3 min

Tessitura Network is helping arts and cultural organizations thrive in the challenging times brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonprofit, member-owned company has released a wealth of new features for its unified enterprise platform, all of them designed to help organizations work more efficiently, engage smartly, and retain and grow revenue.

While some organizations are beginning to reopen, many others are focusing on virtual, rather than on-site, experiences. Tessitura-driven features like contactless scanning and physically distanced seating support the increased safety needs of reopening during the ongoing pandemic. For organizations offering programming in the virtual space, new capabilities help create a seamless streaming experience for customers via Tessitura’s integrated e-commerce platform. And new flexible features like rapid donations and pay-what-you-wish pricing are helping organizations at all stages of recovery.

A mobile phone showing 'Donate to Shakespeare's Globe' with buttons to select a donation amount

One-Page-Giving for Shakespeare’s Globe


New quick donation capabilities make it easier than ever for Tessitura users to raise much-needed funds during this time. By minimizing the amount of information collected on a transaction, Tessitura’s One-Page Giving enables donations to be captured in seconds. Donations made through One-Page Giving are stored alongside other customer information, so that they become part of the full Tessitura-enabled 360° view of each constituent. One-Page Giving complements Tessitura’s existing robust fundraising functionality.

Safer Ticket Scanning

Tessitura’s new contactless scanning allows patrons to quickly and easily scan their own tickets for entrance. Contactless scanning works with mobile, print-at-home, or traditional tickets, and frees up front-line staff for greater safety and efficiency. Simple visual and audio notifications tell patrons if their scan was successful, or if they need help from an attendant.

Tessitura’s contactless scanning “has a near perfect UI,” says Robert Sussmann, Business Systems Manager at the California Academy of Sciences. “It’s very intuitive to the customer and staff.”

For organizations opting to sell tickets at the door, a new ‘auto-attend’ feature automatically marks tickets as attended the moment they’re sold. This efficient feature eliminates the need to scan in those tickets when the visitors are there and ready to enter.

Seamless Virtual Experiences

Demand for virtual experiences has grown during the time of physical distancing, as has the need to monetize that programming. Tessitura has made it easy for organizations to generate revenue from digital content in a way that is platform-agnostic, easy to configure, and fully integrated with Tessitura.

Organizations offering digital content can create a page for each program or event and configure that page with almost any HTML content: live-streamed events, videos, virtual tours, remote classes, lectures, or camps. Their customers can purchase tickets or reserve free tickets to the online program. Then they simply log into their online Tessitura-powered account portal to access the experience they’ve purchased.

“Thank you for helping make our dive into digital feel so well integrated with our company and brand,” said Gary Dunning, President & Executive Director of Celebrity Series of Boston. The presenting organization has put together Celebrity Series at Home, a diverse lineup offering newly created content from 18 different artists. “It's important to us that our online content truly feels like a Celebrity Series experience, not just something you find on YouTube or Facebook.“

Audience Safety

As venues look to re-open at a limited capacity, Tessitura has added a new way for its online seat maps to reflect seats that are blocked off to ensure appropriate physical distancing. The company has also provided webinars and detailed articles to help organizations decide how best to manage physically distanced seating in light of their own goals and requirements. Tessitura’s built-in analytics tools and reports help users optimize seating and model revenue on an iterative basis.

In addition, Tessitura’s existing timed ticketing capabilities have proved useful to organizations looking to carefully manage the flow of visitors into their facilities. Seating audiences sequentially by zone allows greater physical distance between everyone, and therefore increased safety. Furthermore, organizations can designate the specific times and door locations by which patrons can access the venue.

Flexibility to Navigate Continual Change

As organizations experiment with online offerings or test out people’s willingness to come visit during an uncertain time, they have desired greater flexibility in pricing. Tessitura has added editable pricing capabilities so that organizations can offer pay-what-you-wish pricing for in-person and online purchases. All pricing can be quickly adjusted at any point in time as conditions change.

Tessitura has also made it easier for arts and cultural organizations to manage cancellations, postponements, and other ongoing changes necessitated by changing local regulations. It takes only minutes to reschedule multiple events, manage funds collected, and retain revenue even as plans shift.

All of these new Tessitura features build on the functionality released in March and April of 2020 and announced in an earlier press release, and on longstanding Tessitura functionality. Timed admission, for example, which has been a part of Tessitura since its earliest days, has now become essential for organizations reopening.

“As arts and culture began to announce closures back in March, we immediately diverted a significant portion of Tessitura’s technology-building capacity to releasing features to support our community in this turbulent time,” said Kristin Darrow, SVP of Product at Tessitura Network. “By November, we will have released around three dozen features to support the Tessitura community during the pandemic. We continue to remain vigilant and closely tied to the community as new and immediate needs emerge.

“Concurrent to this work, we are also focused on executing our wider platform strategy as we build our next major milestone release, Tessitura v16, due out next year. Tessitura v16 will be one of the largest product releases in our history.”

The pandemic has accelerated how and why successful arts and culture organizations use technology, and Tessitura remains committed to building technology that supports new and emerging opportunities of the industry.

Tessitura Ecosystem Partners

In addition to these enhancements to Tessitura’s native functionality, the company’s extensive partner ecosystem has also developed new functionality to meet the demands of the times.

Safety is top of mind for organizations that are reopening. To meet this need, Tessitura has partnered with True Tickets to offer secure, contactless digital ticketing enabled by the IBM Blockchain. The True Tickets service empowers venues to better govern how mobile tickets are transacted and transferred so that they always know who is in their venues. For membership-based organizations like museums and attractions, Tessitura partner Cuseum offers mobile membership card functionality to further support a contactless visitor experience. Cuseum also enables virtual and on-premise tours and visitor information right on the visitor’s smartphone, eliminating the need for shared audio tour devices.

Revenue is an ongoing challenge for arts and cultural organizations during the pandemic, and dynamic pricing can help grow earned income for organizations operating at limited capacity. Tessitura partner Digonex offers powerful dynamic pricing technology, which automates the process of optimizing and updating prices. The California Academy of Sciences and Mystic Aquarium are among the attractions utilizing Digonex and Tessitura to implement dynamic pricing, which is helping to accelerate revenue growth and shift attendance from peak to shoulder periods.

In addition, the Revenue Management Application (RMA), created by Tessitura partner JCA, can help performing arts organizations craft their reopening strategy—involving accurate forecasts, optimized house scaling, ideal ticket prices, targeted discounting, and dynamic pricing.

Donations, in all forms, are an essential part of raising revenue. Donate2, created by L2 Interactive, gives arts and cultural organizations the ability to offer streamlined donations with minimal setup, with features such as recurring donations, text to donate, personalized ask amounts and form content, support for UK Gift Aid, an integrated QR code generator, personalized content, and goal bars. The easy-to-use fundraising tool can take donations in as little as 10 seconds and accepts payments made with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital wallets as well as via Stripe for all credit cards. A donation made with Donate2 will appear alongside ticket purchases, memberships, subscriptions, and other data stored in Tessitura.

“Tessitura was formed to enable arts and cultural organizations to operate effectively and efficiently,” said Jack Rubin, CEO and Co-Founder of Tessitura Network. “During this time of crisis, we are doing everything possible to help them succeed. The ten countries in which we operate are all in different stages of recovery, presenting the opportunity for our member organizations to see new features in action and learn from one another. Plus, the many organizations that have gone live with Tessitura during the pandemic can operate productively from the onset. We are proud that we have maintained appropriate staffing levels to serve our community during this extraordinary time, helping these hardworking professionals bring arts and culture to the world in any and all forms possible.”

About Tessitura Network

Tessitura is an enterprise CRM system that powers all key business functions for museums, performing arts organizations, and other cultural, educational, and media entities. From fundraising and memberships to ticketing, marketing, education, analytics, and more, Tessitura's unified platform enables a seamless, 360-degree view of all donors, members, and volunteers within a single database. Tessitura provides targeting and insight capabilities so the “right” engagement can happen at the optimal time.

In addition to its flagship software, Tessitura offers a range of complementary services that empower its users to achieve their goals. Users within Tessitura-powered organizations are part of a vibrant community of professionals that enjoys an unprecedented level of knowledge sharing and collaboration through the facilitation efforts of the Tessitura Network. Tessitura also works with a wide range of ecosystem partners that provide products and services to extend the power of what its members can do. The Tessitura Network business model does not include any fees charged based on ticket sales, orders, or percentages of revenue.

Operating since 2001, Tessitura Network, Inc. is proud to be a member-owned and governed nonprofit. Tessitura serves over 700 organizations in ten countries. For more information about Tessitura, visit www.tessituranetwork.com or contact Amelia Northrup-Simpson, Marketing & Communications Manager. 



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