3 Stellar Strategies for Boosting Your Performing Arts Organization’s Ticket Sales

Is your ticket sales strategy feeling stale? Perhaps it’s no longer measuring up to the needs of your performing arts organization? We know it’s not easy; it really does take a lot of hard work, strategic planning and perseverance to create a manageable and effective ticket sales strategy for your performing arts organization.Lucky for you, we have 3 ticket selling strategies for performing arts groups to help boost sales!

CC Image by Christian Heilmann
CC Image by Christian Heilmann

Pre-Sale Promotions

This is a great marketing strategy for encouraging early sales and spreading the word about your upcoming event. By offering lower prices for pre-sale purchasers you are actually killing two (proverbially) birds with one stone:

1)   Consumers love deals. Deals make them feel like they are a clever and savvy buyer, which in turn makes them want to spread the word about your promotion.

2)   You have guaranteed ticket revenue and are better equipped to make an accurate estimation of total ticket revenue and the actual number of event attendees.

But pre-sale promotions also need to be actively promoted by your organization. Try one, a combination, or ALL of these tips to make your pre-sale promotion a success:

  • Reach out through social media. If your organization is active on social media (and we really do hope it is!) you will be able to reach a large number of people without exerting too much effort. (This also makes your pre-sale promotions infinitely easier for your fans to share with their own personal connections.)
  • Host a smaller “pre-event” event. This will give your organization a chance to attract and entice fans by giving them a glimpse of the actual event. The “pre-event” could be a small party, a special “meet and greet” with a visiting artist, or even a Q&A with your cast. Be creative to stand out!
  • Stay in touch. Be sure to follow up with your followers and fans and continue to encourage their participation in your pre-sale promotion. This can be done through social media, email or even print media.

Promotion Through Social Media

As previously mentioned, promotion through social media is a great idea if your organization is already active and has a supportive online community of followers. We like this method because you can easily reach a large number of people with minimal effort.

One thing to remember though about promotion through social media is that you’re approaching your potential buyer at an earlier point in the purchasing process than through traditional methods of engagement. This is a great thing, but also means that your strategy needs to be a little different.

CC Image by mkhmarketing
CC Image by mkhmarketing

The Creative Complex sums up the Social Media Sales Funnel in the following order:

1)   Expose the event.

2)   Influence your prospective buyer.

3)   Engage the prospective buyer.

4)   Make the sale.

Social media leads are essentially “soft” leads – they need to be nurtured and engaged over time so be sure to allot for these extra steps and avoid going for the direct sale right from the get go.

Also, don’t forget to make it as easy as possible for your “soft” lead to convert to a “hot” lead. Here are a few ways that this can be accomplished:

  • Offer a “Remind Me Later.” Your prospective buyer might think that your even looks interesting and want to purchase tickets, but also feel that it’s a little too far away to make a commitment and avoid purchase. This is where a “Remind Me Later” option is great – offer interested parties a chance to submit their email address for future communication from you to remind them about the event closer to the actual event date.
  • Let the “Buy Now” Button Take Center Stage. Make it easy for your potential buyers to purchase tickets! This sounds like common sense but it is so incredibly important and an often-overlooked aspect of social media sales promotion. Do not make your soft leads search for the “Buy Now” button – provide direct links that purchasing tickets is a straightforward and simple task.

Group Ticket Sales

Group sales offer another valuable avenue for boosting ticket sales. They can make a house look fuller, they offer the opportunity to expose new people to your events (which in turn acts as a lead generator for your future events) and they have the ability to quickly drive ticket revenue.

CC Image by Frank M. Rafik
CC Image by Frank M. Rafik

In general, group sales are considered to be a ticket sale to a group of 20 or more. These groups may or may not have attended your events before, but their primary motivator for attending is to spend a fun night out with their friends and enjoy an activity together. While this may be the main motivator for their attendance, do not ignore the probability that you will likely convert individual attendees within the group to regular on-going attendees, or maybe even the whole group!

In a recent interview with Bill Sutton, Murray Cohn, VP of Team Ticket Sales with NBA’s Team Marketing and Business Operations Department, provided a valuable reminder for the importance and value of group ticket sales:

“Group sales are not about selling cheap, discounted tickets. It is the most stable ticket sales channel to drive revenue and tickets regardless of team performance.”

While Cohn was specifically referring to NBA ticket sales, this advice also holds true for performing arts organizations.

Have you tried any of these ticket sales strategies before, or do you have a stellar strategy of your own? Let us know all about it in the comments below!



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