Audience Experience Manager

Job title Audience Experience Manager
Location The Kenton Theatre, 19 New Street, Henley on Thames RG9 2BS
Position reports to Theatre Manager
Responsible for Box Office and Front of House volunteers
Contract type Full time. Permanent
Hours 40 hours per week.  Hours to be worked between operating hours (9am and 11pm) and to include regular shifts on evenings and weekends
Annual Leave 28 days per annum including Bank Holidays (rising by one day per year of service to a maximum of 33 days)
Probation period Six months
Notice period Three months



The Kenton is a charity and stunning Georgian venue which first opened in November 1805 and is one of the oldest working theatres in the UK.  Seating 240, the theatre today offers a varied programme of music, drama, dance, talks, comedy and family work and is regularly hired by a number of community groups and private events. Boasting over 230 performances a year with an annual income of £500k.


The Audience Experience Manager (AEM) will be responsible for ensuring the exceptional delivery of all audience services at our grade 2 listed theatre. The role involves overseeing the smooth and efficient day-to-day operations of Front of House, Bar, Coffee Bar and Box Office, as well as identifying and implementing strategies to maintain and enhance the Front of House experience.

The AEM will lead and develop a team of over one hundred volunteers who perform the roles of Front of Managers, bar and coffee bar staff, ushers and Box Office assistants.  They will guide the team in maintaining a safe, warm, friendly, and vibrant environment for audiences, visitors, and staff. The AEM will play a crucial role in upholding excellent customer service for all theatre patrons, visiting companies, and artists.

In collaboration with the Marketing Manager, the AEM will contribute to audience development initiatives and projects. Additionally, they will monitor and report on sales and audience statistics.


Front of House Management

  • Responsible for the day-to-day management of Front of House operations.
  • Ensure the Front of House and Box Office teams are motivated to maximise sales and provide high standards of customer care.
  • Act as a Front of House Manager during at least one performance a week.
  • Ensure, on performance days, that there is an informative hand-over to the show team.
  • Ensure Front of House and Box Office teams are staffed appropriately, taking responsible for the recruitment, selection and line management of volunteers in line with the venue requirements and company policy.
  • Provide training for Front of House and Box Office volunteers, both at the induction stage and on an ongoing basis, to ensure high standards are maintained.
  • Ensure special events are appropriately staffed and requirements are fulfilled as appropriate.
  • Work with the Theatre Manager and other members of staff to ensure that the Front of House volunteers are fully briefed and have a comprehensive knowledge of upcoming shows and events, as well as membership and supporter schemes and can ensure the effective promotion of opportunities and availability of information for customers.
  • Responsibly manage any appropriate budgets.

Bar and Coffee Bar Management

  • Manage the bar and coffee bar, overseeing staffing, stock, maintenance, cash management and financial reconciliation and technical issues.
  • Be trained in bar procedures and provide occasional cover.
  • Carefully monitor stock lines, profit margins and wastage in order to maximise profits.
  • Develop idea for additional income generation, communicating and implementing development opportunities as appropriate with the Theatre Manager.
  • Manage budgets for income and expenditure for the bar and catering operation.
  • Control cash handling and reporting of income and expenditure, including banking of cash takings.
  • Develop the use of the theatre’s EPOS system and provide regular reports from the system including comparative sales reports and ROI on specific initiatives.
  • Ensure that appropriate service speeds are achieved and policies relating to service standards and procedures are followed
  • Ensure that all relevant legislation (licensing etc) is adhered to.
  • Manage accurate cashing-up and cleaning procedures, ensuring that all procedures are carried out at the end of each shift.
  • Accept and put away stock, maintain effective stock control, storage, rotation and inventories to minimise wastage.
  • Ensure all bar and coffee bar equipment is serviced and maintained in line with the theatre’s ongoing maintenance programme.
  • Report any issues relating to deliveries to the Finance Manager.

Box Office Management

  • Maintain the Box Office as a friendly and welcoming environment for visitors to the venue, ensuring the Front of House areas are tidy and presentable at all times.
  • Provide support to Box Office volunteers during Box Office opening hours (11am to 3pm from Monday to Saturday and one hour in advance of each show).
  • Enthuse the team to deliver the best service possible by motivating, monitoring, and inspiring everyone to work as a team.
  • Ensure the box office is staffed appropriately, including carrying out shifts on the Box Office
  • Preparing and managing volunteer rotas and responding to sick leave cover and emergency volunteer issues
  • Manage all administrative ticketing processes to ensure events are put on sale in a timely manner and with accuracy, including liaison with producers, event promoters, hirers and external agencies.
  • Provide an efficient and productive booking system for the public, including counter, phone and online sales.
  • Allocate and record vouchers to prize winners.
  • Update and develop the website as required.
  • Set up weekly sales reports, post show sales reports for settlements and other reports as required.
  • Set up and ensure the correct administration and monitoring of ticketing offers and deals.
  • Process and manage complimentary ticket requests, making sure procedures and systems are well maintained. This includes press, company, venue, and staff comps.
  • Assist in the processing of Friends Membership scheme purchases.
  • Oversee box office email account and phone line and deal promptly with enquiries.
  • Ensure all Box Office information, such as concessions policies and opening hours, are accurately and appropriately publicised via the website and recorded phone announcements.
  • Be the first point of contact for feedback around refunds and exchanges, to include helping with complaint resolution.
  • Be the main contact for group bookings including school bookings and develop initiatives to increase group booking in conjunction with the Marketing Manager.
  • Act as the Box Office system manager, including the configuration of events, cleaning and maintaining the database, installing updates, designing new reports, creating new facilities, fixing technical problems and liaising with the system provider and other suppliers.
  • Complete the relevant accountancy procedures, accurately recording the daily Box Office takings and dealing with discrepancies as required.
  • Act as the data controller and ensure that all members of the Box Office team are trained in issues around data protection and apply these when taking bookings.
  • Maintain stock levels of tickets, stationery and publicity material, ensuring stocks are ordered in line with business needs.
  • Monitor ticket sales and communicate any concerns to the Marketing Manager.

Health and Safety

  • To assist the Theatre Manager and Technical Manager in developing and refining incident plans and safety procedures.
  • Abiding by and promoting the Theatre’s health and safety policy in conjunction with current health and safety legislation and ensuring that all members of the front-of-house team are trained in and comply with emergency and safety procedures.
  • Ensure that all FOH volunteers are familiar with the theatre’s fire evacuation procedures and that volunteers receive regular fire awareness training and take part in regular fire drill practice, carry out daily checks and keep records up to date.
  • Liaise with staff to ensure that all users of the building including visiting companies and hirers, receive safety and building inductions and are fully versed in building procedures and fire and evacuation procedures. 

Marketing and Communications

  • To work with the Marketing Manager to provide meaningful insight into audience characteristics to maximise revenue.
  • To implement a customer relationship management programme in association with the Marketing Manager to increase customer retention, loyalty and frequency/volume of tickets purchased.
  • Interrogate Box Office information to identify key customer segments, trends and purchasing patterns, and provide recommendations of ways this can be interpreted to inform marketing activity and tailor communication to customer needs.
  • To undertake ongoing audience and market research in partnership with the Marketing Manager.
  • Prepare data for direct marketing campaigns in line with the direct marketing schedule and evaluate the effectiveness through analysis.



The successful candidate will have:

  • Proven experience in leading customer-facing teams and delivering high standard of customer service.
  • Highly experienced in volunteer management.
  • Experience of working in a box office in a similar venue.
  • In depth knowledge of Spektrix ticketing software system (or similar), including ticketing and event set up.
  • Experience of using a CRM system such as Artifax.
  • Knowledge of website maintenance using content management systems.
  • Knowledge of arts marketing.
  • Experience of cash handling.
  • Strong analytical and reporting skills.
  • Ability to work independently and with a busy team, and to manage, train and motivate other colleagues.
  • Ability to exercise initiative, take personal responsibility and resolve issues independently.
  • Excellent verbal and interpersonal communication skills and good written communication skills.
  • High level of IT literacy (MS Office).
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Good administrative skills with the ability to maintain systems and records.
  • Knowledge of health and safety and licensing laws and regulations with experience in implementing and monitoring safe working practices.
  • Strong organisational, time management and prioritisation abilities, working effectively under pressure and having the flexibility to adapt quickly to demands.
  • A genuine passion for the arts and live events.
  • Flexibility in relation to duties and working hours, which will include regular evenings and weekends.

Desirable skills for the role include:

  • Current first aid qualification.
  • Personal licence holder

Application Process

Please email a CV and cover letter to: ensuring that Audience Experience Manager is included in the subject line.

For further information please contact Lottie Pheasant, Theatre Manager at

Deadline for applications: Friday 1 March 2024
In-person interviews to take place: week commencing: Monday 4 March 2024