Pauline Fallowell is the Director of Marketing & Audiences at the London Theatre Company. In this brief interview, she shares her advice to event organisers and customers on returning to events and talks about STAR’s support throughout the pandemic.
Could you introduce yourself and share a bit more about your career?
I’ve been working in marketing and ticketing for live events for about 13 years now. After graduating with a drama degree I knew I didn’t want to be on the stage but didn’t know what opportunities there were off stage. I applied to jobs and was fortunate enough to land on my feet in a ticketing role at AKA promotions. Grounding my knowledge in sales trends for theatre really helped me establish myself and is the back bone to how I plan marketing campaigns.
After working for marketing agencies, a ticket agency, theatres and a producer over the last 4 and half years I’ve been working for the London Theatre Company where I launched and opened the Bridge Theatre. I’ve grown and developed alongside the theatre and couldn’t be prouder of the team that have worked alongside me throughout that journey.
What do you value most about being a STAR Council member?
Being part of something wider than my theatre bubble. It is so great to be connected to so many people with different experiences and who share the same passion and vision.
I think it’s also really important that we have a focus on the customer, sometimes it can be easy to forget them, as mad as that sounds.
In your opinion, how would you describe STAR’s contribution to the industry? And specifically, during the pandemic?
STAR has supported both customers and the industry since its conception but I think this was highlighted more than ever during the pandemic. Many customers got in contact during the pandemic as they were confused about refunds and exchanges. Through STAR they were supported to get the best conclusion while STAR also liaised directly with the ticketing agencies and venues to ensure the outcome also worked for them. It’s a hard line to balance and it’s always done with care and consideration. The team at STAR are brilliant and hard working. If you don’t know them, give them a call, they’re so approachable and always interested in hearing about people’s experiences so they can help.
Is there anything you have learned personally during the pandemic that you will take forward with you into the future?
To be agile and not to over plan. Sometimes you just don’t know how something will pan out until you do it.
In your opinion, what should event organisers and venues prioritise for the return to live events?
To put the customers first. It sounds simple but I know it’s not easy. I think this is super important now, more than ever.
What advice would you give to audience members who are hesitant to attend events in-person?
To not rush into anything they don’t feel comfortable doing. It’s probably better to wait than to go too early as one bad experience could set them back longer. I’d also encourage them to use the FAQs or call the venue if they have any questions. Venues are being more transparent about the full journey a customer takes at the theatre to make audiences feel more comfortable.
Last but not least… if you had a magic wand, what change would you most want to see in ticketing for live events?
To know what the future holds for technology so we can keep ahead. I feel like every time ticketing catches up something else develops, meaning we’re behind again. It seems crazy that many of us are only just starting to use digital tickets.