active, dedicated support is on hand for all types of events, regardless of ticket demand. Most importantly, the Ticketsolve Support Team provides support before an on-sale begins to make sure no critical steps are missed and also during on-sales in order to address any issues should they arise.

  • Improving All the Time: Post On-Sale Analysis

    Reflection is a critical piece of Ticketsolve’s on-sale process. The Ticketsolve Support Team breaks down on-sales once they are complete in order to better understand what works and what doesn’t work. This type of reflection and analysis helps to improve the overall on-sale process, but also helps to refine on-sales for specific customers and their unique needs. 

Screenshot of a graph tracking traffic during an on-sale

Results and Impact

  • Elimination of System Crashes

    Since the implementation of Ticketsolve with the Queue-It integration, Venue Cymru has successfully eliminated system crashes during all on-sales events, including high demand, sell-out events.

  • Improved Customer Satisfaction

    Venue Cymru has increased overall customer satisfaction and lots of positive feedback since the switch to Ticketsolve.

  • Boost in Revenue

    The combination of a reliable on-sale process and an improved customer experience has meant improved ticket sales for  Venue Cymru. This growth in sales underscores the importance of a seamless ticketing system in driving business success.

  • Enhanced Brand Image

    Venue Cymru has bolstered its reputation as a leading arts and entertainment venue by addressing and resolving the issues that once plagued its on-sales. The improved customer experience and streamlined ticketing process has strengthened the venue’s brand image, positioning it as a reliable and customer-centric destination for top-notch events.

  • Fewer Frustrations for the Team

    The transition to Ticketsolve meant the team were fielding fewer calls about system issues, were able to communicate with customers more effectively and had the support of the Ticketsolve on-sale team. The strong processes Ticketsolve brought with them have made the Venue Cymru team more efficient and effective – and certainly reduced some stress.

Image of a large crowd at a Venue Cymru show
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Not only did Ticketsolve provide us with a robust and reliable ticketing system, but they also prioritised improving customer experiences. Their user-friendly interface made it easier for our patrons to navigate through the ticketing process, resulting in reduced friction and enhanced satisfaction. The intuitive design of their platform ensured that even during high-demand on-sales, our customers could easily secure their tickets without any technical hiccups.
Mandy Mills, Section Head: Venues Management, Venue Cymru

A Guide to Website Accessibility

The Ticketsolve Guide focuses on the topic of website accessibility and has been written in collaboration with technology accessibility consultant Catherine Turner.

Keeping accessibility at the forefront

The purpose of this whitepaper by accessibility advisor Catherine Turner is to provide recommendations on promoting website accessibility, which is important but increasingly complex. There are varying meanings of ‘accessibility’ but it essentially refers to removing barriers for people with disabilities. Small steps can lead to progress through embedding accessibility in objectives and culture.

Icons representing accessibility on a blue background

Untangling the Knots

Website accessibility endeavours to ensure that there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed.

The core meaning of accessibility is ensuring that people with disabilities can access websites without barriers. But there are other related meanings like easy website use, easy-to-find information through various channels, digestible information, and compatibility with assistive technologies. These meanings should align rather than conflict within an organisation.

Getting Started

Small steps towards accessibility can accumulate into progress. Accessibility should become embedded in objectives and organisational culture rather than a one-time fix. Tools can help but have limitations, especially for smaller organisations. This guide should bolster your existing efforts – rather than adding any additional pressure. 

Image an of ipad showing the accessibility page and accessibility toolbar on the Colchester Arts Centre website
Image of the Alt Text pop up within the ticketsolve show builder

Alt Text

Alt text provides an alternative way to communicate the purpose of images. It should enhance overall messaging whether providing images, acting as a call to action, or conveying key information. Ensure that your images are not creating unnecessary barriers.

Video Content

Videos should ideally mix visual and verbal content to be accessible. Providing comprehensive audio description and sign language depends on context and budget. Other methods to engage those who can’t access video should be considered, like written descriptions. Video platforms and playback controls must also be accessible.

Image of a woman wearing a polka dot dress sitting in front of a laptop signing in BSL
Image of an iphone showing the Arts Marketing Association's Accessibility pledge

Human Touch

Despite increased use of digital tools like bots, human support remains essential for some assisted tech users. An accessibility pledge highlights a commitment to these audience members. This could include direct enquiry channels and ticket holds for access bookers during busy onsales.

Understanding your requirements

UK/Irish law requires public entities to meet AA accessibility standards which ensure readable, traversable content with alt text and zoom/font size support. Ticketsolve aims for AA compliance in all future developments as an iterative process rather than a finish line. Recent features ensure AA compliance throughout the booking journey.

Image of a laptop displaying the accessibility toolbar on the Ticketsolve website
Image of Catherine Turner

Catherine Turner

Catherine is a trustee for Colchester Arts Centre, a technology accessibility advisor and an enthusiastic patron of many art forms. She’s also a disabled person with a love of swimming and a hatred of bananas.

Catherine has been the lead consultant for Ticketsolve on a web accessibility project and has supported our system in achieving our goal of reaching the benchmarking required of WCAG 2.1/ AA compliance. 

Discover More

Thank you to Catherine Turner for her collaboration in devising this guide, sharing her experiences and for her guidance.
You can hear more about the accessible design project Catherine consulted on with Ticketsolve in episode 10 of The Arts & Everything in Between Podcast.

Revive Your Database with Legitimate Interest

Where are My Audiences? Audit Your Database

Based on their Missing Audiences survey, focused on looking at which audiences would come back, and when – post-pandemic, Indigo Ltd suggests that two main questions are considered by organisations, i.e. is it best to: 

Focus on attracting customers who haven’t been back to us since before the pandemic
or
Do we try appealing to new audiences and then keep them?

Indigo suggests that before deciding who to target in communications,  it’s worth auditing your database by asking:

  • How many booked pre-covid? This indicates the size of your starting contact list.

  • What percentage have the proper GDPR permissions? Typically only ~20% have full opt-in consent.

  • Within that group, how many can receive email, postal, phone, or a mix? Segment appropriately.

  • How many made just one purchase pre-pandemic vs multiple? Frequent buyers may be the best initial group to focus marketing efforts on.

Without thoroughly auditing your database, you may only actively market to a fraction of previous patrons.

However, you can leverage legitimate interest to expand the number of contacts you’re actually talking to.

Image of an Ipad showing the Missing Audiences Survey on the Indigo LTD Website

What is Legitimate Interest?

Legitimate interest provides a lawful GDPR basis for contacting customers after an initial purchase, provided:

  • Customers booked and voluntarily shared contact details as part of that transaction.

  • Subsequent communications are about similar offers.

  • There is a clear opt-out mechanism at all touchpoints and in messages.

  • Contact data isn’t shared or sold to third parties without explicit opt-in consent.

Many companies use forms of legitimate interest to justify keeping customers on mailing and contact lists post-purchase, allowing for communications about new releases, sales, relevant offers, and other updates based on preferences and history.

Huge potential exists for arts organisations to use legitimate interest to substantially grow and better engage existing customer database segments. Too often GDPR seems restrictive, but a solid strategy can overcome any limitations.

Image of a person reading emails on their phone

A Step-By-Step Approach

  • Identify your legitimate interest case and ensure proposed data processing meets basic standards. Key questions to answer are:

    1. Why is this data processing necessary to achieve our goals?
    2. Does the approach comply with GDPR, ePrivacy Directive, and other regulations?
    3. Is there another reasonable way to meet our aims without relying on legitimate interest?
  • Conduct a necessity test. Ask yourself:

    1. Why is this processing specifically important for furthering our interests?
    2. Is there an alternative that would allow us to accomplish the same aims?
  • Perform a thorough balancing test seriously weighing customer privacy rights against organisational interests in contacting them.

  • Devise pragmatic safeguarding measures like careful segmentation and customising messages for specific groups that mitigate risks.

  • Document your decision process, analysis, case details, safeguards, and final outcome. Critical for demonstrating transparency if challenged later.

  • Systematically review and update privacy policies to reflect data held, precise legal justification for use, processing activities, preference management, and withdrawal of consent procedures.

  • Proactively notify customers about use of legitimate interest at relevant purchase touchpoints like box office counters.

Templates for all of these steps can be found with a special thanks to Katy Raines, of Indigo Ltd.

Find them here

Activating Legitimate Interest with Ticketsolve

Enabling expanded legitimate interest communications in Ticketsolve is straightforward:

  • Set clear email opt-in messaging at different points of the booking journey online, mobile, and box office.

  • Upload updated public privacy policy within the Ticketsolve dashboard.

  • Default customer email opt-in preference toggle to auto-selected, allowing patrons to manually opt out.

Ticketsolve’s integrated reporting segmented by contact groups also helps assess engagement, monitor opt-in/opt-out trends, identify reactivation opportunities, and more – once Legitimate Interest is set up.

There is a treasure trove of knowledge over in Zendesk on each of these actions for Legitimate Interest set-up, as well as reporting, but you can always call on us if you need a hand!

Head to the Help Centre
Image of a laptop showing the Ticketsolve privacy policy, and an Ipad showing the Ticketsolve help centre

Proof It Works: Real-World Case Studies An Táin Arts Centre

An Táin Arts Centre saw new email newsletter subscribers increase 400%+ within 4 weeks using legitimate interest, versus only 3% growth the prior year without it. Despite worries, no rise in opt-outs occurred demonstrating patrons welcome relevant communications.

Mermaid Arts Centre

Mermaid Arts Centre’s identified marketing database expanded 5% relatively quickly just by leveraging existing customer information, requiring no additional marketing budget. Careful staff training and updated policies were used to ensure success. Mermaid noticed no increase in complaints from patrons about additional communications.

Your customers want to hear from you

With preparation and adjustments, arts organizations can leverage Legitimate Interest to grow their database, even making it a part of their long-term marketing strategy . It’s an approach that fuels expansion passively over time –  as customers opt to stay connected if communications prove timely, relevant and valuable, especially considering the deeper relationship that arts and culture organisations have with their customers compared to other industries. 

Thank Yous and Further Resources

With Special Thanks To

  • Mary Claire Cowley – An Táin Arts Centre

  • Aoife Demel – Mermaid Arts Centre

  • Anna Walsh, Director – Theatre Forum

  • Katy Raines – Indigo Ltd

for their invaluable assistance and insight with this paper and for sharing their wisdom so openly.

For further info:

Listen to our podcast episode here Discover further resources here
Image of a phone and laptop showing the page for the Legitimate Interest podcast episode

Maximising Revenues at Liverpool’s Royal Court

How Liverpool’s Royal Court zeroed in on the customer experience to create compelling upselling and cross-selling opportunities in the customer journey using Ticketsolve.

Liverpool’s Royal Court has been at the very heart of culture in Liverpool for nearly 200 years and has long been recognised as one of the leading production houses in the region. They have developed a unique and individual style of theatre for Liverpool audiences, with theatre written and produced in Liverpool, starring Liverpool actors and even having sets designed and built in Liverpool.

95% of all monies spent by Liverpool’s Royal Court are reinvested back into the local economy of Liverpool. 

Until recently, Royal Court has worked without outside funding, so they understand the imperative to be commercially driven and maximise all potential revenue streams to secure their future. Financial independence gives them the freedom to plan and execute long-term projects, take creative risks, and stay true to their mission to their community of Liverpool, whilst continuing to open new avenues of access to the arts.

Exterior image of Liverpool's Royal Court

Complete Experiences for Liverpool’s Royal Court Audiences: Meals, Drinks and More

Royal Court is unique in more ways than their Liverpudlian style of theatre. The venue boasts a highly rated kitchen and bar and flexible cabaret-style seating in the stalls as well.  While both the flexible seating and outstanding restaurant and bars give customers a great experience at Royal Court, the team wanted to do more to create a truly memorable experience for audiences. The team developed a true cabaret experience: Liverpool’s Royal Court Dining Experience that would enhance the customer experience and maximise their restaurants and bar revenues.

Image of a group of women taking a selfie during a meal at Liverpool's Royal Court

How Royal Court’s Dining Experience Works

During the purchase journey – whether online or at the box office, customers can book a meal as they book their seats. Royal Court asks customers to arrive at least an hour earlier to the performance start time, so audiences can comfortably enjoy their in-seat service of their meal and pre-show drink. Desserts and additional drinks can be ordered and are offered as in-seat service during the interval.   

How Liverpool’s Royal Court Leverages Ticketsolve to Increase Revenues Through Upselling and Cross-selling

  • Ticketsolve Delivers Upselling and Cross-selling at Just the Right Time

    One compelling aspect of digital platforms such as Ticketsolve is the immediacy or sense of urgency and real-time engagement they can offer in the customer online purchase journey. Digital platforms like Ticketsolve can create a sense of urgency and prompt immediate action at the right moment in the purchase journey – increasing the likelihood of customers choosing to upgrade or add additional products to their cart.

  • Dinner and a Show: Booking Dining Experiences During the Purchase Journey

    Using Ticketsolve’s powerful upselling features, Liverpool’s Royal Court offers customers the option of booking a meal during the purchase journey – as they are purchasing their tickets. 

     

    This type of just-in-time prompt – at the point of purchase – has significantly increased Royal Court’s meal and drinks revenues. 

Image of a laptop displaying the booking page on the Liverpool's Royal Court Website
  • Dinner and a Show and More: Recommendations and Add-on Products at Checkout

    Using this same tactic Liverpool’s Royal Court introduced product suggestions using Ticketsolve’s Recommendations feature. The feature automatically recommends related products to customers at checkout. Royal Court has increased their programme sales revenue by 20% since implementing the product recommendations feature.

  • Special Events and Special Offers: 30% Increase in Food Revenues and Pre-Sale Sell-out

    Liverpool’s Royal Court also offers special menus for different events, for example a special 2-course menu for Christmas shows. During a two and half month period over their Christmas show run, Royal Court saw a 30% increase in food revenues. The following year, the team offered this special Christmas menu on pre-sale which immediately sold out.

Image showing people dining at Liverpool's Royal Court before a show
  • Ticketsolve’s Extras Allows for Personalisation and Ensuring Excellent Audience Experiences

    Ticketsolve’s Extras feature allows you to customise fields and collect a wide variety of additional information such as meal and drink options to special requests and accessibility needs.

    The team at Royal Court uses Ticketsolve Extras to create personalised experiences for audiences. With the extra fields, customers can make specific meal and drink choices as well as special requests. 

    Liverpool’s Royal Court uses the customisation and collected information to help their teams from front of house to the bar and kitchen to be well prepared and give audiences the best experience possible.

  • Dining Experiences Encourage Early Bookings and Early Arrivals Leading to a Boost in Food and Beverage Sales

     

    With Royal Court’s Dining Experience, customers must arrive at least an hour before the start of the show. The team found that many customers who bought dining and drinks products were often arriving at least an hour and half beforehand. The data showed that audiences were spending substantially more on food and drink when they arrived earlier with their pre-purchased meal product and were more likely to add confectionery items, additional drinks and desserts. Since the money was already spent on the meal, expenses on the night don’t feel so consequential. 

    Meal purchases at Liverpool’s Royal Court are so popular that they sell out quickly; as a result, audiences are buying tickets as early as possible to secure their complete experience.

Image of an iPhone displaying the checkout page at Liverpool's Royal Court
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“We’ve noticed a tendency for customers to spend more if they arrive earlier to Liverpool’s Royal Court. A lot of our audience members pre-purchase their meal with their ticket weeks in advance so they feel as if they haven’t spent anything on the night. This usually means they are more willing to spend at the bar until doors open and during the interval too.”
Iain Christie, Marketing Manager Liverpool’s Royal Court

Liverpool’s Royal Court Takes Full Advantage of Upselling and Cross-Selling in Ticketsolve

Taking full advantage of Ticketsolve’s intelligent, automated, and customisable just-in-time recommendations and prompts, the team were able to upsell and cross-sell to customers at just the right times during the purchase journey. 

As a result, Royal Court has seen:

  • An increase in food and beverage sales

  • An increase in ancillary product sales

  • An increase in advanced bookings

An image of two graphs showing that there was an increase in revenue of 38% between 2015 and 2018, and an increase in revenue from meals by 14% between 2017 and 2018 at Liverpool's Royal Court

Key Learnings from Liverpool’s Royal Court

  • Take advantage of what you already offer customers.

  • Look at how those services and extras can improve the customer experience.

  • Get creative on packages and offerings and think about upgrades or special packages for Christmas, anniversaries etc.

  • Consider how immediacy and just-in-time marketing could be used to increase sales during the customer journey.

  • What information can we capture to improve customer experiences and create personalised experiences?

  • Check in with customers and get feedback on how you are doing!

  • Take advantage of all the features your ticketing provider can offer you to maximise the customer journey.

Image showing people dining during a show at Liverpool's Royal Court