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Timmy Metzner
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Grow arts and culture revenue

Ask Me Anything: Slow Sellers


Ask Me Anything Question

One of our shows isn’t selling well. We’ve tried everything, and are now considering significantly lowering the ticket price. Is this the right approach?

Timmy's Answer

A demand problem should never be confused with a price problem. It is impossible to salvage a poorly selling show by lowering the price. In other words, you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Have you ever gotten a papering offer from another organization and thought “things must not being going well across town"? Your audiences can pick up on this subtle message as well. A lowered price can connote a performance that may not be worth seeing. No one wants to devalue their art.

If the performance you’re presenting doesn’t have a large appeal, no amount of lowering the price will convince an audience to “give it a try.” Accept the income you’ll make, discount intelligently, and look to other performances/productions that may be able to help make up the loss.


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JCA Arts Marketing collaborates with cultural organizations to increase revenue, boost attendance and membership, and grow patron loyalty. We provide consulting and software services to hundreds of cultural institutions across multiple genres, including dance, museums, opera, performing arts centers, symphony, and theatre. We can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Timmy Metzner | Senior Consultant, JCA Arts Marketing

Timmy Metzner, Senior Consultant

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