As we head into the Spring season, the promise of warm weather, relaxation, and zero obligations is beckoning us from a distance. Yes, if you can believe it, we’re well on our way to sweet, sweet summertime. As a theatremaker, you can harness that anticipation and excitement to attract larger summer stock audiences. Believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start sowing the seeds of success for your summer stock marketing. 

On The Stage presents a variety of marketing strategies you can enact to engage more patrons and attract larger audiences for your upcoming summer stock productions. 

9 Summer Stock Marketing Strategies 

Create Tiered and Competitive Pricing

The price of everything these days is, well, ridiculous. Have you tried going out to dinner or seeing a movie lately? 

With that being said, make sure you’re consulting the data and ensuring your ticket prices are, at once, reasonable and competitive in today’s saturated entertainment market. In short, make sure you’re making a profit but still remaining welcoming to larger families, groups, or those who don’t have an inordinate amount of disposable income. Consider tiered pricing depending on budget or experience, as well as discounts for larger groups. After all, theatre is now and should always be an accessible and inclusive form of entertainment! 

Offer Theme Nights

Summer is the time when people feel the most festive and ready to enjoy their community’s offerings. Why not capitalize on that feeling of whimsy by organizing themed performance nights depending on current holidays, show content, decades, or whatever else strikes your fancy and will attract more folks?

It’s no secret that people love to dress up. Set your bottom line up for success by giving audience members even more reasons to visit your show, socialize, and enjoy what you and your team have to offer. 

Take Advantage of the Summer’s Great Weather

Perhaps the best marketing tool you have in your arsenal for summer stock productions is, well, the beautiful weather. Make sure you’re appealing to the summer spirit by hosting summer stock productions in the great outdoors and creating a setup that’s aesthetically pleasing and comfortable for patrons. This means keeping an eye on weather conditions and offering shaded areas or vantage points away from direct sunlight. 

Pro Tip: For maximum convenience and additional revenue, consider selling sunglasses, hats, umbrellas, or other branded merchandise at your summer stock productions

Market to Out-of-Towners as Well as Residents

Did you know that 75% of Americans plan to travel domestically for their summer vacations? 

That means foot traffic in your community is about to skyrocket. Make sure you’re marketing your efforts to not only your loyal patrons but to out-of-towners who are only breezing in and out but still looking to be entertained. 

You can do this by placing fliers for your shows in tourist-heavy areas, partnering with tourism companies, local media, and community partners to spread the word, and targeting potential tourists in marketing materials on social media. 

Host a Summer-Themed Contest or Giveaway 

Incentivize the purchase of a ticket to your summer stock show by hosting a contest or giveaway for your theatre. Consider the ‘entry fee’ for this giveaway to be the purchase of a ticket to your show. Winners of the contest can be announced before the summer stock production begins or online afterward – with proof of purchase necessary to claim the prize! 

Consider adding a business sponsor to any summer marketing offerings to sweeten the pot for giveaways and broaden the reach of your theatre’s offerings to potential new patrons. 

Provide More Programming 

Another great way to bulk up your audience this summer is by creating additional summer programming. Through these networking efforts, you’re introducing yourself to an entirely new pool of potential patrons for your summer stock shows. 

Summer camps are an excellent place to start – you can both enrich your community and make the necessary revenue to improve shows in the future. Other options include ice cream socials, movie nights, or outdoor fundraisers. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to make meaningful connections and boost ticket sales in one fell swoop. 

Implement Short-Term Summer Deals and Discounts

Now is the time to market promo codes and short-term discounts to entice more patrons to attend your show. 

Make sure to keep promo codes and discount codes active for a short period of time. Through this creation of urgency and scarcity, audience members will be motivated to buy tickets as soon as possible – meaning more capital for you on a fast-tracked timeline! 

Utilize Your Email Contacts

With less responsibility and more time to relax in the summer months, people will be on the hunt for things to do. This is the perfect time to utilize your digital contact list through targeted email blasts, marketing materials, and newsletter updates. 

Alongside the business component of this messaging, don’t be afraid to get creative with your email correspondences, offering behind-the-scenes looks at rehearsals and personal profiles of your actors and crew members. This is a great way to build rapport with your patrons and motivate them to see your newest offerings.

Ensure Your Show Site is Impressive

Whether you’re marketing to out-of-towners or community members, you will undoubtedly garner more ticket sales if your show and theatre websites are up-to-date, optimized for mobile, and ready for a high volume of ticket sales. 

Spend some time before you pull the trigger on major marketing campaigns to perfect your online image and show site to best reflect your show, your brand, and all your theatre has to offer. 

On The Stage Ticketing 

Whether you’re chomping at the bit to begin selling tickets to your summer stock production or you’re unsure where to start when it comes to bulking up your ticket sales, On The Stage (OTS) can help.

With the OTS Booking & Box Office Suite, you can increase ticket sales by 20-25% with an all-in-one ticketing platform. Take the hassle out of ticket sales and deliver a world-class ticket-buying experience that is both convenient for your patrons and effective for your theatre.

With On The Stage’s ticketing offerings, you can: 

  • Give your patrons the ability to purchase tickets in-person or online through an embeddable ticketing widget, a customized show site, or a QR code-enabled sales link.
  • Meet your specific ticketing needs with flexible options for general admission, reserved seating, limited tickets per order, and more.
  • Provide a paperless experience with mobile-friendly eTickets compatible with any iOS or Android device, along with printable options.  
  • Easily create and manage complimentary tickets and promo/discount codes. 
  • Offer separate, tiered pricing options per seat, section, or show. 
  • Sell tickets to a collection of events or offer multiple event packages. Your patrons can redeem their tickets anytime with subscriptions and flex passes. 
  • Generate more revenue for your organization by offering add-ons, upsell options, and last-minute items at checkout.
  • Utilize real-time reporting and order management tools to easily sell tickets, redeem subscriptions, look up orders, process partial and full refunds, transfer tickets, and exchange for other performances.
  • Set your ticket prices and decide if you want to absorb OTS’ nominal fee or include it in the ticket prices passed on to your patrons.
  • Host a variety of event types with different venue configurations depending on your needs. 
  • Give your most loyal patrons exclusive access to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public.
  • Provide ticket buyers with convenience and peace of mind with OTS’ secure, PCI-compliant payment processing.

So, what are you waiting for? Jump into summer stock productions with a partner that’s passionate about your theatre’s success: On The Stage. Book a personalized demo today to get started. 

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