Birmingham Hippodrome has partnered with digital agency, Substrakt and leading authority on accessible ticketing, Nimbus Disability to transform the online booking experience for its customers.
Chilina Madon, Executive Director at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “A key part of our five year plan is to become the most accessible venue in the UK; our partnerships with Nimbus Disability and Substrakt will help us to break down digital barriers to attendance, significantly improving our customer experience, providing a far more intuitive booking process for everyone.”
With years of experience in supporting the cultural sector with digital activity, Substrakt has upgraded the Hippodrome’s ticketing pathway with Viadukt, a new product that offers a simple and more seamless online booking experience, particularly for customers with access needs.
Ash Mann, Managing Director at Substrakt said: “Too many ticket buying experiences make it difficult or impossible for users with specific access needs to use them. By placing a focus on these needs and having conversations with these users throughout Viadukt's development, we’ve created a product that is more usable for everyone.”
The online booking journey will include information on accessibility including number of steps to seats, aisle and wheelchair positions and a comprehensive view from a seat. Viadukt will also enable the Hippodrome to offer an enhanced user journey, streamlining the checkout process, making it easier to buy tickets to productions.
Katie Moffat, Director of Sector Strategy at Substrakt added: “Working with the Hippodrome to implement Viadukt has been a joy, the team are absolutely focused on providing an excellent customer experience and we’re excited to help achieve that goal. It will be great to see the positive impact for customers.”
Birmingham Hippodrome’s partnership with Nimbus Disability will further improve the booking journey for customers with access needs by offering online booking for the first time through a new access registration scheme.
Customers can either apply for a free access account, which will be recognised at Birmingham Hippodrome only and will be valid for three years, or upgrade to a full Access Card membership, which costs £15 for three years and is also recognised at theatres, music venues and visitor attractions across the UK.
Once customers have linked their access account to their Birmingham Hippodrome account, they will be able to book seats associated with their requirements via the Hippodrome’s new online ticketing system. This can include booking wheelchair seats, essential companions and easier access to the most appropriate seats for captioned, BSL interpreted and audio described performances.
Martin Austin MBE, Managing Director of Nimbus Disability said: “The Access Card is all about providing consistency for disabled people. As disabled people ourselves, our mission is to provide a universal, digitised way of communicating all verified access requirements, from eligibility for companion tickets to the necessity for wheelchair-accessible seating provision.
“Ultimately our operating system lessens the administrative burden on disabled people at the same time as opening up equality of access to online ticketing solutions and we are delighted to be partnering with Birmingham Hippodrome.”
Customers who would prefer to book tickets over the phone will still be able to do so by calling the Hippodrome’s dedicated Access Line. Customers can also book tickets at the Hippodromes ticket sales counter when the theatre is open for a show. The ticket sales counter opens up to 90 minutes before the start of a performance, until 30 minutes after a performance has started. The ticket sales counter is not open on non-performance days.
Birmingham Hippodrome’s new booking experience will be available later this month. Customers can find out more and sign up to the access scheme here.
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