TEC Dublin 2016
Culture and Technology: How Tessitura gets the mix right
Written by Naomi Little
Queue-it recently joined with the Tessitura community at TEC Dublin 2016. It was great to see the core values of collaboration, innovation, excellence, egalitarianism and community at the forefront, with partners exhibiting and members attending in strong numbers. As a part of the Tessitura community, we see the value of the network. It’s great to find members who are passionate about technology and the arts and who are willing to try different approaches to bring culture into the digital age.
Combining history with digital innovation
Amongst the many presentations were a few highlights of where the Tessitura community is embracing digital in historical settings, while preserving cultural heritage and encouraging new visitors to attend venues. This opened up the dialogue for further exploration of how the arts can come of age in an ever-changing world and retain the brilliance of the past, providing the visitor with an exceptional customer experience that encourages them to return.
Louise Halliday, the Head of Marketing and Communications at the Royal Albert Hall, started the conversation by explaining how the Royal Albert Hall is using technology to engage visitors before and after an event takes place, using interactive digital displays, where visitors can find out about the building and people, who over history, have performed in the venue. Louise suggested a more non-technical use of digital, where the user is engaged in a physical space and can interact with the technology, while not moving too far away from the history and culture contained inside the building.
As with Louise, Joe McFadden, the CTO of the Royal Opera House, London talked about merging technology with the historical nature of the building, while merging the historical nature of the building with technology. A project called Open Up plans to combine the digital and physical realms and engage the visitor audience by creating interactive installations and providing historical knowledge of the Royal Opera House and the many ballets and operas that have been performed there.
Niels Sodemann of Queue-it and Chuck Reif of Tessitura
Holistic technology and audience engagement
The consensus of both representatives was a future with digital innovation, but on a holistic level, where history and the performing arts come first and preservation of culture are the top priorities. But as Joe pointed out, audience engagement is, in the end, a top priority as people’s expectations for a well-rounded visitor experience are high and the thirst for knowledge is strong. It’s a fine balance between technology and history.
‘A new interface is coming and we are converting the Tessitura software to a web application’
SVP Technical, Tessitura Network
Technology and new developments are always interesting, especially for a software company. Chuck Reif SVP Technical, Tessitura Network, gave a great and informative talk on new product features and technological advances planned for the Tessitura 2017 software release. The new interface and conversion of the Tessitura software to a web application stood out, as did the Digital analysis tools being introduced. Chuck’s quick run through of what’s coming from the Tessitura Network included; A plug-in model for TNEW customizations, where interceptors can be added to a service layer and models can be written for the precise needs of the business.
Chuck’s tech talk helped gain a higher understanding of how the backend of Tessitura software is keeping ahead of the game. This was followed by the inspirational presentation by the Executive Vice President, Andrew Recinos. While pages of notes were written from Chuck’s information rich talk, only two lines were jotted down from Andrew’s. Such was the nature of his wonderful speech, you only had to but listen.
Keeping your people and culture close
Andrew talked about Isaac Stern and how it’s important not to hop from one task to another, but listen and experience the moment. He used an example of a young violinist, who played a piece perfectly. After she completed the piece, Stern asked her to sing the same piece. This made her anxious and not as poised as when she was playing the violin. But sing she did. Afterward Stern asked her to pick up her violin and play the same piece, once again. The second time the girl played the song on her violin, Stern said she felt it more and played with passion, instead of just playing it, so it was technically perfect.
‘Don’t lose sight of the beauty’
EVP Tessitura Network
Combining the talks of Louise, Joe’, Chuck and Andrew, we were taken through a world of technology where culture, history, and the future can intertwine and not lose sight of one another while giving the visitor an experience they will never forget. Andrew summed this up quite well when he said, ”Don’t lose sight of the beauty.” Keep the passion and remember to meet the audience on a human level that is looking forward. We can retain the cultural heritage surrounding these fantastic venues, while bringing the latest technology into play at the same time.
In conclusion, getting the mix of culture and technology right is paramount to the continued preservation of culture and the arts. By combining the digital realm subtly, with more historical values, the visitor journey from ticket purchase to show time, can be a seamless experience. The visitor can be entertained, not knowing all the work that went on behind the scenes to get a production to completion.
From ticket sales to the closing of the curtain, by keeping the arts at the forefront of our minds and to borrow a piece from someone we all know, let’s make sure we keep the evening gilded, even when there are no stars.