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The power of community collaboration can’t be understated – because two minds are always greater than one, right? As a theatre professional, you probably find yourself collaborating a lot in your day-to-day – with team members, actors, crew members, and the like. But what about taking that culture of collaboration even further?
Certain members of your community can be a goldmine of inspiration and assistance as you work to elevate your theatre and its offerings. The best way to access this inspiration and assistance is by partnering with local businesses and businesspeople to help you on your mission.
On The Stage presents why partnering with local businesses is beneficial and how to get started.
The benefits of partnerships and collaborations are easy to name, no matter the industry. For theatres, a few of the many pros of teaming up with individuals and businesses in your community include:
If that isn’t enough to sell you on partnering with local businesses, we’re not sure what to tell you. But if you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of approaching and engaging businesses in your area, On The Stage can help.
So, you know why partnerships are great – but how do you get started on the process of choosing which businesses to partner with?
A few tips to consider:
The beauty of community partnerships is that you don’t just have to team up with those with business models just like yours. A variety of companies in industries across the board can help make your dreams a reality. A few considerations include:
Now that you’ve got your business partners on the hook, it’s time to create events and strategies that not only benefit your theatre but keep your business partners engaged and satisfied. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Let potential business partners get a feel for what you have to offer by hosting an open house. Be prepared with informational pamphlets, Q&A sessions, talking points, and elevator pitches. This is a great chance to have home-field advantage, allowing you to share your organization’s great work, take stock of the partnerships you can have, and engage with them to solicit interest.
Take the pressure off yourself and attend local business trade shows and networking events. Consider joining a leadership committee or a chamber of commerce council to get to know the movers and shakers in your community. Friendships can turn into partnerships, after all.
Summer programming is a win for everyone involved – it brings cultural enrichment to the community, a padded bottom line to your theatre, brand awareness, and the chance to make connections with businesses in your area. Consider having sponsors for your camp, branded merchandise, donated concessions, or catered lunches. These are all great ways to tap community partners and get people engaged in what you have to offer, even if the ‘off-months.’
If you are typically a school-centric program or immersive theatre, try switching things up with a community-wide production. This opens up not only your pool of actors and crew members but also your pool of sponsors, partners, patrons, and potential advertisers. Make sure you’re highly publicizing this community production and partnering up with as many local businesses as possible to make it a success.
Whether it’s a fun run, neighborhood leaf pick-up, swanky gala, polar plunge, bake sale, or car wash, hosting charity events and asking businesses to chip in or partner up is a pretty hard deal to say no to. Not only are you raising funds for an important cause, but your business partners can also get positive exposure for helping out. Win-win!
In short, creating and maintaining partnerships is key to the success of your theatre – as long as you’re keeping track of defined objectives, monitoring key performance indicators, and ensuring both parties are satisfied.
If you’re ready to elevate your theatre experience and nab some excellent community partnerships this season, On The Stage (OTS) can help. OTS empowers thousands of organizations with ticketing, box office, marketing, fundraising, and reporting tools in one robust platform – for free. Book a personalized demo today to get started.