Technological innovations over the years have raised the bar for theatre productions. This isn’t the only digital transformation taking place in the dramatic world though…
Digital signage for theatres has become a prominent marketing channel in foyers of all sizes, genre and pedigree. TrouDigital are proud to work with a number of theatres, including the Nuffield in Southampton. We’ve put together a list of 10 ways digital displays can be put to good use:
1. What’s on?
The most obvious use for digital signage in theatres is showing a programme of upcoming performances. Beyond simply listing show times, slideshows allow signage to serve as an extended programme where profiles of the cast, reviews and interview quotations can all be shared. There’s no better time to encourage a theatre-goer to book a future performance than when they are just leaving another show.
2. Show trailers
Unlike traditional theatre posters, digital signage opens up the possibilities of video. In addition to potentially displaying a promotional video for the theatre itself, production trailers can be showcased in the foyer. The quality of teaser films nowadays is comparable to movie trailers so is sure to build excitement around touring shows.
3. Themed content
The introduction of digital displays offers a whole new medium for artistic directors to explore. Screens can be considered as a vehicle of expression through which programmes and plays can be extended. Theatres might wish to represent any themes that tie plays in their programmes together. Alternatively, they might want to reflect seasonal occasions such as Halloween or Christmas with graphics, colour schemes or videos.
4. Sell tickets
When it comes down to it, digital signage in the theatre is an investment that drives sales. Screens in the foyer can be used to advertise tickets to performances. These might be tickets for shows that day, or tickets that theatre-goers pick up in advance for their next visit. Significant sources of income for theatres are seasonal passes and gift cards. There is no better way to promote these offerings than on in-house displays. Those walking out of an enjoyable performance are the most likely to buy on an impulse, especially if discounts are promoted on screen.
5. Advertise concessions
An equally significant way digital screens can generate revenue is through selling concessions. Digital menu boards are highly effective when it comes to enticing patrons to purchase food and drink alongside their ticket. Any special deals on offer, such as the iconic interval ice cream, can be publicised. Listings, pricing and images can all be updated in real-time to reflect availability, making staff’s life much easier.
6. Share the theatre’s history
Moving away from commercial messaging, digital signage for theatres offers an engaging platform through which to share the history of a venue. Often when we visit new places, especially grander buildings, we appreciate learning a little about their background. Knowing which famous actors or performances once graced the stage can make an occasion all the more special. Past renovation work or recent upgrades are all great talking points.
7. Promote community involvement
Theatres are great at integrating with local communities. This might be running youth theatre alongside their professional productions and collaborating with local schools or working with charity organisations. Some offer public workshops or special performances for the elderly or infirm. All these are amazing activities that can have their profile raised through content on digital displays in the foyer.
8. Corporate partnerships
Funding is a challenge often faced by smaller theatres. For this reason among others, many turn to corporate partnerships and sponsorship to operate. Digital signage for theatres helps to make a venue a more enticing proposition for a corporate partner to get involved with. In addition to the benefits received above, theatres might invite potential partners to show sponsored content on their screens in a mutually beneficial exchange.
9. Venue hire info
Venue and facility hire is a good source of income for many theatres. But it’s a service that many patrons don’t realise is available. Renting the stage out for events or external performances can be a great way to maximise gaps in a season’s programme. Including an advert with venue hire information and an invite to inquire about availability on screens can be the difference between having an empty theatre or not.
10. Access and wayfinding
Similarly, screens might be used to provide general venue information such as guidance on disabled access and parking. Wayfinding is a whole other function, particularly effective on touchscreen displays. This might consist of pointing visitors to the closest toilets or helping them find their allocated stall. Wayfinding assistance is hugely important when theatres get busy before and after a show and again during the interval. The better crowds of people flow through confined spaces, the more positive the experience for everyone.