'Wilminktheater en muziekcentrum Enschede' has in recent years undergone a successful transformation. Today it operates 4 venues with six podiums in the city center of Enschede: the Wilminktheater, the Muziekcentrum (or "music center"), De Grote Kerk (or “big church”) and De Kleine Willem. Kevin Kamperman, front of house manager for 9 years at Wilminktheater, explains what has changed over the last few years.
“Previously we already offered a great variety in our programming. Sometimes a performance would not attract enough visitors, which was a shame, but the next day, the numbers could have been excellent again,” says Kevin. “Today we have all these numbers mapped out at the start of the season, they are embedded as an important element in our budget and they become conscious choices. In a few years time, this has created a whole new philosophy and approach. And I can honestly say we’re doing really great right now."
“Our biggest challenges are creating a lower threshold, offering a broader range of programming and attracting more visitors. Theaters often still have a high threshold for a lot of people. Therefore, we are focussing on adjusting ourselves even more to the market and programming wider to reach a bigger audience. Last year we had between 5% and 12% more visitors. Unlike many other theaters in the Netherlands, we’re doing very well."
In the everyday life, this new approach translates in deploying new resources and markets, explains Kevin. “We know better how to reach the visitor. New media and social media are of course a part of our new approach. We tailor our message to each type of receiver. So we might use 3 different texts for 1 show. We’ll do everything to reach our visitors the best way we can. But we also focus more on commercial activities like company presentations. We hired a new sales manager who is building a network and constantly looking for parties that want to organise those big conferences. In the summer for example, there’s the European Championship for women’s football in the Netherlands and the city of Enschede is hosting the final. UEFA will use the Wilminktheater for a big dinner and evening party."
What’s great about Tunify, is that besides genre you can also program the music based on taste or mood. Now we can really work on the perception and experience.
Kevin Kamperman - Front of house manager at Wilminktheater en Muziekcentrum Enschede
According to Kevin, the use of Tunify also fits completely into the new approach. “People go to the theater for an entire evening of entertainment, also before and after the show. We obviously play background music in the lobby as you enter and after the performances. For most of the shows, we think well in advance about what kind of music would suit best. The experience in the foyer needs to complement the performance. What’s great about Tunify, is that besides genre you can also program the music based on taste or mood. This plays quite an important role to us. Previously, before we had Tunify, we just put on a playlist and that was about it. But now we can really work on the perception and experience. We also notice that visitors tend to stay longer in the foyer to order a drink after the show. Well, the overall atmosphere of the entire evening just got better,” laughs Kevin.
If you are in or nearby Enschede and you fancy a night out, then you should definitely take a look at the wide range of performances that Wilminktheater en muziekcentrum Enschede have on offer. You can find al information about the performances and the locations at their website: www.wilminktheater.nl.