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Delivering virtual experiences with Tessitura

How to get started with bringing your work into the digital space

Paul K.

Paul KappelBusiness Analyst, Tessitura Network

TitleDelivering virtual experiences with Tessitura


Read/View Time5 min

The work that you do every day to bring the unparalleled experiences to your stages, galleries, and halls is what inspires us

at Tessitura Network to support you with innovative new features in our products and services. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has physically distanced your audiences, members, and donors from you, arts and culture still hold a resounding importance in bringing us together. It just looks a little different than in the past.

From penguins meeting dinosaurs to virtual dance studios and science snacks, you have found new and exciting ways to bring arts and cultural experiences even closer to your constituents. oftentimes right into their homes, on their couches, at kitchen tables, or even bedsides. It might not surprise you that as the business analyst for our consumer-facing product team I am obsessed with data. It will likely surprise you even less to learn that our TN Express Web (TNEW) users have sold more than 10 times the quantity of digital experiences on their sites this year than at this time last year.

TNEW users have sold more than 10 times the quantity of digital experiences on their sites this year than at this time last year.

Seeing these experiences, observing your innovations, and watching these exciting sales trends led us to develop our new Digital Content feature to further support you as the cultural landscape has shifted to the aforementioned couches, tables, and bedsides.

So how does our feature work and what can you do to get started?


You can now create a digital content page for each performance product, and can configure that page with almost any HTML content. The digital content can be anything from live-streamed events and videos to virtual museum tours, remote classes and camps, meetings, or anything else you create. This digital content page appears right in TNEW, so that your customers just have to log into their TNEW accounts to access the experience they’ve purchased.

Screenshot showing the heading A Midsummer Night's Dream and a video of a theatrical production

Plan Your Digital Experience

There are so many different digital experiences and content assets that you can bring to your constituents. Once your programming staff have determined what you are going to offer, your first logistical decision will be how to create and store the content. Our TNEW feature is designed to work with any number of providers, and selecting the right provider may depend on your offerings. Even though the experience you are offering is remote, it should still match the high caliber of the in-person experience, and a good partner can help you to select the right equipment and set up the infrastructure for crafting your content.

We have seen many services that would work well with our feature, including:

Streaming and Videos

Virtual Galleries and Self Tours

Live Classes, Camps, and Lectures

There are many others that may be the right fit for your organization and your strategy. Always consider the price and quality of the offering. Also make sure that your potential partner’s terms of service permit you to sell the hosted content independently and embed the content using HTML. For more information about setting up digital content on TNEW, visit our help system.

Determine Your Pricing

Once you have planned what you will offer digitally, it is important to consider how you will offer it to your audiences on TNEW. As with all performance products sold on TNEW, you can leverage Tessitura offers, pricing rules, and editable pricing to present the right price for each digital product. Digital experiences are new for many organizations, but recent research shows that by June of this year, more than 50% of existing cultural consumers had already engaged with an organization digitally. This may be the right time to set up editable pricing on TNEW to offer a pay-what-you-wish model for your content, until you find the right price.

This may be the right time to set up a pay-what-you-wish model for your content, until you find the right price.

Refine Your Offerings

The sale of a ‘seat’ is the minimum requirement for a constituent to be able to access a performance product’s digital content. Depending on your content, you may want to further control the availability and messaging. Our new feature offers two methods for limiting access above and beyond the ticket purchase.

You can offer your digital experience as a rental, where the constituent purchases the performance product and then can access the content for a specific amount of time after their purchase. Alternatively, for time-specific events like live-streams or virtual meetings, you can restrict availability to a specific number of days before and/or after the date of the performance product.

Screenshot showing 'Account Section' and then 'Digital Experiences' with three past orders listed

Package and Message

As you would with in-person experiences, you want your constituents to have a seamless experience. Just as you would offer directions to your venue and parking information for an in-person experience, make it easy for them to access the digital experience that they have purchased. For example, consider including a direct link to the purchased digital performance in the email confirmation and on the receipt page.

Make it easy for your customers to access the digital experience that they have purchased.

Manage Traffic

Based on the type of offering, you should evaluate the number of constituents that have purchased a product and the time that they will be accessing the content. Just like you would with major on-sale events, you can manage that additional load on your TNEW site using a virtual waiting room. Let your constituents know that “arriving” early will give them more time to relax before the virtual show begins!

•     •     •     

Sometimes the easiest way to get started with digital experiences is to start small, review the response, and refine and expand from there. Any of your offerings already have the advantage of being exceptional, mission-driven, and unique beyond anything else offered digitally or in person.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has distanced us all physically, arts and culture still have the ability to bring us all together, now more than ever.

If you are looking to get started with our digital content features or TNEW, please visit our Help System or contact support at hello@tesssituranetwork.com.


Top photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


Paul K.

Paul Kappel

Business Analyst

Tessitura Network

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