We go to the theatre on and off, mostly picking the eyes of a season for the big names, or plays of particular interest. I've only intermittently subscribed, and then to Belvoir and Sydney Theatre Company. We struggle with so much on (town and country, two orchestra subs, big Hayes Theatre fans, this and that, travel and work, at home and not). And I am on mailing lists of many theatres and companies (Seymour, State, and Carriageworks all doing really interesting stuff).
So, here's how to get it right, and in this instance I'm talking about Sydney Theatre Company.
First, send an email with the season details announcing renewals, dates etc noting New (non-renewing) Season ticket sales commence Oct 14
Next, have a good season ~~
* at The Wharf, The Opera House, The Sydney Theatre
* with names like Robyn Nevin, Cate Blanchett, Jaqueline Mckensie, Richard Roxborough, Hugo Weaving, Susie Porter, Geoffrey Rush (with Neil Armfield)
* with playwrights like Chekhov, Tennesee Williams, Beckett, Chekov, Dorfman, Shaw, Woolf, Shakespeare
* and the hapless non-subscriber just knows waiting till next year means missing out or poor seats or inertia taking over
Then, send a second email announcing that starting at 0900 the next day the recipient will be able to get priority season tickets a week in advance of the public, and that at 0900 tomorrow morning you will get another email which will allow access to early bookings. And telling you to get ready and think about what and when. Which you do.
Come the morning, the email arrives. You're ready with diary marked to avoid clashes and busy weeks with other subscriptions. But the worry is that you'll get lousy seats and off nights, or something beyond your control as you get sucked into the system, or mystery seats which will arrive next January months after they've got the money.
Have a waiting room, a holding page which will let anxious finger tips stay on the website when it is busy then let you into the booking pages when they free up. Which I didn't need cos I took the dog for a walk and cooled my heels.
Let it flow and be obvious, such that the season is before you, and so you give it a go, only to find out that for each selected play, you can choose any night, AND SELECT SEATS FOR EACH PERFORMANCE, and easily navigate from night to night looking at seating, and once chosen, move onto your next choice, nights and seating again all self-select and on, and on, six times (the minimum for a sub and the maximum for us). And, did you know that:
You get an hour to do all this, everything saved, step by step, nothing crashed, nothing lost, and you think this is
Easy, easy as, because two days ago it was too hard, and now you have good seats for great shows on nights which work, except that you have to pay, but wait, there's
Pay in installments - four installments with a single $10 installment charge.
Well, you got me Sydney Theatre Company. Well done.