Tessitura is really important for Grange Park Opera because it is a one-stop shop for everything that we do,”
says Chris Campbell, Business Intelligence Manager.
Tessitura for small organizations
“Tessitura is fantastic for smaller organisations,” he notes, describing how the unified platform handles all essential functionality into one place: ticketing, fundraising, marketing, resource scheduling, and more. Grange Park Opera has an annual budget of around £3.5 million and around 10–12 staff. “We all find ourselves doing a lot of different jobs and a lot of different things… Although I feel like we’re a small company, we really punch above our weight.”
“Tessitura makes our lives so much easier in a number of different ways,” he explains. “We don’t have the time and we don’t have the resources that other organisations do. You need to have a system that can be adapted for your needs but also can work right out of the box if you need… It’s been brilliant. It’s a wonderful, wonderful solution for us.”
A time-saving report
Grange Park worked with Tessitura Consulting to create a report that streamlines their daily accounting process. Now, a daily task that once took at least a half-hour “can be done in a matter of seconds,” Campbell says. “And that’s huge. Thirty minutes a day is about seven percent of your working day.” In addition, the report can be run equally efficiently with different date parameters, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. “It transformed the job,” said Campbell.
“Although we’re a small company, we really punch above our weight.”
Improving the Online Experience
Grange Park uses TN Express Web to bring ticket and package sales online. “TNEW is fantastic for small organisations because we don’t have the time to support or maintain our own customer API,” enthuses Campbell. With TNEW, “we plug it in, and they come in and book their tickets. And everything works with Tessitura. We are too small not to have a system that can do that.”
Online bookings are rising exponentially: in 2013, their last year using their previous online platform, only 3.6% of tickets were booked online. After four years utilising TNEW, 52.6% of seats were booked online — a 1,461% increase, or an average of 365% per year.
He notes that audiences “have been getting a lot out of Tessitura as well, without really knowing that that’s what they’re getting out of it.” “The number of people with logins has risen dramatically… so it’s made a huge difference to their lives as well. And there is so much less paperwork; I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful that is.”
Online bookings increased by 1,461% in four years with TN Express Web.
Selling dining options through Tessitura
Beyond ticketing and contributions, the opera company’s major revenue streams include on-site dining. “During the interval, which is about 100 minutes long, people will either have a picnic or will go to one of our pop-up restaurants. And the revenue that we generate through that is extremely important.”
Grange Park began selling dining through Tessitura in 2016. “Now you can select your courses, there’s an extensive wine list that you can choose from, you can have a porter bring stuff to your car. All of this you can book through Tessitura,” and with TNEW “it can all be done online.” After just one season, 42% of dining orders were completed online. “I’m pretty pleased,” Campbell said. “This is the first year it’s been an option.”
After just one season, 42% of dining orders were completed online.
Bringing dining into Tessitura has also meant better reporting capabilities. “Our finance team have been able to split out the tax. We’ve been able to see what’s been selling and what hasn’t.” On the previous system, he remembers, “The reporting was dreadful: we had to clear it out every year, so every year we lost the last year’s data.” The change has been “fantastic. It’s been life changing for the people that run that side of things.”
Photo courtesy of Grange Park Opera
“Our customers have been very, very happy with the way that we’re doing things, both over the phone and online,” says Campbell. One example he cites is confirmation emails, which are now sent automatically to customers after each purchase. “Now that we can do that, and because the dining system is now part of Tessitura, we’re able to provide the customers with a complete snapshot: of their dining, what they’ve ordered, where they’re going to be sitting, as well as the standard ticket and the tax. They are seeing the benefits, and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback.”
“It’s been brilliant. It’s a wonderful, wonderful solution for us.”
Partnering with Tessitura Network
Grange Park Opera has opted to engage Tessitura Consulting for some recent projects, such as the finance project described above, and Campbell enthuses that “they’ve been great. It’s been the same sort of friendly, helpful support that we get from the support line in the UK as well.” He continues: “I think they are super at what they do. They know Tessitura like the back of their hand, and importantly, they’re able to explain that to us in a way that we can understand.” He appreciates that the team does more than just deliver on a request: “They’ve also been educating me as I go along.”
The EU support team “have an understanding of both Tessitura generally but also the UK- or EU-specific aspects of it. Things like Gift Aid, which is huge for us, or data protection legislation.” He mentions that the support team brings knowledge not only of the software but also of how different EU organisation configure the software for their business. “They are really knowledgeable, not just about the software itself but about everybody else in the Network and how best that we can achieve our aim. It’s a delight, always, talking to them.”