Contributed by Guest Blogger of the week, Gyda Arber.
One of my responsibilities in the theater world is as Outreach Director of The Brick (my fav theater space in NYC, though obviously I'm totally biased). I've been working on raising The Brick's profile in the last few years, and getting new folks in the door. I figured I'd share some of the things we've done that have worked for us!
We've found offering online discounts can be effective at driving audience, especially to those hard to fill opening/middle weeks of a run. I've been particularly fond of TDF's Off-Off @ $9 lately, which is super easy (a lot easier than accepting vouchers) and gets us people who wouldn't normally come to The Brick.
Papering services have been mostly ineffective for us, actually; we'll offer a block of tickets for sale and can't get anyone to come. I think people that belong to those services are looking for Broadway shows for free, and don't care about Indie theater. But we have found that NYU kids will jump at free tickets, and have a pretty good rate of showing up. All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
--When we can get these organized, this has been a great way to drive new audience to our shows. Researching meetup or community groups that are interested in the show's topic can be a good place to start, offering a special discount code for their members. You can also offer a talk-back or other post-show event to sweeten the deal.
What have you found to be effective in driving audience to your shows?