When it comes time to implement effective pricing strategies for your theatre’s tickets, it’s imperative to straddle the line between maximum revenue and minimum gatekeeping of your content. In short, your tickets should be expensive enough for you to make a sizable profit but not too expensive and inaccessible for some of your community members. After all, theatre is for everyone! 

It’s obvious that ticket pricing directly affects revenue, profitability, and even patron attendance. But how can you know that you’re pricing your tickets effectively? 

On The Stage explores a few elements to consider when pricing tickets and some effective pricing strategies to enact during the process to maximize profit and accessibility simultaneously. 

Elements to Consider 

When you are working on pricing your tickets, think about the following:

What is the Perceived Value?

What is the actual value of your showcase, and what do your attendees believe they will gain from it? If you have a good idea of the show’s perceived value from patrons, you’ll know what a price cap should be for tickets. The last thing you want to do is scare off patrons. So, in short, understanding your attendees’ perceived value is crucial in setting the correct ticket price.

What is Your Break-Even Point?

Consult your data to see how much money you’ll need to break even. This will serve as a measure of where to aim primarily before making a profit. When calculating that break-even point, ensure you’re adding the total cost of organizing the show, including rentals, merchandise production, concession creation, marketing efforts, and other elements. This foundational step ensures that your pricing strategy aligns with your financial objectives.

Are Your Prices Competitive with Others in the Area?

Research other theaters in your area – whether you’re a school program, community theatre, or professional non-equity entity. What are others in your area charging for a ticket? Is their production value higher, lower, or equal to yours? What kind of attendance are they seeing with the prices they’re offering? Are they able to improve upon showcases year after year with additional revenue? In short, don’t be afraid to look at the competition – they may be able to give you the answers you need.

What Does Your Ticket Sales Forecast Predict? 

Return to the data and determine the average number of tickets sold at your previous events and those sold at recent competitors’ events. Add in the capacity of your theatre, your brand awareness, and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, and make a tentative forecast of just how many tickets you think you’ll sell. After the numbers are in, consult your break-even point to ensure the pricing will help you make a profit while covering all your expenses. 

Key Pricing Techniques

Tiered Pricing

Perhaps the most common ticketing method is tiered pricing, which involves offering tickets at differing price levels – the more expensive the ticket, the greater the benefits or levels of access. VIP tickets may grant patrons a backstage tour, the best seats in the house, or availability of merchandise or digital content not offered to lower-tier tickets. 

The benefits of tiered pricing are many. You entice your high-value patrons to spend more with your theatre while remaining accessible to your entire community. 

Group Pricing

If you offer group pricing, you incentivize your patrons to bring more people to your show via a discount for bulk purchases. This will increase your Average Order Value dramatically while also encouraging more community members to come and see what your theatre has to offer. Additionally, you’re helping to curate camaraderie amongst your patrons, who will now be more likely to come together in groups as opposed to solo. 

Specific Discounts 

Offering specified discounts is a great way to target specific demographics – either groups you know you already attract or groups you want to see more of in your audience.

Specific discounts can be offered to students, seniors, groups of ten or more, military personnel, industry professionals, or your most loyal patrons. Offering these targeted discounts helps you get more patrons in the door that you don’t usually see while encouraging repeat attendance for others. 

Early Bird Offers

Another popular technique is advertising early bird discounts and pricing. The key here is to present this discount for a limited time, increasing urgency and scarcity so patrons act fast. 

There are several benefits to early bird offers. Firstly, you reward the patrons who are most excited about your show. But this also helps to motivate patrons to buy early – securing audience members early, granting you access to capital sooner, and fostering more word-of-mouth buzz and excitement for your production. 

Bundled Pricing Packages

Bundled packages rope together tickets with other products or services, adding more value for your patrons.

For example, a customer who purchases a ticket and a piece of merchandise may get a discount on the total purchase. You can also promote convenience add-ons like pre-ordering concessions to increase your Average Order Value while elevating the theatre experience for your patron. In short, ticket bundles offer great benefits, including adding value, increasing sales, and diversifying your income flows. 

How On The Stage Can Help

On The Stage (OTS) an assist with ticketing strategies of all kinds, helping to expand your bottom line while keeping your offerings accessible to your community. With OTS’s  Revenue Accelerators, you can expand your ticketing capacities, set fair prices, earn more revenue, and keep your patrons coming back for more. 

By utilizing OTS’s revenue accelerators, you can:

  • Make it easy for patrons to purchase with a seamless purchase journey optimized for mobile devices
  • Create additional revenue streams without increasing your ticket prices through custom fees, merchandise, offers, and upgrades
  • Target specific patron demographics with filtered booking flows, patron relationship management tools that include custom fields, automatic tagging fed to MailChimp, Google Analytics, and Meta Pixel integration
  • Expand your reach and sell additional virtual tickets with streaming and video-on-demand performance options
  • Optimize booking to increase conversion rates and create a seamless purchasing experience for your ticket buyers with a mobile-first focus
  • Utilize add-ons that simultaneously create unforgettable experiences for your patrons while boosting your profits 

If you’re ready to take your theatre to the next level, sharpen your ticket pricing strategy, and elevate your experience, book a personalized demo with On The Stage today.

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