Tag Archives: Butts in seats

Random audience development for the arts thoughts (and questions)

Today I do not have a guest blogger planned.  I thought I would fill in the gap with a variety of thoughts (and questions) that I have been thinking over the past week (in no particular order).  Let this serve as a summary of blog posts from past and future.

  • Audience development is hard work.  Are we ready to work?
  • Again, audience development is not “butts in seats” !!!  A butt doesn’t enjoy the show, people enjoy the show.
  • A team is needed for audience development.  Can we be team friendly people?
  • Should we appeal to audiences when programming is concerned?  Would we be letting them run our show?  More on this thought later.  This article spurred this thought.
  • We need to go beyond the discounts when it comes to building an audience or we serve to lose our bottom line.
  • Quality needs to be at the forefront for everything we do.
  • Why are board members so scared to ask for money?  They are passionate about their arts organization.  Aren’t they?
  • If I received a penny for “Something for everyone” and other inane marketing blurbs, I’d be rich! Maybe I should start an audience development fund this way?
  • Artists and arts organizations are supposed to be creative, right?
  • Social Media needs to be social.  It’s not termed Marketing Media.
  • If you don’t know your audience, you can’t develop your audience.
  • If you don’t know your audience, you won’t know what types of programs will be appealing and successful.
  • Ask them survey questions beyond the demographic questions.
  • Instead of targeting or segmenting – perhaps reaching out is a better term?
  • Numbers are not people.  You can data mine and analyze away, but this step will not build relationships with living people.
  • If something you are doing is not working, why are you continuing to do it?
  • Why spend money on something that is not working?  Because that’s the way you are supposed to spend your budget?
  • Audience development is a state of mind.  Everyone on your team can be a part of it.  Everywhere you go is an opportunity for it!
  • Learn to be a part of your community.  Use the other C’s to connect, collaborate and care.
  • If you have a big marketing staff, over 2 people, and you are still not getting an audience, either someone is not doing their job, or typical marketing is not working anymore.
  • Run your arts business as a business too.
  • Non-profits can be “profitable.”
  • If a certain business model isn’t working for you, explore a new model.
  • Your audience can be part of your team.
  • Ask your audience, they know what you don’t.
  • Treat your volunteers like royalty.
  • Treat your donors like royalty.
  • Thank your supporters often.
  • Be supportive and respectful of everyone on your team and learn to work together knowing that each part has an important role to play.
  • For gosh sakes, program new stuff too!
  • Be true to yourself and your mission.
  • Brand properly.
  • Be relatable.
  • Engage, but also get your audiences involved! There is a difference.
  • The arts matter, but only if you find out why they matter to your audiences.
  • Your thoughts here!  Feel free to comment below.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

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New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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Audience development diversity, but at what cost?

Let’s pretend it is Welcome Wednesday just for this moment.  Due to my workload, I was not able to post my guest blog that was scheduled.

On Monday I found the following article:

Portland introduces new diversity goals for local arts and culture groups seeking public funds http://bit.ly/zgoefv.

This article has caused a bit of discussion.  Mainly, most of us are in favor of promoting diversity, but forcing diversity in this fashion might be a little too extreme.  My colleague Drew McManus over at his blog Adaptistration found a thoughtful comment on Joe Patti’s Butts in the Seats blog (love the blog, but hate the name).  Mainly Patti declares the need for the guidelines of this program to be more clearly stated, and that simply taking action for more inclusion may not transfer to true inclusion.  I recommend reading his thoughts.

Again, due to being busy this week, I have not been able to put my own thoughts into words, but my friend and colleague, Amy Wratchford did a fantastic job of formatting a very thorough rebuttal.  My thoughts echo this line of thinking.   Please welcome Amy as our guest blogger, and let us know what you think by replying.

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Amywratchford’s blog

Misguided Means to Unintended Ends: Portland’s arts diversification plan

This article came across my Twitter stream this afternoon and immediately piqued my interest.  On the surface, a city like Portland linking funding for arts organizations to racial diversification of their boards, staff, contractors, and eventually audience sounds like an innovative and progressive idea.  Diversification of voices around the table is a good thing and we should all invite a variety of voices to the conversation.  However, linking vital public funding to blanket benchmarks can’t be healthy.  While I understand this policy is still in its infancy and “years from completion,” the information covered in the article is plenty to make me wary.

Here are some of my concerns:

  • Arts organizations, their missions and their audiences, are as diverse as the city itself.  Suggesting that every organization should be striving for the same benchmarks goes against the very reason they are distinct organizations in the first place.
  • What about organizations that are not producing work that speaks to a large and diverse audience?  We, as an industry, have decried funders dictating programming for decades.  Is it OK here because diversity for diversity’s sake is seen as a good end result?  There should be room in a vibrant arts ecosystem for niche companies and each of those will serve a different audience.  You can’t force an audience to be interested in a type of programming and you shouldn’t force an organization serving a distinct audience to turn from its mission in order to secure public funds.
  • Requiring a certain level of spending (30% of their budget is the “ideal” mentioned in the article) on communities of color is misguided.  How would this play out?
    • Do the Mayor and City Commissioners understand that each dollar an arts organization spends is already stretched to the limit and that few companies can simply divert funds in this way?
    • Does this mean a forced quota for staff, artists, and contractors?  What happened to allowing companies to hire the best person for the job, regardless of ethnicity?
    • Throwing marketing money at underserved communities may be the antithesis of actual engagement of these communities
  • Why just enforce ethnic diversity?  I’m willing to bet that there isn’t a direct correlation between the gender split of the staff and boards of Portland’s arts organizations and the population of the city as a whole.  What about gay voices at the table?  The disabled community?  Religious beliefs?  Socio-economic status?  Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes and each organization daily contends with reaching out to those audiences who could be interested in their work.

Instead of making arts organizations jump through ever more hoops to reach benchmarks unrelated to their mission, how about some of these ideas:

  • Rewarding organizations for diving deep into the communities to which a company’s programming speaks?
  • Judge an organization on their dedication to fulfilling their mission and the steps they take to engage and broaden their audience in ways that make sense for them?
  • Celebrate diversity in all its forms within the arts community

I applaud the Portland city leadership for looking for ways to encourage diversity.  I just fear they are heading down a path that will be detrimental for all involved.  As always, I’d love to know what you think.  Please continue this conversation in the comments below. [:O)]

Amy Wratchford is managing director of the American Shakespeare Center.  As the company’s chief administrative and financial officer, Amy oversees finance, marketing, development, and other business management functions for the ASC.  Before joining the ASC, Amy served as managing director of Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta, a theatre dedicated to supporting women artists, forging community partnerships, and developing new work.  Previously, she worked in a number of capacities in theatre in New York City, including producer, director, and actor.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Acting from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and a master’s in fine arts degree in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College.

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Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Join us for our next webinar:
March 16th – Noon ET

Working with Mobile Technology to Develop Your Audience
With the rapid adoption of web-enabled cell phones, smartphones and tablet computers, what options are available to arts professionals who want to engage their audiences via mobile devices? How can artists and organizations implement these options cost effectively without taking focus away from the art?

        

Shoshana Fanizza, Audience Development Specialists
Co-hosted with David Dombrosky, Chief Marketing Officer, InstantEncore
Co-produced with David Weuste, Rosebrook Classical

To Register: Click Here! 

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Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

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New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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#NAMPC National Arts Marketing Project Conference – Winning Audiences – Final Day

After practically no sleep, I was still excited about the last day.  This was the day I was scheduled to present!

8:45 Engaging Audiences through Collaboration and Innovation

I had a great team to work with.  Our moderator was Kory Kelly, Director of Marketing & Communications at Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Also presenting with me were Sam Read, Deputy director of Theatre Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington and Greg Fiedler, President and CEO of the Greater Flint Arts Council in Flint, Michigan.  We decided to tag team our presentations so one would lead into another.

I started off the morning of our Engage Audiences through Collaboration and Innovation with an overall look at the variety of collaborations you can achieve.  Each type of collaboration had a case study story to give an example – the case study pointed out how it engages with your audience.  This presentation was from the view point of one organization working with many other arts and community organizations.  This was a milestone presentation for me too since I vowed to never do another “PowerPoint” presentation ever again.  You can hold me to it!

My audience was a little sleepy during the beginning of my presentation, but I could see them waking up in the middle.  8:45 am?  Much too early, right?

Sam Read took the ball and presented Arts Crush.  This festival is full of creative ideas on how to get the different disciplines of the arts working together and working with the community.  Innovative programming, venues, and audience development can result when a community gets together to co-create an arts festival.  His presentation was exciting and the theme of collaboration and innovation was demonstrated perfectly.  One of my favorite quotes – Move beyond the butt!

Greg Fiedler had a video presentation that spoke about the Parade of Festivals that his Arts Council is responsible for.  The point of the presentation was to not only show how different and interesting festivals can work together to build audience, but also how the arts are changing the perception that surrounds Flint, Michigan.  Unfortunately, almost everyone raised their hands (before the video) when asked if they heard something negative about Flint.  Fortunately, everyone raised their hands when asked if the video gave them a more positive perception of Flint.  The arts are making a difference in Flint, and through collaboration (and innovation), the difference is noticed!

10:45 Closing Plenary with Sam Horn

This was an interesting move since this talk tied together all the elements of the conference – marketing, development, audience development.  We all seemed a bit brain dead and Sam Horn was speaking in codes, or rather acronyms.  The messages of her talk were extremely valuable. Some of her main points are as follows. When relating to people – don’t just tell them what you do – tell them an example of what you are doing.  Tell stories instead of relying completely on facts and figures.  Get them to raise their eyebrows by asking “Did You Know” questions and supply them with some of the most interesting details about your organization.  Lastly, relate your message to who you are speaking to.  Instead of a typical elevator speech that states your mission, which is the same for everyone, first find out who they are and then give them something to relate to about your organization. Even though I was dog tired and ready for lunch, I got the messages and agree wholeheartedly.

My Final Tweets

Lunch

My last little session of hanging with some great people.  A group of us went to hotel sports bar and grill before we left in our cars, taxis and eventually our airplanes toward home.  It was a fantastic ending to the conference – down time with folks that understand you.

Overall Impression

I have to say that all in all, NAMPC was an amazing experience.  The people I met, the presentations, the building of relationships – all factors were well worth it.  I will also say that I am proud of myself for presenting in front of my peers (which can make you a Nervous Nelly).  I am also proud of all of us that attended (well most of us) for leaving our egos at the door and being able to share our good ideas with each other.

I look forward to keeping in touch with the many people I was honored to become associated with during the conference.  If asked again to be a part of this experience, of course, I would say yes!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

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#NAMPC The National Arts Marketing Project Conference – Winning Audiences Day 2

Part 2 of the adventure unfolds!   Yesterday I felt like my head was still at NAMPC while my body was milling around Boulder, CO.  It was a very strange feeling.  This probably can be attributed to not being able to download the entire experience.  I may never be able to do this, but I will attempt to wrap up some of my thoughts and feelings for day 2 of my conference schedule.

Monday

I wanted to mention the breakfast networking opportunity here.  They provided us with a continental breakfast.  It wasn’t bad, but I was severely missing my protein.  However, the chance to have breakfast with a group of people was delightful!  I met some of the best people here.  It was a more relaxed atmosphere since I forced myself to get up to eat at 8AM (I am not a morning person).   Kudos to the conference for supplying these big tables for a more family style network breakfast session.  One of the people I met was Karin Hensley from the National Storytelling Network.  Since my mom is a storyteller, and we had been to the National Storytelling Festival, we had something to talk about!  You never know who you will meet at breakfast.

9:00 – Engage the Crowd to Do Important Things Like Change the World or Meet Your Revenue

This session hosted by Brian Reich was a little bit of a commercial for his upcoming book and for Kickstarter, but many valuable things were said. The main point is that technology has changed the way we function, and there are ways to embrace this new technology to invite our audiences to become more involved.  The perspective is to make sure you tell your story in a way that will spark interest, and to offer incentives that your audiences would enjoy. The funniest comment was, that if your mom doesn’t want to back your project, you are doing something majorly wrong.

Here are my tweets from this session.

10:30 – Winning Audiences on the Go: Maximizing Engagement through Mobile Apps

I really liked this session since David Dombrosky chose a talk show style format where he asked questions he wanted to know and then walked around the audience taking our questions.  The session became a little bit of a 101 since mobile apps are still new to most of us, but I really enjoyed the examples.  The main message was to make sure your website has a mobile version since more people are using their smartphones to access information – this means that you need to style the information down to a mobile format.  If you are squeezing and scrolling, your mobile site is all wrong.  Also, some apps are meant more for branding purposes than for information.  The Royal Opera House chose to do a game app called “The Show Must Go On.”  This app is a little educational to the backstage aspects of putting on a show, but mainly it is for entertainment and to get their brand out.

Here are my tweets from this session.

12:00 Plenary Lunch: Oliver Uberti

For me, this was the most incredible speech of the entire conference.  Oliver Uberti is a remarkable person with an incredible gift.  He is a curious individual that can’t help creating wonderful art, and he is inspired by the world of people around him.  He connects with people to make the impossible, possible.  The main message he gave us is to honor the people that are in your life and connect with them to help each other on your journeys.  He showed us his people connection chart, which completely blew me away that he took the time to figure all of it out.  The arts message was to make sure you can tell your story in as little as one image to bring your stories to life. He gave us several examples of the stories behind the final story photo so we can see that it takes time and effort to come up with excellence.  In his quiet way, he served as an example for all of us to reach for something better.  After his presentation, the room was very quiet for a few moments before the applause started.  It took a little while before someone had the courage to ask a question.  My new friend Greg Fiedler of the Greater Flint Arts Council asked about his spiritual background in order to understand how Oliver became Oliver.   It was the question that was on my mind as well.  How do you become such an amazing human being?

This was a presentation that my phone conked out so no tweets were tweeted.  I was very glad since I was able to absorb this speech the old fashioned way with my full attention.  Every moment was special and worth it!

You can view the presentation here: Livestream/NAMPC.

Before the presentation, I chatted with Bill Nix from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.  Florida was definitely represented at this conference (Minnesota too).  Bill was gracious to tell me about his collaborative projects.  I hope to get more information in the near future since we traded business cards.

1:45 The New Customer Service: Customizing Arts Experiences for Your Audiences

This session had a challenge of rising up after the Uberti presentation.  They did a fairly good job.  Katryn Geane from Jacob’s Pillow Dance really knows how to engage her audience.  It was refreshing to laugh several times during this session.  It was a well put together presentation with a strong message that you need to go the extra mile for your audiences.  To me, this message is a no brainer, but it is a message that constantly needs to be repeated.  Sometimes we tend to get lazy.  With the new technologies of the day, we really don’t have an excuse.

Here are my tweets from this session (a few are about the plenary after my phone recovered).

3:30 One-to-One Coaching Sessions

I was one of the coaches at these sessions, and I was delighted to speak with four people from very different organizations.  Each situation was unique, but the overall impression I wanted each of them to carry away with is: get to know your audiences to lead you to your audience development programs.  It is time to have focus groups again, social opportunities to meet them in person, customer service that follows up with them, branding that will attract them and databases that capture valuable profile information to cater your marketing specifically to them. It is also time to start outreach efforts so you can meet your potential audiences.  The advice for audience relations programs were different for each person who came to see me, but the bottom line messages I just shared were the same.

5:15 Lightening Rounds of Research

I must say that I was completely brain dead after giving my all to my coaching sessions.  I spent about 5 minutes in this presentation, and I realized I had plenty already to think about.  Plus, this session was not particularly engaging since they were mainly spouting off their research numbers.  I left and found someone interesting to talk to, Drew McManus.  Drew was someone I wanted to meet, and this conference made it possible.  We had a pretty in-depth conversation about the orchestra industry.  Finding out that he is from my hometown area, I’m sure I will meet up with him again for many more enlightening discussions.  The conference proved that it really is a small world.  He knew some of the same people even though I moved from the area during the time he moved in.  My roommate’s cousin-in-law happens to work with my sister.  Strange coincidences, but fascinating to feel connected.

There were Dine-Around opportunities, but I opted for a quiet dinner with my roommate.  We were both utterly exhausted.  Watching some television helped me to unwind a bit too.  I couldn’t think another marketing thought if I tried.  Well, at least until I attempted to get some sleep.   Tomorrow morning was my presentation, and it was playing around in my head all night long.

The next blog will be my last day and final impressions.  Stay tuned for the final day!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

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Audience Development, Groupons and other promo platforms: #auddev chat transcript for 7/28 Noon ET

Today we had another installment of #auddev chat on twitter.  We had the pleasure of having Kara Whittington, who is part of the Marketing team at the San Francisco Symphony, as our guest co-host.  Kara manages the discounts, promotions, advertising and sales, and has a great deal of experience with a variety of different online promotions platforms.

We talked about making sure to keep your target audience in mind when choosing a platform, why you would want to choose to do a promotional discount, and how you can stay in control of your offer.  Of course we discussed whether or not audiences came back after these types of offers and steps to take to make sure these efforts are good audience development.  Other considerations were brought up such as complimentary tickets and papering the house options.  All in all, I think you will see that discount promotional platforms can be another tool to use if you learn how to use them in the best way possible for your arts business.

I want to give a big thank you to, Kara, for saving an hour of her time to make this #auddev chat possible!

If you have any questions or comments, you can leave a reply. 

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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#auddev chat, 7/28/11, Noon ET
@AudienceDevSpec Welcome to #auddev chat. We will be speaking with @grizzwhit Kara Whittington. Kara are you there? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:00:29 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96610990879285248 – #42
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@AudienceDevSpec Today’s topic will be Groupons and other discount promotions. Do these really work for audience development or are we losing money? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:01:24 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96611221528264704 – #43
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@AudienceDevSpec Kara are you there? @grizzwhit #auddevThu Jul 28 16:01:53 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96611342022230016 – #44
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec I’m here! #auddevThu Jul 28 16:02:08 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96611403544281088 – #45
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@AudienceDevSpec Excellent! @grizzwhit Why don’t you introduce yourself first. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:02:31 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96611499811942400 – #46
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@grizzwhit I’m currently in marketing for the @SFSymphony and manage discounts, promotions, advertising and sales for the org. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:04:14 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96611933515550721 – #47
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@chrisrusak @grizzwhit And we think you do a fantastic job. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:04:46 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612067464843264 – #48
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@AudienceDevSpec . @grizzwhit You have been using different discount platforms. Right? Which ones? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:04:58 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612116269764608 – #49
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@grizzwhit born and raised in a family of musicians, I had an early start into the world of music arts and culture #auddevThu Jul 28 16:05:11 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612170418225152 – #50
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@AudienceDevSpec .@grizzwhit Do you plan an instrument? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:06:04 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612393123196929 – #51
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@grizzwhit #auddevwe’ve used what feels like dozensThu Jul 28 16:06:12 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612426149142528 – #52
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@AudienceDevSpec Play an instrument. Typing woes. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:06:27 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612491940999168 – #53
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@grizzwhit #auddevgroupon, living social, mamapedia, tabblehopper, gilt, travelzoo,Thu Jul 28 16:07:10 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612671524315136 – #54
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@AudienceDevSpec Wow, I’m not familiar with all of these. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:07:28 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612746472337409 – #55
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@grizzwhit @chrisrusak thanks so much! #auddevThu Jul 28 16:07:34 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612770073673728 – #56
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec I have but not currently- singer, violin, French horn, piano #auddevThu Jul 28 16:08:11 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96612929302048768 – #57
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@AudienceDevSpec . @grizzwhit Another French horn player! Back to topic, which platform do you like the best and why? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:09:00 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96613131740119040 – #58
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@aaronmandersen Audience Dev meetup 1 wk from today in Chicago! http://bit.ly/n44oUJ #theater #theatre #2amt #dance #music #auddev@audiencedevspecThu Jul 28 16:09:56 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96613366637924353 – #59
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@AudienceDevSpec .@grizzwhit So which platform do you like the best and why? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:10:59 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96613631290118144 – #60
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@grizzwhit #auddev@SFSymphony we have over 230 concerts each yearThu Jul 28 16:11:19 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96613715062960128 – #61
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@AudienceDevSpec Right now we are having an #auddev chat. Talking about Groupon and other formats. Questions? Stories? use #auddevhashtag.Thu Jul 28 16:12:31 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96614017262551040 – #62
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@grizzwhit with all promotions, its important i’ve found to manage real expectations. what are you doing this for, and why? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:12:47 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96614084098785280 – #63
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec @annettecoleman can you tell me more about the offer and the results? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:14:01 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96614393814581249 – #64
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@grizzwhit I prefer @Travelzoo for one major reason #auddevThu Jul 28 16:14:40 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96614559699320832 – #65
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@AudienceDevSpec That is a great point. It is good to conceptualize why you are doing a promo. What are the goals? Can you take the hit $wise? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:15:10 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96614684999942144 – #66
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@AudienceDevSpec Travelzoo. How does Travelzoo work? @grizzwhit Is it similar to Groupon? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:16:01 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96614897835716608 – #67
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@grizzwhit #auddevtravelzoo sends people to your own website to book- this means you easily retain the new information of those purchasing…Thu Jul 28 16:16:16 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96614962667065344 – #68
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@AudienceDevSpec That is fantastic! @grizzwhit #auddev. The main gripe I have against some of these promos is not being able to retain patron info.Thu Jul 28 16:16:55 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615123090817026 – #69
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@grizzwhit #auddevwe’ve found that these people continue to buy tickets, and 2% even have purchased subscriptions!Thu Jul 28 16:17:00 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615143940689921 – #70
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@AudienceDevSpec Do any of them complain about the higher prices after the promo? @grizzwhit #auddevThu Jul 28 16:17:38 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615304104378368 – #71
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@grizzwhit So this is totally different than other sites like Groupon. However, if you are a nimble small org, u can work around this to get… #auddevThu Jul 28 16:18:18 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615474120491008 – #72
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@grizzwhit …the patron data and begin tracking the success of these #auddevcampaigns. because truly that is what these are. they’re lead generatorsThu Jul 28 16:18:49 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615601182744576 – #73
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@AudienceDevSpec The other reason Groupon seems not the way to go, especially for non-profs is that you only end up with 25%. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:18:57 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615637203419138 – #74
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@grizzwhit p.s. advance apologies to my followers- the next hour I’m on a fund #auddevaudience development chat. Lots of tweeting!Thu Jul 28 16:19:19 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615727422910464 – #75
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@grizzwhit we haven’t experienced complaints about prices after the promo. their first exp is w/ a discount, but they experience great product #auddevThu Jul 28 16:20:02 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96615907773792256 – #76
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@AudienceDevSpec My local contemp museum is using Groupon for their memberships. The membership is $75, Groupon is $35, they get $17.50? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:20:24 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616003659776000 – #77
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@grizzwhit and then see the value and return. #auddevBut we try to keep price point low- tickets start at $15 for most concerts @sfsymphonyThu Jul 28 16:20:32 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616037147095040 – #78
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@AudienceDevSpec That is another good point. For people starting out with discounts, make sure they know ticket price ranges for normal purchase. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:21:39 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616317339172864 – #80
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@grizzwhit A good point. Be sure to negotiate as much as possible. You can sometimes negotiate better with these rev share models. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:21:44 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616335634735105 – #81
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@AudienceDevSpec Yes, you can create your own promos without these sites. @edithwarhol #auddevThu Jul 28 16:22:41 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616574605213696 – #82
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@grizzwhit @thechicagored Yes we’re on tessitura #auddevThu Jul 28 16:22:44 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616590287716352 – #83
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@AudienceDevSpec I was wondering what price points these patrons purchase at after the great deal? @grizzwhit #auddevThu Jul 28 16:23:39 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616818541740032 – #84
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec Yes- but look at it as a risk worth taking if you want new ppl, or you want to spread awareness about your brand #auddevThu Jul 28 16:23:53 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96616877014528000 – #85
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@grizzwhit These sites can also be a helpful brand awareness tool. For instance, we setup a promo with LivingSocial Escapes-with only 20 tix… #auddevThu Jul 28 16:24:37 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617062344044544 – #86
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@AudienceDevSpec The premise is to get your foot in the door, but it will only work if can convert to a regular buyer. @maricarjagger #auddevThu Jul 28 16:24:45 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617097114824704 – #87
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@grizzwhit … that included a night’s stay at a local upscale hotel, plus breakfast and drink voucher at concert. #auddevit helped us get…Thu Jul 28 16:25:14 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617217931747331 – #88
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@grizzwhit ..our message out to a larger audience, even though we limited the number of packages people could purchase. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:25:36 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617309942185984 – #89
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit That is true. My advice would be – make sure you can write off initial loss. For smaller non-profs might be a problem. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:25:57 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617396642643968 – #90
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@AudienceDevSpec That is a great idea. Limit number of tix, but it still goes to a larger group base. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:27:00 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617662184046592 – #91
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@triadstage @grizzwhit Wow, that’s awesome. Those have been our main worries. Along with what our subscribers will think. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:27:03 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617673374449664 – #92
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@grizzwhit @AnnetteColeman @AudienceDevSpec #auddevI’d suggest its best to use images that will encourage purchases.Thu Jul 28 16:27:06 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617688910143488 – #93
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@grizzwhit @AnnetteColeman @AudienceDevSpec More importantly, its misleading if ppl can’t purchase your art at discount they’re promoting #auddevThu Jul 28 16:27:30 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617788826861569 – #94
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit Can you share another platform you have had success with? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:27:48 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96617863485468674 – #95
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@grizzwhit definitely. #auddevif you have inventory, test it with these sites to see what return you can get. if it goes unsold, that’s a loss too!Thu Jul 28 16:28:22 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618005903048704 – #96
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@AudienceDevSpec Please do use the #auddevhashtag to share with everyone. :O)Thu Jul 28 16:28:50 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618124723503105 – #97
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@triadstage @audiencedevspec The initial loss is what prevents us from doing it for our Cabaret space…only $18 tix in a 90 seat space #auddevThu Jul 28 16:29:17 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618236111622144 – #98
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@grizzwhit another platform we used last year was Mamapedia- which was as you might guess, for moms! #auddevThu Jul 28 16:29:34 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618308920541184 – #99
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@AudienceDevSpec @AnnetteColeman must have popped off of Twitter. I’m not sure it was her artwork. Good point. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:29:37 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618320740098048 – #100
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@grizzwhit @triadstage I’ve found most reasonable subscriber audiences will understand an orgs need to get new customers #auddevThu Jul 28 16:30:24 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618518111461376 – #101
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@AudienceDevSpec @triadstage I have often wondered if the “Free” approach would be better than a promo is some cases. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:30:39 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618579750957056 – #102
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@AudienceDevSpec Finding targeted promo options is a great idea. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:31:37 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618824027222019 – #103
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@grizzwhit We had 3 new concerts, that were not an easy message to convey, so we used Mamapedia and sold out. Huge success #auddevThu Jul 28 16:31:48 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618871276044288 – #104
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit What were the concerts? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:32:06 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618948040200192 – #105
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@grizzwhit We would not have otherwise sold those concerts to capacity, without leveraging a new audience through mamapedia #auddevThu Jul 28 16:32:18 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96618996249534464 – #106
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@grizzwhit so my lesson there is that where/when you have opportunity, see how these would work to your orgs benefit #auddevThu Jul 28 16:32:42 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619097936244736 – #107
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@AudienceDevSpec I think if you have empty seats to sell, why not go for a promo, but be sure to have a follow up strategy. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:32:57 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619159131131904 – #108
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@triadstage @audiencedevspec Exactly! If you’re not getting more than a few $ then just do a special free house and get new aud that way. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:33:09 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619209311797249 – #109
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@AnnetteColeman Sorry took a call. It was my art advertising a discount amount that they could purchase from the gallery-didn’t say purchase my art #auddevThu Jul 28 16:33:12 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619220867092480 – #110
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec the concerts were holiday-ish, right before christmas. some orchestra and chorus members. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:33:30 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619298876956672 – #111
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit Fun concerts. I can see why they sold. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:33:55 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619405030592512 – #112
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@SkyArtsMgmt These Group stats are interesting, altho non-arts specific. http://t.co/1CZ7UBN #auddevThu Jul 28 16:34:07 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619452992454656 – #113
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@grizzwhit We also use goldstar- when we give tickets at will call, we have a “sign up for our e-club list” invite in the tix envelope #auddevThu Jul 28 16:34:20 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619509389070337 – #114
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@AudienceDevSpec @AnnetteColeman That could actually work against the gallery & maybe you if someone really wanted to purchase your art after seeing. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:34:43 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619603194675200 – #115
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@triadstage @grizzwhit I would hope so! But we’ve had enough ppl comment on other orgs use of them that it makes us hesitant. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:34:43 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619605887422464 – #116
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@grizzwhit take in those discount seekers, and use your own online channels to reach them moving forward #auddevThu Jul 28 16:34:47 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619622673022976 – #117
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit I like the fact that Goldstar is event specific too. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:35:15 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619737374654466 – #118
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@grizzwhit @triadstage that’s understandable. have you used any yet? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:35:21 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619763173818368 – #119
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@AudienceDevSpec @triadstage The one good thing about using the promo service is extra awareness through this marketing avenue. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:36:04 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619945269530624 – #120
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@grizzwhit #auddevits easy to make your groupon offers concert specific. you can be as broad or specific as you’d like- its your offer 🙂Thu Jul 28 16:36:08 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96619961564405760 – #121
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit Have there been any platforms that did not work for you? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:36:34 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620070545002496 – #122
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@triadstage @grizzwhit Not yet! We closed out our season very well (yay!). We start back up in Sept so we’ll see then. I’m still so skeptical #auddevThu Jul 28 16:36:41 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620098021896193 – #123
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec truthfully, the groupon, living social, etc are effective but they put a big strain on will call and the box office #auddevThu Jul 28 16:37:17 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620251487281152 – #124
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit I can see that! #auddevThu Jul 28 16:37:40 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620346584739840 – #125
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@SkyArtsMgmt Also some potential exclusivity and offer timing issues with Groupon pointed out in @frogloops article in addition to stats. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:37:40 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620346861555712 – #126
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@grizzwhit So we are using these sparingly- which keeps the value high for the majority of our product imho #auddevThu Jul 28 16:37:51 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620393573531648 – #127
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@AudienceDevSpec We are finding out that one size promo platform does not fit all, and make sure to tweak to fit your needs. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:38:32 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620567117041665 – #128
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@grizzwhit if a concert isn’t selling, its not always the case that a deep discount will help it. its always a risk #auddevThu Jul 28 16:39:06 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620706464407552 – #129
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@triadstage @grizzwhit We’re in such a small market and our prices are so low (comparatively) that it’s really hard for me to make that jump #auddevThu Jul 28 16:39:19 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620763163009024 – #130
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@SkyArtsMgmt Has anyone tried the org. Houseseats? Used to paper a thin house, potential audience pays subscription to receive notice of comps. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:39:24 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620781655703552 – #131
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@AudienceDevSpec @triadstage What is your normal pricing? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:39:35 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620829814697984 – #132
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@grizzwhit @SkyArtsMgmt @frogloops thats a good point. #auddevthey want exclusive deals. now i find they ask for even more within pkg.Thu Jul 28 16:39:55 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96620913549783040 – #133
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@grizzwhit @SkyArtsMgmt @frogloops most orgs dont have bandwidth to create these special packages. i usually roll my eyes when they ask #auddevThu Jul 28 16:40:28 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621050699329538 – #134
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@AudienceDevSpec @SkyArtsMgmt I have to say I do not like the “Paper the house” mentality since it is more along the lines of “butts in seats.” #auddevThu Jul 28 16:40:39 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621097058967553 – #135
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@grizzwhit @SkyArtsMgmt interesting. no I haven’t used it. if we paper, we give to ppl we know directly. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:40:58 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621178034196480 – #136
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@grizzwhit @triadstage that makes sense. i’d probably do the same thing #auddevThu Jul 28 16:41:17 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621258699051008 – #137
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@AudienceDevSpec Yes! RT @grizzwhit: @SkyArtsMgmt interesting. no I haven’t used it. if we paper, we give to ppl we know directly. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:41:18 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621262037716992 – #138
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@AudienceDevSpec You might as well use your comps for special gifts to people you know or want to get more acquainted with. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:41:45 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621373543297024 – #139
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@triadstage Apologize for the Twitter spam guys, great convo going on at #auddevabout Groupon/Living Social etc and the Arts. Come join us!Thu Jul 28 16:41:55 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621417604456448 – #140
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@grizzwhit there are definitely times when you need a good house, & paper the house. same reason that we’re mission driven, not market driven #auddevThu Jul 28 16:42:22 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621528854179840 – #141
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@AudienceDevSpec Or, use comps for another non-profit org and be able to say you donated tickets to the underserved. Good for publicity and grants. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:42:29 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621558155579392 – #142
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@grizzwhit community groups, students, under served ppl in your community- great papering sources. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:43:14 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621749277437953 – #143
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@AudienceDevSpec @triadstage That is a lower price point range. I can see why 25% may not be the best thing for you. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:43:26 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621800112394241 – #144
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@SkyArtsMgmt Not fond of papering either. If giving to own customers, u are reaching the converted. W Houseseats, move beyond your own contact. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:44:13 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96621997286621184 – #145
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@AudienceDevSpec Although, you could look at the $ as an advertising cost. A promo of this nature might work better than an ad. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:44:25 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622045697290240 – #146
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@AudienceDevSpec @SkyArtsMgmt Unless you offer people to use as gifts to others that haven’t come before. Now that is #auddev!Thu Jul 28 16:44:58 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622183429836800 – #147
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@triadstage @audiencedevspec That’s why we’re torn. Would love to get brand new faces, but we’d only be receiving a few dollars per ticket. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:45:11 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622238501048320 – #148
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@AudienceDevSpec @triadstage Maybe the simple 2 for 1 would be better. You’d be getting 50% and still get new faces. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:45:50 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622400485076993 – #149
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@grizzwhit Recently we had 4 concerts that weren’t selling… we used our own email list (ppl in our “eclub” 4 discounts) promo 2 tix for $20 #auddevThu Jul 28 16:45:58 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622436786765824 – #150
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@SkyArtsMgmt Reaching underserved can be problematic. Takes lead time. Toronto audience have low book-ahead ratio and subscriptions declining #auddevThu Jul 28 16:46:20 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622527018844160 – #151
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@grizzwhit We thought we’d have to use groupon to sell the rest of the seats, but we sold out using our own internal list of emails… #auddevThu Jul 28 16:46:30 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622569284833280 – #152
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@grizzwhit …of ppl who self identified as wanting to get discount offers from us. hugely successful. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:46:51 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622658963243008 – #153
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@AudienceDevSpec MT @parkcofield: Mixed results w/ daily deals. Doesn’t work for us on ind tkts, but great when we offer a discounted membership. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:46:54 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622671336452100 – #154
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@grizzwhit so you can use the model of groupon, but not the rev share if you build a list of ppl that want discounts from you. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:47:15 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622760196968448 – #155
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@AudienceDevSpec @parkcofield How much of a discount was it for the membership? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:47:16 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622762864553984 – #156
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@SkyArtsMgmt Yes, that is a good idea! #auddevThu Jul 28 16:47:31 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622824579547136 – #157
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@grizzwhit @SkyArtsMgmt definitely. so make connections before you need to activate them #auddevThu Jul 28 16:47:42 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622871543156738 – #158
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@grizzwhit @triadstage @audiencedevspec yes- its an advertising cost #auddevThu Jul 28 16:48:09 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96622983778537472 – #159
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@triadstage @skyartsmgmt I think that’s everywhere. These days planning ahead is 24 hrs, 48 if you’re lucky. Planning a year is just unheard of #auddevThu Jul 28 16:48:40 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623117027385344 – #160
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@grizzwhit @parkcofield @AudienceDevSpec interesting. whats the price point difference or offering? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:48:43 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623128993738752 – #161
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit @triadstage This means that on the books, the loss of money is the cost of the advertising? Want to be clear for all. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:49:46 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623393876619264 – #162
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@SkyArtsMgmt I have reluctance to offer last-minute discounts to core audience. We have trained them to wait for discounts. I offer early bird. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:49:48 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623398486155264 – #163
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@AudienceDevSpec @SkyArtsMgmt Major debate with this. Core aud. which buys early might not mind paying full price. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:50:42 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623627209932800 – #164
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec @triadstage could be if you need to show the loss #auddev but i’d suggest otherwise- not a loss. lead gen… #auddevThu Jul 28 16:51:03 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623713172209664 – #165
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec @triadstage send those leads to telemarketing next! #auddevor send follow up offer to get them to come backThu Jul 28 16:51:29 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623823184605185 – #166
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit How do you post this $ on the books since it doesn’t really “cost” to use the service. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:51:44 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623888724787200 – #167
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@SkyArtsMgmt @grizzwhit Even with excellent existing connections, response is too slow to be practical. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:51:52 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623920349847552 – #168
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@grizzwhit @SkyArtsMgmt love that. #auddevis about training as well, so thats hugely important.Thu Jul 28 16:51:56 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96623937236119552 – #169
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@grizzwhit @SkyArtsMgmt and in papering, 50% of folks are no shows. thats a waste. use groupon model to get some rev, commitment to show up #auddevThu Jul 28 16:52:55 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624185387909120 – #170
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@AudienceDevSpec @SkyArtsMgmt Low book-ahead and subs declining is happening almost everywhere. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:52:58 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624199115878400 – #171
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@SkyArtsMgmt True, but it is rewarding loyalty. And many miss the discount anyway. Plus it helps predict which performances will be popular #auddevThu Jul 28 16:53:16 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624274474934272 – #172
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@grizzwhit it amazes me sometimes how getting someone to pay something (anything) they are more likely to show than if comp’d #auddevThu Jul 28 16:53:27 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624319492390912 – #173
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@triadstage @audiencedevspec That’s what we’ve seen it as…hence the reasons for being skeptical…i don’t have many ad $$ to start with! #auddevThu Jul 28 16:54:24 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624558332841984 – #174
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@AudienceDevSpec @SkyArtsMgmt There might be non-monetary ways to reward loyalty too. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:54:30 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624583284764672 – #175
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@SkyArtsMgmt @grizzwhit Houseseats org removes no-shows from their mailing list. Maybe not an either/or. Could be used with Groupon. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:54:40 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624626981019648 – #176
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@grizzwhit are there any other #auddevquestions? this has been a lot of fun, but I have to run for a call at the top of the hour.Thu Jul 28 16:54:48 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624660199899136 – #177
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@AudienceDevSpec I’m almost wanting to have people have the discount early, but then giving people the option to buy at full price to support org. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:55:13 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624762784198658 – #178
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@grizzwhit @edithwarhol @triadstage excellent. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:55:44 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96624895496163328 – #179
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@AudienceDevSpec @triadstage Perhaps try the promo w/ the loss that is similar amount to ad space and don’t purchase an ad – see what happens. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:56:34 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625103135186944 – #180
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@AudienceDevSpec @triadstage That is if the ad isn’t working that well to begin with. If ad working, then don’t bother and stick with ad. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:56:56 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625194529071104 – #181
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@AudienceDevSpec @grizzwhit We have 3 min. Do you want to say some final words? #auddevThu Jul 28 16:57:35 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625360623505408 – #182
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@SkyArtsMgmt I have found early bird discount can lead to one or more early sell-outs, leading to great buzz. Works well with min. 2 week runs. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:57:46 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625406693744640 – #183
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@SkyArtsMgmt @AudienceDevSpec How about early bird discount with a top up donation. Customer gets tax receipt for difference. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:59:33 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625855509442560 – #184
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@AudienceDevSpec We have learned that you need to consider the target aud, the costs, the gains and losses when using a promo platform. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:59:52 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625934324604928 – #185
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@triadstage @audiencedevspec Exactly 🙂 We’re doing fine without the extreme discounts. I’m fascinated by the whole concept. #auddevThu Jul 28 16:59:54 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625943975702528 – #186
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@grizzwhit @AudienceDevSpec thank you for the opp to have this #auddevchat! its been fun and i’m open if others who didn’t join real time to msg meThu Jul 28 17:00:06 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625992449273856 – #187
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@SkyArtsMgmt @AudienceDevSpec Never tried that strategy — could be interesting. #auddevThu Jul 28 17:00:06 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96625991639773184 – #188
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@AudienceDevSpec You can make the promo work for you by negotiating, limiting amounts, etc. #auddevThu Jul 28 17:00:18 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96626044773203969 – #189
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@grizzwhit target your audience, use discounts when you have an opportunity, and test various to see what works best for your org #auddevThu Jul 28 17:00:36 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96626117435330560 – #190
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@AudienceDevSpec Always have a way to capture patron data and to follow up, otherwise the promo will not be an #auddeveffort.Thu Jul 28 17:00:45 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96626154496208896 – #191
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@grizzwhit don’t be afraid- its ok to start small. #auddevis about trying new things after all, isnt it?Thu Jul 28 17:00:56 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96626200864239616 – #192
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@AudienceDevSpec Yes #auddev is about trying new things. Think about what is not working and shift that money to #auddevefforts to try.Thu Jul 28 17:01:48 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96626421543346176 – #193
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@AudienceDevSpec You have just witnessed another fun and informative #auddevchat. I hope you can join us next time. I also need guest hosts. Contact me!Thu Jul 28 17:03:02 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96626729082290176 – #194
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@AudienceDevSpec Thank you to: @triadstage @SkyArtsMgmt @parkcofield @maricarjagger @edithwarhol @AnnetteColeman for participating! #auddevThu Jul 28 17:03:46 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96626915426836480 – #195
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@AudienceDevSpec If you missed out on #auddev chat, I will be posting the transcript on my blog later today.

Thu Jul 28 17:04:13 +0000 2011 – tweet id 96627028924710912 – #196
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Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Audience development and educational outreach programs

So, there seems to be a new discussion as of late to continue the debate about whether or not educational outreach programs are worth the time and effort for audience development purposes.  I used to say hands down that they are, but now I am slowly leaning towards saying maybe they are not worth it, that is if they are not really audience development programs.

I have made a major discovery.  If audience development is about building relationships with your audience, are you building relationships with the children of your community through your educational outreach programs?  Mainly most educational outreach programs are “tastes” of the art, a little here and a little there to expose children to an art form.  Now on one level, yes it is beneficial for the children, especially when added to a creative thinking lesson plan, but this type of marketing exposure is not going to translate into a slew of future patrons or “butts in seats.”  There is a lack of follow through in this equation.

Now, true audience development is not butts in seats, but rather people in seats.  The only way to obtain more people in seats that continue to come back time and again is to build relationships with them in one way or another.

Let’s put these two concepts together now.  If audience development, true audience development, is about building relationships, the only way an educational outreach program would be successful in the future is if you add an element of building relationships with the children of your community.  This means that you start to have conversations with them and get to know them as people.  You will then be able to discover who the real arts lovers are.  My 1st grade music teacher was a natural at this.  She would notice when her kids were interested, and she developed a relationship with these kids (myself included).  I was nurtured from that day forward for my love of the arts, and yes, I do buy tickets to a variety of arts offerings throughout the year.

In summary, educational outreach programs can be effective for both arts education and for the future of the arts, but only if they are initiated with a true audience development spirit – with the goal and the care to get to know the children of your community and to nurture them when they show a bigger interest in the arts.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”

~James Stewart

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Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Audience development and pricing

I have been seeing a great deal of discussion on pricing in terms of outreaching to build an audience.  Dynamic pricing has been discussed (think airline pricing with prices being lower with earlier purchase).  Also, Groupons or Living Social, or coupon sales have been discussed.  Both options can build “butts in seats,” but do they build “people in seats” or a loyal audience for your art/organization?  Maybe, maybe not.

I’ve decided to play devil’s advocate in this blog to see the other viewpoint of this conversation:

Here’s the “deal!” Lowering price is  a technique to get people interested.  It is an incentive for them to purchase, perfect for people on the fence since it nudges them to the side of buying.  However, these discounts can give the wrong message to your potential audience.

  1. It can send a message that you are not worth more than these discounted prices.  Your audience might get used to these pricing points.  In attempts to raise the price to more normal levels, you might not see a “return” on your discount investment.  This factor could be accommodated by only having these special deals at rare occasions, but these audience members may become savvy and wait until the sale happens instead. In this case, you may see a return, but at the continued discount prices.  It’s definitely a gamble.  Can you ultimately afford this?
  2. If there is no follow up involved, there is no guarantee that these deal buyers will turn into loyal audience members. Using discount methods may get people in the door, but it does not guarantee them coming back.
  3. Deep discounts could send the wrong message that you can afford selling at these prices.  I understand that there could be an argument that you can’t afford not to sell at these prices to get “butts in seats” with the potential to convert, but I guess it all depends on your bottom line.  In my opinion, there are ways to sell the value of your art/organization without deep discounts.  If people see the value, they will purchase at a regular price.  I can’t be the only one willing to go out of my way or purchase at a higher price if the quality and value are there.  If you really want something, you will pay the price.  Maybe we need to focus on people wanting the arts experience more instead of pricing less.
  4. Discounted prices can be a signal that you may not need extra support.  As I mentioned in a conversation, one of my patrons asked about our discounted subscription: “Why are you discounting? Don’t you need the money?”  Discounts can cause this confusion. Plus, people view their ticket purchase as a means to supporting the art/organization.  If you ask for a donation on top of this discounted amount to supplement, they may simply say they already purchased tickets.  You will then be out the difference of the discounted price vs. regular price, and out the donation amount since the perception has now shifted.In more consideration to these conversations, perhaps adding the choice of not discounting and paying regular price could give loyal patrons the opportunity to be  loyal, which will give you the option of being open and honest in communicating that you need the continued support.
  5. Groupon and Living Social may be popular methods, but as a nonprofit arts manager, I would look for other ways to get the word out about discounts so you don’t have to split your revenue.  Getting less than 50% of the value of a ticket doesn’t sit well with me or with most nonprofit budgets.  With ticket purchases averaging only 30-40% of  income, can you really afford to give so much away?  Shouldn’t you be figuring out ways to increase this percentage instead of lowering it?  Unless the shear volume of purchase compensates for the lowered revenue, I would look into other avenues that may cost considerably less.  Of course you need to look into the quantity vs. quality issue too.  More purchases may not equal a quality audience.

I understand the need to get people in the door, but I also see that starting people off with a discount may be setting ourselves up for some rude awakenings.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons that building loyalty has been tricky.  I guess it can be a means of sifting out who will become more loyal patrons and who are simply there for the discount if follow up occurs, but it can also mean that you are sending out the message that the arts are not worth more than a vastly discounted price, lowering the value of the arts along with continued lowered monetary support.

The only way discounts first as a method can work in the long run  is if you can convert these discount buyers to see the full value of your art.  If they see the value, then maybe they will be willing to pay full price in the future.  Are we implementing programs to make sure this conversion happens?

However, on a further limb,  discount pricing to build an audience, in my opinion, should be used more as a last resort and not as a first resort.  I tend to discount towards the end if seats still need to be sold. The audience that is loyal will purchase at the regular price.  The audience that sees the value will too.  The audience that is on the fence will buy based on the later discount.  You might be shooting yourselves in the foot if the discount is sooner rather than later.  The loyals may purchase at the discounted price since they tend to purchase sooner than later, costing you the difference.

In some ways, inviting them for free may be better since they will know that this won’t last and regular pricing is going to happen.

Lastly, without audience development, nothing will be developed except lowered value in the end.  Have you honestly tried audience development?  I know when I switched to audience development and fair valued pricing, I found myself with a bigger and better (quality) audience.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza
Audience Development Specialists
http://www.buildmyaudience.com
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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

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Filed under arts advocacy, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development