This project was “top secret” for a number of months prior to the play being officially announced. For the first time in West End history a production was to be split in to two parts which immediately presented a difficult ticket selling task. Not only that, we were conscious that the majority of the target audience would be fans of the books and films, but not necessarily regular theatre goers.
It was therefore important that we gave the website a clean, clear and informative user experience that simplified the unique booking process
The site also needed to: push ticket sales, clearly explain the two-part process, provide local/visitor information and, of course, reflect the 'Wizarding World' aesthetic.
I created low fidelity wireframes for the site in order to establish the two-part booking process. Several options were user tested until the most successful was chosen. I opted for an accordian to present the buying process for 'Both parts', 'One Part' and 'Preview Performances'.
The site had to integrate with Pottermore (the official Harry Potter website) so we mixed in production news, social media posts and Pottermore callouts within a sliding content hub.
The lead "Snitch" artwork was brought to life by an animated PNG which made the wings flutter and the child turn his head.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child became the fastest and best-selling production in pre-sale West End history, selling 175,000 tickets in its first 8 hours to pre-registered priority bookers. These ticket sales were sold via the play website by way of a queue system through Nimax and ATG.
Although it was likely that the play would have a sell out run, it was enough of a challenge to convey and explain the two part booking process to theatre regulars, let alone first time theatre goers. However, the website was well received and a similar approach has since been adopted for two-part that have opened in the West End since.
Scheduled campaign emails
The first 12 months of tickets sold out on the first day of sales and the majority of visitors to the site were therefore buying tickets over a year before they saw the show.
To keep these customers engaged and up to date with visitor information, we developed an elaborate email campaign that reminded ticket holders of how long it would be until their specific performance.
Similarly, some customers may have only booked tickets for Part 1 of the play, and it was therefore important that we scheduled emails to prompt them to book Part 2, and to send them post-show emails reminding them to 'Keep the secret'. Emails also updated ticket holders with the latest campaign news and developments which, in turn, drew in return visits to the site.
As the play is split into two parts which can be watched on the same day (afternoon and evening), visitors often spend time in and around the local area in between performances. We therefore created interactive maps of local restaurants and landmarks that people could visit in their free time.