Reputation is the main driver of your theatre’s long-term success. It impacts not only whether patrons decide to see additional shows in the future, but it also the degree to which professional staff decide to work at your theatre, performers choose to perform there and the community decides to provide donations. Managing the reputation impact of each event is a critical component of theatre management.
When you produce a show, it will have a neutral, positive or negative impact on your organization’s overall reputation – depending on the quality of the show and the overall customer experience.
The quality of the show will have the biggest impact your organization’s reputation. Producing a quality show is an obvious objective of theatre management, but it is interesting to see how many theatres fall short of quality through mistakes like including too many performers in the production, taking on too ambitious a production, or over-emphasizing sets and costumes to the detriment of basic acting and performing skills.
An emerging best practice in theatre management is to measure the quality of the event to the extent possible. Of course, speaking with audience members after the event is very useful. So is providing a short survey that they can fill out on their way out. The survey should be only three or four questions with an opportunity to add additional information should they wish.
Customer experience starts from the time the ticket buyer is considering attending an event through to purchasing tickets, to finding the venue, finding their seats, enjoying the event and any follow-up after the event. The entire experience needs to be easy, pleasant and rewarding. Improving the experience is a matter of asking the following questions:
Are we making it easy for potential ticket buyers to find out about the event?
Is it easy for them to understand the alternative dates and times of the show?
Once the ticket buyer has selected their desired event and date and time, is it easy for them to see what seats are available for them to purchase?
Does our box office software make ticket purchasing process fun, clear and error-free?
Is the actual ticket an attractive representation of our brand?
Have we made it easy to find the venue with maps or directions?
Once at the venue, what is the entire experience for walking into the lobby, seeing where any concessions or facilities are and finding one’s seat?
Are we thanking and recognizing people who provide a donation when they purchase a ticket?
Reputation is what drives the long-term value of your theater. Managing the impact on your theater’s reputation from each event is an important part of theatre management.
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