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#TBT

#TBT: (What’s So Funny ’bout) Speaking Like a Human Being

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: (What’s So Funny ’bout) Speaking Like a Human Being A colleague of mine got an email from a well-known e-commerce site the other day that said this. (I took out anything I thought could identify the company or product.) Dear [xxxxx], We at [xxxx] work tirelessly to bring our members luxury products and experiences that exceed their expectations, all at exclusive prices. We also strive to provide the best support possible, …

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Innovation

How to Allow “True Fans” to Buy Tickets First

In the olden days, if you wanted a ticket to a hot concert, the best way to secure one was to camp out overnight, usually outside a record store*, so as to be in line when the tickets went on sale. Sure, you got a pretty lousy ticket, but at least you got one. I never had to do this myself, but I certainly Tom Sawyer-ed a couple of my friends in high school into doing it for me. Today, …

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Pricing

Is “Free” a Dirty Word in Theater?

There’s a saying that “you get what you pay for,” meaning more money equals a better product. But of course, that isn’t always the case. For example, you can get Moby Dick delivered to your Kindle for free via Amazon, but a copy of Dollhouse: A Novel by Kim Kardashian will set you back $9.78. Does the adage hold up for live entertainment? Lyn Gardner at The Guardian contends that it doesn’t. She’s concerned that people are foregoing free theater …

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Pricing

Pricing Fundamentalism

Pricing Fundamentalism is the belief that the first price an organization puts on its tickets is holy among all things; that lowering it “devalues” the work and raising it is “greedy.” And that if only your Pumpkin Patch is sincere enough, your first guess at the proper price for every section of every show of your event will be the one that works best to get people in the door, drive revenue and make your patrons happy. This may not …

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Bright Ideas

Variable Versus Dynamic Pricing

Do you have one of those friends who can’t resist correcting people on the proper use of “who” versus “whom”?  Perhaps you don’t because you are that person. Regardless, you’re all welcome here. Personally, I let the who/whom thing go because I’ve never misunderstood anything said to me because of it. Other frequently mistaken words though aren’t as harmless. They have the potential to get you all mixed up, crazy, and worse still, losing out on money from ticket sales. …

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Pricing

How Much Does it Cost to “Make” a Ticket?

Let’s start answering that question by asking a different one. How much does it cost to make a sandwich? Let’s say that you buy bread, condiments, meat and cheese for about $2 and each time you turn on your sandwich press, it costs you $.50. Ignoring labor costs for a moment, it costs you $2.50 to make a sandwich. If you sell it for $6, you’ll probably end up with a profit after you pay for everything else a business …

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Customer Service

The Wrong Side of the Convenience Gap

I’m going to ask you a question, and I’d like you to be honest with me about the answer. (Especially since you don’t actually have to say anything.) Imagine it’s lunchtime and you’re at home. Now think of two things that you sometimes eat: One that you eat because it’s convenient to get or inexpensive, and one that you really, really like. One that’s fine and meets your lunchtime needs, and one that you really enjoy. Got those in your …

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Pricing

Overvaluing Premium Sales

Venues have gotten much more sophisticated in the last seven or eight years at creating and selling “premium” tickets and ticket packages. I was reading recently about the Seattle Mariners’ successful program to do this recently, and it made me give this issue some thought. As I’ve said many times on this issue, I’m for it. Provided you don’t punish people for not buying premium and you legitimately deliver a ‘premium’ value, this should be a sustainable and positive way …

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Pricing

Pricing Is Yucky

“Yucky” is a really useful catch-all term that little kids use to describe things that they just don’t want to have anything to do with. I remember my own toddlers would describe various things as yucky, which didn’t mean they smelled bad or had some horrible sticky substance all over them. It just meant they weren’t interested and couldn’t be made to get interested. I have a theory that a lot of the mistakes and misconceptions that people make about …

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P&L

Doing Pretty Well for Somebody Who’s Dead

Cincinnati is a small market, not known for fabulous wealth or la-di-da citizenry. In 2009, according to this article, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, like many orchestras nationally, was “facing an existential question” and ” … had to make dramatic course corrections quickly for us to continue on,” according to Trey Devey of the CSO. They focused on growing audiences, not necessarily ticket buyers but those aware and engaged with them in any form, to grow the financial base. They increased …

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