Since OnStage is dedicated to providing user-friendly products, we invited Sarah Miller, a millennial young woman, to take a look at our new Stageview digital program books and give us some feedback. After sampling the technology, Sarah shared her thoughts about Stageview with us. We think they’re worth sharing with you.
I’m a traditionalist. I like to follow the most standard, simple steps possible in order to know what’s going on, so I always appreciated the informative printed programs at arts events. When I first heard about Stageview interactive digital program books, I was somewhat skeptical. I certainly saw nothing wrong with using good old-fashioned paper programs, so the shift to an online version seemed harmless but superfluous. However, I gave Stageview a try and quickly learned what an impressive development this new media truly is.
The first thing that impressed me about Stageview was how easy it is to navigate. Clicking on the program for any production leads to an organized content list, and each page of this content boasts reader-friendly formatting. I was able to find the information I needed without wondering what to click on, and I didn’t have to squint at tiny or elaborate fonts on my screen. The transition from paper to screen is made as simple for readers as possible with this intuitive layout.
I soon found that Stageview programs preserve all the essential, traditional features found in a printed booklet, from plot summaries to director’s notes to cast biographies, while granting opportunity for new material as well. The technology of Stageview allows for the inclusion of material that may not have been deemed essential enough for page space in a printed counterpart. Stageview programs can even provide links to external content, a potential that is especially helpful for streamlining advertisements. Now, interested parties are only a click away from the websites of businesses and organizations that support the arts.
Both the audience and the advertiser benefit from this exciting capability of Stageview. While program users can quickly follow links when ads catch their eye, those who placed the ads are rewarded by Stageview’s tracking component. Whenever a program ad leads potential clients to click on it, the online program can tally the amount of activity and collect this data for the advertiser. This development provides an incentive to arts supporters that is simply not possible with printed media. Such valuable technology amazes me.
Other advantages to Stageview I recognized include its convenience, conservation of resources, and cost-effectiveness. Audiences can access their programs on their phones or tablets simply by scanning a code or typing in the web address. Running out of online programs is never a concern as it sometimes is with physical copies, nor will these programs be accidentally misplaced or left behind like their printed counterparts. Money and paper resources can be saved by eliminating print, and program-littered venues become a concern of the past.
However, perhaps the greatest asset of the digital program is that it connects new audiences to the arts. In an age where technology is rapidly replacing print, Stageview will help to keep the arts relevant and accessible to modern viewers. While this transition may seem challenging to some, it is an important, arguably necessary one. Digital media is becoming a new norm, perhaps even a new tradition.