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Bright Ideas

Unproductive Assumptions Can Linger, and We Don’t Even Know It

Take five minutes, and watch this short video below about an Arkansas high school football coach who has thrown out assumptions that nearly every football coach makes.For the non-football inclined, here’s the basic story. A football team has four chances (called “downs”) to go 10 yards forward. If they succeed, they get four more chances to keep going, with the goal of going all the way down the field and scoring a touchdown.Most of the time (virtually all of...

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Half-Bakery

Data or Gut? They Go Hand in Hand

So, data or "gut"?Really, it's a phony baloney question. I'll have both, please. Gut alone is basically just you being a witch doctor, which is fine as long as you're right. (Don't mess up.)Data alone is OK, but I think in arts and entertainment, you'll hit a wall pretty quickly. Data is backward-looking by definition. Steve Jobs didn't come up with the idea for the iPhone by reading the results of an A/B test, but a lot of the...

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P&L

Orchestras, First Step to Financial Health is Happy Audiences

Don't expect the drumbeat of financial trouble for orchestras to stop.Here are a couple quotes that I think are helpful in thinking about the long-term resolution of this. First, from the Chairman of the orchestra's board, "Despite the Brooklyn Philharmonic's tremendous artistic successes over the last couple of years, the orchestra continues to experience financial difficulties."If an organization's definition of artistic success diverges too much from the definition of its audience or the potential audience that it needs, those...

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Bright Ideas

“Jagged Little Pill” Musical Combines Fresh With Familiar

I predict that this actually occurs. If the American Idiot formula can be replicated, the base material is there. If you haven't seen American Idiot, it weaves a story from an existing album with just a smidgen of dialogue and no new or even much modified music. Some so-called jukebox musicals are merely a vehicle for performing some popular songs on stage without the nuisance of having to have the actual creators of those songs present. Others, like American...

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News

Coming Soon: Buy a Shot on the Kiss Cam, Upgrade Your Seat at an Event

A few days ago, Ticketmaster announced that it’s working with a company called Experience to allow people to upgrade their seats shortly before or even during an event. Also, this app will allow you to buy certain kinds of things (one of the examples the press release gives is “having a mascot visit a seat at a ball game”) that normally you would either have had to buy as some kind of VIP package, or wouldn’t be able to...

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News

More TEDxBroadway 2014 Speakers Announced

On behalf of Ken, Damian and the rest of the TEDxBroadway team, I’m delighted to announce another batch of speakers for TEDxBroadway 2014!Robert Lopez is a creative genius and has the Tonys to prove it. The composer of both Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, Robert’s made his bones in this world big time. In our discussions of his presentation, Robert talked about a whole range of interesting things about being a creator of something that you expect...

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Pricing

How Not to Discount: Part IV

Don't punish buyers who have come to your venue on a discount ticket.The fourth way that you shouldn’t do discounting is to do it in such a way that it’s designed to punish the people buying your discount tickets. This is done by, for example, putting them in the last row of the house when other sections are available, making them wait to be seated after the "regular" patrons have been seated or otherwise creating a little reminder that...

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News

Broadway Shows Add Thursday Matinees to Meet Audience Needs

If you're going to have a matinee during the week, Thursday certainly seems like a better choice than Wednesday. I don't have any actual information to back this up, but I'm guessing that the Wednesday matinee tradition was established for a good reason. It just might be that no one remembers what that reason was. Or maybe they do. I should ask Ken Davenport.Thursday has really come up in the world. Formerly just another roadblock to the weekend, Thursday...

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Bright Ideas

New Ways to Get Ticket Buyers Thinking About Your Venue

54 Below is a club that's below street level on 54th street. Get it? You can see Broadway performers in a fun, intimate performance environment there, and if you're in Manhattan, you should check it out.I love this series that TheaterMania is doing, bringing a 54 Below performer into the kitchen to cook. They start the series with TEDxBroadway performer Joe Iconis, and go from there. This kind of thing is clever, and even if it doesn't have a...

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P&L

Measure Success Using Revenue Per Seat

The name of this site is Selling Out, but the goal of Selling Out is achieving success with your marketing.So how do you measure success? You can sell out by having a great show; or you can sell out by putting a show in a house that’s way too small for the act; or you can sell out by dramatically underpricing the tickets.If there’s one thing I wish I could teach the world of live entertainment marketers about pricing,...

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