Backstage tours are nothing new — they’re a great way to get donors and the community excited about a venue. But the way Hale Centre Theatre is doing them now is brand new. It’s using a communication system suited for both noisy and quiet environments. Tour guides speak into a microphone, and the ListenTALK system transmits the sound to guests via headphones or an earpiece. With this system, the tour guide can talk to the group, and members of the group can speak to the guide and each other — no matter how loud the background noise.
“People are much more engaged because they actually hear details and everyone hears everyone’s questions,” Quinn Dietlein, Hale Centre Theatre’s development director, said of tours with the ListenTALK system. “The group is much safer — often there is a construction zone, and I can point out trip hazards much better. I’m able to raise more money because people are truly so much more engaged. I have been surprised by how effective these have been for me — even in very small groups.”