Project: Web development, for Portland Center Stage

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Portland Center Stage
Web development

Building community by increasing ticket sales

Portland Center Stage, a large and established theatre company serving the Pacific Northwest, had a popular blog, and was savvy with social media. It had used those tools to create a close relationship with its audience. But their online ticket sales were anemic: their blog and ticketing engine were on separate sites and that disconnection meant that most ticketing was still done by phone. PCS felt that by more tightly integrating their online presence, they could increase sales.

With plenty of help from the Portland back-end developer Anomaly, we delivered a lively community portal for PCS, integrating its excellent discipline in self-reporting and outreach with the simple task of buying tickets. Online sales jumped over 50% after launch (our target was 35%) and have remained strong.

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Main index, show index

The site is a scroller. The company does such a good job reporting on its productions – blog posts, photographs, videos, etc. – that there is plenty of fresh content. On the main index, our goal was to keep the two current productions (one in the main theater, one in the smaller experimental space) above the fold. But the visitor is rewarded for scrolling. Upcoming productions and events are teased in a scrolling mechanism, and current blog posts and other content are aggregated below.

At right, each show has its own aggregator, combining practical stuff with reviews, comments, blog posts, tweets and other media. Oh, and you can buy tickets from here, too.

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Event index and pages

These pagetypes are used for standalone or unticketed events: in this case, the company’s annual playwrights’ festival. At right are interior pages. A current schedule takes the place of the ticketing sidebar.

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Ticketing sequence

We tried to keep as much of the ticketing process on one screen as possible. At upper left, you select the performance, and to the right, you select your seats. Once you’ve selected, a timer appears (lower left) showing you how much time you have to finish your transaction before the seats are released. You then either log into your existing account, have the system look up your account (if you can’t remember if you have one), or open a new account.

Bottom right: Once you’ve accessed or created your account, the billing information appears. (There’s also an opportunity to make a tax-deductible contribution to the company.) Click the big orange button, and you’re done.

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Credits/colophon
Agency
Pinch
Creative directors
Adam McIsaac
Eric Hillerns
Developers
Gene Ehrbar
Ryan Masuga
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