Voting opened on May 2, 2013 and runs through May 31, 2013 for the 11th Annual BroadwayWorld.com Awards! I'm VERY excited to report that we've doubled last year's record breaking numbers over just the first few days of voting.
The BroadwayWorld.com Awards are unique in that they are the largest and most popular online Broadway polling event of its kind, open to all and with fully visible and audited results -- two very unique things. Click below to vote!
Today's first neat press release has landed in my inbox, SPIDER-MAN and its online ad agency Situation Interactive have teamed up with a company called ePrize to allow ticket buyers to reserve tickets online, and pay for them later. So far, they claim a 59.5% conversion rate. We (I) love new theatre tech and will be watching!
SPIDER-MAN Turn off the Dark has created another Broadway first, partnering with their interactive agency Situation Interactive and ePrize, a leader in digital engagement for social, mobile and web campaigns, to design and implement a mobile ticket reservation system that allows audience members to reserve seats to upcoming performances without requiring a credit card. Non-paid reservations are common in many areas of live entertainment but, until now, have only been possible on Broadway for recognized Group Sales agents.
The SPIDER-MAN Mobile Reservations system was created to set the SPIDER-MAN experience apart from all other Broadway productions and to combat the industry-wide trend of decreasing advance sales. The system allows the user to hold seats while continuing to organize their evening; this in-pencil commitment not only makes setting the logistics and payment details easier but also decreases the likelihood that they will continue shopping around for a different Broadway experience.
Users take the following three steps to make a reservation:
Users visiting the mobile site are presented a page asking if they’d like to make a reservation. Other options include calling Ticketmaster, visiting the SPIDER-MAN website, and getting directions to the theatre.
After clicking “make a reservation,” users are taken to a form that asks them to input their name, mobile phone number, party size, performance date, and preferred seating section, then to click “submit.”
The user receives an SMS asking to confirm their reservation. Once the user responds YES, the reservation is in the system and the Foxwoods Box Office staff receives an alert.
Three days before, the day before, and the day of their performance, users receive reminder text messages prompting them to lock in their seats by purchasing right away. Alternately, users may select and pay for their seats up to one hour before the performance.
In just a month since beta launch, the mobile reservations site has seen a significant number of reservations and impressive conversion rates, with 59.5% of visitors who reserve tickets completing their purchase.
“We're looking at data that's predicting US mobile commerce will surpass $30 billion by the end of 2015,” said Peter Yagecic, Situation Interactive Director of Technology. “The comfort level of the typical mobile user is growing when it comes to making purchases on their smartphone, and so we asked ourselves how we could encourage that behavior to benefit SPIDER-MAN. By creating a reservations system targeted to mobile users that offers multiple ways to complete a purchase, we are helping the consumer build trust in mobile ticket purchasing. Our history working with ePrize and their expertise in the world of SMS engagement made them a great partner to bring the mobile reservation system to life.”
“Retailers are experiencing the year of mobile, and the box office is no exception. Brands are stepping up their game when it comes to mobile engagement,” explained David Wachs, SVP of Mobile at ePrize. “It was a pleasure partnering with a brand as vibrant as SPIDER-MAN Turn Off the Dark. They understand the importance of providing the convenience of a mobile reservations system, as well as a foolproof tactic for boosting ticket reservations and sales. We look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of their mobile ticketing presence.”
To explore the site or reserve tickets from your mobile device, visit spidermanonbroadway.com from your smartphone or text SPIDEY to 35350.
Last week, we launched our official 2013 Awards Season Guide on BWW which is your one-stop-shopping spot for alllllllll the theatrical awards this Spring, which we'll naturally be covering extensively.
You can visit the section here, and keep an eye on our full calendar here. We're getting revved up here and have a slew of new features coming to the site over the next few weeks to embrace the wonderful season ahead with a brand-new Tony Awards section and lots more.
It's rare that we talk too much about the tech end of things here at BroadwayWorld.com. But we've made so many improvements over the last few weeks, and have gotten a slew of email kudos and questions, that I thought it'd be useful to compile a quick list of some of the more visible changes.
One of the challenges that we have, besides having the best editorial team in the business (a GOOD problem to have), is that we have a lot of content. We've been hard at work 'under the hood' to better optimize how to best get it all out to you.
We've made a ton of improvements on the back end of the site that I won't bore you with - like server and software upgrades. But here's some of the big and small changes to the public site:
* Since this project began in early January, we've got the average page size (the code) down by 33%. This has resulted in faster loading times, which are especially noticeable on older computers and mobile devices, but should be a little 'snappier' elsewhere too.
* Our homepage has been heavily tweaked as on both the back and front end. We've managed to reduce the size and to re-write a number of older elements to get its size and load time down by half. At the same time, we made a number of design and output tweaks to make our 300-500 stories a day less overwhelming when you hit the homepage. To that end, our top stories have been increased in size, with a larger top story and larger secondary stories with bigger images.
* All of our homepage news boxes (Feature Stories, Photo Coverage, Top News, More News and West End News) now feature 'infinite scrolling'. Basically, if you've got the time, you can now scroll back through several hundred stories reducing the risk that you will miss something.
* We've also introduced a major revamp to the lower half of the homepage, unveiling 'Around the Broadway World Today' - get it? Punny. This new feature, which I'm personally VERY excited about, automatically compiles the top stories from the past couple of days from ALL around the Broadway World, including all 150 US and International markets that the site covers. Want to know the top news from the West End, Los Angeles, Spain, or Off-Broadway? It's there.
* We simplified our left navigation bar, combining our popular CD, Book and Video databases into one major new site section, appropriately called CDs/Books/DVDs that brings together the latest news and a comprehensive database on all the bits of theatre that you can consume at home or on the go.
* On the right navigation bar, you will find easier and bigger access to some of the site's many exclusive features, including easy links to InDepth InterViews with Pat Cerasaro, Backstage with Richard Ridge, Chewing the Scenery with Randy Rainbow and Bruce Kimmel's Outside the Box. We've got a few more on the way too that I can NOT wait to share.
* All of our regional homepages have gotten a similar revamp and are faster loading and give all of our local editors more control over managing top stories. News stories will now appear faster as well, so look for these pages to be even more active (if you can believe it).
* Our show listings pages have gotten two major enhancements - glorious color visual cast pages like this one for ANNIE, and our Twitter Watch has undergone a major upgrade, now bringing in tweets for all your favorite shows - in real-time, like here.
* Last, but not least for the moment, we unveiled new Mega Stage Tubes, which are an enhanced version of BWW's Stage Tube feature. We were the first to start embedding third-party videos, and now we're offering 'Mega' versions as well that let you browse through more than a dozen videos, one at a time. The best part is that you can click from video to video WITHOUT the whole page reloading. It results in less page views for us, but we always prioritize the reader experience. Here's a fun one we ran yesterday in advance of the IN THE HEIGHTS concert, and if you enjoyed it as much as I did, you're clicking back through it all today.
* Ok, one more - BroadwayWorld.com correspondents will now appear on dedicated Citybuzz TV channels in 72,000 hotel rooms in New York and Chicago.
MUCH more to come and as always, thanks for reading!
Back in November of 2012, we added 10 new web sites to the BWW family, covering TV, Movies, Fashion, Music, Dance, Opera, Classical Music, Comedy, Visual Arts and Books. I'm excited to report that all 10 are off to fantastic starts, each currently being staffed up with their own editorial teams that are as passionate about those areas of entertainment as we are about theatre here.
I've always been a (happily) self-proclaimed geek myself, always with a dual passion for theatre and technology (thus, BroadwayWorld.com). As the new sites ramped up with content, and traffic, it quickly became evident that we had room for 1 more BWW site.
Today we've officially launched BWW Geeks World, timed to the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, for which our new geek gurus are covering left, right and center with hundreds of articles about the newest in consumer tech.
The new site will cover the geeky end of home entertainment, mobile, social media and more -- basically featuring all of the many devices and services on which our readers will be consuming entertainment over the years to come. We launched the other sites because the world of theatre continues to open up and to intersect with other areas of the arts. Today, as we're seeing more productions filmed, more technology making its way to the stage - well, it's another perfect fit.
If you're a fan of technology, I'd like to personally invite you to also check out the new BWW Geeks World here, otherwise, stay tuned for a SLEW of very exciting BroadwayWorld additions and upgrades that are being cooked up here in the virtual kitchen as I type. The Spring is shaping up to be a great theatre season and our continued, unmatched coverage is full steam ahead!
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Robert Diamond founded BroadwayWorld.com in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 35 countries worldwide and 15 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more.
Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.)
As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need.
Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week. Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also wrote weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog.
In December of 2011, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.
In late 2012, Wisdom Digital Media announced the official spinoff and launch of 10 new entertainment web sites including BWWMoviesWorld.com, BWWTVWorld.com, BWWFashionWorld.com, BWWBooksWorld.com, BWWMusicWorld.com, BWWArtWorld.com, BWWComedyWorld.com, BWWDanceWorld.com, BWWClassicalWorld.com and BWWOperaWorld.com.
In January of 2013, BWWGeeksWorld.com, devoted to home entertainment, mobile technologies and social media launched as well.
- Name: Robert Diamond
- Address: 333 West 70th Suite 100 NY NY 10023
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 914-623-8689