Word Stock

Word Stock: Print at Home

Hard tickets are stupid. Imagine stacks of printed, unique tickets shipped to ticket sales outlets, each one completely untraceable and unreplaceable. If you don’t have to imagine it because you can remember it, you’re probably thinking “good riddance” right now, and if you are imagining it, you’re probably scowling in puzzlement and confusion. What the heck kind of system was that?Of course, it got better. First, the tickets were organized into a central data base and printed on-site via...

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In Case You Missed It

Each week we're sharing a few stories we found interesting and worth a read. And now, in case you missed them ...Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy illustrates how live entertainment is on the wrong side of the convenience gap -- and how that doesn't have to be a bad thing.Over on Top Rank Blog, Lee Odden got some of the top marketing professionals around to share their marketing predictions for 2015.We had a chat with the incredibly talented and successful...

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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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Bright Ideas

Monty Python to Broadcast its Last Show

In July, the legendary comedy troupe will provide another hint to the live entertainment industry about what the future could look like by broadcasting The Last Night of Monty Python from the O2 Arena in London to theaters all around the world.If you are still wondering whether the business model-broadening powers of live broadcast aren’t real, here’s the key piece of the article I just linked: “Originally, members John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones had...

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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 mind?So...

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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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Ticketing System Implementation Leads to a Riot

I often say that one of the wonderful things about working in live entertainment is that it’s not a matter of life and death. And while people who work in making sure venues are safe have a reasonable beef with that statement, even they would probably get what I meant.Ticketing is typically an even safer occupation. Nobody expects danger from the roll-out of a new system. Annoyed season ticket holders having to adjust to a new website perhaps, but...

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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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Why Live Event Venues Are Never Full for Long, and Why That’s OK

Fifty percent of seats for live entertainment go unsold. Or is it 40 percent, or maybe 35? Different analysts and executives from major ticketing organizations have been quoted over the years at different numbers, but let’s just agree that it’s a substantial percentage, and a staggering raw number.But it’s also a classic “glass (or venue) half-full or half-empty” kind of question. Is the unsold seat total a bad thing, or is it more complex than that?Let’s work through it....

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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, 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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