Economy Affecting Live Entertainment Tickets
It may come as no surprise to most that the economy is having a big impact on disposable income. Even with gas prices coming down, many people
are still feeling the pinch and having to make decisions on where to spend there money and justify additional, possibly unnecessary items such
as entertainment tickets.
Several articles have been written recently about how larger companies (i.e. sports teams, major venues, music tours, etc) are starting to see the effects of the economy in terms of fewer tickets sales and season tickets. Families are having to decide how much their entertainment time is worth and how to get the most bang for the buck. As ticket prices continue to go up and up, families are having to re-think how to fill the entertainment time they allot for themselves.
In the past, ticket prices to major sporting events have not really been effected by the economy and more and more wealthy propel are buying tickets to these events and not worried about shelling out thousands of dollars for tickets. Corporations use professional sports as a way to entertain and schmooze clients. The effect is that the everyday die-hard fan is being shut out due to increasing ticket prices. The result is that more and more people will begin to look for different ways to entertain themselves and their family, which could be a huge opportunity for smaller entertainment venues to cash in.
There is an old saying that if you put the right price in front of the right person they will come. It's a simple case of supply and demand. You may no longer be able to get customers to pay top dollar for the best seats. However by lowering your price, you open yourself up to a lot of other people who might pay a bit less for a night out on the town if the price is right.
The first thing most companies try and do is offer discounted tickets on their website, in newsletters and in publications they traditionally advertise in to bait customers into purchasing tickets. The problem with this way of thinking is that you are offering a discount to people who would probably pay full price anyway. This is your base. The best approach in this situation is to find alternative channels to market these discounted tickets in to reach out to a demographic that you may not have advertised to in the past. People that might have never attended your event at your current cost might do so if you lower the price.
Look for companies that specialize in this type of service. Priceline, Expedia, Hotels.com etc have been doing this for years with the travel industry and have been quite successful. Entertainment venues need look for these types of companies that specialize in offering the same service for them.
StubDog.com, a leading discount ticket provider, works with venues to help increase audience. They market shows for the venue and help them reach an audience and fill seats. Entertainment tickets generally go for 50% off the full price of the tickets in major cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston and provide a way to leverage these unsold tickets. StubDog has plans to establish a nationwide presence in 2009 that would give millions the opportunity to try new events using seats that would remain empty anyway. It's beneficial for venues as they market your shows for you at no cost and allow you to sell tickets that directly affect your bottom line.
With economic experts predicating that the poor economy will continue throughout most of 2009, entertainment companies will be forced to find new ways to generate revenue and will have to begin to look beyond traditional marketing practice.
Survival will depend on shedding an "old school" way of thinking that may be easier said than done. Venues who frown on Discounting will continue to see sales struggle while others use this tool to attract a new audience and set themselves up for success.