Sunday, April 15, 2012

Five Ways for Broadway Producers to Encourage More Full-Price Tickets Sales

A display of the prices for full-price tickets at 'Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark'
(photo: atu2com/flickr)
Producer Ken Davenport published a post last month about how producers could encourage full-price ticket sales. As an annual traveler to New York City to see as many Broadway shows as humanly possible in a one-week vacation, I'm going to weigh in and indicate if these points would make a show that more attractive for me to purchase a full-price ticket in lieu of looking (or waiting) for discounted seats.

Click HERE to read the complete post Davenport on his "The Producer's Perspective" blog.

Way #1: Make Better Shows
Unfortunately there are well-reviewed shows that fail to reach an audience. For myself even if show is deemed 'great' but not a sell-out I'm likely not to pay full-price and search for discounts. I often think I do this to avoid that odd feeling of thinking I paid full-price while everyone else seated around me paid something far less for their ticket.

Way #2: Give Them An Exchange Courtesy
This would like be more of an attraction for those living in or near New York City. For visitors like myself my time is limited to the days I will be in the city. I'm a binge theatergoer and my other nights would already be booked and an exchange impossible. But I could use this benefit while I'm planning a trip. I've sometimes booked a show for one night and find out I'd like to switch nights with another show.

Way #3: Give Them Something They Can't Buy
When I had the chance to purchase a ticket to take a backstage tour of the 'Sunset Boulevard' set on Broadway (for a Broadway Cares benefit), I knew it was an experience I would want to repeat again some day. Hey if I could purchase a ticket to stand on the balcony of 'Evita' on Broadway and get a photograph of the experience, I would even pay a premium price. Davenport mentions talkbacks and this would be attractive to pay for a full-price ticket but it would depend on who from the show is participating. As for front row access at the stage door: absolutely if it includes autographs and photo ops.

Way #4: Give Them Something They Can Buy
This is something I feel should have been included with "premium ticket" purchases. Since some people may have already purchased a CD recording of the show before seeing it, the souvenir program would be preferable. I'd likely pass on the drink or t-shirt.

Way #5: No Service Fees
Hallelujah. Sounds like a deal to me. I purchase all my tickets online before heading to New York and those fees add up quickly especially after purchasing tickets to ten to twelve Broadway plays and musicals.

I think no one intentionally tries to make a bad show so let's see if any producer offers up "Way #2-#5" as a ticket sales experiment. By the way I'll be planning my 2012 summer trip to New York soon and I'll likely write about my ticket buying experience for the shows I plan to see.

Ken Davenport is a producer of the revival of 'Godspell' now playing at the Circle in the Square. His other Broadway producing credits include 'Chinglish,' 'Oleanna,' 'Speed-the-Plow' and 'You're Welcome America' starring Will Ferrell.


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