I work within the box office administration department here at The Lowry as the Setup and Support Specialist, and I’m also the deputy manager of our team. Our main job is to use software to ‘build’ the shows and events onto the box office systems so that the lovely people in box office can sell tickets, and so that everyone can book them online.
I’ve now been working here for almost 3 years, starting as an administrator before successfully applying for my current role a year ago.
One of my main responsibilities is to oversee all of the agency tickets that are sold, think Ticketmaster, SEE Tickets, etc. There’s a lot that goes into making this run smoothly and getting people the right seats. Over the last few years I’ve introduced some new policies here to make things a much speedier and more accurate process. I also help to install and maintain the ticket printers and off-site computer hardware we use.
The Lowry also provides ticketing services to other organisations via the Lowry’s ticketing agent Quaytickets. We sell tickets for, and sometimes manage the box office of, other venues and event companies. Some of these are The Lady Boys of Bangkok, East Lancashire Railways and Winter Wonderland at Event City. Like for The Lowry, we build the events on our system and then tickets can be bought through our call centre or online. We have a lot of day-to-day correspondence with our many clients.
As well as my regular work, I’m also a member of The Lowry’s Access Group, which deals with making the arts more accessible for those with a disability or an access need. Over the last year we’ve greatly increased the amount of Signed, Audio Described, Relaxed and Captioned performances we offer here, and we’re constantly trying to do more, having recently been awarded silver for ‘attitude is everything.’ We also discuss the needs of our staff and are constantly looking at ways to make here a more comfortable and accessible place to work.
A couple of years ago, as part of Quaytickets, we ran the entire box office operations for the 4 days of Manchester Pride, admitting more than 30,000 customers! This was an incredibly complex and demanding few days, but so satisfying once we finally packed up the last of our equipment and looked at what we had achieved.
Before I came here I was the Assistant Box Office Manager at a new arts venue down in Guildford, Surrey. As much as I enjoyed living there (and the short 40 minute train ride to London) I missed living in such a vibrant city. Guildford is beautiful, but is much quieter in comparison! Also, I do love the trams.
Before my time in box office, I trained professionally at the Guildford School of Acting and had a long history of performing on stage. Not many people I work with know that I’m a professionally trained singer / actor…
I’m not sure where my future lies; I have such a love of the arts, but I’m also such a technology geek, so I’ll be keeping my options open. I’ve gained many skills, ranging from my technical skills, to the management, health and safety, and access awareness training courses that I’ve taken. I have a world of possibilities to consider!
Written by Ian Marriott, Setup & Support Specialist at The Lowry & Quaytickets.