Monday, November 17, 2008

Results from the Arena Stage New Deal

Round 1: Economy vs. Arena Stage

Tactic: Arena Stage's New Deal--25,000 tickets at $25 each for 24 hours
Good for the first week of any remaining production in 2008-09

Results: 6,661 tickets sold for almost $200,000 in revenue in a 24 hour period

  • The previous highest grossing day at Arena Stage was $90,000 in 2002, which we more than doubled.
  • We created 229 entirely new patron accounts.
  • Several preview performances sold out, and the remaining shows have very healthy houses which should go a long way in boosting word of mouth early.
  • We sold 1,400 tickets in two hours from 12am-2am on Friday morning.
  • We had a line at the box office at 12am, including a woman in her sleeping bag.



Shane Hudson said...

Thanks so much for posting these results! I saw this promotion and thought it was a great idea. I was very curious to see how the economy would impact this type of sale. Very impressive numbers...Congrats!

Amy Calhoun said...

These are fantastic results! Congratulations!
You've got me thinking about how I can do something along the same lines here in the Chicago area, but I'm not sure my box office staff would be up for a 24 hour marathon. said...

Can you tell us how this was promoted? Congrats and thanks!

Chad M. Bauman said...

We had a pretty small advertising budget for the NEW DEAL -- $12,000 in total. Most of that went to advertising in the Washington Post, Post Express, and the City Paper. We received donated advertising through a couple of fantastic partners that we have as well. Online, we had agressive campaigns on Facebook, MySpace, Google groups, Yahoo! groups, Craigslist, Twitter, and YouTube. Our website changed over to have a prominent feature on the homepage, and we had a countdown clock as well. One week prior to the sale date, we sent an e-mail to all of our subscribers offering them first crack at the $25 tickets one day before they went on sale to the public. We sent an e-mail to our entire database (51,000) promoting the sale. The group sales office over a period of two weeks called every contact we had. Press played a major role--the secured articles in the Washington Post, on our ABC affiliate, a local television news program, and features from prominent bloggers and theatre websites in the area.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the sale was such a huge success for your and Arena Stage.

Did you find that ticket sales were down in the days leading up to the sale as people were waiting to purchase their tickets when they became less expensive?

Did any of your subscribers become angry that you were offering single tickets at a price less than their subscription tickets' value?

Just wondering...

Chad M. Bauman said...

Yes, we did see sales fall a little prior to the one day sale, but we anticipated that. That is why we only gave a week between the announcement of the sale and the sale itself. Also we were in a period where traditionally we don't see much action since we were still some weeks away from our preview period.

We had one complaint from a subscriber that I know of. Several days prior to the sale, I wrote a letter on behalf of our artistic director that was sent to all of our subscribers. It assured them that only the remaining seats would be sold at the $25 rate, so subscribers would have much better seats. We also gave subscribers first crack at buying the $25 tickets the day before the sale for things like holiday gifts, etc.

Lindsay Price said...

That's a great example of putting your customers first, and moving forward in tough times. Congratulations, and I hope the word of mouth really pays off.

common sense said...

It would be interesting to know original pricing structure.

Also, what % of tickets were already sold before the promotion and how did this change the %.

Will this alter the unit price for all seats vis a vis the previous year? That is, will you fill up enough seats that had been previously unsold in prior seasons to end up with as good or a better per seat average this year, or is this just damage control for a year that was looking like a disaster?

Thanks for the info.