Dollars Matter, But So Does Attendance

Broadway's "Pippin." Photo by Joan Marcus

Broadway’s “Pippin.” Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Broadway had a great Thanksgiving weekend, breaking the all-time revenue record as people poured in from out of town to celebrate the long weekend with a show.

The record that wasn’t broken, however, was the attendance record, which was actually 4% off the all-time record this year.

It’s a good moment to ask the question: Does that matter?

Isn’t it dollars, not tickets, that count?

Yes, and no. Yes, because it’s true that you take dollars to the bank, not ticket sales numbers.

But no, because each of those tickets sold represents a human being who’s interested enough in a show to come to a theater and see it. Each of those human beings has the potential to do a lot of things for your show besides buy a ticket today: They can buy a ticket in the future; they can tell other people about your show; they can support some future fundraising campaign; they can mention you in social media posts; they can simply be a part of your network of support that will be the basis of all your future success.

Or they can stay at home and do none of those things.

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