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Selling Out With Jack Reuler

Is "free cheaper than cheap"? For Mixed Blood Theatre in the Twin Cities, it seems to be. Its admission initiative called "Radical Hospitality" allows anyone to attend a show for free. Three seasons of the campaign is paying off with increased popularity and donations.After hearing about the program on HowlRound.com, we spoke with Mixed Blood Theatre artistic director Jack Reuler. He shared further insights into what aspects of the program are working, what they're continuing to tweak and what...

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Marketing

How to Avoid Big Mistakes With Ticket Sales Marketing

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about ticket sales marketing and the importance of knowing when to kill a program that's just not working. To help you evaluate whether a marketing program is successful -- or if it needs cancelling -- we've put together four posts that'll walk you through the process. Take a look:• First, a reality check: If a marketing campaign is working, then you should be able to see the results pretty clearly.• But, how do...

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News

Is Opera Failing to Do the Math?

Following in the footsteps of the New York City Opera and Opera Pacific in Orange County, the San Diego Opera will be calling it quits at the end of the 2014 season.Ian Campbell, the company's general director, told the Los Angeles Times that ticket sales had been declining as well as donations, primarily because of death and the economic downturn.A follow-up piece by the Los Angeles Times expressed surprise (and a little outrage) at the closing, using San Diego's...

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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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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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Pricing

Consumers Getting Wise to Primary-Secondary Market Shenanigans

A man in New Jersey who bought some pretty expensive tickets to the Super Bowl is suing the NFL for not releasing more tickets to be sold to the general public.His claim is that, according to New Jersey law, at least five percent of tickets must be available for regular people to buy.I don’t know anything about the merits of his case, but it shows that consumers are getting savvy to the idea that the primary market sellers (in...

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Pricing

Individualized Dynamic Pricing Could Boost Attendance and Revenue

In summary, the Children's Museum of Tacoma moved to a "Pay As You Will" model a few years ago and saw BOTH attendance and revenue go up. Attendance has tripled, but, if you do the math, revenue has increased by only 50%. "Only."That's interesting enough, but let's look at it differently. In a way, it's dynamic pricing taken to the individual level. Dynamic pricing is an attempt to change a price to reflect the level of supply and demand...

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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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P&L

Measure Success Using Revenue Per Seat

The name of this site is Selling Out, but the goal of Selling Out is achieving success with your marketing.So how do you measure success? You can sell out by having a great show; or you can sell out by putting a show in a house that’s way too small for the act; or you can sell out by dramatically underpricing the tickets.If there’s one thing I wish I could teach the world of live entertainment marketers about pricing,...

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Pricing

Price Has Nothing to Do With Costs

When I talk about this, people look at me puzzled. A couple years ago, Michael Kaiser, smart guy and Big Chief of the Kennedy Center, wrote an article on Huffington Post that gives me a starting point for what I want you to understand about prices:“The central challenge facing arts managers is to fill the ever-widening gap between rapidly increasing expenses and earned income, primarily from ticket sales. This gap continues to grow each year since the number of seats...

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