How many tickets do you sell on average per student performing in the show? It's an important number to know. I had several parents (especially of little ones) buy over 20 tickets each this year. At $45 a ticket, I'm of course LOVING this, but it's got me thinking about ways to increase ticket sales.
1. One I've done before is printing out "invitations" for students to give to their friends and family, and a form (that looks a lot like a 40-hour-famine sponsorship form) where parents and friends can write in how many tickets they want to add to the family's order, and pay for them. When I did this, I got a lot more friends of students coming, especially the seniors. And my dance parents liked it because the way the form was worded, it sort of implied "please come to my concert, and here's how to pay"... which I think helped in situations whereby the mum wants to invite all of the extended family but doesn't want to pay for them all. This facilitated the logistics for the families or friends.
2. Another one I've done in the past was an invite "checklist". It was a section in our concert information pack that said...
"Who should come to concert? Every performer deserves a great audience. Imagine how excited your child would be on concert day, knowing that they have all their friends and family in the crowd watching their special superstar moment, cheering for them and showing their support. Here's a helpful checklist for you to consider who you could invite: Have you invited... parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins, godparents, school friends, family friends, close neighbours, school teacher?"
Sure, it's a little transparent - it's clear I'm just trying to increase ticket sales, but it's still helpful to the parents to guide them through the thought process, and it's under the guise of the main aim being to fill the audience with cheers and support and excitement (hopefully making it seem like it's not just about more money for me).
3. Even if it means a venue change, consider the impact that a weekend date would have on your ticket numbers. Do the maths on this one though, because if you're saving venue hire on weekday discounted rates then maybe you're better off with a few less people in the crowd but saving thousands on venue?
4. Hype... it's all about hype. Make the concert the be all and end all of everything. Hype the kids, hype the parents, hype the teachers. The whole reason I spent way too long trying to make my concert information pack look pretty and turned what should have been a simple information document into a 20 page colour magazine is because HYPE. I wanted as much hype and excitement and aspiration around that concert experience as possible.
5. Make the show actually entertaining. The number one feedback I get every year about my concerts is "my husband hated concert day at our old studio, he said it was the most boring 2 hours of his life he'd never get back, but he loved your show - it was just so entertaining." What can you do? Theme some routines, create choreographic magic moments at least once or twice in each routine, make sure the concert isn't too long, feature every child, keep the pace really fast between acts, use every trick in the book with lighting, screens, props etc, choose great music that the audience will love and keep each routine under 3 minutes long. The more your audience LOVES your show, the more they'll be brave enough to invite their extended family to sit through it the following year.
BONUS TIP: Consumer psychology is my favourite new passion this year. I'm obsessed with it. I can sit and listen to people like Rory Sutherland for days on end. A few years ago I did one little thing that noticeably increased ticket sales... I put a restriction on the number of tickets allowed per family. It's so counter intuitive that it's genius.
We have never fully sold out a show, I wouldn't want to, because then what about that one mum who stupidly leaves it to the last minute and then can't watch her child. So I aim for a 90% filled theatre, higher than that and it's too risky someone might miss out. BUT I imposed a cap on how many tickets a family could buy.
25! Ridiculous, because who would even know that many people to bring to a child's dance concert. It's not a bloody wedding. But I wrote in a rule, that no more than 25 tickets could be purchased by any one family. Do you know what it did? It provided an example (an extreme one) but a yardstick from which parents could get an indication of "the norm".
People innately want to fit in, want to be normal. And in situations they haven't been in before (like booking tickets to a dance concert) they look to others to see what they're doing for guidance of what is average, what is expected. By writing in a rule about 25 tickets, it creates an assumption that some people want (or have previously tried to purchase) more than that. And suddenly a family buying 3 tickets to concert, rethinks and considers why they're getting so few compared to others, maybe they should invite some more people?
Best thing I did for ticket sales.