1996 : The Internet site of the Arena di Verona was created
Over the last number of years the Internet has proved to be a strong method of communication enabling more and more people to be in contact with each other in real time. It is a definite revolution which seems to know no boundaries. As a result we must appreciate it for the important source that it is.
In 1996 Professor Corrado Ferraro, Manager of the Commercial and Marketing Department of the then 'Ente Lirico Arena di Verona' (it has been called the Fondazione since 1998) decided to carry out an experimental project in collaboration with the Cariverona Bank: this project involved the creation of a web site for the 'Ente Lirico'.
The original idea was to update the ticket office services and then it was decided that the potential of this method of communication, i.e. the internet, would be put to the test as well as its impact on the public. Consequently, the site www.arena.it was created.
In the first version the strictly informative aspect was concentrated on and the graphic layout was very simple. It was possible to buy tickets on line and information sections were available in four different languages. To keep the information updated in the various languages proved to be difficult; consequently it wasn't possible to provide all of the users with reliable information.
Given the growing interest of the site on behalf of the public, in 1998 a leading company in the field of information technology and a software house from Verona joined the project. This resulted in the graphic layout being updated and some pages in the site becoming more dynamic making it therefore more manageable by the personnel of the Arena Foundation: a decisive step to maintain the updated web pages. Also the ticket office services were improved thanks to the innovations which were introduced.
For the users it was possible to obtain information on the operas which were in the festival programme, and access to the synopses and particular information on the staging of the operas in the Arena became available. All of this was facilitated by a more simple access menu and by the updated velocity with which information could be received. Considering the great number of foreigners present during the lyrical seasons in the Arena, an English section, corresponding to the Italian sector could not be left out. It was decided that only one foreign language section should be created to enable it to be continuously updated: English was chosen as the foreign language, for obvious reasons.
It didn't take long for the efforts which were put into the development of the arena.it site to be awarded. Between 1999 and 2000 the number of visitors and reservations on-line augmented in an exponential way, and continues to rise each day. The interest and the suggestions of the users who visit the web site led to the service being improved, the gaps in information being filled in and the quality of the information being upgraded.
In 2001 a market survey, which was carried out during the Festival in the Arena, demonstrated the great importance of the Internet for the Arena Foundation of Verona which, since 1998. The results of the survey were compared to the results of the survey carried out in 1995. The outcome was very encouraging.
To develop this potentiality to the maximum, in 2002 the Board of Directors of the Foundation decided to create a web department which writes informative articles and looks after the communication between the Foundation and its users in a precise and stimulating way, taking advantage of the world-wide web. One of the fundamental principles of the Arena Foundation foresees in fact, its commitment to promote culture to the general public: the web is clearly a key solution, not only because of its numerous users, but also because it is capable of reaching a target which is differentiated by age, profession and interests.
However, as the need to establish a direct and personal contact with the spectators who crowd into the Arena every year is required today, the web provides the quickest and most immediate form of contact. It is made up of various modes of communication: articles, images, graphics and sounds: all of these are combined together in the web pages and establish a new contact between the performances and the general public bringing them closer together. Thanks to the Internet, virtual reality for the public, becomes reality.
Official Web site: www.arena.it