Stop Selling

Please see the link for an EXCELLENT speech by Andrew McIntyre about Arts Marketing and ticket-selling.

He really makes some excellent points in that “traditional” tactics don’t tend to work very successfully and we (in marketing AND sales) need to re-group.

Buy One Get One Free (well…not quite)

So, you’ve got clients who habitually order tickets to only one performance per season. That might be the limit for some groups depending on how busy their schedule is. However, it might be the time to actively court them into buying 2 shows instead of just one.

How? Offer an extra discount with the more shows they buy! Assuming this is ok with your head marketing bigwigs, of course.

An example: buy 1 opera and get 10% off, buy 2 operas and get 15%, buy 3 operas and get 20%, etc. This will work well for a smaller company that would put on no more than 6 productions per season.
Another route: buy 1 opera and get a 2nd at a 50% discount

Of course you can tailor these options to only be valid for certain productions or specific performance dates and times for those productions but you get the general idea.

Group Sales Meets Corporate Sponsorship

It might seem, at first, that Group Sales and Corporate Sponsorship are worlds away from each other. However, they can work together to sell tickets AND get donations.

Perhaps the easiest way to start is to institute a Corporate Discount Program offering ticket discounts to a few of the large businesses in the area. A good way to go about this is to get together with the staff member(s) who are in charge of sponsorships and inquire about the biggest donor businesses but ALSO the businesses that they have as prospects.

Most likely, the business will offer a discount to their employees more readily than contribute funds. The more employees that take advantage of the discount will show the head honchos that your organization is something that the employees care about and they should become a sponsor.

This approach requires that the Group Sales and Corporate Sponsoship staff work together as a team and share information. The typical guarded nature that both parties have about contacts must be shed to get the most out of the effort.