Success Story: The Gateway Playhouse

August 22, 2016 AudienceView Staff

THE BACKGROUND

Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse has become a much-loved annual tradition for the residents of Suffolk County. It has been voted the #1 spooky attraction on all of Long Island, NY, for four years in a row.

The month-long event is a departure from Gateway’s typical programming, which favors Broadway-style shows and a lot of musicals.

The departure from the norm doesn’t stop with their ghostly annual event either – the customer demographic is flipped from older arts patrons, largely 55 plus, to a much younger audience that ranges from junior high to young adult.

THE SITUATION

During this annual event, The Gateway Playhouse had unique challenges specifically for the Haunted Playhouse:

  • 90% of customers were walk-ups on the night of the event
  • Most paid cash for their event tickets
  • Long lines and cash sales made it almost impossible to capture customer data (name, email, mailing address, etc.) for future marketing programs
  • Complicated math formulas were used to understand how customers physically flowed through the event and to control wait times
     

THE SOLUTION

Using AudienceView for the very first time, The Gateway’s main focus was to improve overall operational efficiency, with goals to enhance the customer experience, improve data collection and increase revenue.

AudienceView helped Gateway accomplish its goals by:

The small steps taken by The Gateway’s staff yielded big results, including:

  • Lines were short to non-existent to purchase tickets on-site
  • Much less stress on the box office due to the change in customer behavior
  • Real-time reporting allowed staff to better control flow – heightening the experience and capturing more revenue from concession sales
  • The $5 per ticket fee resulted in approximately $3,000 in new revenue
  • Over 55% of total online traffic was via mobile website

“Our first experience with AudienceView was extremely positive,” said The Gateway’s Jeff Bellante, “but we’re even more excited about our ability to improve things next year by using all the data we collected to improve our marketing programs and increase attendance. We see huge potential with the opportunity to continue transforming the Haunted Playhouse into a ‘soup to nuts’ mobile experience that users can interact with before, during and after the event.”

Although change can be scary, often it’s not changing that can really haunt an organization.

At a Glance

  • Over 55% of online traffic came from new mobile website 
  • 226% increase in donor pool in the first year.

Client Info

Client: The Gateway, Performing Arts Center of Suffolk County Industry: Non-Profit Arts
Location: Bellport, NY, USA Website: pacsc.org

  • Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral, is famously quoted as saying, “The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘we’ve always done it this way.’” The staff at The Gateway, Performing Arts Center of Suffolk County channeled the spirit of Hopper and completely overhauled the way they manage and sell tickets to their annual Haunted Playhouse event using the AudienceView solution.  

"We see huge potential with the opportunity to continue transforming the Haunted Playhouse into a ‘soup to nuts’ mobile experience that users can interact with before, during and after the event. ” - Jeff Bellante Associate Producer

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