#BuildingAudiences

…because if they’re not coming, we’re irrelevant.

I recently attended a “Twitter Chat” (my first) with marketing directors from some of the largest regional theatres in the country as well as many other interested parties like myself. It was a fascinating conversation to see what’s working for some as opposed to what works for others. Below are some key points that I took away from the chat that anyone can appreciate.

Logistics is a huge barrier to attendance – our job is to make it as easy and welcoming as possible for people to join us

  • Parking, hassle, travel time, dinner, planning with friends. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. (I’m not sure how this can be overwhelming, but for some I guess…)
  • Even with low prices, people are always looking for discounts (a discounted ticket now, could mean a full price ticket later)
  • Most of our starting ticket prices are $10-$25 > The perception is often that it’s higher
  • LIFE stage is a huge factor in attendance. There’s a dip in the 35-45 year old demographic.

We purposely choose diverse artists (gender/race/age/experience) to reflect and attract diverse audiences

One key strategy was to partner with leaders Millennials trust like (beverage brand names and other non-profits)

We do a lot with survey data, learning why people come to our theatre & what they’re looking for out of the experience (Key word = EXPERIENCE)

  • Conduct focus groups and surveys to see how populations match or differ with national research
  • This research then informs artistic content and marketing strategies (smart)

We want them to come early, stick around and grab a drink. We want to be the best place to talk about the show after. (Not the bar down the street)

We do see revenue from social media, but it’s not the same as a 4-star review. And we invest heavily in video, FB ads etc.

  • If we had a marketing staff, we would totally do this. (Then a marketing staff is what you need. They can’t come if they don’t know about it!)

 

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