After spending a few weeks interning at my company, I now have a better grasp of their line of business. While we are called “Theatre in Paris,” we aren’t actually a theatre. That is, we aren’t a venue but rather a ticket-booking service.
My past work experiences have mostly been in the goods industry, so it’s a unique and challenging experience to be able to work for a “service” company. I use the quotes because while we are ticket-booking service we do, in fact, sell tickets, which makes it somewhat difficult to exactly pin-point what TIP (Theatre in Paris) is classified as.
Rather than putting a label on it, though, I think it’s best if I describe how the company works. First, TIP works to contract with the actual theatre. This means that the theatre allows us to set-up a means to project the English surtitles during the performances. The theatre also directs all English-speaking customers directly to our website, instead of their own. Once this is settled, TIP then has to translate whatever show that theatre is performing into English. After this, we must create our “content” for the show. This means we write our own title, tagline, show description, etc. in English so our customers can understand what the show is about. From there, we then allow customers to purchase tickets for a show on our website. Everything is in English and we promise that there are no hidden booking fees. A ticket through TIP’s website guarantees that you will receive a ticket, be able to see the subtitles, receive a program in English and be greeted by an English-speaking welcome attendant at the theatre.
Basically, we aim to ensure ease of mind to any English-speaking tourist booking a ticket to see a foreign show.
Since so much of what we do is targeted to English speakers, it is necessary to have fluent and native English speakers on the TIP team. However, French speakers are needed to interact with the theatres and translations. Altogether, everyone must be able to work together in order to create the best possible experience for our customers.
This is the basic line of business for TIP. Maybe I am partial, but since our product is a service (booking through our website), I believe that marketing is essential to get to the end-buyer. We are the only company of our kind, so if people don’t even know about us, they won’t even consider trying a night out at the theatre. Then, even if people do know about us, we have to convince them that watching a show in another language is as, if not more, enjoyable than watching a show in their native tongue.
It’s a fine line to walk, but I’m happy to help my team along the way.