Brian Franko
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Grow arts and culture revenue

Ask Me Anything: Promoting Emerging Artists

Ask Me Anything Question

How do you suggest getting people to buy tickets to hear an unknown young musician in a recital presented by an organization that has a history of starting careers of many famous musical artists?

Brian Franko's Answer

Assuming your organization is known for giving artists their “big break,” you might consider the following:

  • Promote the concert to patrons who have seen similar artists. Do you have a big star from the past who is similar to the new artist? “Similar” can be age, style, form, etc.—whatever you feel is the best fit. Drawing the connection for those who saw the big star may help sell tickets.
  • Continue to promote your brand. It’s wonderful that your organization is such a great starting point for artists. Do you promote that story in your communications? Any chance you have to express how vital you are to these artists’ careers and how special it is to see them early on will help with overall patron loyalty.
  • Set prices that align with the patron’s perception of the artist’s value (not yours). This is so important in creating worth not just for the artist, but for your organization and the work you do.
  • Communicate the concert in language/messages that appeal to the non-aficionado. Talking to the music expert in language only he/she understands will turn off those who are not familiar with the organization, the music, and the artist. Rational language about concert length, similar artists, and unique experiences help convey that message.

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.

Brian Franko