Reserving tickets with box office
In consultation with the technical team, you need to agree on the best seats for patrons using the audio description, and reserve these with box office.
Factors to consider include:
- Clear reception for headsets – if you’re using an infra-red system, the seats must be in line of sight of the infa-red radiators. A check before each audio described performance is essential, to ensure that none of the patrons is occupying a seat that receives a poor quality signal.
- Seat position – A guide dog user who wants to keep their dog with them in the auditorium may prefer an aisle seat.
- Most blind or partially sighted people have some sight, and many prefer to be close to the stage. That said, it is often the case that the first two rows don’t have the best signal, so it pays to map your auditorium for coverage and to inform the box office not to place the audience in those seats. If your venue changes configuration for each production, you may have to do this each time.
- Do remember that different blind or partially sighted people have different requirements, and a degree of flexibility is vital
Do discuss and be clear about the policy for any discounts for people booking tickets for an assisted performance.
You should agree how data is collected on the people attending the audio described show. There are several reasons for doing this:
- if it has been possible to provide recorded introductory notes, you will be able to send them out to the patrons
- it will enable you to know how many people to expect for the Touch Tour and the performances, and to make sure you have enough trained staff on duty to support both the Touch Tour and to handle any headset issues such as batteries running out
- if there are any patrons attending the touch tour who use a wheelchair, arrangements can be made in advance to ensure that they are not excluded
- it will ensure you have enough headsets of the right type. Bear in mind that some blind or partially sighted people also have hearing problems and there are headsets adapted to help with this. If necessary, more headsets can be hired from neighbouring theatres, or from VocalEyes
- holding a database will help you develop relationships and establish a mailing list of regular patrons for marketing purposes
- you will be able to contact your audience after the performance for feedback
- funders and stakeholders do need to know data about users, for reporting purposes