Thursday, August 13, 2009

Free Month

We’re going to do Free Month of Theater again this October and the whole point of Free Month is to attract NEW patrons to the theatre. So, what do we do? How do we get to the people who don’t go to theatre but who maybe might try it for free? Where are those people who might be most interested in watching baseball or playing volleyball or shooting skeet but who might also like to try something new? What is a good way to reach them through the internet? Naturally, we can’t afford to do an ad on the White Sox website (if they even sell ads), there must be something we can do to get those folks who might crossover and give us a try. If we can come up with an idea, this might be a breakthrough for all of us. Last year over 6000 tickets were distributed during Free Month, 83% of those people said they had never been to the theatre they attended before and 43% said they bought a ticket after attending. Those are fantastic numbers, but we want to go even better than that. We want to make theatre goers out of non theatre goers. Anybody have any ideas? Are there networking websites we don’t know about? We thought of, and some of the others, but there’s always a snag, i.e. linked in doesn’t do ads and all of our connections are arts folks. It needs to be far away from what we usually do – not arts groups, but other groups, sports groups, dog lover groups, that kind of thing.

Any ideas? Lemme know.



Jules said...

Buy ads on Facebook. From what I understand, you can target the exact audience you want based on their profile details.

Nick Keenan said...

I think +1 for facebook. I've been trying to think of a way to target friends of friends on facebook... folks who have been on the fence about checking out theater but already work with theater folk or hang with theater folk. Get 'em to jump that fence.

PG1-1 said...

Why buy ads create a group on facebook and get people to register and signup

Sally said...

I know I'm weighing in a little late, but I just saw this post.

I don't know all the details of your previous promotion (what were the disctribution channels? How did people find out about free tix? etc.), so you might have already tried the following, but how about:

--Contact local car dealer assosications and offer them a block of tickets that they could give away with each new car purchase or sevice or the like. They serve a diverse population, and while some customers may be theatre-goers, a big enough percentage probably would not be and would provide the exposure you're looking for.
--Ask your own group what other non-theatre groups they belong to - churches, PTOs, pet playgroups - and get them to promote the event on a one-on-one basis.
--Use the data bases you have, and ask your current customers if there aren't other people in their lives that they'd like to introduce to theatre-going. So many people have others in their lives tha scoff at interests until they experience them for themselves!

Hope this helps!