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AudienceView Acquires TheaterMania and OvationTix

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – July 11, 2017 – AudienceView, a world leader in e-commerce software for events and entertainment organizations, is pleased to announce the acquisition of TheaterMania, including the OvationTixTM Software as a Service product as well as the TheaterMania.com and WhatsOnStage media brands. As part of AudienceView’s continued investment in its market-leading position providing ticketing, CRM, and fundraising solutions, the acquisition of TheaterMania extends AudienceView’s market reach to more than 2,000 arts and culture, sports, live events and education organizations globally, from the largest entertainment groups in the world to single weekend festival events.

“AudienceView and TheaterMania have long shared a common vision and passion to help entertainment organizations build devoted communities and fulfill their missions,” said Gretchen Shugart, formerly CEO of TheaterMania and now President, Arts and Culture of AudienceView. “We are truly thrilled to be aligned with an organization that understands the industry that we serve and has aggressive plans to invest in our products and offerings to drive even more success for our clients.”

“The combination of AudienceView and TheaterMania now provides arts and cultural organizations with best-in-class capabilities to control their brand and business operations while tapping into the immense power that effective distribution channels bring,” said Mark Fowlie, CEO of AudienceView.  “This acquisition expands our portfolio to become the ideal destination for organizations of all sizes seeking the best technology, services, and partnerships to drive their businesses forward.”

In keeping with the company’s unwavering commitment to customer success, AudienceView is dedicating additional investment to be focused on providing superior client service and support. The first-class OvationTix service and support will continue without change and will benefit from additional support, resources and expertise from AudienceView.

Additionally, the company will be bolstering product investment in both the OvationTix and AudienceView platforms and will be building innovative solutions that will be shared across both offerings.  Further, AudienceView’s customers will benefit from the significant audience reach, event listings, and multimedia content provided by TheaterMania.com and WhatsOnStage.

“Whether a venue has an audience of 99 or over 100,000, AudienceView is now the most compelling choice for organizations that want to grow their communities through innovative technology, strategic distribution strategies, and a team of experts dedicated to creating and supporting customer success every single day,” adds Mark Fowlie.

AudienceView will serve its customers from its Toronto and London offices as well as the New York TheaterMania offices.

JEGI served as the exclusive financial advisor to TheaterMania.

To learn more about AudienceView’s acquisition of TheaterMania and OvationTix, please visit: http://bit.ly/tm-ot-acquisition.

About AudienceView

AudienceView is a leading provider of solutions that serves the entire live events marketplace. Our SaaS software helps more than 2,000 organizations in 15 countries deliver exceptional customer experiences through innovative technology, popular media brands and strategic distribution channels. The AudienceView and OvationTix platforms are powerful solutions that drive customer engagement, new revenue and operational efficiencies that enable success for brands, venues and events of all sizes and types. Our media brands, TheaterMania and WhatsOnStage, connect over one million consumers with live events each month.  Learn more at www.audienceview.com.

Media/interview requests:

Christine Payne
Primoris Group Inc.
+1 416.489.0092
media@audienceview.com

 

The Grand 1894 Opera House Selects AudienceView as New Technology Partner

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TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – January 5, 2017AudienceView, a world leader in e-commerce software for events and entertainment organizations, proudly announces its selection as the new technology partner of The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas.  On top of its celebrated heritage as “The Official Opera House of Texas,” the venue has held a special place in the history of its community and the hearts of many residents for more than 120 years.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with AudienceView and introducing new technology that complements our exceptional programming and facilities.  It will help us know our patrons more intimately, serve them better, communicate more deeply and enhance the overall guest experience,” said Maureen M. Patton, Executive Director of The Grand 1894 Opera House.  “AudienceView will also help us leverage new revenue opportunities, streamline our business operations and make us more efficient.”

By partnering with AudienceView, The Grand has the advantage of a state-of-the-art platform with all the tools it needs to create amazing relationships and experiences for its audiences.  Subscription sales and renewals will be transitioned online, eliminating a cumbersome manual process.  The Grand also plans to introduce expanded donation abilities online, leverage AudienceView for single show tickets and transform communication with members, donors and patrons.

Founded in 1894 and a charter member of the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT), The Grand has survived storms, hurricanes and periods of neglect.  Several generations have shown their commitment to the arts by saving the theatre and making it a crown jewel of Texas entertainment.  Over the years, important restoration and building improvement projects have been completed to ensure that The Grand remains a powerhouse for the performing arts in the region.

This coming season, as always, there is something for everyone at The Grand, including top touring artists in theatre, music, dance, opera, children’s programming and other performance genres that engage and enrich the lives of our diverse communities.  In 2016-17, guests were included in a live taping of The Texas Tenors, who opened the season with a performance to be aired nationally on PBS.  The schedule also includes the musicals 42nd Street and Pippin, Hollywood legend Sophia Loren, The Time Jumpers, Arlo Guthrie and country music legend Loretta Lynn, among others.

“AudienceView is excited to be working with this storied venue and its incredibly committed team.  Together, we have the opportunity to blend history with modern technology as The Grand grows revenues and delights loyal supporters from the local community and visitors to the island city,” said Jonathan Tice, Vice President, Global Sales at AudienceView. “We look forward to a long and successful relationship with The Grand as it continues to offer the finest in entertainment, bolster the local economy and enrich the cultural life of Galveston and the surrounding region.”

About AudienceView

AudienceView is a complete entertainment business solutions provider. With over $2 billion in annual transactions, our innovative and engaging software is helping more than 550 venues in 15 countries deliver exceptional in-venue and online customer experiences. The self-serve, e-commerce, ticketing and events management portals enable success for events of all sizes or types.  Learn more at www.audienceview.com, or connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Media/interview requests:

Christine Payne
Primoris Group Inc.
+1 416.489.0092
media@audienceview.com

AudienceView Launches at University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music

Announcing one of our newest clients in the arts campus world, the Eastman School of Music; a renowned professional school within the University of Rochester, is now live on AudienceView.

Eastman offers single tickets and subscriptions for its entire schedule of performances.  The purchase process is further enhanced by interactive 3D seat maps from AudienceView’s partner, Ticketing3D.  Now patrons buying tickets can see the view from their seats in a lifelike representation of Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and other performance spaces.

AudienceView’s core platform is also powering integrated content management, which drives the look and feel of the organization’s online presence, and email marketing, which will enable Eastman to provide a highly personalized service experience.

“AudienceView was the clear choice for our new in-house box office at Eastman Theatre – it created immediate efficiencies while offering opportunities to scale our use of the platform,” said Keith C. Elder, Director of Concert Activities for the Eastman School of Music.  “The integrated content management system is also improving the overall experience for our patrons and allowing us to provide better customer service.  We are delighted to have technology in place that matches the incredible quality of our artistic presentations.”

“We are pleased to welcome the Eastman School of Music to our growing family of North American arts organizations,” said Jonathan Tice, Vice President of Global Sales for AudienceView.  “The AudienceView platform will give the school the ability to engage its audiences in innovative ways and help the school transform their operations with operational efficiencies.  We look forward to a long-term partnership with this passionate community that is so dedicated to preparing students for meaningful careers in music.”

UK’s Marina Theatre Selects AudienceView

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – November 14, 2016AudienceView, a world leader in e-commerce software for events and entertainment organisations, proudly announces its selection as the new technology partner of the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK. Originally opened in the Victorian era, the venue boasts a variety of live entertainment options, including West End musicals, top comedy acts, touring drama and musical productions, opera, dance and concerts. It is one of only two venues outside of London to be granted a prestigious residency of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and annually hosts the largest professional pantomime on the East Anglian coast. The Marina Theatre also operates a successful cinema operation, with the largest screen and film auditorium in town.

“After researching various systems, AudienceView was the obvious choice given its flexibility and overall depth. AudienceView also serves some of the biggest brands in the UK market, so we know we are in very good hands,” said Lee Henderson, CEO of the Marina Theatre. “As an independent charitable arts organisation, we need to work with partners who can help us increase our market share, develop our varied audiences and become more resilient in these ever-changing times, especially in the arts. We are delighted to join the worldwide AudienceView family.”

AudienceView comes complete with robust, tightly integrated features, including ticketing, e-commerce, fundraising, customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing, content management (CMS) and powerful analytics. This will help the Marina Theatre drive new and incremental revenue, improve the overall customer experience and increase efficiencies.

The Marina Theatre highly values in-house control of the CMS and knowing everything they create will be device responsive, making the online experience user-friendly for mobile, tablet and laptop users. The team also plans to automate its email marketing and reporting so that staff can focus on big-picture strategies.

In-house productions, touring events and resident tenants can be managed by the single solution while maintaining each brand’s unique identity. Defined security levels also make it possible for certain information to be shared while other data remains protected.

“We are committed to helping our clients in the UK and around the world reach the pinnacle of success with their businesses. Through these partnerships, we are helping organisations of all sizes and types increase revenue, create efficiencies and introduce innovations that foster long-term audience engagement, “said Jeff Koets, AudienceView’s Interim Managing Director for the UK. “We look forward to a long and successful relationship with the Marina Theatre team.”

About AudienceView

AudienceView is a complete entertainment business solutions provider. With over $2 billion in annual transactions, our innovative and engaging software is helping more than 550 venues in 15 countries deliver exceptional in-venue and online customer experiences. The self-serve, e-commerce, ticketing and events management portals enable success for events of all sizes or types.  Learn more at www.audienceview.com, or connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Media/interview requests:

Christine Payne
Primoris Group Inc.
+1 416.489.0092
media@audienceview.com

Industry Leader From AudienceView Named INTIX President and CEO

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – November 9, 2016 – Today, the International Ticketing Association (INTIX) and AudienceView announced that Maureen Andersen has accepted the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of INTIX after seven years helping AudienceView form partnerships with arts and entertainment organizations to help improve their business operations.

An industry veteran of over 35 years, Maureen has experienced the ticketing and live events industry from almost every angle imaginable. At each stop along her journey, she continued to hone her skills and create long-lasting relationships in the industry, which have put her in a position to lead INTIX and help even more organizations evolve their businesses.

“We are so excited for Maureen to have this great opportunity to lead INTIX, which is such an integral association in our industry,” said Mark Fowlie, CEO of AudienceView. “At AudienceView, we’ve been fortunate to have Maureen understand, appreciate and evangelize our platform to arts and entertainment organizations around the world. It is difficult to find words that properly express how much we will miss Maureen’s ability to connect AudienceView with organizations in need and mentor future industry leaders, but we are thrilled that INTIX sees in her what we’ve always seen. With Maureen at the helm, we are excited to deepen our relationship with INTIX even further.”

Maureen is no stranger to the INTIX community. She has played many roles in and around the organization for 35+ years, including her most recent role as Board Chair. In addition, Maureen has served as interim President of INTIX and has constantly supported the association to grow and add value for its members and partners.

”During the due diligence phase of our search, Maureen’s name was repeatedly mentioned as the best person to lead INTIX into the future.  While she was not looking to leave AudienceView, we are thrilled to have successfully recruited Maureen to be our new CEO,” said Gary Lustig, Search Committee Chair, Past-Chair of INTIX and Principal of LusTicks Consulting.

With the 2017 INTIX annual conference right around the corner in New Orleans this January, Maureen will be jumping right into her new role. While it will be difficult to depart AudienceView after so much time helping organizations, Maureen recognizes that overseeing INTIX gives her an even bigger opportunity to make a fantastic impact in our industry.

“This is my industry,” said Maureen. “At every stop along the way in my career, I fill my cup by spending time with people from the industry and for the industry. My time at AudienceView has been invaluable and I’ve been able to work with so many amazing people and organizations. Taking on this role at INTIX gives me the best of both worlds. I will have the opportunity to continue deepening these great relationships I’ve created and apply my experience with an INTIX member organization that I have been so passionate about growing.”

About AudienceView

AudienceView is a complete entertainment business solutions provider. With over $2 billion in annual transactions, our innovative and engaging software is helping more than 550 venues in 15 countries deliver exceptional in-venue and online customer experiences. The self-serve, e-commerce, ticketing and events management portals enable success for events of all sizes or types.  Learn more at www.audienceview.com, or connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Media/interview requests:

Christine Payne
Primoris Group Inc.
+1 416.489.0092
media@audienceview.com

Making the Most of Performing Arts ‘Dump Months’

In almost every area of the entertainment and events industry, there is at least one time of year that is less than optimal for engaging audiences.

In TV, many long-running series get cancelled after being moved to the Friday Night Death Zone. Remember Prison Break and Ugly Betty?

Early July is the timeout period for almost every major sports league.

The very start of the school year and the holiday season are referred to as the Off Season Dead Zones for most museums and cultural attractions.

Ticketed entertainment is no different and the performing arts’ ‘dump months’ are right around the corner.

 

What’s the story behind the idea of the dump months?

The idea of the dump months comes from the film world, where the industry quickly formed the belief that the months of August, September, October, January and February were a good dumping ground for films that studios felt would fail.

Much like any area of the arts, films are produced for different reasons. Some because actors want to remain connected to cinema as art or as a pet project by someone with a lot of industry pull. Others are politically driven, perhaps so a stmarquee-dump-monthsudio can develop clout within the festival circuit. Or else a title is expected to be a tent pole film when it is developed, only to be produced into a movie distributors know will come up short of predictions. All of these categories are the movies that get scheduled for release in the dump months.

If you look at the five movie dump months, you’ll see a few trends:

  • People have less disposable income after expensive annual events: there are always costs that come with the start of the school year and the holidays
  • There are competing priorities for entertainment: think television premieres, performing arts blockbusters and major sporting events like the Super Bowl and Olympics
  • Other industry factors blocking major releases: eligibility for major awards ends the last week of December and summer blockbusters are released at the start of the summer

All in all, the dump months are not the best time to draw huge crowds of moviegoers. That same idea has now spread to the performing arts.

 

The dump months in live entertainment

Though not as defined as the film industry, the performing arts dump months generally come between blockbuster productions. Opening and closing a season with a blockbuster and adding a third audience favorite, like a holiday show or a mid-season audience blockbuster, is the typical arc for a year’s programming.

Perhaps you have an upcoming show that has a bit more of an edge. Or one that your Artistic Director is looking to test in the market between the season opener and a holiday staple. Regardless of which it may be, the dump months are coming from mid-October until at least the American Thanksgiving long weekend.

 

Are the dump months a bad thing for an entertainment or performing arts organization?

While the dump months for an organization sound like one of the worst times to be in the ticketed entertainment industry, these weeks can be a catalyst for creativity.

Many artistic departments use the dump months as a time to showcase experimental content and the same concept can be applied for complementary administrative activities. There can be just as much creativity in the front of house as there is on stage and ticketed entertainment professionals can be as experimental as their artistic counterparts.

You shouldn't expect a full house during the dump months, and that's okay!

You shouldn’t expect a full house during the dump months, and that’s okay!

If you look at the projections for mid-fall and late-winter productions, I’ll bet that an entire run of the new show your organization is testing would be the equivalent of one night of your holiday production. Your blockbusters use tried-and-tested strategies to earn revenue from group sales, merchandise, concessions, field trips, donations and anything else you do to engage your customers. These are classics and they bring in audiences, so you can’t discount their importance.

But you also can’t discount your own innovation and your desire to try out new strategies on a sample group of customers.

The dump months provide a perfect opportunity to do so. Especially as your attendees are often your most loyal patrons, whose subscriptions include tickets to these harder-to-sell shows. These audience members love your organization and want to experience your growth, and this isn’t limited to artistic pursuits and they are likely the ones to give you the most candid feedback on your new initiatives.

 

Using the dump months to your advantage

The appeal for loyal patrons to attend a cutting-edge show is to experience it before it becomes a blockbuster – to be among the first to enjoy how your organization grows. But this shouldn’t be limited to what they see on the stage or on screen.

Here is where the magic lies in the dump months. Your loyal patrons are eager to experience something new in every step of their journey. Is there a new front of house enhancement you want to try out with an audience? What about a new fundraising campaign that’s a little crazy? Or how about a unique piece of merchandise that might get people talking?

Many of us fail to try something edgy in the arts because absolutely every dollar counts as budgets become even thinner, yet dump months are the perfect time to see if and how new strategies are adopted by your customers.

If it’s a success, you’ve unlocked the next great strategy to advance your organization during next year’s blockbuster.

And if it fails? The great thing is that you tried, learned something new and now know your patrons even better.

The dump months are a great time for everyone to experiment with new ideas. Artists bring out shows that may only play once, and you can do the same. If your new idea gets a standing ovation from customers, bring it back for an encore! But if you face a flop, no one will remember because your holiday blockbuster weeks are just around the corner.

Six Employee Orientation Must-Do’s For The New Season

Unless you work in a sports or arts organization that has its peak in the summer months, you are now gearing up for the big season opener and wrapping up your to-do list, ensuring every small detail has been planned as you welcome your audiences and fans back into your venues.

Summer is a great time of the year to plan for the coming 10 months of business activities and to transition jobs since it is the dark time of the year for sports and arts organizations.

Chances are you’ll be welcoming new staff into your organization to support the upcoming season.  It’s important to get those relationships off on the right foot.

Human resources are not a strong point in the arts or sports and we have many new employees join our industry for a week or so, only to call their previous employer up and hope their job is still available. Although the live event industry is one of the most heavily unionized ecosystems in the modern world, human resources departments are usually an under-staffed part of our business (and that’s if they exist at all). This combination of a scattered HR presence in the workplace and the overall chaos that comes from the live events industry we love working in means being a good manager can make all the difference in reducing employee churn, especially if your organization does not have dedicated HR staff.

Here are six tips for on-boarding your new employees while keeping on top of your own job too.

Do people not want to talk to me because they're wearing headphones?

Do people not want to talk to me because they’re wearing headphones?

  1. Offer culture tips in advance. Every office has nuances that are not written into a contract or employee handbook – from the dress code to whether everyone takes lunch together at the same time. This can intimidate new hires on their first day. For example, if you work in an office of people who listen to music while working, say so. This will curb any potential feelings of isolation and your new team member can have headphones handy! Reaching out before someone starts also reinforces the fact that you value them as a new employee.
  2. Have a prepared workstation. Remember how great it was to come to work on your first day and see that the desk was still messy from the last person who just up and left? Exactly. It may seem like a great first task is to have someone organize their work station to get them oriented with what their predecessor did, but who wants to come in to someone else’s mess? Ensure your new team member has a clean desk, including Having a work space prepared for someone, including a working computer with logins and all the required software. This will make him or her feel like a valued new addition instead of someone who is just picking up where someone else left off. Having business cards ready and waiting is also a nice touch.
  3. Set aside time on their first day for a tour, lunch and end of day follow-up. Perhaps the most important minutes that determine whether someone is a good fit or not for your organization is that first half hour when they join your team. Be there to welcome new recruits when they arrive, make sure they feel comfortable at their desk and be generous with your time on the first day. As a manager, you are the most important relationship in their professional life. Set aside time to have lunch together, arrange a tour of your building and any off-site venues, and be sure to set 30 minutes aside at the end of the day to answer questions.
  4. Introduce the team and set up introductory meetings. Many arts and sports organizations are becoming much more vertically integrated, introducing in-house graphic designers and/or hiring full-time artistic staff like costume designers. Meeting cross-functional partners, especially in a dynamic environment like a live events organization, can inspire employees to do their best. It also helps new hires feel like part of the team. Schedule appointments for your new hire to meet with everyone, even if they will have relatively little to do with each other professionally, as this creates a culture of comradery.
  5. Give them something to read. It can be difficult to transition work to a new hire, even though they always want to get started right away. Make sure they are familiar with your business by providing reading material and lots of it! Give them the employee handbook if you have one. Put a stack of old playbills on their desk. Ask them to review the bios of your team’s athletes. Get them up to speed with your culture and everything your organization offers its ticket buyers.
  6. Discuss and assign work plans. We are all guilty of withholding projects. After all, why take the time to explain something when you can just do it yourself in half the time? I’m not suggesting you need to get a new hire to create a huge marketing plan on day one, but why not ask themto start thinking of a social media contest? Offering useful assignments to occupy time in the early days will make new hires feel valued and it also helps them orientate themselves as they navigate the organization.

 

These tips are designed to make sure your new hire has a good first impression of your organization. While you selected them for the job, chances are they are still making their decision about you. And it is not unheard of for an employee to resign after the first week or even on the first day.

Ensuring new employees feel like valued, contributing members of an organization they are likely already passionate about can go a long way towards transitioning them into valuable contributors.