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Hampstead Theatre thinks bigger with Tessitura

Greater flexibility and improved staff communication create a better customer experience

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Jo Boniface

Jo BonifaceHead of Sales, Hampstead Theatre

TitleHampstead Theatre thinks bigger with Tessitura

Published3/9/2018

Read/View Time4 min


Tessitura has been a godsend for us at Hampstead Theatre. It has pulled us together as a business,”

says Jess Woodward, Hampstead’s Marketing Director. 

Selecting Tessitura for ticketing, fundraising, and CRM

Jo Boniface, Head of Sales, noted: “We decided to go with Tessitura because we wanted a bespoke system that would be able to grow with our business. We’ve developed a lot in the last six years.” The Hampstead team had begun to feel that they had outgrown their previous system. They especially needed more flexibility, particularly with the online purchase path. “We approached Tessitura, and we loved everything that they did for us,” Jo says. “We felt that it was absolutely the way forward.”

“The last system we were on was much more out-of-the-box,” says Jess Woodward. In contrast, Tessitura, “because it’s sophisticated, [will] allow us to do so much more as a company.” 

“We had nine steps to book a ticket before. With TNEW, we’ve cut that down to five.”

Improving the online & mobile experience

Hampstead opted to use TN Express Web and TN Mobile Plus to bring Tessitura’s comprehensive functionality to the customer-facing online and mobile platforms. With TNEW, Jess reports, “the amount of flexibility we’ve had on the customer booking journey online has been so wonderful. To be able to brand it to look like our website, to be able to use the language that we use for our brand at Hampstead Theatre, to cut out some of the steps that we had before. I think we had nine steps to book a ticket; With TNEW, we’ve cut that down to five.” Simplifying the customer journey, she says, is “a quick win.”

Her favorite feature, “without a doubt,” is TN Mobile Plus. “Beforehand, our booking system on the mobile wasn’t good at all. Now people are actually booking on the mobile, and we can see the number of people booking on the mobile, which is so exciting.”

“The flexibility that you have with the website and the mobile is extraordinary,” she continues. “We’re absolutely seeing numbers go up on online and mobile bookings.” After only six months they had seen substantial increases, and so far 75% of ticket sales have come in over the web. In addition, they finally had a way to measure the engagement, which they hadn’t had before.

“We’re absolutely seeing numbers go up on online and mobile bookings.”

Improvements across the company

Photo courtesy of Hampstead Theatre

“We’re all talking together as a business,” says Jo, a crucial improvement at an organisation with a small staff. “In a good way, we [Marketing] are being forced to communicate better with the Development Team and the Sales Team on the front line, the box office and the front-of-house team.” Jess echoes that sentiment: “We’re talking to each other [across departments] so much better than we ever were.” 

What does that look like on a day-to-day basis? Jo provides an example: “At the start of every week, Marketing are now saying to the Box Office Team, ‘This is what we’re doing this week: this review’s going out, this press interview’s going out, this email’s going out.’ And to be able to see the direct responses from that, the customers booking because of those marketing efforts, is very exciting.”

With Tessitura, Hampstead now has the ability to track audience booking behaviour much more precisely. For example, when engaging with customers, the box office can find out what convinces them to book, and the marketing team can then use this data to inform their decisions moving forward. 

The quality of Tessitura’s data is a strong point: Jo notes that the Dashboards and reporting are “second to none. We have so much more insight than we’ve ever been able to have. We are able to look at stuff in so much more detail for our business than we ever have before.”

“We can think a bit bigger… If there’s something that we want to do, Tessitura will find a way to do it.”

Customer service

Because of this wealth of data, Jo notes that they now have “so much more in-depth knowledge of ticket buyers… We can really meet their needs more than we could before.” With Tessitura’s unified platform, information about a customer becomes visible across departments, so that VIPs or major donors become easily identifiable to anyone — “to front of house, development, marketing — in ways that we couldn’t do before, or we had to do in a very manual way,” Jo explains. 

“The biggest thing that we found is that all of the departments are talking to each other” in a way that smooths the customer journey. “Customers are really starting to see a difference” in service levels because the organisation is “more cohesive. Everybody knows what’s going on…  There isn’t a lot of to-ing and fro-ing because everybody can look at Tessitura.”

This improved communication not only helps the customer experience; it also helps the theatre work more efficiently. “It’s definitely saving staff time,” Jo says.  

Flexible seating plans

Tessitura’s flexibility is another factor that helps save time. “The seating plan and the facilities are the best thing,” says Jo. “They’re so flexible. Before, if we needed to add seats or move things around, we couldn’t do it; we’d have to unbook everyone and rebook everybody in one by one. Now we can just move everyone, and it’s the best thing that I have at my fingertips. It’s brilliant.” 

She remembers, “There were times when I was in the office for 14 hours a day trying to do some things that we had so many restrictions on with our last system.”

“I was expecting big things, and I got more.”

Priority bookings

“Tessitura has already changed the way that we do things,” Jo said only weeks after going live. “We can think a bit bigger… We don’t feel like we have any restrictions at all. We feel like if there’s something that we want to do, then Tessitura will find a way to do it.”

For example, Tessitura allows Hampstead to offer benefits such as priority booking to select customers. Their Downstairs Club, a new membership scheme for patrons 30 and under, offers priority booking for every Hampstead Main Stage and Downstairs production, including access to the theatre’s very popular £5 tickets for Downstairs productions. Dozens of Downstairs Club members have accessed £5 tickets or under-30 tickets in those priority booking periods.

“I was expecting big things, and I got more,” Jess says. “We’re just thrilled with it.”

Jo concludes, “We feel like we really, really made the right decision.”  

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Jo Boniface

Jo Boniface

Head of Sales

Hampstead Theatre

Jo is the Head of Sales at Hampstead Theatre in London.

She spoke with Tessitura in the Success Studio at TLCC2017.

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Jess Woodward

Jess Woodward

Director of Marketing

Hampstead Theatre

Jess is the Director of Marketing at Hampstead Theatre in London.

She spoke with Tessitura in the Success Studio at TLCC2017.

Show More

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