Changes for the Climate at Lime Tree Theatre

A Spotlight on 10 Years: Lime Tree Theatre and Belltable Arts Hub

Over the years, Lime Tree saw steady growth in ticket sales with an increase of revenue of 13% from 2014 to 2019 which was definitely a result of offering the best local, national and international performing arts as well as encouraging and growing a diverse grassroots community and school performances. n the path of recovery following the health pandemic, their team have critically assessed their operations and are encouraging a green touch on all of their processes. This is a big project for Lime Tree starting from 2019 when they first decided to announce their green ambitions.

Image showing the Lime Tree Theatre and Belltable Arts Hub logos
Image showing a phone displaying a Facebook post by Limetree Theatre announcing their green initatives

The team at Lime Tree Theatre aren’t afraid to make changes for the better

In December 2019, Lime Tree Theatre announced their two-fold green strategy: 

  • Theatre-wide changes to make a green impact
  • Encourage audiences to make more informed decisions when engaging with the theatre. 

Importantly, the team wanted to focus on a few critical areas to update and overhaul. Areas that could make a big and lasting impact, but also areas that were easy and quickly wins. 

The main areas the team considered were:

  • Climate-conscious fundraising and development campaign
  • Reducing paper and non-recyclables through e-ticketing
  • Re-assessing their printed materials such as flyers and brochures.

Data helps their team assess their processes and make meaningful informed decisions

Their team currently utilises data insights to make changes that bring changes for the better to their organisation. Using the analytics at their disposal through Ticketsolve, they are able to look at all areas of their organisation from online sales patterns, to programming considerations to changes in behaviours of their patrons and which areas overall drive results for their marketing and box office teams.

Being data-driven means that Lime Tree Theatre uses evidence from audience-generated data to help them to monitor new ideas and practices that they’re experimenting with. Their team has a key understanding of audience personas within their largest audience purchasing segment with over 70% of their ticket bookers identifying as female in the age bracket of 35 – 44. Their conversion rate sits at 5.71% with a per session value on average 10 cents higher than that of their male counterparts.

Image showing the Ticketsolve report page
Image showing the Ticketsolve report page

Demographics are of course important, but with a data driven mind-set like Lime Tree’s they take data insights further and can monitor new marketing and sales ideas and practices that they’re experimenting with. Similarly to understanding their hightest booking segment of their customers, their team are not only able to see how which platforms their most loyal group purchase from, but they’re also able to identify how they fulfill their orders. Lime Tree identified that the number of audiences who purchased delivery for their tickets was low. They were confident their audiences would adapt to the change away from traditional tickets to e-tickets, a change entirely for the benefit of our climate! 


Image of an iPad displaying the voluntary LED drive purchase option on the Lime Tree Theatre website

Voluntary Donation LED Drive

The team at Lime Tree Theatre & Belltable have multiple donation campaigns set up through Ticketsolve, including their LED Drive. As part of their drive to be a greener venue, Lime Tree Theatre & Belltable need to transfer all their lighting (and there’s a lot of it!) to greener options. Initially, their focus is on ensuring that all their bulbs are LED, which although much more energy efficient, are considerably more expensive than standard theatre bulbs. Their target is €20,000, and to date, their team have reached 77% of their overall objective in as little as 3 years (with over 2.5 of those years impacted by the health pandemic). 

Going Paperless with E-Ticketing

Did you know that traditional tickets printed on a thermal ticket printer are not recyclable (they often contain harmful bisphenol-A (and S) chemicals)? So not a great option if your objective is a greener venue! Luckily e-tickets are a fantastic option. 

Not only are e-tickets a beautiful way to promote branding and create unique messaging, but e-tickets are more sustainable and cost-effective for theatres. Lime Tree Theatre has eliminated the printing of more than 10,000 tickets a year by promoting e-ticking at their venue since 2019. Audiences at Lime Tree and Belltable have embraced e-ticketing with open arms, with many simply presenting their smartphones for scanned entry. While every so often their front of house teams notice audience members who have printed their e-tickets at home, these printed tickets are fully recyclable (with no nasty chemicals to boot) in comparison to traditional ticket templates which were previously printed and posted at the box office. 

Image of a phone displaying a Lime Tree Theatre e-ticket
Image showing a pile of Limetree Theatre programmes

Transforming Brochures and Making More Sustainable Efforts Across Printed Material

This year is important for Lime Tree Theatre & Belltable not only because of their 10th anniversary, but because it is also the launch of their first bumper brochure since 2019. Their team have identified that brochures make a massive impact on immediate ticket sales and that their audiences have created the need for printed material. While they can’t escape the print of paper entirely, their team most definitely took every consideration they could in creating a premium, sustainable 10th anniversary brochure edition for Lime Tree Theatre & Belltable. Working closely with their designer, Detail Factory, they launched what would be their most special and successful brochure yet.

Image of a Lime Tree Theatre programme open at the QR code page, alongside a phone displaying the show page on the website

Transforming Paper Contact to Digital Purchasing with QR Codes

QR codes not only allow audience members to find out more information about the busy season programme ahead, they also provide an important source of truth for the marketing team at the theatre. QR codes also gave their team the flexibility to include all events without some of the final details by encouraging audiences to check back online for live updates regarding onsales and other finer details.

The Customer Campaigns feature is an excellent tool that will allow you to add specific segments of your database into individual campaigns. It can be used for tasks like brochure distribution, fundraiser prospecting, and particular event mailings. Setting up campaign tracking with Ticketsolve is simple. Through Ticketsolve you can generate an unlimited number of QR codes that can then be tracked using our campaign management tools to identify who is booking tickets, leaving donations, or purchasing memberships.

Key Considerations for a Greener, Sustainable Brochure

In order to promote a more sustainable and climate conscious brochure, there were a few important changes that their team looked at.

  • Their team have moved away from glossy printed paper and present a more natural feel to their paper while ensuring a premium polish. This is in an attempt to encourage audiences to recycle their brochure when they are finished with it.

    Image showing Lime Tree Theatre programmes
  • Their team have stripped back on their bold branding colours and are pushing a bespoke gold branding for their 10th anniversary. This allows them to reduce the amount of ink used

    Image showing Lime Tree Theatre programmes
  • A key recommendation from their designer was to go as far as even considering the font style to be used on the brochure. Prints certain fonts can have a bigger impact on the energy required to print brochures

    Image showing Lime Tree Theatre programmes
  • The costs of printed paper has nearly doubled with the issue of uncontrollable rising costs. In order to make sure that the brochure makes the most impact with reduced quantities, their team critically reviewed who would receive a brochure and which areas were best to target for distribution

    Image showing Lime Tree Theatre programmes
Image showing Lime Tree Theatre programmes

Bringing Green into their Programming with FUTURE LIMERICK Climate Arts Festival

Climate Arts Festival, a week-long festival held in May this year, was run over multiple locations, including Lime Tree Theatre and Belltable. The ambition for this inaugural festival was to use art and creativity to engage the wider Limerick community on the issues of sustainability and climate change, and to spark debate about what a low-carbon future could look like.

FUTURE LIMERICK: Climate Arts Festival is one of just five arts projects across Ireland selected to receive funding from the ESB Brighter Future Arts Fund. Delivered in partnership with Business to Arts, the fund was established to support artists and arts organisations working on creative projects engaging their local communities around sustainability, climate change and the transition to a net-zero future.

Image showing a poster for the Future Limerick Climate Arts Festival

Louise Donlon, Director at Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable

“Addressing the challenges we face through the medium of the arts will help to frame them in a way that makes them seem less daunting, and we hope this festival will inspire new & creative ideas for a local-led response to climate change.”