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Chichester Festival Theatre, known for delivering exceptional theatrical experiences for over 60 years, wanted to streamline the ticket check-in process and elevate the overall visitor experience.

With this in mind, the 1300-seat theatre embraced Zebra’s cutting-edge TC21 devices on recommendation from ExPD.

The challenge

Following the increased emphasis on paperless and contactless transactions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Chichester Festival Theatre saw a marked and growing enthusiasm from audiences for e-tickets. The ease and convenience of online booking and mobile tickets was a real asset to the front of house team as well as audience members.

Upon entrance to the theatre, barcodes on mobile phone or print-at-home tickets are scanned by barcode reading devices. Once scanned, Spektrix ticketing software can indicate whether a ticket is valid for that performance.

Spektrix, a full CRM system, also monitors ticket inventory, reports on sales trends and provides detailed attendance lists.

After two years of use, the old device cases began to crack and an unreliable battery life caused a problem for staff who needed them to last all day on a single charge.

For each performance, there are eight staff scanning tickets at the doors to the auditorium, and the devices  needed to be durable and reliable.

Solution and result

After a review of the existing ticketing process, ExPD suggested an upgrade to Zebra’s TC21 device.

The TC21 is a cost-effective mobile computer with best-in-class computing power to maximise the performance of the Spektrix ticketing app.

It’s waterproof, dustproof and can handle drops to concrete – ideal for staff positioned on the doors of the theatre. The touchscreen is easy to view outdoors in bright sunlight and indoors.

The devices are lightweight, easy to carry and operate with one hand. With a 14-hour battery life, this is a significant improvement to the previous 8 to 10 hours on the old devices.

The TC21 delivers speedy response times, resulting in faster ticket scanning and improved customer service. The team are also able to validate vouchers with its easy-to-use interface.

Gabriele Williams, Deputy House Manager said: “The devices are so simple to use that it required minimal training for our front of house staff. We were able to see the benefits straight away, including getting our audience to their seats quickly and efficiently.”

To further enhance its ticket scanning solution, Chichester Festival Theatre recently integrated crowdEngage, a software that generates text reminders and sends e-tickets to audiences before the show. No need for printing, or queuing at the box office!