Box office at Canadian Stage is staffed by some of the best box office folks in the world, friendly, sharp and good at what they do. These days I spend a lot of time on the phone with them, exchanging emails, etc so whenever I am there in real life for Proud, I check in with them in person to say hi and chat.
Tonight we were discussing a rise in a certain type of ticket buyer – young, slightly frantic, and desperate to see the show. Turns out that a professor had seen the show last week, and told his students that they must see it, as they were going to discuss it next week in class. Ah. Gotcha.
One young lady arrived last night, breathless, incredulous that it was completely sold out, she kept saying, “is there ANY way?” And of course there wasn’t. We were sold out to the walls, I had planned to see the show tonight and gave back my ticket to sell. Overhearing her as I loitered in the lobby, and rather than have her stand repeating this to the box office, I took her aside and asked her name, who was the prof etc. Same prof, same class.
7:55 -After discussing/confirming with Box Office, I said if at 800 there was a ticket left from a no-show, we’d get her in. She offered to sit in the booth.
7:58 We had a nice chat about theatre school and the intensity of such. She was nearly in tears and I gave her the Facebook page and the website when she asked if there was anywhere she could get info on the show. Two patrons dash in and pick up their tickets,
8:00 I also gave her my business card and said to let her prof know that I could vouch that she’d tried. And if he wanted me to, I’d be more than happy to come in and talk to his class about the play. She thanked me. And there’s two tickets left.
8:01 two people race in and pick up their tickets. Those last two. No go. I’ve got nothing left, she can’t get in. We chat a bit more so she can calm down, because she’s really stressed, and she heads home.
Poor gal. And I thought, “good lord, if you tell them they have to see this play, why didn’t you do a student group booking?” And then it occurred to me.
He’s teaching them to experience art.
Enough about that.
I’ve got two workshops coming up!
October 17th Enriching Your Work in Culture
WorkInCulture leads a four-week series that demystifies the language of business for creative professionals from any discipline. Held at the Parkdale Public Library, this series of free courses is designed and delivered in collaboration with cultural insiders who will share tips and exercises to help you create a thriving, life-long career. I’m doing the “making social media work for you” session.
November 7th #Consultancy – Why Arts Consultants Need Their Own Online Presence
This one is a webinar with Heather Young, Treasurer of ACCA, and we’re going on an exploration of the tools and strategies available to support the growth and development of her practice, Young Associates.
And now for my “really? really??” moment. Got a note last night from the Proud show report. Seems a patron had to leave halfway through the show. No, not illness, or emergency. But they did have to go be in a show themselves, so thought it would be okay to come to our show and walk out in the middle in time to make their own curtain.
I – really?
Put an ad in the paper.
Make a Facebook event and invite all your friends.
Make flyers and hand them out on the street to people.
Make a radio jingle. Or a Youtube video.
Go on local access television.
These are all valid marketing suggestions.
Know what the problem is?
They were made off the cuff, with no knowledge of you, your art or product, your target market, your sales goals, anything. These are marketing suggestions. They can work – if they are applicable to everything I just listed.
So, just as a divorce lawyer won’t say, “let him have the house this time”, or a dermatologist won’t say, “just dab it with toothpaste” or a best friend won’t say – well, you get the picture. Until I know you and your art a little better, I’m not suggesting random things.