Driving Ancillary Revenue in Arts Management. Get Your 20%!

Beyond increasing ticket sales, your role as a leader in arts management probably includes driving revenue from event-related products and services. As shown below, if you are a theatre organization, for example, you should be getting at least 20% of your total event revenue from ancillary products and services. In additions, for nonprofit organizations, there may be event-related donations and sponsorships.

Driving ancillary revenue is one of several components that drive overall event value.

Event Products and Services

Arts management leaders realize that event-specific product and service revenue typically will come from the following areas:

  • concessions
  • merchandise
  • ticket handling fees
  • coat check and parking fees
  • program or other advertising

Generally, approximately 20% of total event specific revenue comes from products and services.

Non-Event Products and Services

Besides the event-specific products and services, there are other products and services that can drive revenue that are not related to a specific event. For example, if you own your venue, renting it out is a common tactic. We have also seen great success in providing workshops or education to children. Parents tend to be eager to sign their children up for one-week workshops at a cost of $200-$400. Workshops can be in the area of acting, general performing, comedy, public speaking or anything else your organization has the capability to deliver.

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Corporate speaking engagements or corporate workshops have also been used successfully by community theaters were performance education organizations. Corporations are eager to bring in the dimension of performing arts management to their organizations.

Donors and Sponsors

Of the total revenue for nonprofit theaters, 40% is from contributed income (donors and sponsors) rather than earned income (ticket revenue). While most donations will not be specific to a show, more and more community theaters or other nonprofit organizations are collecting donations at the time that tickets are sold.

Similarly, both for-profit and nonprofit arts management executives are making more use of sponsorship opportunities. Sponsoring companies realize that audience members are typically higher income with discretionary spending. They also realize that associating the company name with high quality theaters and specific shows contribute to their brand.