Case study: implementing View From Seat with TNEW

Author: Ash Mann

Seatmaps are complicated things.

They are a simplified way of representing the complexity of the seating in a performance space.

A three-dimensional physical space rendered in lines and dots.

To help users understand the nuances of the physical space it is common to use photography of the space to help users understand sightlines, the height of the stage, and, simply, what everything actually looks like.

But what this venue imagery doesn’t do is give the user a clear idea of the different audience experience available from seat to seat.

Why is View From Seat useful?

It is a very different experience sitting in the front row of the stalls compared to the back row of the upper circle.

And, usually, a different experience means a different price.

Without being able to explain the qualitative difference between the experiences available then different seats having different prices can seem confusing or illogical.

Unless you can clearly explain (or, ideally, show) why one seat offers a different (potentially better) experience than another then customers are likely to choose the cheaper option.

This is where view from seat imagery can help.

View From Seat photography can come in many different shapes and sizes. Most commonly it shows the specific view of the stage from each seat.

There are whole sites, such as Theatre Monkey, devoted entirely to explaining the differences from seat to seat.

Implementing View From Seat with TNEW

We have been working with a number of organisations who use Tessitura’s TNEW ecommerce product.

TNEW doesn’t have native View From Seat functionality but we have worked closely with the team at Tessitura to design and deliver a View From Seat solution that works seamlessly with the native TNEW seatmap.

Experience an example of View From Seat for the La Jolla Music Society.

The screenshots below show what this solution delivers.

When a user selects a seat they are shown a thumbnail image of the view from that seat. The user can then choose to enlarge that image if they wish to see it in more detail.

It’s a simple, elegant, straighforward solution.

How does it work?

Delivering View From Seat information to users can take a number of different forms.

The most obvious solution is to commission photography to capture the view from every single seat.

However with particularly large venues (for example, we are working with the Santa Fe Opera on a new site and their auditorium has 2,126 seats – plus standing!) this can become an expensive (and time-consuming) task.

It can be equally effective to share ‘approximate’ imagery which provides the view from a seat like this rather than from each individual seat.

This can be effective when the view (and price) isn’t dramatically different from seat to seat in a particular area, but the difference from area to area is pronounced.

Our solution can cater for any of these approaches.

In our solution each seat within the venue is assigned an image that is either the view of the stage from that seat, or is the view of the stage from a nearby seat.

We create an index that matches up each seat to the relevant image.

Each time a seat within the seatmap is clicked upon, we can work out which one has been selected.

Once our solution has worked out which seat has been selected, it consults this index and returns the image which has been assigned to that seat number.

Initially we return a smaller, more performant image, that can be interacted with to display a larger, higher quality image of the stage.

Each time a different seat is selected, the process starts again.

This solution is implemented via JavaScript that can be delivered through the TNEW hosted template.

Enhancing TNEW

This is just the most recent example of the work we have delivered to extend and enhance TNEW’s native functionality.

You can read more about the work we’ve done with Shakespeare’s Globe to curve their TNEW seatmap and with The Momentary to deliver digital membership cards through TNEW’s account pages.

If you’d like to find out more about our View From Seat solution, or any other TNEW enhancement work, please just drop us a line: team@substrakt.com