The curtains have closed on your latest production, and the madness of show week is finally over. You may want to take a step back, relax, and enjoy the quiet – but now’s the time to continue your forward momentum as it pertains to your patrons’ engagement. Keeping ticket-buyers interested post-show is crucial to the success of your next production and to your theatre as a whole. But how do you do it? On The Stage offers a few ideas. 

Store contact information digitally

You can’t engage your patrons post-show if you don’t have their contact information at hand. So, the very first step is to ensure you have a system to gather and store your ticket buyer data. 

Utilizing best-in-class software to keep your contact information organized means you’ll spend far less time tracking down the people you want to hear from. Consider using a comprehensive suite of outreach and marketing tools, enabling you to engage with your audience and grow your patron base in one fell swoop. 

Set up/push a feedback survey

Patrons want to feel seen, heard, and valued. So why not get their opinions on your show when they have fresh eyes? After all, there’s no better data than the thoughts of your direct consumers.

By getting responses from patrons, you’re showing that you care about their points of view. You’ll also be ensuring that people continue coming back. Ask patrons what they liked and didn’t like about your most recent production; what sort of shows they’d like to see in the future; and any logistical questions about the ease (or lack thereof) of ticketing/web design/accessibility, etc. 

To prove to patrons that you’re serious about their opinions, follow up with a summary of actionable insights based on their feedback.

Communicate with your patrons

Aside from sending out polls and surveys, make sure you’re communicating with your patrons consistently, even if you don’t have a show weeks away. 

A few ways to communicate organically include:

  • Following your patrons on social media and interacting with their content
  • Asking questions and creating polls on social media to increase engagement 
  • Talking to patrons post-show in the lobby, making sure they feel appreciated for coming
  • Calling or texting patrons post-show to get feedback or discuss your program at large
  • Sending out curated marketing email blasts or personal messages
  • Sending out handwritten or typed letters 

Strive to talk to your ticket buyers one-on-one as often as you can. By doing this, you’ll help form healthy, long-term relationships. 

Make an effort to re-engage lost patrons 

Losing patron interest is an inevitability. After all, you cannot retain everyone’s attention 365 days a year. So, how can you re-engage the folks you’ve lost? Target them directly and indirectly through best-in-class marketing. Ideas include: 

  • Starting a blog and pushing it on your socials
  • Creating dynamic, behind-the-scenes content and putting it on your website and social media platforms
  • Creating a best-of compilation from recent performances to showcase your talent 
  • Purchasing targeted ads to attract your preferred demographic 
  • Running special discounts or offers to patrons who’ve visited your theatre before – even if it was just once 
  • Collaborating with business or community partners that your lost patrons are also interested in

Create more programming 

As a community entity, you should consider hosting other events outside the traditional musical or play. This way, you have several more reasons to interact with your patrons, all year round.

Other programming ideas include:

Keeping patrons engaged and active within your creative community will help them feel like they’re an integral part of your program. 

Offer giveaways with referral incentives

Giveaways are an excellent way to increase interest for an upcoming show … but they’re also perfect for keeping patrons excited about your theatre after a show, and getting more people interested in the process. 

Consider hosting giveaways with relevant prizes, like free tickets to the next show, a prop from your past show, or an autographed event poster. Remember, giveaways hold the power to draw in potential patrons by enlisting the help of your current ones. You can get new audience members by offering extra chances to win referral entries. Now, your established patrons are sharing the content on their own channels, getting even more eyes on your work. All in all, referral programs are a great avenue to incentivize the promotion of your program while also helping your patrons.

Reward loyalty 

Providing rewards to loyal donors is never a bad idea. After all, evidence suggests that consumers are likely to spend more with your theatre when they are part of a loyalty program. Ideas include:

  • Creating a VIP, inner circle, or rewards club
  • Offering free merchandise after a certain level of donation or certain level of shows visited
  • Offering preferred seating at shows
  • Offering backstage tours or other behind-the-scenes goodies 
  • Offering discounted rates for tickets/swag/food/drink 
  • Shouting out patrons on social media or partnering with them for additional marketing efforts

Just say thank you

Sometimes, the only thing you need to do to keep patrons engaged is to thank them in a meaningful way. 

After the curtains close, focus on giving attention to your audience members, and letting them know you’re grateful. If you’re looking for meaningful ways to thank patrons and donors alike, we have you covered.  

On The Stage

On The Stage can assist you with everything theatre related, from ticketing to box office maintenance, fundraising, merchandising, marketing, and, of course, ticket buyer outreach. Combining a fully integrated suite of tools and resources for theatre and the arts with everything needed to control your own operational and financial destiny, OTS lets you focus on what matters: making great art.

If you want to elevate your theatre and your patron experience, book a personalized demo today.

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