The first impression of the Everyman Theatre from the website is very positive. The website seems organised, well-structured and informative. I really like that there is a live link to the Twitter feed as it shows they are keeping up with technologically and it is exciting to see what they are up to on other sites. The photographs used are vibrant and relevant, they also fit well with the consistent colour scheme and branding. One particular part I like, is the little calendar in the side panel on the left hand side. It makes it easy to see what is on, whatever tab you are looking at on the website.
Although the first impression is positive, I see a few issues. Although, the links to the Twitter are clear and helpful, they only link to the Twitter. It would be encouraging to see their involvement in other sites too. In addition, the side bar although informative, is quite overloaded, but they have broken up the information by separating the information with coloured headings.
Food & Drink
It was nice to see they had information about different ways to get food and drink at the Everyman. This suggests that a visit to the Everyman can be an evening or a day out. It was disappointing though that the Everyman was not linked with restaurants and bars outside of the theatre. I think it is nice to have that kind of link because it demonstrates community involvement. Hopefully the Everyman would be able to arrange some kind of sponsorship deal with the restaurants and as a local, I know there are some great local restaurants near the Everyman. I feel they are missing a good opportunity!
The information that is given about food and drink, is helpful but slightly limited. Customers are given the contact details of the different restaurants and bars so they can find out for themselves, but I think it would be nice to have a few examples of dishes or separate tabs for each place, like a micro-website.
This section is very informative and clearly the theatre are doing lots of work within the local community. There are also helpful contact details to find out more information. I do find that this section is not as interesting as other parts of the website, as there is a large bulk of text. However, it is quite a serious part of the company and they have added some colour to add vibrancy and a continuation of the branding.
Booking Online/ Box Office
The booking experience was the smoothest out of the websites I have assessed. There was a range of reviews to aide your decision, a comprehensive list of performance dates and a very helpful seating plan which clearly stated the price ranges. In addition to this, there was also space to leave your thoughts on the production, information about booking by telephone, and the opening times of the box office at the theatre.
The Everyman feed was not the most exciting that I have come across. I feel that considering that the Everyman is likely to be the most frequented theatre in Gloucestershire, their social media did let them down a little. There was no vibrant cover photograph; meaning that the positive visual impression you get from the website is not continued.They do tweet very regularly, but they only have around 5,000 followers. I feel that the posts are not hugely exciting and more focus on Twitter would be a good thing to do.
Strengths: One of the strongest theatre websites I have looked at for this study. Great photographs and consistent colour schemes. The website is very easy to use and it provides lots of information and contact details if you need more. Most of what you need is on the home page.
Weaknesses: Side panel is slightly overloaded with links. The social media is not as successful as it should be for such a well established theatre.
Opportunities: The Everyman should take some time to focus on their social networking pages and perhaps branch out further. I feel they should get a Pinterest or Instagram account; the building is so beautiful, they should show everyone! The Everyman should also focus more on the Food & Drink section of the theatre, perhaps make is a ‘Your Visit’ tab instead, and create links with local restaurants and bars. They might not want to do this as it could detract business form the theatre facilities, but as a customer it is nice to see a variety. Nonetheless, this is definitely something I feel Reading Rep should be investigating.
Threat: The social media issues are not a threat to the company, but it should be something they should rectify soon.