Webinar Follow Up Resources - Two Features for After the Intermission

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.

Social Distance Seating Quick Start Video

Live Events

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.

Hello,

Elizabeth mentioned that she was going to share here the html code she used for the performance notes during the Zoom meeting?

Thank you,

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

Theatre Manager supports HTML in fields like the Performance Notes and External Marketing Notes that appear online.

In Elizabeth’s case she added text to the Performance Notes fields and then used some standard HTML to make the text stand out. She included some bolding and spacing.

We would encourage you to work with your marketing department on the wording to use and to be creative in how you want to use HTML in text to appear online.

Bonnie

Hello Bonnie,

Can you please provide the code she used and we can edit the verbiage.

Thank you,

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

The text Elizabeth used was:

<b>
STREAMING
</b>
<br>
You will be able to enter the live show on the designated date and time by signing into your online profile from our ticketing site.
<br>
<br>
Click <b>WATCH </b>button under Tickets for Upcoming Performances in Home Page.

Bonnie

Bonnie,

Thank you, I appreicate it.
HTML code is still a little greek to me.
I could have googled it but what you have works perfectly.
Best,
Jeff

A question that came up for a couple of us during the webinar that I don’t see here is regarding customers being able to pay and join a live stream after the start time. I believe the answer was no, that customers would not be able to join a performance even if they were 1 minute late. Unfortunately, this is a deal breaker for us. We have found it rather common place for customers to join a live stream late. Until you’re able to accommodate that use case, there’s no way we would utilize this feature. Thank you. - Joe Panzetta, Vashon Center for the Arts

Hello Joe,

At present a patron can join a streamed event up to 6 hours after the event start providing they have previously purchased a ticket.

The option of purchasing a ticket online after the start of the event is an enhancement the development team is reviewing. However, patrons could purchase tickets through the box office (telephone or in person) and view the streamed event online.

Bonnie

Ah, got it. Thanks for clarifying, Bonnie. And thanks for your work presenting the webinar.

Quick question - it’s probably right in front of me - but… is there another live session coming up? Thanks! Deborah

Hello Deb,
We have not yet announced our next session. We will post here in Community when we have more information.

One question about programming the map for distance seating - I’m going to delve into it in the next week or so. We were in the house measuring, and we need a three seat distance horizontally (sideways), but only a one seat distance vertically (row-to-row). Can we program it like that or does it have to be the same number of seats both directions?

Hi Eva, good question. You can create whatever size of bubble works for your organization. It’s just a matter of selecting the sqares (drag and hold) and then clicking on the one seat in that selection you want the bubble to be around. In the example below, I have a 3 seat buffer on each side of the seat and only a 1 row buffer in the next row. Is this helpful?

SocialDistance

Has anyone looked closely into using Vimeo for this? I have had a question about the Premium Plan not being the right plan if we are to charge for a ticket. In my mind it is not an OTT type subscription based streaming that we are doing so we are fine with the Premium Plan
Does anyone have insight on this?
Thanks
Sioban

1 Like

Somebody just said exact same thing to us. Can ArtsMan clarify this?

I contacted ArtsMan and they cannot speak to Vimeo policies/products. TM has provided us with an easy way to ticket any videos/live-streams we wish to promote. I have tested it and it works great!
I have done some further investigation and Vimeo has their own Video on Demand platform that is very much like this that you can “ticket” or “sell” and Vimeo takes a percentage of the ticket - Looks like about 4.8%
It says you can “sell” your videos outside of Vimeo and they gave an example of setting up your own website by embedding the video etc.
In my mind, this is what we are in effect doing with our TM video events so I am pretty confident that the Premium Plan is all we need.
Still looking at it so I will share anything else I learn.
Sioban
Key City Theatre
sioban@keycitytheatre.com

1 Like

Hi Everyone,

Since I did most of the research for this feature I thought I’d chime in about what we know.

Most of the details about Live Streaming are listed in this help page, including some help on content production and more details about Vimeo domain privacy: https://help.theatremanager.com/theatre-manager-online-help/live-web-content

For Vimeo, Theatre Manager embeds the Vimeo pre-recorded video or live stream into a mobile-friendly HTML5 web page. That same HTML5 web page will be compatible with most computers and smart phones. Modern Smart TVs that have a web browser will also likely work. If the video content you’re playing is deemed “Commercial Content” then you require at least a Vimeo Business account.

However, Vimeo Premium also has a feature called “Domain Privacy” that allows you to restrict embedded video to specific domains. In the case of Theatre Manager that Vimeo feature will allow you to restrict embedded video playback to only your web sales domain – usually tickets (dot), like tickets.yourvenue.org.

Here is a list of Vimeo’s plans with comparison of features: https://vimeo.com/upgrade

So to use the Theatre Manager Live Streaming feature you’ll very likely want to be on the Premium plan w/ Domain Privacy – which allows you to sell your own tickets to “Commercial Video” while also ensuring the privacy of the streaming content by only allowing the content to play under your tickets (dot) web sales site.

The 4.8% cut is if you use the Vimeo On Demand platform to sell your pre-recorded videos – a separate product from Vimeo itself. The advantage of using the Vimeo On Demand platform is that you would get access to their Over The Top (OTT) apps (Roku, AppleTV, etc…). The disadvantage is that it costs 4.8% of your ticket, you aren’t able to brand the surrounding web page and customize the experience, and you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of Theatre Manager features like special promotions, coupons, membership redemptions, or custom branding. Plus, depending on the number of tickets you sell, 4.8% will very likely add up to be a lot more than $85/month ($95/month CAD) for using TM’s live streaming web page w/ Vimeo embedded video.

The Theatre Manager Live Streaming feature strikes a cost-effective balance between all of the benefits that you usually enjoy when selling tickets with Theatre Manager and the Vimeo features that are available for HTML5 embedded video. All you need is a Vimeo Premium plan to safely do it.

2 Likes

Thanks so much David,
This confirms that the Premium Vimeo plan is the way to go.

Not being super techy I am trying to understand how to “embed” a live stream.
I tested the TM set up with a video we have on our vimeo account and everything worked great.
Just unsure about that final step with a live-stream.
Any insight you could provide, link, etc would be greatly appreciated.
Sioban
Key City Theatre

1 Like

Thank you very much David. This is much appreciated!

We are still looking into Vimeo and whether or not it will work for live streaming at the Port Theatre. I am looking for more information on monetizing live streaming and options we have to choose from.

Kathy Robinson
The Port Theatre