31 May 2012 at 10.49am | 283 Comments
You may have noticed that on 25 April we launched the new ROH website. Over the last four weeks we have had our heads down, working on the inevitable issues that arise when delivering complex digital projects. We did a lot of testing, but as anyone who is involved in this type of work knows, exhaustive testing is impossible. This is why we have given ourselves plenty of time between booking days, so that we can iron out as many creases as possible.
We want the site to be in the best possible shape for the Friends of Covent Garden booking days on 12 and 13 June, which are followed by public booking in July. Before launch we invited a small group of the Friends of Covent Garden to come in for a sneak peek of the site and give us feedback, we also asked design students from St Martins College to tell us what they thought, so we could get a broad spectrum of views.
We had conducted extensive mechanical testing, using computers to simulate purchases, but there is nothing like the real thing, so a couple of weeks ago 3,000 students took part in a test booking. We are now going to up the stakes and invite Friends of Covent Garden to come to the website for a Golden Ticket Hunt. The aim of the Hunt is to allow the Friends to familiarize themselves with the new website before a real booking day, and offer a chance to win some tickets as a way of saying thank you. We use various monitoring tools to see how our website behaves and these sort of live tests with real people will also help us to get an idea what we can expect on a busy booking day.
We would like to thank everyone for their feedback, support and criticism, this helps us improve the service we offer. Of course, we can't do everything overnight and a project team meets every week to discuss and prioritize development. We are currently working on a new online shop, which should be ready soon, and many other tweaks and features are in the pipeline.
Ticket Hunt details
Friends who participate in the Golden Ticket Hunt will be entered into a draw to win a pair of Orchestra Stalls tickets for either The Royal Ballet’s The Firebird Mixed Programme on Saturday 29 December or The Royal Opera’s new production of Nabucco starring Plácido Domingo on 20 April. The first winner pulled at random, will receive the ballet tickets, the second the opera tickets
The Hunt will begin at noon tomorrow, Friday 1 June, for two hours only. We will be monitoring the process, to ensure that any glitches are resolved before Booking Period One Friends’ booking opens. Friends will be able to enter the Hunt via links they receive in an email from the Royal Opera House later today. They will also be able to sign in to see the links on their account page, but these will only be visible for the duration of the Ticket Hunt. There is a ticket limit of two per performance and please do not try to add real performances or donations to your basket as you will not be able to complete the purchase.
Before the booking starts I would recommend that you read the Help pages or check the user guides below. If you are using Internet Explorer 8 you will have a better online experience by downloading a plug-in.
The site is very new and we hope you like it, it will be constantly developing over the next 12 months and we will keep you updated on our progress.
How to sign in and manage your account (PDF)
How to purchase tickets online (PDF)
How to choose your seat (PDF)