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How to Resolve the Battle Between the New and the Familiar

What do you call something, even if it’s good, that you’ve seen over and over again? Boring.What do you call something so new and different that it doesn’t make any sense to you? Weird.Most live entertainment content falls in between those poles, of course, but as a creator, curator or marketer of stuff in your venue, which is better? Which should you go for if what you’re trying to do is build your audience?Here’s the formula that works best:...

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Marketing

How a Show Benefits From Being Shareable

Once a show or event becomes "cool," tickets get easier to sell. As marketers of live entertainment, we know this instinctively. Celebrities courtside at a team's games or long lines of well-dressed, attractive people outside a venue show the world that somebody thinks these events are special in that slightly magical way that makes them more than just good entertainment value for the money.In fact, once a show becomes "cool," the value equation changes a lot. Instead of price...

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Marketing

Take Your Work From the Theater to the World Stage

Last Valentine's Day, Eve Ensler, Tony Award-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues, asked people everywhere to put on their dancing shoes and boogie to show solidarity and draw attention to the injustices that affect women and girls around the world. This year -- today -- "thousands of events will take place in hundreds of countries and on six continents," according to this Huffington Post article. It's all part of Ensler's One Billion Rising Live (which will livestream these events),...

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Marketing

De La Soul Is Not Dead. They’re Free (For 25 Hours).

De La Soul, semi-forgotten legendary rap group, is making all its music free to download today (February 14), so have at it!Naturally, interest in De La Soul and their ability to earn revenue is going to, as a result, plummet! At least, that's the conclusion you'd come to if you think like those who fear things like live broadcasts and alternative delivery mechanisms for live entertainment.Of course, that's not what's going to happen. Many people, like me, are going...

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Marketing

Was “Crazy” Promotion Worth it?

A Houston furniture store launched a promotion before the Super Bowl where if you bought $6,000 or more in furniture during the promotion and the Seattle Seahawks won, you’d get a full refund on that purchase.Seven million dollars in furniture purchases later, the Seahawks did win, and Gallery Furniture is on the hook for the refunds. The CEO says he’s “thrilled” with this outcome, because the media -- national and local -- have made a huge fuss about the...

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Marketing

Olympic Pretendinitis?

Anecdotally, in the early days of the Olympics, I'm seeing empty seats in Sochi as I watch, and others are pointing out the same.Somehow, the BBC is reporting a sales figure of 70% sold overall for the tickets at these games as of two weeks before the start. This compares to the 97% figure that they reported for past games in London and Vancouver at the same point. It’s a tough comparison, because London and Vancouver would have had...

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Marketing

More Exposure Equals More Seats Filled

This is just basically me clicking "like" on Lyn Gardner's thoughts about broadcasts not threatening the value of live theater (and I would add, of other live performance). Read it.Exposure to something compelling leads to more interest, not less. Obscurity is the enemy, not availability. Learn it, live it.

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Marketing

An Unexpected Upside to Niche Programming

Programming content for a  venue has more impact than probably anything else on sales. A lot of people approach this with the assumption that it's best to appeal to more people -- as many and as broad a group as possible.Funnily enough, it often works the other way around. Narrowing the focus of your content to a group that can seem unbelievably small can be even more effective. An off-Broadway show called Craving For Travel (bit of an awkward...

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Marketing

Three Ways to Look at Tourists Dominating Broadway Sales

Theatremania calls it “well over half," but a more accurate characterization is two-thirds of tickets sold to Broadway shows are to people who are not from New York. How should Broadway think about this?• It’s a problem. The home market is huge and full of theater consumers. Local customers are cheaper to reach and easier to get to repeat. Being more successful with them would mean a more reliable and profitable baseline for the Broadway theater ecosystem.• It’s a...

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Marketing

Gateway Drugs and the Theater

This article from The New York Times talks about the new play Bronx Bombers, which is about the New York Yankees and their long, glorious history. Much of the talk when it comes to this kind of thing is that it can be used to get people who would not otherwise go to a play to go to a play. In effect, it can be used as a gateway drug to other, “harder” stuff.If it’s used as “bait” before...

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