We are concerned about external organisations who hire our venue, for example amateur companies or producers who won’t want to honour the ticket deal.
We are aware that there are some concerns about producers and amateur companies who may not want to give away tickets and therefore do not want to honour the Hynt deal forcing the venue to subsidise a performance or event. We want to work with you to discuss these issues with the visiting companies. We feel that by creating a national scheme we are making a strong statement about the need to make reasonable adjustments and setting a standard for Welsh venues. We know that this won’t be an easy conversation and that there is a risk for theatres and arts centres however we would argue that these external organisations do have a duty under the Equalities Act and we should be working with them to demonstrate the opportunities of opening up their work.
Please let us know if you have challenges with external producers so that we can help and support with negotiations.
We already have the CEA card, can we keep it?
The Hynt scheme and the CEA Card have different eligibility criteria. Our preference would be that venues sign up and operate one scheme to avoid confusion for customers. However we know that this is not possible for all venues so we are happy that venues operate the two systems together this means accepting CEA and Hynt cards for cinema screenings and accepting Hynt cards only for live performances.
We have spoken to the CEA and they are happy to work in partnership with us to develop key communications messages that are consistent around the use of the CEA card scheme and why some theatres and arts centres that also screen films may be members of Hynt instead.
For us it is consistency that is important so we would ask all venues that re operating both systems to make sure that they have considered their communications with customers carefully to ensure clarity of this dual system.
What happens if we have a customer who isn’t automatically eligible for a ticket free of charge but who has mobility problems?
Hynt is based on the level of care that customers need to be able to attend a performance, prioritising those customers with the highest needs. Our Arbitration process is for those individuals who don’t fit the criteria but wish to apply for the Hynt card.
We used to run our own access scheme, how can we explain a change in policy?
Feedback from customers and theatres and arts centres demonstrated that the lack of consistency amongst these schemes and the need to apply for each scheme individually was a barrier for customers. This is what Hynt primarily aims to address.
Hynt is designed to provide consistency and ease of use. Hynt prioritises those customers with the highest needs, those who are in need of additional support to attend the theatre. It also provides a single central application process so customers only need to make one application rather than navigate a variety of different systems. It also means that customers can attend any theatre that is part of Hynt rather than just one theatre.
We want to ensure that the allocation of tickets is fair and equitable allowing those with genuine need for care to be prioritised. Hynt ensures that those who require the support and assistance of a Carer or Personal Assistant are not faced with the financial barrier of buying an additional ticket in order to attend performances.
We recognise that this might mean that some customers who had previously been entitled to a free or discounted seat under a pre-existing scheme may no longer be eligible.
What should box office staff do if a customer hasn’t joined the scheme yet but wants to book tickets on the day?
Under the terms of Hynt individual theatres and arts centres are able, at the manager’s discretion to allow one ticket free of charge, for a customer wishing to purchase a same day ticket providing that customer registers their name and address with the theatre. This is a one-time only offer and can not be repeated. Once a customer has registered with the theatre they will be expected to apply to Hynt in order to access a ticket for a Carer or Personal Assistant, free of charge, for any future performances.
Will our box office staff have to store a pile of paper application forms for customers without internet access?
Research has shown us that the disabled community have embraced technology and those without facilities at home are able to access the internet and computing equipment with assistance at libraries. Research from similar schemes shows that 85% applications are made digitally. Applications can be made by email or by post. Our online application form is printable so Box Office staff can print off forms according to demand.
Can a customer book tickets for a friend or relative even if they aren’t their official carer?
Yes, membership of the scheme entitles the disabled person to a ticket, free of charge for their Carer of Personal Assistant, whoever that might be. We know that Care is provided in a variety of different ways both formal and informal. We do not require the disabled customer to have a single named Carer. The person booking the tickets will need to give the unique reference number on booking and the card holder will need to be in possession of the card when collecting the tickets. The Hynt card is a photo identification card and although booking can be made by anyone, tickets should only be presented to the cardholder. Our terms and conditions make it clear that tickets are not transferable.
Can social groups book tickets for carers, free of charge through Hynt?
Generally speaking, each disabled person within that group will need to have their own Hynt card for them to be able to claim their ticket, free of charge for a Personal Assistant or Carer. Group bookings through organisations such as Special Educational Need Schools or Care Homes can be dealt with at the discretion of your venue manager as we recognise that you have a direct relationship with such institutions.
Do carers and personal assistants have to be over 16 years old? What about Hynt card holders, do they have to be adults too?
No, Hynt recognises that there are many young carers and we only require that the carer or personal assistant is a responsible person who is fully able to provide the level of care required by the customer during their visit. In the spirit of equality we have no age limit for Hynt card applicants.
We are already busy and don’t have time to update another website, how will you make sure that the Hynt website is up to date?
We know that our site needs to be up-to-date and current for it to be relevant and worthwhile. For that reason, where possible, we use technological solutions to create automatic uploads of information from participating venues. This way we can keep Hynt.co.uk up-to-date without putting an additional administrative burden on the participating theatres.
We realise that this won’t be possible for all our members. You can also upload your listings via our dashboard and we can provide support to do this through our Projects Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org
We don’t have the capacity to answer all questions about Hynt. Is there anywhere our Box Office staff could direct customers to for help?
The main public area of this site hosts a customer focused FAQ guidance document which outlines the application process and provides help on completing the application form. We will make sure that this document is updated regularly as questions arise or if further information needs to be made available so that we can continuously improve our service. There will also be a dedicated phone number and minicom to the Card Network with trained staff available and able to answer any questions relating to the application process.
What impact could Hynt have on audience development?
The website will be a key source of information for theatres and arts centres helping us to identify opportunities for audience development and areas where we can improve our customer services and communications. Participating venues will also have access to detailed website analytics and statistics: In addition to monitoring the number of visitors to their individual venue pages and listings, which can be updated both manually and via dedicated RSS feeds, they will be able see how long users spend browsing the site, which search terms are creating traffic and identify other sites which are linking to a venue’s page. All of this information will help us work with the theatres and arts centres to better understand audiences and continue to develop best practice in communicating with customers. It will also be a valuable resource for targeted audience development work in the future.
We’re worried about data protection if we need to share customer information. Can you reassure us?
Hynt has been designed with equality and respect at its heart and data protection is very important to the ethos and delivery of the scheme.
Existing customers who are already signed up to schemes will need to transfer to Hynt where appropriate. In the name of clarity and data protection they will have to consent to any changes. We have created a standard letter for venues to explain the changes to customers, Accessible in the Dashboard
As part of the application process and in the terms and conditions of the scheme customers will be asked to consent to the sharing of their information across the network. Customers will also be asked a series of questions which will enable them to state preferences that they would want to share.
The Card Network will be responsible for processing the data and making sure that protections are in place. The only data that we will keep is information that customers are willing to share. All copies of documents will be destroyed and no medical information will be known by The Card Network or Creu Cymru.
How will the card work for group bookings?
We know that many organisations, institutions and businesses consider access to arts and cultural activities to be of great benefit to their clients and residents and often work hard to organise visits to theatres and arts centres. Many of our participating venues have existing relationships with local partners and have developed a good understanding of the diverse spectrum of individuals that organisations are working with.
Groups will not be included in Hynt. We want to be able to continue to support those existing relationships and help facilitate new ones. Asking for a separate application form for each visit is an unhelpful administrative burden and could be a barrier to facilitating visits. We feel therefore that Carer / Personal Assistant ratios for group bookings should be left to the discretion of the individual theatres and arts centres
We do recommend that theatres and arts centres who are members of Hynt ask all groups to provide them with a risk assessment completed by the group organiser detailing the care needs of those attending for that booking. This will help them to understand the needs of the group and allocate tickets, free of charge to Personal Assistants / Carers where appropriate.
Hynt will provide support and advice to participating theatres and arts centres where required and suggest that a new risk assessment will be needed for each new visit.
Where the theatre or arts centre requires additional support to make a decision they will also be able to call on the expertise of the Regional Arbitrators. The final decision however always remains with the venue management.
How will we access customer information?
We’re using an XML database at it is a universal format so it can integrate into your box office system. You will be contacted by The Card network who will work with you to set the system up. We would also expect venues to have a conversation with their Box Office Software supplier to help support the set up. We will do our best to provide technical support.
There will be sufficient customer information to ensure that each customer identity is unique to help avoid duplications of records. The database will be updated regularly. We suggest a weekly download. You’ll be able to decide if you want to download all the records in the database or just those that are local to your venue. The information that you can see on the database will be: name, contact details and relevant customer preference information e.g. need blue badge parking.
You will also be able to access the database live via the internet using your unique venue log in.