The end of one year and the beginning of another can be a beautiful time for your theatre. You’re able to look back at your many accomplishments while planning ahead with unbridled optimism. A great way to set up the building blocks for a successful year ahead is by setting realistic – yet challenging – goals and objectives. 

Setting Goals You Can Achieve

You likely have big dreams for your program for 2024, whether your goals revolve around fundraising, social media engagement, ticketing, team morale, or elevating the patron experience. The key to success in turning those aspirations into a reality starts by setting achievable goals. 

But how can you know a goal is achievable? Consider utilizing the S.M.A.R.T. method. With this, you’re ensuring that your goals are:

  • Specific – Clear intentions will lead to greater success.
  • Measurable – Are you able to assess your progress as time goes by? 
  • Achievable – Be reasonable and realistic.
  • Relevant – Are these goals targeting your most valued initiatives? 
  • Timely – Create realistic deadlines for your goals as a secondary motivator. 

4 Ways to Determine Your Goals 

Now that we understand the parameters surrounding realistic goals, it’s time to determine your major objectives for the following year. On The Stage presents a few ways to get down to brass tacks and focus on what matters most. 

Harness the post-mortem 

The power of the post-mortem evaluation cannot be overstated. During this event, you’ll run a full analysis of your recent production with everyone involved in your production – from cast to crew, front-of-house staff, leadership, producers, and sometimes even administration, donors, or other shareholders. A post-mortem peels back the layers of your performance, analyzing what went well, what went poorly, and most importantly, what you can do to improve for next time. 

Going through a post-mortem before year-end will help you understand your theatre’s strengths and weaknesses, giving you clear areas where you can aim to improve. 

Get input from cast, crew, and patrons

One person shouldn’t make goals for an entire theatre. Instead, remember to ask for insight from anyone involved in your program, from front-of-house staff to actors, marketing directors, and everyone in between. 

Whether it’s collaborative meetings, email surveys, phone calls to loyal patrons, or even a handwritten letter, it’s crucial to get the input of those in your ecosystem. 

Remember your purpose

A goal can always be reworked or reined in by focusing on your theatre’s “why” or its purpose. Why do you run this theatre? What do you want to give back to your patrons? What is the meaning behind the work you do? Why are you working in theatre in the first place? 

Ask yourself these questions, then frame goals around enhancing that purpose. You’ll be able to get to the core of your objectives much easier and quicker by focusing on the why. 

Remain realistic 

Yes, we all want Broadway-level productions with the newest lighting and sound technology, props, set pieces, and costumes. We all want to sell double the number of tickets in half the time and raise our social media followers by the thousands. But is it financially feasible? How about realistic timewise? 

In short, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you aren’t being realistic about your goals. Do market research into your competition, and look at the cold hard data. You should be able to form realistic yet challenging objectives after this. 

Some Goal Ideas to Consider

So, we know how to determine our goals and keep them realistic. Now’s the time to get a bit more specific. Here are a few goals to consider for 2024. (Psst – you should also download the 

7 Attainable Goals for Your Theatre Program eBook from On The Stage for even more inspo, as well as ways to reach your goals with our many offerings.)   

Improve Fundraising Efforts 

Despite the adage, more money does not create more problems in this situation. Generating more funds for an organization is likely the most common and most important goal for theatres around the world. 

With more funds, you’ll see better productions, more bandwidth, and higher engagement from patrons. This will lead to a greater reach for your work, an extended network, and greater success down the road. 

Simplify Your Ticketing 

It’s almost 2024 – meaning it’s time to bring your ticketing efforts, and your box office at large, into the future. Your process should be straightforward, intuitive, convenient, and optimized for digital and mobile. 

The thing you want to worry about while in the midst of rehearsals is trying to understand complicated software or answering emails from frustrated patrons who can’t purchase tickets. In short, strive to deliver a ticket-buying experience that is convenient for your patrons and effective for your theatre.

Grow Your Patron and Supporter Numbers 

We all want to be more popular … especially businesses that rely upon patrons to keep their doors open! That being said, striving to get more patrons, social media followers, and season ticket subscribers should be a primary goal for 2024. 

Increase Funding with a New Merch Line 

Improving your merchandising offerings, and your marketing/branding efforts at large should be another top priority in the coming year. After all, it’s always a great time to launch a new line of merchandise for your patrons to support your program. With merchandise, you can raise capital and build a sense of community all in one fell swoop.

How On The Stage Can Help

If you still aren’t quite sure what your goals should be and just how to get there, On The Stage can help. The 7 Attainable Goals for Your Theatre Program eBook is a great place to start – but partnering with OTS in general will help you in every facet of your theatre journey. 

Speaking of goals … our main objective is to empower your theatre through an easy-to-use, intuitive, sophisticated technology platform. We can reach our goals together; get started by booking a personalized demo with On The Stage today.


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