The Marlowe Theatre is the premier venue in Kent for all theatrical performances. Whether it’s a Christmas pantomime, stand-up routine, or even a musical extravaganza – the Marlowe Theatre has something for everyone.

The theatre moved to a brand-new building in 2011, and although things on the outside look shiny – there was quite a bit of technology on the inside that was in desperate need of updating. That’s why the Marlowe Theatre approached Redfortress Limited, an IT systems and support provider, to replace its out of date digital signage system with a new and improved system, complete with Signagelive software.

Staff at the Marlowe Theatre were struggling to cope with the high demand media they wished to display to customers, which is exactly why Signagelive was specified. By replacing 17 older media players with Chromebox’s loaded with Signagelive software, staff could manage all of the screens quickly and easily.

Recently the theatre added an additional 13 22in Samsung integrated screens with Signagelive software. The 22in screens are located above the door leading to the auditorium and are used to relay important information to customers about the show. Information such as how long the show is, warnings such as strobe lighting, loud bangs or no photography. The Marlowe Theatre is already planning the addition of more screens in a new building and on a merchandise stand.

There are other SaaS based digital signage options out there, why did you choose Signagelive?

As an IT systems provider, we have worked with many digital signage providers before. Most providers require a certain piece of hardware to run the screens with. Signagelive has many different hardware platforms that can all work within the same system.

We have also worked with many Digital Signage providers that have disappeared leaving clients with old out of date systems, locked in with one piece of hardware and no way to update or future proof the system. When searching for the right solution to the theatre and having spoken to, and then had a demo at the Signagelive head office, we realised Signagelive was a company that cared about their products and showed no signs of disappearing from the market.

What were the reasons for implementing a digital signage network?

To promote upcoming shows to customers and to relay information.

How were these objectives being met previously?

An old out of date system with an on-site server.

How did you build a business case internally for Signagelive?

Paul Turner, senior management team, The Marlowe Theatre, notes: “At the time our existing system was not fulfilling our business needs and was coming to the end of the existing contract.  We therefore internally reviewed our requirements for all areas of the business to map requirements for new systems.

“Our existing network support provider, Redfortress, then assisted in helping us identify suitable suppliers, which would have minimal infrastructure requirements, as we had 17 digital media screens already in the building.  Our aim was to find a software solution for our existing infrastructure and also have the potential to expand at any time, within a budget”

What is the best thing about Signagelive, in your opinion?

There are many. The support team are always on hand either via the live chat feature or telephone. The system is continually being improved upon. There are many hardware platforms to choose from which helps to future proof the system. The user interface is easy to use.

What is your favourite feature?

Template creation and schedulable zones.

Did you face any challenges during any part of your project implementation? How were these resolved?

A few teething problems with the Chromeboxes turning off and sometimes require to be turned on manually. This is being investigated but Signagelive has been stable from day one.

How has business improved since using Signagelive?

The digital signage upgrade was originally about promoting our Theatre Productions and the Restaurant we have on site, but it was soon obvious to our senior management team that this new system which was easy to use was also about how we communicate with our customers.

Marlowe Theatre is on the UK Number One touring circuit, seats 1200 people, presenting productions such as the National Theatre’s War Horse, Mamma Mia, Glyndebourne, Philharmonic Orchestra and the RSC.

Over 400,000 people enter our building a year, and the style in which we speak to our customers is important.  Therefore, we implemented a further 13 mini 22in screens at our door entry points to relay important information about the performances to our customers.

This, in our opinion is the standard that our customers expect from a Theatre of our standing when they have paid up to £65 for a ticket.  These mini screens, plus our 17 full size screens are now integral part of our communication and marketing campaign to all our patrons, whenever our doors are open, which is 7 days a week from 9am to 10-30pm.  Gone are the days of unsightly posters and notices, we love our style and the ability to change any screens at the touch of a button.

What advantages does Signagelive offer?

Future proofing, no on-site server and the ability to update content from anywhere in the world.

Please provide a short quote on your thoughts of Signagelive

Christopher Bristow, account manager, Redfortress Ltd, concludes: “Signagelive provide the highest standard software for modern digital signage. Future proofing of a Signagelive system is easy with multiple hardware options and platforms. The user interface is easy to use while still providing advanced scheduling and content creation options.”