Thursday, May 29, 2008

Great Discussion about New Theatre Revenue Streams

Hey everybody! I recently joined a new theatre discussion group you should know about called Theatre Tribe:

I got into a great discussion about new revenue streams for theatre groups.

Discussion posted by Scott Walters:

You might want to read the following two posts from Theatre Ideas that I did, and then read The Director's thoughts and questions about "...

Discussion link:

I responded:

I think these are really great ideas. My "full-time" career (as if I theatre directing and performing is only part-time!) has been as a media advertising and marketing executive. As such it is my job day in and day out to solve my clients' marketing and advertising challenges with the programming and audience reach my stations have. The same basic challenge applies to theatre and discovering new revenue streams. The ideas discussed here are wonderful, creative ways to develop new revenue streams, but if we don't think of ourselves as salespeople who can effectively translate the value of these ideas as ways to solve a particular clients' specific needs, we're wasting our time. We're so used to presenting and having an audience listen and watch us. We need to flip that around and LISTEN to what potential sponsors are telling us. Then we can use our wonderful creativity to create customized and specific programs that use our unique resources to solve their problems. Sponsors will pay for solutions to their problems. We just have to find out what those problems are and effectively sell OUR solutions. And believe it or not corporate America is more creative that we give them credit for....they ARE looking for new and different ways to market themselves to make their brand stand out among the ever-increasing din of advertising messages (can you say live pre-show "commercials" on the West End or Dove Soap's recent commission of a scripted play detailed in the article "I Don't Care if it Sells Soap" here:

When somebody threw out the idea of video documentaries I responded:

That's exactly what the "Call-Back" series is all about that I produce here in Cleveland. The show airs each week on cable and documents the behind the scenes process of producing shows. I have also been able to monetize the process. Essentially there is no-charge to theatre groups for documenting their shows and putting them on the air (and on-line), but rather a barter system is set up. The theatre groups give me a certain amount of exposure in their theatres (program ads, video screens, lobby space, signage, etc.). I pool these exposure vehicles and re-sell them to corporate sponsors who may want to reach a larger scope of audiences in different theatres in different geographic areas. The participating theatres get the revenue and I keep a small percentage (essentially a commission). The theatres love the exposure for their shows, the sponsors love new marketing vehicles and I can cover my expenses. I invite you to check out the following YouTube links of past "Call-Back Episodes:

Call-Back: The Dreamgirls Collection


Annie Get Your Gun on Call-Back:

A Nightmare of Crime on Call-Back:

Thoroughly Modern Millie on Call-Back:

Great Stuff! Join the tribe!

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