Thursday, January 22, 2009

Web 2.0

What is it? If I’m asking the question is it already too late? Are you using it? Do you have an on-line community? Do they come to the theatre? To what extent? Are the big participants in your on-line community participating on the same level in your actual community? Does more content equal more ticket sales? My biggest worry is theatre doesn’t happen on line, it can’t and it won’t. It needs an actual (is that the word?) community or it doesn’t happen at all. Are people joining our on-line communities and then coming to the theatre? I think they join our community by attending a show and then they join our on-line community. And, yes these are great tools to keep us constantly connected. But, the question is are we/can we actually use it to sell tickets? How do we bring new people into our theatres using these new tools? It’s definitely cost effective but can we actually measure the results, is it time well spent? I heard one use recently that I thought was brilliant, I can’t remember how I heard it or who did it, but before the show the announcement actually said, please take out your phones and tell your friends where you are. But…did it sell any tickets? Don’t know.


1 comment:

Andy said...

This isn't as much in response to Web 2.0 (of which I know nothing) but is instead some thoughts on the question of bringing new people into the theatre. It is a problem I have thought about for quite a while without really understanding where root of the issues begin.
There was a customer at Hot Tix today who had never had an experience with theatre. He came in with the absolute desire to purchase tickets and began by letting it known that he had never been to a show before. Not only had he never gone to the theatre, he didn't have any prefence over type, style, time period, location, etc.
It was a completely unique experience not because he lacked knowledge of theatre, but because he completely lacked the fear of saying it and moving on from there. I have often been curious about the customers who laugh to discover the show they wanted to see is sold out or unavailable. There is this extreme satisfaction that occurs nearly every single time, like they are in on a secret that makes them part of the community regardless of how much they actually know and/or care. In a way, it seems, their initial fear has been alleviated. They aren't silly in wanting to spend a lot of money to see a show because obviously other people do too.
I'm not exactly sure where these thoughts leave me or how the knowledge of these experiences could be harnessed.
I agree that this community is based on stages and not online...but if making more information available to people so that perhaps they too can feel knowledgeable, perhaps it is completely worth it. Even if it can't be known if these people are going to the theatre after - if one person feels comfortable going to new places after reading something somewhere about it, then it is worth it to me. Because it is never just one person.