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Marketing

My Dear Aunt Sally

I don’t have an Aunt Sally.That was just my way to get you to start reading this before I tell you that I’m going to talk about math …But before you click "back" or shriek in Wicked Witch-like horror when doused with water, know that I majored in English in college! I wrote a thesis about Frankenstein. I like T. S. Eliot.I’ve got non-math-person cred.So stick with me. If you’re a live entertainment marketer and you’re math-phobic, I’m going...

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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

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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Bright Ideas

Adopt This Motto: Not More of the Same

On his blog dedicated to audience building, Matt Lehrman offers a helpful motto for nonprofits (that could be adopted by anyone in the live entertainment industry), which he hopes will lead to positive results 10 years down the road.He suggests carving out as little as 1 percent of your organization’s budget to create a “Not More of the Same” task force to advance your organization’s mission in some creative way --  guided by the principle that their responsibility is...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Subscriber

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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Experience

The Roth Doctrine

Some people I just know I’m going to like before I meet them. Jordan Roth was one of those people because before we ever spent any real time together, I read this article about Jordan and his then-recent takeover of Jujamcyn Theaters.I mention it because there's something in the article that I find myself repeating and emphasizing to venues, producers and marketers all of the time, and which I now call the Roth Doctrine.Leading into it, he describes what...

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Selling Out With

Selling Out With Dan Steinberg

When Lord Chesterfield said, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today," Dan Steinberg took his advice to heart. The founder of Square Peg Concerts works around the clock, promoting live shows across the United States -- totaling about 400-plus events last year.By the time Steinberg was 16, he was producing club shows at the Mercury Café in Denver. Now, he’s moved up to putting big names on marquees, from comic Kathy Griffin and singer-songwriter Jason Mraz to...

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Experience

Don’t Tell Me You’re Not Doing This for an Audience

Because if that were true, you’d do it at home or in a closed studio.Dan Visconti, whom I’ve never met, has written a piece that, if I were an expert in classical music, I might have written. It’s called “The Audience Is the Most Important Instrument," and you should read the whole thing.I don’t even want to add much to it, except to say that there’s a term I use that matches the sentiment Dan expresses: audience-oriented. Everyone in...

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Marketing

If You Name It, It Will Grow

I’ve been using the term “live entertainment” for more than a decade now, and in the last few years others seem to have caught up with me. I drifted into that term because to me, there’s a strong connecting thread between theater, live music, sports, walking tours, Cirque du Soleil-type experiences and whatever else might happen when people are gathered in a physical space primarily for the enjoyment of it.This article asks the question if “alternative theatre” needs a...

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Pricing

How Not to Discount: Part IV

Don't punish buyers who have come to your venue on a discount ticket.The fourth way that you shouldn’t do discounting is to do it in such a way that it’s designed to punish the people buying your discount tickets. This is done by, for example, putting them in the last row of the house when other sections are available, making them wait to be seated after the "regular" patrons have been seated or otherwise creating a little reminder that...

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