Broadway takes a cue from its non-profit peers.

October 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

Non-profit arts organizations across the country have been using “pre-show lectures” and “talkback series” as ways to engage and attract audiences for years.  Recently, commercial producers in New York have begun utilizing the same tactics to try and increase box office revenues.  Producers are not convinced people will buy a ticket for a talkback, but believe that the talkbacks add value to their product and believe people will leave the theatre more satisfied. 


I find it very interesting for a commercial entity to be borrowing from the non-profit world.  We often hear about non-profits adopting commercial practices to reach greater efficiencies, but we rarely see the ideas flowing from the non-profit to the commercial.  I think this basic marketing principle of “creating value” should be considered more often in the commercial theatre industry.  In New York, where the commercial and non-profit live side by side, the commercial producers should realize that the local audience does not distinguish between the two types.  Although tourists do make up a large percentage of many big shows, it is the core New Yorkers that decide if and when many shows will close.  Let’s hope that Broadway keeps this up, and continues considering its “value” in the future. 



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