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Grow arts and culture revenue

Ask Me Anything: Starting Dynamic Pricing

Ask Me Anything Question

"I’m already halfway through my season but want to start dynamic pricing. Is it too late?"

Our Answer

While it’s best to start with dynamic pricing as early as possible in the season or during the run of a production or exhibit, it’s never too late to begin! You’re probably already monitoring sales and customer behavior, hence the question, so you could potentially already see opportunities for raising prices. It will be important to remember that you should have transparency when raising prices (i.e., messaging to your patrons on all channels that prices are likely to change) during a season. Start with per ticket increases that feel manageable to gradually grow your revenue during the sales period. Conversely, you could also target specific times/dates for noticeable changes to guide customer behavior (i.e., increasing Sunday afternoon prices to encourage people to book into Sunday evening at lower prices). You even have an opportunity to incentivize mid-season subscription or membership to lock in prices before they increase. Just make sure that all listed prices are reflective of your new pricing strategy and be sure to communicate with your customers.

In fact, the only time you shouldn’t consider doing dynamic pricing is if the cost/benefit isn’t worth the time to make the changes. If someone in ticketing is going to spend a few hours to add a potential of a couple hundred dollars either because the inventory available or amount of increase is so small; that’s probably not the best use of time. Instead use that (and maybe those hours) as an opportunity to plan ahead for the next time around.

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.