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Alexandra Davis
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Grow arts and culture revenue

Ask Me Anything: Takeaways from the Tony Awards


The 2019 Tony Awards are sadly over.

It had no shortage of highlights: James Corden gave us more than one stellar host’s performance, there were several memorable acceptance speeches, and history was made with Ali Stroker’s win for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. Oh, and Cynthia Erivo led a remarkable In Memoriam segment.

So what were the takeaways for arts marketers?

Surprise & Delight

We saw an excellent example of Surprise & Delight last night when James Corden presented a segment from Radio City Music Hall’s third mezzanine. For reference, that’s the seating available for the general public to purchase. With prices at $525 and $725, Corden’s acknowledgement on air was surely warranted. In your own organization, we encourage you to notice the audience members taking the extra step to be part of your organization’s family—either as subscribers, loyal STBs, or far-away-travelers. What can you do to surprise & delight these segments the next time they enter your home?

Discounts

An important note as it relates to the steep prices for admission listed above: even The American Theatre Wing has to offer discounts to fill their house. Three days before the big show, The Tony Awards announced that their student rush policy would return in 2019 for $100 (+ $6 service fee). By offering these deeply discounted tickets only to a specific group of people while maintaining a very high full price, they were able to fill seats without decreasing the value message of their product.

Dynamic Pricing

It’s no secret that ticket prices will skyrocket for last night’s big winners. Productions that leave with one of the night’s biggest titles (Best Musical and Best Play) see an average of 33% increase in gross revenue—after ticket prices ramp up an average of 22%. Don’t be afraid of factoring dynamic pricing into your strategy. We’ve seen clients bring in over $200,000 in incremental revenue following our data-driven approach to dynamic pricing. It is worth every cent and second you put into it.

And, lest we forget, we asked you to submit your predictions for who would win last night’s top awards. Shout out to Sean Hartley at the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center for winning our prediction pool!