Contributors

Jim McCarthy

CEO, Goldstar

Jim McCarthy is the CEO of Goldstar, but he is also Customer Service Agent No. 1 for the company. Jim has spent the last decade and a half in e-commerce, starting way back at GeoCities before it was bought by Yahoo in 1999. Even before that, he helped to open about 50 Noah’s Bagels locations in California, where he learned about delighting customers, developing employees and managing high growth. He’s written articles and commentary in Fast Company, Business Insider and other well known publications, and has appeared as a speaker at conferences like SXSW, TEDU (part of the main TED conference), INTIX and others. He co-founded TEDxBroadway, which he also hosts and curates. Jim graduated from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. He also speaks Japanese, writes ghost stories and is a certified lifeguard.

Marketing

What Major League Baseball Can Teach Us

Lots of literally "inside baseball" information here, but I'd call your attention to the "Most Disappointing City" items about halfway down. Chicago Cubs sell-outs have been for a long time as reliable as McDonald's restrooms when traveling abroad. But they're down this year, to the point where you can just, gasp, BUY a ticket to a game from the box office, and a downright mortal 9th in terms of sell-through percentage. Is it team performance, which has been poor?...

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Marketing

TV Actors See Stage as Great Next Step

A lot of people will want to see Bryan "Heisenberg" Cranston as LBJ on Broadway. Having said that, a lot of people would be interested in seeing Bryan Cranston as Barney the Purple Dinosaur on Broadway, if such a thing were in production. It's not much of a statement to say that star power makes a big difference to sales, but I do think it's correct and very interesting to say that Bryan Cranston clearly sees great stage work...

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News

Should You Buy Into Music Promoter SFX Going Public?

Should you buy into this:Let’s Dance! Electronic Music Operator SFX Goes Public?I express an opinion. 

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Experience

What Does a Ticket Really Get You?

Most of the people who are reading this post sell tickets, and we even talk about the Ticket Business. But I’ve always believed that the ticket is the last thing we should be talking about, and the last thing buyers actually care about. Nobody, outside the odd collector, places value on the piece of paper you’re (sometimes) given to gain entry to a show. The ticket is not the thing.Surely, you say, the thing is the show you’re buying:...

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Bright Ideas

Why The Death of an Arts Org Is Like a Plane Crash

Howard Sherman compares the death of an arts organization to an airplane crash, and I think it’s a very strong metaphor. Here’s the key tidbit:“…a crash doesn’t occur because of any single event. Typically, they emanate from some failure which then triggers others.”Likewise, he says that, “arts organizations crash because of event cascades as well. It is rarely a single unforeseen occurrence which brings down companies; it is a series of actions, or lack thereof, that result in closure.”Of...

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Experience

Halloween Goes Immersive, Big Holiday to Sell More

Adding more momentum to the 'immersive' trend in live entertainment, this year's Halloween events blur the line between attraction and show. I think it's great because today's audiences are, more than their predecessors, interested in being part of the show. The success of Sleep No More or Then She Fell suggest that merging show and participatory media work very well presuming, of course, that they're done right. By the way, Halloween events are a big deal, and I think...

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News

How to Keep Your Product Fresh? Don’t Overuse It

Hell has apparently frozen over again. This will be a successful tour, undoubtedly, because the Eagles have an amazing back catalog and have toured so infrequently. As Stewart Copeland of the Police told me in an interview a couple years ago, the secret to the absurd level of success of the tour by The Police a few years ago came from the fact that the band remained "pristine," and had not toured for years and years, despite the high...

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Fans

Be the Jackie Chan of Live Entertainment

For those of you who don’t know Jackie Chan, he’s a very famous action hero and martial artist, best known in America for the Rush Hour movie series, but even more famous in Asia.Here’s a truly archetypal Jackie Chan moment.If you’re pressed for time, skip the first minute or so, and go straight to the fighting. As you watch it, take note: There’s no CGI here. Chan does all his own stunts.Of course, the acting could be better, but...

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News

Grow Your Attendance With an Audience Orientation

It feels like you could just cut and paste this story from year to year, doesn’t it? But, if you’re in our business, even if you’re not in the arts, this should concern you. If you’re here, it’s because you want to sell out your venue, and if you don’t really care about that because your nonprofit feels that worrying about selling tickets is too crass for words, then how about this notion?If you were selling out, these numbers...

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Experience

Bigger Venues Providing Better Experiences

As a rule, smaller, better venues at higher prices will succeed as compared to larger, worse venues, even those that are so big that there will be very inexpensive tickets available there. Bruno Mars in Las Vegas in a 3,000-seat house should command some pretty decent prices, and a lot of people will walk out of that show having been dazzled by their experience. I see this trend continuing and extending. Someone will build a 400-seat venue that delivers...

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