Just as they say in Cabaret, money makes the world go ’round. As a theatremaker, you’re probably constantly searching for more ways to infuse capital into your program so you can focus on what you love…making great art. Finding new revenue accelerators is crucial for your theatre—not only to keep the doors open but also to avoid increasing ticket prices, which could potentially lose your patrons and lessen your accessibility in the community. 

The great news is that revenue accelerators come in all shapes and sizes, and many are simple to implement into your program. On The Stage (OTS) explores a few revenue accelerators to try and offers some pro tips to jumpstart your effort. 

Revenue Accelerators To Try 

1. Quality Merchandise

The pros of merchandise are many. Chief among them is that they create a stream of income you can infuse straight back into your program. Another merchandise pro is its versatility; you can offer branded T-shirts, hats, mugs, posters, or whatever else you deem relevant to your patron demographic. 

Consider teaming with community partners or creatives to sell your merchandise at local boutiques or high-traffic stores. Also, remember that merchandise can be created for specific occasions, not just for general PR – whether that’s a certain show, a summer camp offering, a fundraiser, or a community event you’re hosting. 

Pro Tip: When searching for a merchandising partner, ensure you can utilize customizable art and create your merch on-demand. Even better, partner with a distributor that can drop-ship items directly to buyers and allow you to set your own prices. We know just the partner – us! 

2. Concessions

The importance of food and beverage sales for any entertainment venue can’t be overstated. Not only do they enhance the show experience for your patrons, but they also generate major capital for your theatre with little overhead or effort. 

Offering food and beverages is a must in certain scenarios – like all-day events, programs with physical activities, or outdoor performances where water is a necessity.  

Additionally, food and beverages can serve as a facilitator for networking. Many people bond over food and drink, so why not make some money and some connections at the same time? 

3. Digital Performances and Streaming Options 

Diving into new technologies via Livestreaming your productions or hosting digital performances will give you an edge over other theatres and open up new a revenue accelerator. Along with the measurable benefits of streaming offerings, you welcome more patrons into the fold, with your accessibility skyrocketing. 

As a standalone option or combined with an in-person event, digital performances and video on-demand offerings provide a new way for your audience to support your program wherever they are. And by charging admission to view a streaming production, you no longer have a cap on attendance at your shows. 

Pro Tip: Ensure you have the right video production equipment and bandwidth to pull off video on demand and streaming options. The last thing you want to do is offer that benefit to patrons before you’re ready, resulting in lost revenue and unhappy audiences. 

4. Business Sponsorships and Partnerships 

Getting businesses to sponsor a particular production or your theatre at large will reap major benefits. Sponsorships are often crucial to show budgeting, especially for theatres needing a cash infusion.  

There are a variety of potential payoffs when getting a sponsor for your theatre, including: 

  • In-kind donations of items you need for productions – whether that’s food and drinks, costumes, set pieces, or new technology 
  • Greater community engagement 
  • Higher community reach 
  • Boosts in publicity and public relations
  • A greater sense of credibility for your theatre 
  • The potential of lower ticket costs 

5. Additional Programming 

If you and your team have the bandwidth, consider hosting additional programming outside your regular theatre season. A few ideas include:

  • Summer camps: Let your team stretch their teaching and leadership muscles while gaining capital for future productions
  • Workshops: Welcome theatre enthusiasts who want to hone their crafts 
  • Masterclasses: Welcome theatre experts who want to share their skills
  • Fundraisers: Engage your community, increase brand awareness, and raise money simultaneously
  • Community Events: Whether it’s a carwash, ice cream social, or movie on the lawn night, you can make connections with people in your community for potential networking deals later

6. Advertising Space 

Your theatre’s marketing materials are prime real estate for businesses to advertise – so why not monetize that idea?

Get with your marketing team and sell ad space to local companies or major businesses. The beauty of selling ads is that you can place them anywhere– physically or online. A few places to consider selling as ad space include:

  • Your show programs 
  • Your merchandising 
  • Your show website 
  • Your social media platforms 
  • Your digital and print marketing materials 
  • Your virtual video/Zoom backgrounds 
  • Your featured ads during on-demand digital content 

7. Tiered Access and Premium Content/Experiences

Offering premium content and tiered access to enticing offerings is an excellent way to increase your theatre’s revenue beyond ticket sales. 

Ideas include: 

  • Meet and greets with your cast 
  • Backstage tours
  • Early-bird entrance 
  • Discounts on tickets
  • Exclusive looks at show previews
  • A VIP area in your theatre
  • Direct concessions delivery to a patron’s seat

Leveraging the feeling of exclusivity is a great way to accelerate revenue – after all, everyone wants to feel like a Very Important Person sometimes. 

8. Offer Upgrades and Add-Ons

By presenting enticing offers at the point of purchase – your ticketing portal – organizations can maximize revenue while providing patrons with personalized options tailored to their preferences.

Pro Tip: By partnering with On The Stage, you can set conditions to prompt the patron at checkout to purchase an additional item. OTS’ Upgrade feature works hand-in-hand with our Ticket Types and allows you to configure a prompt within the purchase flow to upgrade the ticket type before checkout. 

This, in turn, provides your organization with endless possibilities to increase your Average Order Value (AOV), contributing to more revenue and, just as importantly, creating memorable experiences that will keep your patrons coming back time and time again.

How On The Stage Revenue Accelerators Can Help

As we’ve discussed, maximizing the dollars coming into your organization is essential to keep making great art for years to come. On The Stage (OTS) is the perfect partner in your efforts to accelerate your revenue.  

In addition to a robust Booking and Box Office Suite suite, OTS offers revenue-accelerating tools to empower you to generate more revenue per patron and increase your customer lifetime value while providing a well-rounded and memorable theatrical experience. 

By partnering with OTS, you can create additional revenue streams without increasing ticket prices through custom fees, non-ticket add-ons, merchandise, offers, and upgrades. You can also target your patrons like a pro with filtered booking flows, patron relationship management tools that include custom fields, automatic tagging fed to MailChimp, Google Analytics, and Meta Pixel integration. 

If you’re ready to increase your theatre’s revenue and enhance the patrons’ theatre experience, partner with OTS. Book a personalized demo today.

Related products and solutions