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Jennifer Sowinski
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Grow arts and culture revenue

Tips for Your 2020-21 Pricing Strategy


The year 2020 is fast approaching, and that means that many of us are gearing up to announce our upcoming seasons! This time of year always comes with a lot of decision making, and some of those decisions will be inevitably by centered around making adjustments to pricing and subscription offerings for the new season.

It’s important to consider making small ($1-3) changes to your pricing each season. Making these small adjustments will not only help your pricing keep pace with inflation, but it will also help make sure your audience doesn’t get stuck in the mentality of “but it’s always been this way!” Plus, if you’re consistently tweaking and adjusting prices using your sales data, you can avoid needing to make drastic and more difficult changes later.

When you’re looking ahead and making decisions about pricing, you might want to start with the basics.  Do you have the right number of prices, and are they in the right parts of the house?

In past posts, we’ve discussed how to differentiate prices, even in a small venue, when you might want to re-scale your house, and how often you should adjust your pricing and scaling.  Take a look at each of your prices, evaluate how they’re selling, and then use that information to make any necessary changes.

You’ll also want to evaluate whether there are certain sections selling better than others, or if there are parts of your house that are always empty. We have some tips for fixing holes in your house, and solutions for when your top and bottom prices are the only things selling.

Once your single ticket prices are set, it’s also worth spending some time thinking about your subscription offerings. If you’re making changes to your scaling, you’ll want to make sure that you can talk to your subscribers about any changes that are going to affect them. Also consider your subscription discounts. Subscription discounts are frequently an area where we have room to improve our organization's bottom line by asking a little more from our most loyal patrons.

Finally, consider whether the subscription and package options you offer are truly what your patrons are looking for. Would your audience benefit from smaller packages? Or is there room to provide subscribers with additional flexibility?

There are a lot of questions to consider at the start of each season, and you may decide that you only need to address one or two of the areas I’ve mentioned this year, which is great! As long as you make a few pricing adjustments each year, you’ll avoid getting stagnant, and your patrons will learn to expect and accept change.

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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.


Jennifer Sowinski, Consulting Analyst, JCA Arts Marketing