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Since the theater owners hire the box office staff, it’s difficult for producers to implement cross-promotional initiatives around ticketing. Jujamcyn, Roundabout, and MTC, do a good job of promoting their shows at all of their venues. In fact, Jujamcyn advertises its five productions on its ticket envelope while most other Broadway houses use the standard Telecharge envelope. Roundabout and MTC have posters and flyers for all of their shows at all of their venues. LCT doesn’t cross promote as well as the other nonprofits on Broadway and the Suberts and the Nederlanders don’t brand their shows nearly as well as Jujamcyn. Other theaters should look to their successes.
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I love the idea of applying price discrimination to group sales. It seems that Telecharge no longer lists the discounted price scheme for Broadway shows. Giving group sales agents price flexibility would certainly help increase revenue if the agents are invested in the process. I actually think that your approach to group sales is excellent on the Godspell website. There is rarely an individualistic approach to group sales, differentiating between students, seniors, religious groups, etc. Dynamic pricing has worked for single ticket sales. Agents can sell more effectively by identifying the means of particular segments.
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While it’s true that some shows aren’t relevant to certain segments, I think that we should continue to develop audiences. We have to encourage untraditional audiences to attend live theater so that there are audiences in 30 years. Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk was 96% sold in its first year on Broadway due to intense audience development efforts. The touring production was also extremely successful due to expansive promotional activities. Many other productions have successfully developed untraditional audiences. While it might not make the most financial sense, I think that marketers have a certain responsibility to reach out to these segments.
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This is just like the paperless ticketing bill that made non-transferable paperless tickets illegal. While that bill protects consumers, it places a lot of stress on theater owners and producers. However, this new bill doesn’t even protect consumers. A scalper could simply send additional bodies to purchase tickets. This would be a huge annoyance to me, since I purchase tickets for my family of five. New York should focus efforts on the online scalpers and the seedy men in Times Square, not the box office.
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There are a few factors that get me to make a repeat visit to a show. If I’m obsessed with the show, I’ll go back a few times. I’ll also return if a favorite performer is leaving or someone exciting joins the cast. I bring large groups of friends and family members to a show I’ve already seen at least twice a season, so quality certainly plays a large role in my largest purchase. Lisa V, I agree with your suggestion. I would certainly respond well to an email recommending HURT VILLAGE after I see THE MOUNTAINTOP. Unfortunately, very few companies are willing to recommend productions that they have no financial stake in.
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It would be wonderful if all the unions could get in a room and discuss the workday throughout the production process. I doubt that hours and days per week or breaks were addressed in the October 4th agreement between Actors' Equity Association and the Broadway League, but we’ll see once the agreement is ratified. I believe that the Local 802 strike of 2003 and the Local One strike of 2007 principally addressed minimums in Broadway houses. Perhaps if discussions among the unions were strictly limited to the structure of the workday, and minimums and salaries were avoided, some consensus could be reached. I’m curious as to the extent that certain regulations impede the creative process. Do you know how often are shows shortened to avoid paying overtime for crew or musicians?
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Oct 10, 2011