Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Price is Right

For those of you that may not be familiar with the website yet, I highly encourage you to check it out. It’s a very cool collaborative site where theatre artists and administrators from across the country are brainstorming and sharing ideas online. There is a really interesting post on there this week by Trisha Mead from Portland Center Stage in which she talks about her theatre switching over to a dynamic pricing model and how that helped increase their earned revenue. This idea has come up a bit recently in the blogosphere and twitterverse as well. Here’s Trisha’s description of dynamic pricing:

“Under this model, you advertise your lowest regular adult price, with the phrase “Starts at $XX.” Then you make sure the lowest advertised price requires them to buy early, come to the least popular performance night and sit in the very visible but not very good seats right up front on the side. If they want a better night, a better seat, or the chance to wait until the last minute, it will cost them more. And if you haven’t advertised your additional prices in advance, you can adjust these numbers on the fly, experimenting until you find the right price breaks for this audience for this particular show.”

Sounds like a great way to capitalize on a show and not encourage patrons to wait until the last minute to buy tickets. Our friends over at Target Resource Group have been promoting this pricing model as well. It seems like its really valuable, but I’m only aware of a few theatres in town that use it. I’m curious for those theatres that already use it, how has it worked for you? What are the drawbacks or biggest challenges? Has anyone looked into it and decided it’s not for them?

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