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Season ticketing is at the heart of any theatre program because what it means is simple: loyal patrons. And one goal you – and many other theatremakers like you – may have for next season is securing more of those tried-and-true, consistent ticket-buyers. But how? Turning one-time attendees into consistent subscribers is a process, but one that’s doable with the right tools. On The Stage (OTS) presents a few methods to bump up your ticket subscription numbers.
As long as a lot of tickets get sold, season ticket holders aren’t that important, right? Not quite. There are a variety of benefits to having season ticket subscribers. These include:
Whether they set up a payment plan or pay a lump sum, season ticket holders provide you with access to revenue early. This consistent flow of funds sets you up for financial security, and the ability to plan ahead. In short, season ticket holders help you mitigate financial risks associated with putting on any type of show.
Season tickets incentivize patrons to commit to multiple events. And if a patron is consistently visiting your theatre, they are more likely to form a bond between themselves and your brand at large. Consistency via season tickets also helps patrons become bigger advocates for your theatre, which can help you down the line when searching for community partners or sponsors.
Season ticketing packages also provide a platform for upselling and/or cross-selling products. With season tickets, you can offer upgrades to premium seating, merchandise bundles, or VIP add-on experiences. All in all, season tickets can increase your revenue and enhance the overall value you can offer patrons.
You can gain further insight into your demographics via data from season ticket holders. By tracking season ticket sales, guest behavior, and general demographics, you gain important data about your audience, their preferences, and purchasing patterns. This, in turn, provides insights that can be used to inform marketing efforts, future business opportunities, and ideas for later shows.
Now that we know why season tickets are paramount to the success of your theatre, it’s time to start increasing those numbers. Here are a few ideas on how to start.
Incentivize purchasing tickets to all shows at once by offering discounts. Make it clear how large of a deal a patron is getting by buying season tickets, emphasizing that ticket prices will likely rise for each show based on demand. You can also cut down on general fees for patrons who buy all tickets at once. Creating a sense of urgency about securing the best possible price will drive more patrons to purchase season tickets.
Life can get chaotic, which is why presenting flexibility to season ticket holders will likely lure them in. Ideas for flexibility include giving patrons the ability to exchange tickets, swap dates of selected shows, or buy additional tickets before the general public. In short, give them the flexibility to plan life around your shows. You could also opt to offer Flex Passes instead of full season packages where your patrons can pick and choose the shows they attend.
There’s no incentive for patrons to buy all the tickets at once if there aren’t some fun perks to go alongside. A few ideas for exclusive perks to include in season ticketing include:
Accessibility should be a major goal for all theatres, and advertising payment plans for your season ticket subscriptions will open the door to many more patrons. Breaking up the payments makes the entire ordeal less intimidating, and offers you a window into other demographics – especially younger audiences who likely can’t afford a lump sum payment.
Along the same lines, consider offering tiered ticketing subscriptions so more people can participate, and those already involved can upgrade.
This idea revolves more around keeping season subscribers, but make sure you’re enacting auto-renewal on all your season ticket subscriptions. The last thing your patrons need is another item on their to-do list, and this takes away that stress for them while cementing revenue for you for the following fiscal year.
If you find that many of your patrons who visit your show only buy tickets once, you may want to consider evaluating your marketing and messaging efforts. If your the number of patrons with season ticketing is low, people likely don’t see the value in getting a season subscription.
So, how do you rectify this? Make sure you are enabling best-in-class marketing efforts to push the value of your season subscriptions. The perks should be front and center, and one-time ticket buyers should know what they’re missing. Tap loyal patrons to share testimonials about the perks, either through internal marketing efforts or by word-of-mouth.
Season ticket subscriptions are an excellent gift to give any theatre lover – so if you’re looking to bump up those numbers, make sure you’re ramping up marketing efforts around the holidays. Consider offering holiday discounts or flash sales to increase urgency.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to succeed with season ticketing, you only need one more thing: a partner. That’s where On The Stage comes in. With OTS, you can increase ticket sales by 20-25% with an all-in-one ticketing platform that is free to your organization.
Alongside the sophisticated ticketing software platform, OTS also offers flexible subscription packages – helping you to drive revenue before general ticket sales begin. With OTS, you can build and manage multiple subscription packages that include:
Ready to get started? On The Stage can help. Book time with one of our experts to learn more about our all-in-one technology suite.