Ticket Pricing

Ticket Pricing is perhaps a less obvious, but if handled correctly, an important component in marketing, an important component in selling your show. Are you pricing your show to be the dollar store show of theatre? Are you looking for the Sears of Showbiz or are you looking to price it as a high end show? These are important factors to consider. Wrongly or rightly an audience will think that a cheaply-priced show is priced that way for a reason. Free shows are free for a reason. If you are thinking of undercutting other theatre companies to get more people, there is no winner in a price war, no winner in a war of attrition. Your revenue diminishes while there is likely a diminshed audience for your show. If your are starting out, it is good to price your shows lower until you make a name for yourself in the community. At least your friends will not feel shut out of the process by high ticket prices.

When you are young and starting out, you want to build your reputation so low ticket prices are good at the beginning of your company's trajectory with incremental increases as your company matures. At the beginning, discount prices are attractive for students and seniors. There are people who will never go to theatre and no amount of discounts will get them in the door. Don't worry about them. It is my experience that the more affluent that tend to go out to live theatre. They will not come at a lower price point. So know your market and price your show accordingly. If you try to appeal to everybody, you will get nobody. Know your market.

Worse than discount pricing is indistinguishable middle-of-the-road pricing. Such pricing puts your company in with most of other theatres. If you are the only company in town or if there are just a few then make sure you have a different pricing system to make you seem to stand apart. Examine your competition and decide what your price point should be compared to those other companies. What are the pluses and minuses of your company compared to others? The pricing model must also extend to the venue. Is it a warehouse or is it a state-of-the-art theatre? How is the quality of your shows compared to others? Do you have the best actors in town or are they just university drama students? Your ticket prices suggest to a potential audience what you think of your own show.

On the other hand, if you price your show to high, if you are suggesting by your ticket price that the audience is going to see a Broadway style production and what they get is 4 and a half very earnest hours of Richard the Third, then you get audience backlash. You don't want to charge Mercedes prices for a Volkswagon. Does the theatre have a nice loungs? Or does it have; as has happened with some of my shows, drug addicts, psychiatric out patients and prostitutes in the hallway? Price your show accordingly so the audience knows what they are getting into and you will have happier audience members and great feedback which helps to promote the show. As a side note, the show with the drug addicts etc in the hallway had people coming back to see the show again and again. It's part of the adventure of live theatre

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