Increasing revenue, creating efficiencies and enhancing visitor experience at theatres with digital display solutions

As the digital display partner of choice for theatres across the UK, having worked with The Crucible Sheffield, Leeds Playhouse, the Stafford Gatehouse and Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, UX Global finds innovative ways to bring to life and enhance theatre-goers’ experience to help increase revenue and create efficiencies.

Alistair Wright, MD at UX Global explains: “Theatres face a unique set of both challenges and opportunities when it comes to driving footfall and repeat visits. From show-stopping external LED displays to attract passers-by as a cultural landmark, to interactive indoor totems advertising upcoming shows, there are many ways in which digital display solutions can drive ticket sales and make for an unforgettable – and easily shareable – visitor experience. A key priority for venues with a rolling programme of new events is flexibility and use of digital displays allows for this, saving time, money and waste as well, making it a sound capital investment.”

Here Alistair offers his top digital display tips for theatres:

  1. Maximise eye-catching advertising opportunities with well-placed digital signage

There are lots of visitor touchpoints within a theatre venue from the bar and toilet queues to the box office and stairwells. But static traditional poster ads can easily become an unnoticed part of the ‘wallpaper’, not to mention the time and cost involved in updating and replacing them. We worked with Stafford Gatehouse during a refurbishment to introduce a variety of digital signage solutions including three 55” box office screens, a 43” screen in the bar and video wall portrait screen totems. We also installed a 55” touchscreen for tourist information as well as 32” advertising screens for the café area. All screens were finished off with our bespoke black surrounds, manufactured inhouse by our expert joiners to fit perfectly with the new interior, and everything was installed smoothly ensuring it was all up and running in time for the busy Christmas period.

These screens now show eye-catching moving images which capture the attention of visitors at various points during their experience in a memorable and engaging way. And the flexible content management system, which the staff were trained in using, means that the content can easily be changed and adapted according to what’s happening that week/month and how ticket sales are going.

“The new digital screens have changed not only the look of the venue but how our customers interact with advertising and promotion as a whole and I would have no hesitation in recommending UXG to anyone looking at this technology for their venues.” Richard @ Stafford Gatehouse

  1. Create a show-stopping exterior

When we first started working with Leeds Playhouse it had become tired and was showing its age and funding was in place to redevelop the site to make it a more vibrant venue as a key part of the city’s cultural scene. While the comprehensive package of digital display solutions we integrated into the redevelopment was designed to create ‘wow factor’ inside the venue (with things such as a feature LED display in the entrance funning up three floors), it was also vital that the exterior of the building was maximised to take advantage of its prominent position on the busy St Peter’s Street.

The project included installation of a large-format 6 x 3m outdoor LED Display (Digital 48 sheet) which has become a key part of the theatre’s iconic identity. On the Quarry hill side of the building, a newly designed walkway incorporates two large totems with double sided Dynascan high bright displays, along with five wall mounted Dynascan high bright displays in Leeds Playhouse square using BrightSign players and Signagelive for the best possible outdoor display quality. All totems were manufactured by us in-house to bespoke requirements.

The 1.5m x 5m LED screen in the cafeteria area, which is one of the main congregating points within the building, can also be seen from the people walking by the venue.

The theatre can now market events directly to the public, altering promotions quickly and efficiently to display the latest information from shows and ticket availability and performance start times, 24/7.

Replacing the paper-based banners previously used with digital signage inside and out has yielded an estimated saving of £21k per annum with no waste. These striking displays are integrated sympathetically into surrounding areas bringing powerful real-time messaging and promotions.

  1. Live stream auditorium entertainment across the venue

Working in partnership with The Crucible Theatre, UX Global was tasked with enhancing the visitor experience with a package of specific digital display solutions to enable advertising of forthcoming productions and events within public areas and the use of state-of-the-art video conferencing in meeting rooms.

But what this venue in particular really needed was the ability to live stream its flagship event, the World Snooker Championships, in common areas to ensure visitors don’t miss a minute of the action while moving around the building. The display screens had to be installed in the perfect position to allow for comfortable and clear viewing – and this of course all had to be done efficiently, with a seamless finish, and with as little disruption to the day-to-day running of the theatre as possible ahead of the start of the Snooker.

Rachel Nutland, Communications Director at Sheffield Theatres, said: “The UX Global team understood exactly what we were looking to achieve and the digital solutions they designed, manufactured and installed for us provide a more interactive and immersive experience for our visitors and staff. They were a pleasure to work with and completed everything on time and on budget.”

  1. Use digital displays to boost additional revenue streams

Theatres are becoming increasingly popular for corporate events such as conferences and team away days because of the inspiring and engaging environment they offer. At both Leeds Playhouse and The Crucible we have installed state of the art video conferencing facilities to enable these venues to offer the best possible corporate event experience. Similarly, our digital display solutions in theatre cafes and other common areas help to increase revenue from things other than purely ticket sales, generating income that can be invested back into what theatres do best.

Want to find out how digital display solutions could transform your/your client’s theatre or other entertainment venue? Get in touch.