As an industry, we’re seeing noticeable shifts in patron-buying behavior: declines in subscription purchases, advanced purchase windows growing shorter, a desire for more immersive and customized experiences…the list goes on. That’s why it’s more important than ever to maximize your organization’s cash flow beyond ticket sales alone. And today, we are thrilled to announce we are launching a new tool to help you do just that.

Add-ons are now available for all On The Stage (OTS) customers across all plans and will play a critical role in bolstering your overall production profits. With this new feature, you can easily provide your patrons with any type of supplemental offering outside of your standard ticket right within the purchase process. And in doing so, you will maximize the dollars you generate on every order to keep your theatre thriving while at the same time providing an elevated and memorable theatrical experience for your patrons.

Read on to learn more about this impactful tool!


What Are Add-ons? 

Add-ons are exactly what they sound like! They are additional products or services that can be added to a patron’s main purchase (usually tickets) at the time of sale. These can be anything and everything you can think of, from parking and concessions to VIP experiences, merchandise, and everything in between!  

Add-ons offer a valuable avenue for theatres to generate additional income beyond standard admission while fostering a deeper connection with their audience. Patrons can tailor their visit with merchandise from the show, personalized snacks and drinks, and anything else you can think of for an overall more personalized and immersive experience.  And here’s the best part – as an organization, you will not only provide your patrons with an incredibly memorable night at the theatre, but you will also see increased revenue – without having to raise the price of tickets another penny.


Why You Should Offer Add-Ons


There are numerous reasons every theatre should offer add-ons, with the first being to generate more revenue. With add-ons, you can easily maximize the dollars you bring in on every order, which ensures your theatre can continue thriving for years to come, all while creating memorable theatrical experiences for your patrons. The best part? You don’t have to increase your ticket prices while doing this!

Giving your patrons the option to add additional items and experiences to their ticket purchase impacts revenue by increasing:

  • The average order value (AOV): Expand the orders from being just tickets to tickets plus additional experiences and/or items 
  • The total revenue per customer: When your patrons buy more than just tickets, the overall revenue you generate per customer will increase
  • Your profits (without needing to raise ticket prices): Generate more funds to ensure your theatre thrives by offering non-ticket items and experiences for patrons to purchase
  • The number of non-ticket items sold: By offering add-ons front and center, you give them more exposure, which increases patrons’ awareness of these items, resulting in more items sold!

Enhanced Patron Experiences

Not only is it a savvy business move to offer add-ons, but it also creates a better overall experience for your patron. When patrons buy additional non-ticket offerings before a show, they are not just customers; they become part of an enthusiastic community. This early engagement can foster a sense of belonging and loyalty among your audience. 

Providing your patrons with immersive and customizable experiences by offering add-ons means you will:

  • Increase the overall value your patron is getting out of their experience by allowing them to customize the additions to their ticket
  • Generate loyalty among your audience and increase the number of repeat patrons by ensuring a memorable time every time
  • Attract new patrons via positive buzz and word-of-mouth recommendations about not only the great performances but the add-ons as well
  • Provide your performers with an energetic audience by creating buzz and anticipation about the add-ons purchased with their ticket

Streamlined Logistics & Operational Efficiency 

From a logistics standpoint, pre-selling add-ons offers a host of benefits that streamline various aspects of the patron experience. All areas of the venue can be improved – from the parking lot to the concessions to the seating timeline and more. By ensuring smooth and easy navigation throughout your venue, you will build a stronger connection with your patrons and keep them coming back show after show. 

Leveraging add-ons to improve your logistics and operations will allow you to: 

  • Generate upfront cash flow to cover production costs, marketing expenses, or any other financial needs associated with your show. 
  • Minimize the risk of overstocking or not having enough merchandise available during the show. 
  • Adequately schedule volunteers based on the number of offerings pre-sold so that there are no last-minute panics or surprises on the night of the show. (And have those volunteers come back again because it was a stress-free job!)
  • Ensure smooth and easy navigation of your venue with pre-sales of parking, concessions, merchandise, and more.

Market Research and Insights 

Add-ons are also a great opportunity to test the market for different items, services, and strategies. By looking at the pre-sales data, you can understand which items are popular (and which aren’t), helping you refine your add-on strategy for future events, maximize the amount of money you make on each production, and better understand your audience. 

You can play to your audience’s tastes and preferences without the financial risk by:

  • Offering a few selected add-ons on a trial basis during specific performances
  • Testing out new merchandise before placing your bulk order to avoid overstocking and getting stuck with items no one wants
  • Stocking additional merchandise in the venue if you sell out quickly and want to drive additional revenue at the venue
  • Analyzing how quickly certain items and services sell out and adding new inventory as needed to ensure you aren’t leaving money on the table

10 Add-on Strategies to Consider

Just because it’s a smart business decision to offer add-ons doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! In addition to offering tried-and-true items, get creative! Here are a few add-on ideas to get the wheels spinning: 

  1. Offer show-themed merchandise that will provide patrons a memento of their night at the theatre 
  2. Allow patrons to purchase parking in advance and guarantee they have an up-front spot
  3. Mitigate long lines in your venue by pre-selling food and beverage packages (that you can have ready to go for quick pickup)  
  4. Offer printed souvenir programs for purchase exclusively during the ticket-buying process and avoid incurring expensive printing fees on programs that will go to waste  
  5. Allow patrons to purchase Priority Access with an early seating time
  6. Offer cast meet-and-greets or backstage tours to keep the post-show glow going 
  7. Sell signed posters, programs, and other cast-specific items
  8.  Offer merchandise packs that can be delivered directly to your seat so your patrons don’t have to wait in lines
  9.  Allow patrons to purchase exclusive digital content such as interviews and behind-the-scenes exclusives
  10.  Partner with a local restaurant to offer a pre-theatre dining experience

With OTS, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination! Check out


How Does it Work? 

With the Add-on functionality in the OTS platform, you can:

  • Create custom listings for your items to sell that can include descriptions and photos
  • Track inventory through the OTS platform so you can budget and plan more effectively for your productions
  • Limit the number of add-ons being offered to create urgency and exclusivity
  • Set prices for both online and in-venue sales to encourage pre-show purchases
  • Edit Add-on listings as needed, anytime
  • Redeem purchases via QR code in-venue, just like you do with tickets


How OTS Helps

At OTS, we are committed to partnering with our customers to ensure success from season planning all the way through to closing night. Our comprehensive platform empowers performing arts organizations with the tools needed for ticketing, marketing, and box office management to fundraising, donor management, and reporting… and everything in between!

We’re dedicated to providing theatremakers like you with the tools and resources needed to keep your seats full and ensure your theatre thrives for years to come. This is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to share even more innovation in the months to come.

Related products and solutions