Town Hall Theater to make ticket-buying simpler

MIDDLEBURY —Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater this summer will implement a more streamlined and convenient way to order show tickets.
At issue is a major makeover in THT’s online box office system. The current “SeatAdvisor” software will be jettisoned in favor of a new offering called “Spektrix.”
Mark Bradley, executive director of THT, explained SeatAdvisor was recently bought up by a larger firm that has stopped supporting the software, which allows patrons to electronically order show tickets through the theater’s website.
So instead of waiting to be kicked off an unsupported SeatAdvisor, THT officials did some shopping for a new electronic box office.
“We said, ‘Why don’t we take an opportunity to look at the experience that patrons are having when they come to the website to buy tickets, and find a system that really matches the needs of our community — instead of leaving it up to a venture capital firm to decide that,’” Bradley said.
Officials reviewed  more than 10 box office options and decided on Spektrix, a company based in the United Kingdom, where it has captured around 40 percent of the box office ticketing market. Spektrix has recently made inroads in Canada and U.S. markets. Bradley and his colleagues got some nice testimonials from Spektrix clients.
Bradley discussed some of the advantages of the new system.
“We’ll be able to streamline the purchasing process; you’ll be able to go to the website and without having to click all these different links to get to the seating chart, it’ll be right there when you click on the event you’d like,” he said.
“The thing I’m most excited about is that we’ll be able to allow patrons to really easily manage their contact preferences,” he added. “If people only want to get one email from us per month, or if they want to hear about everything that’s coming up, or if they only want to hear about music, we can actually keep track of those options really easily.”
Spektrix will be more user-friendly, Bradley promised. And it will help THT inform its donor-members of the special benefits they enjoy — such as first crack at seats for shows
“We’re really excited about how much easier it’s going to be to communicate with everyone.”
THT’s transition to Spektrix is slated to occur in late August, after the conclusion of the annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. For a few days, patrons will need to purchase tickets the old-fashioned way — by phone, email or in person at the theater on Merchants Row.
The theater’s popular website design will remain intact, though a few renovations are on tap. Among them: A “plan your visit” section that will help traveling patrons find area lodging, parking, dining and other amenities. This will come in particularly handy during the downtown rail bridges construction that will span portions of the next three years.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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