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Theatres, opera houses: develop revenues and cultural accessibility with yield management

Develop revenue and cultural accessibility with yield management

That difficult and intense holiday season is now behind us, and with your eyes set on 2023, there's no better time to challenge the status quo before putting your team in place.

In today's inflationary climate, there is an undeniable trend that audiences want more for their money. The current challenge for theaters is to set the right prices, for the right audience, at the right time. Cultural practices are changing, which invites you to redefine your budget allocation and explore tools to adapt to the current context. So how do you optimize both your revenues and the accessibility (pricing) of your shows?

Yield management has been introduced in the arts and culture sector for several years now, but it is becoming more and more relevant as the current context evolves. Fixed production costs remain, while audiences are still reluctant to return to theaters. In this context, the ability to act on your data is essential for your marketing strategy, providing unique insights such as the ability to predict the number of seats sold or remaining. In this sense, you are able to define preferential rates, discounted rates or any other dynamic pricing to fill your productions and keep the revenue on track. And to do this, knowledge of your audience, and therefore a good management of your spectator data, is essential!

In this article, we review the 3 good reasons to apply Yield Management to live performance.

3 reasons to apply Yield Management to performing arts

The promise of Yield Management is similar to the marketing adage "The right price, to the right person, at the right time". Beyond the mere variation of prices (dynamic pricing), it is about optimizing the offer by adapting it to different audiences via criteria that take into account the behavioral differences of each of them.

Thus, Yield Management allows the optimization of your revenues. This is not its only benefit! Indeed, it also makes it possible to better allocate the seats available in your venues. In this way, you can offer a personalized experience to your different types of spectators (acquired or future), and build their loyalty.

1- Attract new audiences to develop your attendance

The development of audiences today covers several realities. On the one hand, your missions of cultural democratization commit you to welcoming young school audiences, or so-called remote audiences. On the other hand, it is clear that the long-awaited difficult return of spectators to the theater shows that even your regular spectators are no longer the same people as before the health crisis. The need for reassurance and flexibility is much stronger. 

In this sense, yield management is an ally. Because you have a detailed knowledge of your audience and their purchasing habits thanks to your CDP, you are able to offer a price adapted to each category of audience. In particular, you can define when to set up a very attractive admission price to generate word-of-mouth around your shows and encourage people to return to the theater.

Anil Malhotra, our US expert: The pandemic has a profound impact on shopping frequency. During the pandemic, we all found new ways to spend our time. Those who returned to theaters did so less frequently. More importantly, many of the audience members who were present before this pandemic did not return at all. The decrease in attendance has impacted the demand for medium and small events. The most prestigious events are doing as well (if not better) than before the pandemic. But anything other than the top events is struggling, in part because of the lack of spectators.

2- Build spectator loyalty through a personalised experience

Because Yield Management is based on a detailed understanding of your audience's buying behavior, it allows you to offer personalized experiences. This way, each category of audience finds a response to needs that cultural institutions have not yet addressed.

Indeed, when buying a ticket, the spectator compares several offers to find the one that suits him best. The level of satisfaction they derive from the purchase experience and then from the performance experience favours, or not, their loyalty. Price is a central argument, but its importance can vary according to the type of spectator. On the other hand, other services can be expected...

For example, the purchase of a seat can be achieved through :

  • a low, last-minuteprice for a place with average visibility,
  • a moderate price, with a baby-sitting service (set up by the Grand Théâtre de Genève in partnership with the Geneva Red Cross),
  • a high price, with great flexibility for changing the date of the performance.
3- Optimise your ticket price revenue

Finally, Yield Management is of course the optimisation of your income linked to the ticket price. Your offer becomes clearer for your spectatorsand therefore more attractive.

Unlike a complex pricing structure, where each category has multiple criteria that viewers must refer to, your prices evolve according to your alerts and back-office actions. This way, you can meet your budgetary needs while offering a personalised experience to your audience..

Focus on Théâtre du Châtelet : +150,000 of turnover on one show

Following its reopening in 2019, after two years of renovation, the Théâtre du Châtelet has collaborated with Arenametrix to optimise its ticketing revenues. 

The musical "An American in Paris" was placed at the heart of this work. The price of tickets for nearly 40 performancesfrom the end of November to the beginning of January was "yielded". 500 alerts were set up for the show, helping toaccelerated sales.

The Théâtre du Châtelet thus generated + €150,000 in turnover compared to the initial schedule with the so-called classic prices applied.

How to implement Yield Management in your venue?

The Arenametrix team will work with you to establish a strategy adapted to your Yield Management project in several stages:

  1.  Selection of the most suitable shows
  2. Definition of the categories of spectators concerned
  3. Integration of capacities and filling objectives to be set in Arenametrix for these shows, for each performance, for each category
  4. Setting up the tiers that trigger price changes
  5. Choice of price levels

Would you like to know more? Make an appointment with our Performing Arts Manager to discuss all your projects related to diversification and development of audience loyaltyas well as optimising your ticketing revenues.

(1) yield management
(2) early-birds: reduced pricing applied to first-time buyers or early bookers

To go further, discover :
Visual Solene crop

Solène Jimenez

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

Apolline CS Spectacle

Apolline Locquet

Would you like to carry out a data & CDP diagnosis of your organisation? Take advantage of 30 minutes of free consulting by reserving your slot.

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