Technology / 12.08.21
Building Castles of Technology
Red61 is a relationship-driven ticketing solutions company based in the elegant, medieval city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, full of astounding scenery and famously crowned by the towers and stone walls of Edinburgh castles, it is also hailed as a booming European tech hub with one of the fastest growth rates in global tech. It is the perfect balance of old-world charm and modern innovation.
Emerging into New Markets
Initially based in the United Kingdom and catering to primarily U.K. fringe festivals at the outset, the company is now rapidly moving into new markets and evolving the product and technology to extend its customer base to organizations that are keen to leave behind traditional models of ticketing and cumbersome system processes, and instead ticket more like festivals do — flexibly, creatively and with constant innovation.
“Where we came from is very much part of who we are, and learning from and collaborating with our partners to innovate and create new paths forward will always be my favorite part of what we do,” says Jeff Koets, Chief Operations Officer of Red61.
At the Heart of New Ticketing Technology in New York
Red61 recently expanded to the United States by welcoming our first American client, FRIGID New York. FRIGID New York’s mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work without limit to content, form or style, and to amplify their diverse voices. This is accomplished by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and seven annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in its third decade, FRIGID has produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater.
In 2006, the organization joined the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF), and the FRIGID Festival was born. FRIGID Festival, the first festival of its kind in New York City, is a winter fringe festival and is an entirely open and uncensored indie theater festival in which the artists keep 100% of their earnings. As Red61 already provides the ticketing solution to many CAFF members, FRIGID New York was keen to join other system users.
“We are very excited to relaunch our website this year with Red61 at its heart. We have been hearing great stories about this organization from our international festival friends for years. We have been very excited about all the cool new things we will be able to do with the tools we are seeing. We look forward to navigating, with Red61, their first commercial U.S. relationship. We hope it is the first of many new relationships,” says Erez Ziv, Managing Artistic Director of FRIGID New York.
Erez Ziv, Artistic Director, FRIGID New York
Ticketing Magnetism in Atlantic Canada
Red61 provides the ticketing solution to many cities, councils and local authorities that ticket for a variety of venues, events and attractions, serving as their regional ticketing umbrellas. One of these is the city of Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada, that features the Magnetic Hill Zoo, the largest zoo in Atlantic Canada that educates and inspires conservation action; Resurgo Place, a history and science discovery center/museum; and the Moncton Coliseum Complex, Atlantic Canada’s largest trade show facility. The city of Moncton sought a system with streamlined general admission ticketing features that was bilingual (English/French), cost-effective and would allow them to grow with new technologies.
Chad Gautreau, Coordinator, Sales and Events at the city of Moncton, says that “Working with Red61 has been an extremely professional and positive experience. With innovative integrations, a well-designed interface, and a punctual and effective customer service team, Red61 continues to deliver exceptional service for our team and our customers.”
“As a municipality, our services range from attractions (Resurgo Place – Moncton Museum and Transportation Discovery Centre, Magnetic Hill Zoo) to event venues (Moncton Coliseum). Red61’s solution allows us to offer our diverse clientele quick, simple and comprehensive ticketing services. Red61 is a system conveniently designed for the programmer, the ticket seller and the customer.”
Engineering Increased Sales at the Coal Mine
The Coal Mine Theatre, which can seat a maximum of 85 guests per performance, is run by a tiny but mighty part-time staff who are always on the lookout for ways to maximize their efforts. Founded in 2015 by Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra, the Coal Mine Theatre has become one of the most talked-about and critically acclaimed theatres in Toronto, Canada, independent or otherwise. As a small but growing storefront theater, finding efficiencies is paramount. After an exhaustive search for a new ticketing system, the theater reached out to their regional Canadian colleagues in the fringe ticketing world and discovered Red61, a platform that could help them upgrade their customer journey online.
Diana Bentley, Co-Chief Engineer, pictured in front of the Coal Mine Theatre entrance. Photo Credit – Dahlia Katz
“We needed an affordable ticketing solution that was both powerful enough to handle our growing subscription base of 900+ season pass holders but simple enough to allow those patrons to book online without the support of dedicated box office staff,” says General Manager Christine Groom.
Groom continues, “Our previous platform’s online purchasing portal was not visually customizable so didn’t reflect our brand, and it was unable to support membership schemes, so we were tediously having to find ways to ‘game’ the system to make it work. We were won over by Red61’s easy-to-use front-of-house app and the simple but beautiful WordPress templates that could easily be tweaked to make it feel like you have never left our website.”
Groom adds, “We just launched our season a week ago and already we have surpassed our best-ever sales. We’re just getting started and have barely scraped the surface of what Red61 will be able to do for us, but we look forward to experimenting with various features such as Pay What You Want performances, donation roundups, gift certificates and patron communication integration by linking our Mailchimp account. We’re happy to have chosen a system that is able to scale with us as we grow, potentially adding in rentals, or eventually instituting assigned seating, and look forward to all the ticketing adventures we’ll have along the way.”
Nott Just Theater Tickets
For a growing theater company like Nonsuch Studios, upgrading their box office and establishing a box office network like fringe festivals have done was a leading factor in partnering with Red61 for their box office solution in Nottingham, England, for their new venue. They wanted to do away with the old-fashioned things that had prevented people from going to events, and provide uniformity in the ticket purchaser’s experience, recognizing that people attach themselves to events and not necessarily to organizations.
Edward Boott, Artistic Director and CEO, says that “Working with Red61 has really enabled us to step up our operations at Nonsuch Studios and flexibly grow both our capacity as a venue and income streams through providing a wider ticketing offer in partnership with other venues and events across Nottingham.
“The system is vast and expansive and has enabled us to adjust and improve our systems as we have grown as an organization over the past couple of years. It really feels like we can continue to keep building our offer without restrictions of limits of systems.
“Furthermore, the support team at Red61 are angels! No problem ever takes longer than a day to fix, and we work in partnership with the support team like they’re another member of our in-house support!
“From fringe-scale shows to outdoor festivals to large concert series, the system has proved its worth time and time again.”
Nonsuch Studios staff working at an off-site event.
Niche Ticketing Networks
From festivals, venues, theater companies, cities and regional councils to attractions, Red61 is excited about the future direction of continuing to partner with niche ticketing networks throughout the world. With partner clients that are driven to do ticketing differently, in ways they have been inspired by fringe festival ticketing or by reinventing their own ticketing and box office processes, the future of ticketing looks bright from New York to Nottingham.
Red61 is a leading worldwide ticketing as a service software company, providing audience management and ticketing solutions for festivals, venues, agencies and attractions. Red61 makes the ticketing process quick, easy, simple and organized for clients across the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Papua New Guinea and the United States. From the very beginning as the ticketing solution for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the world’s largest arts festival, Red61 has worked collaboratively with our clients in a spirit of constant innovation to completely transform the customer journey and increase sales. For more information, please visit www.red61.com.
This article was sponsored by Red61.
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