Streamlining (and boosting) ticket sales for Kingston’s Grand Theatre
When Kingston’s beautiful and historic Grand Theatre, the city’s premier performing arts facility, sent out a request for proposal (RFP) in 2011 for a new website, they knew they wanted to give visitors an online sense of the theatre and the live performance experience. As a company that builds connections between the online world and the offline experience, we love this stuff. The people at the Grand also wanted to showcase upcoming performances, honour their generous corporate partners (and attract new ones) and connect people with tickets. These are all easily achievable goals when you take the time to understand the client, their audiences and their vision, and are adept with the technology.
They’d also mentioned in their RFP that they had a frustration with their online ticketing system. Or, more, precisely, a double entry problem: that the ticketing system they were using required staff to add complete performance information to their website, then input the same information all over again, this time into the ticketing system. And like most performance venues—and really, most organizations—the Grand’s team has numerous demands on their time, so this “once more, with feeling” duplication was maddening. They’d noted this frustration in their Request for Proposal, and we recognized a problem.
And we had a solution: get the two systems—the Grand’s website and the ticketing system from TixHub—to talk to each other. (We’re all about the “building connections.”) Working with both organizations, we found a way to integrate the ticketing system into the site, and solve the double entry headache by setting up a feed between TixHub and kingstongrand.ca. Voilà, difficulty eradicated, and some Grand staff time freed up for other work.
Karen Schulman Dupuis, Ellipsis’ VP Business Design, says, “This is a prime example of what we’re talking about when we talk about ‘business design’ with our clients. It’s about keeping an holistic view of your business, not segmenting the various parts of your business and treating them as if they’re all separate pieces.
“Business Design is about an integrated approach to building solutions that look at systems, operations, processes, strategies and goals, holistically. When you strategically look internally at building operationally efficiencies, you end up freeing up resources that allow you to take advantage of external opportunities.”
Stephanie Earp, who did marketing and communications for the Grand Theatre, said that we “forged a relationship with [their] online ticketing agency to automate content, which relieved staff of hours of labour.” They were happy with their new website, which led to a 20% increase in online sales in the first year after the site launched.