#TBT: Avoid Extendinitis

Happy #TBT! Here’s an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Avoid Extendinitis.

This is a malady akin to Pretendinitis but unfortunate in its own way.

Extendinitis is the phenomenon where producers of shows believe that people will get more excited and buy more tickets to their show if they believe that the run is short.

Not when the run is actually short, but when you’re supposed to believe the run is short.

Let’s try a little experiment.

Tomorrow at noon, I’m going to stand on the conference table in my office and sing the entire Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album while throwing Skittles around the room.

But only once! You’d better buy your tickets now!

Hmmm, no takers? Why could that be?

Because the fundamental demand for my insane display is not there.

Extendinitis causes its victims to believe that if they say the run is two weeks, but they then announce two successive two-week extensions, people will want to see the show more.

Here’s what happens in reality: You, the show’s producers, earn a tiny sliver of somebody’s attention for your show. They look at the available dates and eventually either buy or don’t buy. Some of them don’t buy (many of them, actually, in my experience here at Goldstar) because the dates are not convenient. The more available dates, the more likely it is that one of them works for the buyer.

But since you only have dates listed for the first part of your run, they say, “Ah, that’s too bad,” and they never look again.

Of course, there’s the other scenario where the person does look again and says, “Oh, cool! They added more dates!  Now, I’ll buy!” That’s good news, but really, what have you gained as compared to that person being able to buy from you right up front? Nothing, but you’ve lost a lot of people that didn’t come back, and you deferred your revenue. Nice work! I’m guessing that’s not what you meant to do.

The supposed payoff for Extendinitis is that some people will look at your show and say, “Wow, that’s a limited run! I’d better buy now!”

My intuition based on seven years of selling tickets tells me that the ones you lose outnumber the people motivated by that tactic at the rate of about 10 to 1.

Unless you’re the Beatles. Are you the Beatles?

Simply put, you have to sell when people are buying, and you have to feed a raging fire or it dies down. Time kills deals, as an old boss of mine used to say. Likewise, time kills a buyer’s ardor for buying, and that’s not what you want.

So avoid Extendinitis, and that won’t happen!

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