Thank you again to everyone who participated in our May 19th Community Conversations webinar. We wanted to post a summary of the most popular questions (and answers!) asked about the Live Events and Social Distance Seating features. We hope you find this follow up helpful.
How Long After the Start Time Does is the Stream Accessible?
- Live Steaming performances can be accessed for up to 6 hours on the ticketing site after the performance start time listed in the Marketing tab of the Event. Following the live performance, the direct video link (online?liveperformance=##) will remain active for as long as the video content is still available from the video service provider (Vimeo or YouTube).
What Streaming Services are Supported Right Now?
- Theatre Manager now supports Vimeo and YouTube for Pre-Recorded content. For LIVE Streaming, you will need a paid Vimeo account.
Artsman chose Vimeo for streaming because it provides domain privacy. This prevents viewers who have not purchased a ticket from seeing the content as only those who login to the ticketing site can access the video.
Videos can be setup to only view through the embedded link on the ticketing site. Vimeo also offers Live Steaming capabilities (with a paid plan) that can be streamed easily with something as basic as a mobile phone or as complex as professional video equipment. Vimeo also offers cloud storage to upload prerecorded events for future viewing.
YouTube is now available as a streaming option. Artsman will continue to investigate additional options as Live Steaming of events in the arts expands.
Does Online Streaming Support Pay What You Can?
- The traditional Pay What You Can option in Theatre Manager is designed to be used in conjunction with Before Event Sales. An online option is to create multiple Price Codes in the Event setup at various price points. This will allow the patron to choose their desired ticket price online at the time of sale.
How Does The Patron Start the Stream and can it go Full Screen?
- The online staging area, complete with count down timer, will transition directly to the embedded video at the performance start time defined in Theatre Manager. The patron can then click the Play button when they are ready to start watching the video. The access controls (play, stop/pause, full screen, sound) can all be controlled inside the embedded video just like if the patron was watching the video directly on the streaming services site.
How Can I Customize The Streaming HTML Pages and any Advice for Pre/Post Show Chats or Donation Requests?
- The video streaming options for Vimeo and YouTube are available in version 10.07.220 of Theatre Manager (released on May 20, 2020).
The default web pages can be accessed through the Artsman GitLab repository should you wish to customize the pages.
The “staging area” web pages can be customized to include links to pre and post show chats or direct links to make a donation. If the work flow is to ask for a donation following the performance a direct link can be added to a post show email queued up to send following the performance.
Can We Sell Tickets to the Event in the Venue and Stream Online at the Same Time?
- A performance may be taking place in the venue and streamed online simultaneously. The recommended setup would be to create a single Event. Festival seating can be setup as a single performance where the capacity is increased as necessary to accommodate online viewers.
For Reserved Seating we recommend setting up two performances: one with reserved seating for those patrons attending in person, and a second performance setup as festival seating for those purchasing online. This allows for patrons attending the venue to receive an assigned seat while not limiting availability for those who wish to stream the show.
Social Distance Seating
Do Social Distance Seating Holds Display Differently Online than Seats Held/Sold at the Box Office?
- Yes, Social Distance Seats appear as asterisk online and we’re working on a better way to distinguish the social distance holds from other holds for online viewing.
Can the New Seat Entry Appear on the Patrons Ticket?
- Yes, an existing ticket face can be customized to include the Entry value. The required value for the Ticket Face is located in the Venue Information category and is called Seat Entry Zone.
Do we Have to go to Each Seat in the Map and Set the Social Distance Zones?
- Yes, each seat in the map will need to be defined with it’s unique social distance radius. The number of seats that need to be held in each direction will depend on the individual venue, in accordance with State or Provincial guidelines.
Can a Patron Purchase a Ticket Right Next to a Social Distance Hold Seat?
- Yes, Theatre Manager will honour the spacing defined in the theatre map allowing for patrons to purchase tickets directly next to a social distance hold providing the patron is not leaving a single available seat.
Can a Patron Purchase Multiple Sets of Socially Distant Seats to the Same Performance Online Within a Single Order?
- Yes, the patron can. They would need to leave at least a two seats distance if purchasing within the same row. Theatre Manager restricts users from leaving a “self imposed” single seat between their seats within a single performance.
Do the Social Distancing Rules Apply at the Box Office?
- When purchasing in the box office Theatre Manager will display the social distance holds as defined by the theatre map. The holds will also be applied in real-time as the box office sells tickets.
The box office will be able to override social distance holds next to seats they are selling. However, they will not be able to sell a social distance hold created by an online sale.
The hold letter is defined in the Web & Reports tab of System Preferences. The default hold letter is a lower case “q”.
Can the Map on an Existing Event be Updated to Reflect the New Social Distance Map?
- Yes, a reserved seating map associated with an event or performance can be changed providing the new map is in the same venue. The new map needs to contain the same seating capacity as the original map.
It’s important to note Theatre Manager will not move patrons who have previously purchased tickets. When changing to a socially distant map you will need to review existing sold seats. Some patrons may need to be reseated in order to accommodate government mandated distancing.
That’s it! Thanks for Reading
You can find link to the original Community Conversations invitation (May 19th) here:
Two Features for After the Intermission.
Again, thank you to everyone who attended.