Earlier this summer, TRG convened a two-day meeting of chief arts executives here in Colorado Springs. In our session we discussed the importance of alignment between artistic leadership, executive leadership, and the board if an organization is to develop sustainable revenues from patrons.
Before the organization makes a strategic plan or begins implementing it, leadership must be on the same page about the current realities their organization faces. There are many factors that can affect the organization’s ease in sustaining itself, including:
- Art form: Realities in presenting chamber music are different than those in commercial Broadway.
- Market: Birmingham, AL is a different community than San Francisco or Vail, CO.
- Current operational practices: Are they the practices required in 2014?
- Current patron behavior: How loyal are patrons today? How do they respond to programming initiatives, and WHO responds?
- Programming and venues: The “what” and the “where” that may pique audience interest—or deter them.
One participant in our session looked at the list and asked a provocative question. “Where’s mission?”
Her question sparked my interest. What exactly is the role of mission when it comes to an organization’s sustainability?
You may call it pricing.
We call it demand management.
The choice of words matters less than the practices arts managers maintain as part of their working discipline.
Smart technique and tactics like dynamic pricing can get you immediate infusions of income. Managing demand and its associated revenue, Jill Robinson, TRG’s President & CEO, recently told organization leaders at our July Executive Summit “is an evergreen administrative practice that must play a role in sustainable revenue.” It is a strategic skill set that can enable arts staff teams to follow patrons’ desires to deeper engagement, greater investments, and ultimately, the revenue – working capital – that helps organizations thrive.
July 22 at 2 EDT/11 PDT
Edit: Thanks to everyone who attended this chat! Click through to read the transcript.
Ready for the kick-off of your season or fall events? More importantly, is your pricing strategy ready? Tune up your thinking and practices in this hour-long Twitter chat with industry colleagues, TRG pricing expert Lindsay Homer, and moderator Amelia Northrup-Simpson. We'll discuss topics like dynamic pricing, discounting, managing inventory, and more. Bring your own favorite pricing ideas and the burning pricing strategy questions you’ve always wanted to have answered.
Data drives increased audience engagement and loyalty
|Hubbard Street Dancers Jessica Tong, left, and Jesse Bechard
in One Thousand Pieces by Resident Choreographer
Alejandro Cerrudo. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.
At the end of its Landmark 35th Anniversary season, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago was at a high point. Ticket sales and fundraising were stronger than ever, and buzz in the Chicago community and in the dance world was growing.
While Hubbard Street had developed a significant and enthusiastic ticketing and donor base, the marketing and development team wanted a greater depth of knowledge about the company’s most engaged patrons. Bill Melamed, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, and Stacey Recht, Associate Director of Marketing, began asking: How well do we really know our patrons? How do our patrons interact across the organization? What are the trends and entry points? How can we best cultivate them toward long-term loyalty?
Hubbard Street wanted to cultivate this audience more holistically, beyond basic categories like ticket buyer, subscriber, or donor. They became curious about each patron’s total investment across those categories, and engaged TRG to help analyze the data and recommend steps toward increasing loyalty.