Thursday, October 23, 2008

For Free or Not For Free? Post 2 of 4

posted by brad at 12:00 PM

So, I should clarify a couple of things. One, I realize the tone of the first post may have projected a negative opinion on this initiative, which was not the intent. We are happy to offer the tickets and would love to see this kind of program work well for all theatres in America who participate. We have often talked about trying to find a way to make our own business/revenue model work so that we didn't ever "need" to sell tickets... but the question sort of looms - how much do/will people value something (particularly the arts) if it is free?

Secondly, I was incorrect in my last post about how many tickets we had allotted. Turns out it was 12 for the first night we offered tickets and then 14 more tickets over the next three nights. Not 12 on each night like I originally posted.

Last night we had preview #3.
Free night of theatre attendees - 0 for 4. Although someone did call before the show to politely cancel and say they had mistakenly reserved Free Night tickets to our show on two different nights and would be coming on the next night, we don't have their name on our list of reservations that were sent to us for any night. ?

More info coming regarding other LA theatres' experience with this year's initiative, but in the meantime, an interesting announcement in the LA Times today about Center Theatre Group's "Entertainment Stimulus Package." Hopefully they will share with everyone how it works for them/theatre audiences/the local scene.

Be furious.


Blogger Terence said...

I would urge you to take a longer term view of the Free Night of Theater program. Check to see if the folks who made the reservations were on your mailing lists before. If not, you've won 14 new customer's who've expressed an interest in your programming, if they weren't able to make it now maybe they'll make it again.
Additionally, might you follow up with the no-shows - A message that says, "We missed you - like a raincheck?"
Yes, it's a little more work, but it's always tougher to win someone new that to get someone to come back. These folks made the first move by letting you know they were interested.
That said, would I prefer that every single patron who made a reservation showed up? Sure, who wouldn't, But there are many ways to view the success of this program. You received snail mail and email addresses for all of those making reservations, treat them as likely suspects. I look forward to your feedback as we assess the relative success of the program this year!
Stay furious!

12:41 AM  

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