The persistence and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on every corner of society. Once simple pleasures like shopping, meeting up with friends and spending a night at the theatre have now become at best challenging, and, at worst, impossible.
In fact, reports earlier this year from The Guardian in the UK and The Atlantic in the US suggested that theatre may not survive the pandemic. Even venues that have been able to put on events to some degree have found themselves struggling to find a profitable solution when audience numbers are so restricted.
Of course, the fear or exposure to the virus has also discouraged many arts and culture fans from venturing out, too. Esteemed Amsterdam venue, the Concertgebouw, reported struggles to shift its 350 tickets for the two scheduled concerts a day, where normally 2,000 people could fit in the hall.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that museums, theatres and other venues are experience, one which includes efficient ticketing, structure and pre-visit information.
This is where platforms like Close App become so important. As a direct marketing platform created to provide a digital pre-and-post visit experience for theatre and museum visitors, Close App has also found itself at the heart of a new niche. Advertised as a solution that helps users “Get close to what matters to you”, the app is also helping to ensure that visitors are able to keep a safe distance. In the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in through 2020 the value of timed entry is a crucial facet of crowd control. Not only that but the Close App provides up-to-the-minute information for museum and theatre goers, creating the perfect platform for sharing necessary protocols and information ahead of a visit.
This approach is already helping cultural institutions immeasurably, helping to ensure a safe and well-managed solution the challenge of social distancing and visitor tracking. This summer, the Netherlands capital Noord-Brabant hosted De Bossche Zomer – an event offering space for initiatives for local entrepreneurs and organisations. Brands which were unable to complete their regular summer schedule were invited to showcase and network at De Bossche Zomer, and the event itself was made possible with the help of Close App.
Close App offers a range of timely and timeless services for institutions and visitors alike, including ticketing, group messaging and personal updates. During De Bossche Zomer, Close served to improve communication before, during and after the event. The interactive app was used for ticketing, better information provision and even good traffic flow into the city.
Push messages could be sent to all visitors with a single action, informing about time slots, coronavirus measures and more. A busy business event in the heart of a capital city sounds impossible in light of the Pandemic, but Close App played a key role in making it happen.
Another example of Close App’s value can be found at Naturalis in Leiden, the Netherlands. As one of the first museums to open its doors after Dutch lockdown, the App facilitated timed entry, health and guidance updates, and even a warm welcome via video message to give visitors a sneak peak of measures taken to ensure their safety.
Close App’s Chief Product Officer & Co-founder, Chris Gruijters, comments:
“There’s no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year so far. The arts and culture industry has been one of the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has had a knock-on effect for our business. But I believe that even the most difficult situations contain opportunities for growth, and we have used the current situation to do our bit to help institutions within the industry.
“As an application that centres around fast communication, information delivery and easy ticketing, Close App is the perfect tool for ensuring that cultural events run smoothly right now. The level of organisation required for pulling off a show or an exhibition in 2020 feels a lot less daunting with a platform like Close providing visitors with relevant information when they need it.
“As well as overseeing the organisation of De Bossche Zomer this summer, we are also undergoing preparations with Stage Entertainment ahead of the reopening of the first musical performances.”
And as for what the future of the arts and culture scene looks like, Gruijters comments:
“I think the pandemic has forced us to turn even more heavily to digital platforms for our cultural experience, and I expect this will be a permanent change. The benefits of easy booking and information access for greater immersion in institutions are now well-known.
“I am hopeful that theatres and museums will thrive again. People need arts and culture; they need escapism now more than ever. That desire to see our emotions captured in artworks and stories isn’t going anywhere.”
Are you interested in finding out how Close App can help your institution provide a safe and seamless visitor experience? Get in touch with the team today.
About the author – Tim Deakin
Tim Deakin is a journalist and editorial consultant working with a broad range of online publications.