From Charlie Chaplin and Vesta Tilley to Peter Andre and Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice, the Royal Hippodrome Theatre has been bringing entertainment to Eastbourne for almost 140 years. We met Alex Adams, Artistic and Managing Director, to learn how TicketSource helps to keep audiences coming through the doors.
What makes the Royal Hippodrome Theatre special?
It’s the oldest working theatre in Eastbourne. It was built in 1883 and started off with plays and light opera, before moving into variety and vaudeville acts. In 2014, a community interest company was formed to manage the theatre, and my wife and I were invited to run the summer season. Within four years, things snowballed into us taking over the place! We’re a community venue and we want to continue giving variety for everybody, including tribute bands, comedians and smash-hit musicals. When you go inside the theatre, it has a feeling of warmth. That’s what makes it special.
Why do you use TicketSource?
We inherited TicketSource when we took over running the theatre. The previous management used it because it didn’t cost anything upfront. Other nearby theatres used other larger systems, but they charged a large fee in advance of ticket sales. With TicketSource, it’s just commission on sales and so it was the right thing for the Royal Hippodrome from a budget point of view. We felt compelled to explore alternatives to ensure we had the best system available, but we found disadvantages with the all. In the end, the ease of use and cost-effectiveness of the all-in-one free event ticketing system meant that TicketSource was the obvious choice.
Which features do you find most useful?
It’s easy to set up discount codes, which is helpful because some promoters like to do an early bird special. If we want to boost sales for a specific event, we set up a discount code and put it out on Facebook. It’s simple and straightforward. Also, because our upper circle is really high, we block these seats on the system and only open them up if ticket sales go over 400. It allows us to manage a staggered release of tickets, and make sure the first seats to go are the ones with the best view. We also block off a row in every show for our brilliant team of volunteer ushers.
What would you say to anyone thinking about using TicketSource?
It’s a really easy system to use. It’s very user-friendly and intuitive, and not in any way complicated. I can ask our administrator to put a show on the event management software and, ten minutes later, it’s on the website. It is really simple.
For more information about the Royal Hippodrome Theatre, visit royalhippodrome.com