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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 needs...

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Pricing

The Fastest Path to Devaluing Your Tickets

It’s simple, really. Build a good email list for your venue/show/organization and send them discounts to your own show.If you want to Turbo-devalue your tickets, always follow the same or a similar cadence in how you do this. I know of a major organization (that I’m not even going to name or say the genre but trust me when I say that everyone who will ever possibly read this is familiar with them) that at one point had a...

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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

The Easiest Mistake in the World to Make About Pricing …

… is thinking there is such a thing as a “discount buyer.”And I can prove it to you.Next time you’re gathering six or eight of your co-workers for a meeting and have a few minutes before it gets started, do this little experiment.Ask the group if any of them have a band or musical act that they really, really like but that most people in the room aren’t likely to know. Most people will have one.Pick one of these...

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Selling Out With

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

Pro Tip: Cancel Campaigns Without Pity

Most marketing and sales managers are mediocre. Of course, that’s true by definition, unless you’re in Lake Wobegon. But in the case of marketing management, it means the marketing programs they run are usually only either slightly better than if they’d done nothing at all, and frequently worse.Just about any professional marketing manager, even these mediocre ones I’m talking about, has skills. They can develop marketing materials; they know how media buying works; they negotiate effectively; they deliver campaigns...

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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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Marketing

If You Can’t See It, It’s Not There

I went to business school with a rocket scientist.I mean that literally. One of my classmates, and somebody that I found myself working with frequently, was an actual NASA rocket scientist, and just as you’d expect, he was wicked smart.One time, we were working on a project where we were evaluating the marketing programs that a company in this case study had done to figure out whether they should continue them, cut them or add to them. We graphed...

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