Whether you’re working in a small school program, a community theatre, or in the big leagues, one truth is universal: ticket sales are the lifeblood of the theatre. After all, without steady ticket sales, you lose income to help with what really matters – your art. From costumes and props to sets, behind-the-scenes work and marketing efforts, the capital raised from ticket sales is paramount for your program’s overall success. If you’ve noticed your ticket revenue isn’t where you want it to be, or if you’re just looking for new ideas to continue to increase ticket sales, On The Stage can help get your numbers up with a few ideas.

  1. Optimize your website
    Let’s be real – no one wants to spend more than a few minutes navigating a website that’s not optimized for mobile use. In fact, your number one priority, when it comes time to start selling tickets, should be streamlining your ticketing website and ensuring it’s as easy as possible to use.If that task seems daunting, we promise it’s not. On The Stage can help you create a show website and ticketing software that’s fast, easy, and convenient for both the end-user and for you.
  2. Utilize your social media
    Ah, a tale as old as time – or, at least as old as the internet – using social media to increase your bottom line. Remember that during your ticket sales period and beyond, social media should be your best friend. Focus on creating a solid event page, a compelling show website, as well as posting tidbits, hosting polls, and introducing behind-the-scenes content to your channels.Make sure you’re incentivizing the sharing of your content with social media giveaways. (More on that later!) And don’t forget – if you’ve got the budget, leverage your most successful social media page for sponsored posts to get your work in front of more eyes.
  3. Host contests
    Keeping your actors, crew, and other backstage staff engaged before, during, and after a show has a variety of benefits, and one way you can do this is through ticket-selling contests. Not only will your show reach dozens of new community members, but it will also boost morale and keep spirits high during grueling rehearsals.
  4. Offer inclusive pricing
    In a time when it feels like everything is getting more expensive, remember to cater to different pockets of your community with inclusive pricing. This can mean tiered pricing options, early bird specials, and bulk discounts for bigger groups.For the tiered ticketing model, consider tempting offerings for those who are willing to spend more – like VIP treatment, free drink and food, or space in the show program.Additionally, think about implementing referral discounts for your loyal patrons, as well as ‘deal of the day’ sales in the middle of your ticket selling season to avoid sale slumps.
  5. Market outside social media
    While social media should be your bestie during show season, it’s not the only way to market your show. Other options include pushing merchandise, hanging up posters around your school or community, implementing strategic email blasts, and encouraging your cast and crew to talk the show up – the classic word of mouth method.Speaking of merchandise, you can incorporate the ‘act fast mentality’ when tickets go on sale. Offer a free shirt, mug, poster, or other item to the first 100 ticket buyers to get a fire burning under people’s feet. We’ve said it a million times: people love free stuff!
  6. Host events and use them as ticket-selling opportunities
    Make your theatre and your work a staple in the community by attending events around town or events within your school ecosystem, whether to set up a booth or to talk with community members and leaders.Once you realize that you’ve got a million chances to talk up your theatre and sell tickets at other events, your sales will go up, guaranteed.
  7. Tease, tease, tease
    Everyone loves a teaser when it comes to theatre, television, and movies. (Who among us hasn’t used a free trial of a streaming service?) So with that in mind, offer guests a free first look into your production by presenting a preview of the show prior to opening night, or allow streaming options of rehearsals or certain scenes. Bottom line: keep people wanting more. Get them hooked, and they’ll purchase a ticket to see the rest!
  8. Tap your loyal fans
    Building up a steady client base is important to your theatre’s overall success. Once you’ve got that loyalty, encourage those patrons to talk up your show on social media, or share your work within the many platforms they have. After all, the best endorsement of your work comes from those who love it.
  9. Collaborate with community partners
    Much like loyal patrons, if you’ve made strong relationships in the community, utilize them when it comes time to sell tickets. Perhaps art houses, restaurants, or stores can sell tickets at their check-out counters, or can hang your show poster in their windows. The more exposure your show gets in the community, the more likely people will be to come see it.
  10. Stay consistent and precise in your marketing
    Yes, yes, we’ve discussed great marketing ad nauseum at this rate – but one last thing on the subject: you only have a few seconds to get people’s attention. Ensure your graphics are sharp, your videos are compelling, and your merchandise gets the message across efficiently. If you’re not sure where to start on that, On The Stage can help.
  11. Offer streaming and video-on-demand options
    Get tech-savvy and present your patrons with viewing options outside the traditional theatre experience – whether it’s video-on-demand after your show has closed, or streaming options during or after show. The more ways you can present your content, the more tickets you’ll sell. (Also, hello accessibility and inclusivity!)
  12. Don’t neglect door sales
    Lastly, make sure you’re ready to create a streamlined ticketing experience for those who want to buy at the door. Familiarize yourself with a convenient, easy-to-use ticket scanning app on your phone so guests can get to their seats with no hassle. Don’t forget to make your theatre enticing to passers-by, and remember that service with a smile will bring people back again and again. 

Now that we’ve saddled you with the tips you need, it’s time to start selling! If you need more help, On The Stage is always at your service; empower your theatre and book a personalized demo today.

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