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Experience

“Deliberate Change”

The other day, I mentioned my encounter with Bob Farrell and it prompted me to read up a little bit on the mostly tragic history of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours.Somebody, perhaps not a totally unbiased somebody, put a lot of effort to catalog the ups and downs of the organization, and it’s interesting reading, because it shows a fast rise, powered by a passionate concept, with adoring customers and a lot of unique qualities. But it also catalogs the...

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Experience

Can You Say “VIP” Without Cracking Up?

You should know, I like selling tickets. I like seeing the venues of Goldstar’s partners packed to the rafters and their bank balances go up. I also like seeing a room full (as opposed to a room half full) of people having a great time at a live event. That’s just how I am.So I’m on record a bunch of times in support of things like premium pricing, even so-called “VIP” packages. As a rule, when a fan wants...

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Bright Ideas

The Secret to Children’s Theater That Sells

Now that you're convinced you need to "get 'em while they're young," the trick is figuring out just how you're going to get them. Disney and Dreamworks have done a remarkable job creating movies that appeal to both youngsters and adults, but how does that translate to live entertainment?Utah's Deseret News looked into just that in a three-part series on children's theater. They asked a few local experts what's worked for them and came away with some great advice...

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Marketing

What Does “Get ‘Em When They’re Young” Mean for Live Entertainment?

Get a child hooked on your product when he’s 10, and he’s yours for life. A lot of marketers believe that as gospel, and from time to time evidence emerges that “proves” it.I’ve always been less convinced. Preference is highly perishable, and most of the “brands” I liked as a kid aren’t particularly relevant to me now. I mean, I still like Count Chocula in theory, but I don’t exactly eat much of it.And when you look at the...

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Marketing

Take Your Organization From Scrappy to Successful

Here’s an inspiring success story about Patrick Dooley, the artistic director of Shotgun Players in Berkeley, Calif. In 1992, the theater company called the basement of La Val's pizzeria home. Twenty-two years later, they operate out of a hip 120-seat converted church called the Ashby Stage. And they’re about to open Tom Stoppard's epic trilogy The Coast of Utopia.Two of Dooley’s quotes in Karen D’Souza’s San Jose Mercury News article caught my eye. The first shows he’s really paying...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Service

The Word Stock Market is an occasional feature on SellingOut.com, where I will tell you whether to buy, sell or hold a certain word based on whether that word has a strong future or has seen better days. For example, if you’d bought the word “hybrid” 10 years ago (when it meant a cross between a horse and a donkey, not an eco-friendly car), you’d be rich today. On the other hand, if you’d bought “digital camera,” you’d be...

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Marketing

The Single Best Guarantee of Ongoing Sales Success

I don’t like to be negative on this site, but there’s something I occasionally encounter in the world of live entertainment that really bugs me. It’s the idea that the process of actually marketing and selling an event is too crass for words. This usually comes from people from the very old school, who believe that if you are a true artist, if you’re pure of heart, and you believe in the Great Pumpkin more sincerely than all the...

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News

Obscurity Is the Enemy

Not availability.The New London Theatre in London’s West End holds a little over 1,000 people. On February 27, War Horse was performed in the New London. Therefore, a little over 1,000 people (at most) saw the show, right? Logical, isn’t it?Except that in reality, more than 150,000 saw it in real time via broadcast as it was being performed. The biggest hit so far for the National Theatre through its NT Live initiative, this performance got seen 150 times...

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Bright Ideas

Last Night at The Met

Here’s a marketing insight from the category of brilliant-but-freaking-obvious: People like themselves.The audience of any show or event is made up of people and, therefore, by the transitive property, if you can connect your event to the people in the audience, they will enjoy that show or event more.That’s why I think Last Night at The Met has so much potential.It’s a tumblr of pictures taken by photograph Rose Callahan of people attending shows at the Metropolitan Opera in...

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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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