Call me an optimist but I think there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for us in the event and entertainment business. I have written several times that entertainment is the first to feel a recession but we are the first to come out of it.
In yesterday’s Los Angeles Times there was an article on the movie box office numbers for January. Guess what? They had their first Billion dollar January. That’s right, in the middle of a recession Hollywood did great! Yes, they had some big movies out there but they broke the revenue record for January. One recession related reason for this success is what I am always referring to as the “escape”. All of us in the event, sports, and entertainment industry are the escape. People are sick of doing nothing. They are sick of staying home. Here in the Northeast it has already been a very long, cold, snowy, unemployment winter. People are looking for something to enjoy. Movies are still affordable compared to other out of home entertainment so they get the break first. But all of us in the “live” business can start reaping the rewards too.
If you are a family show, parents need to do “something” with the kids. Give them a good product at a family friendly price and they will come. Allen Bloom (who must of us consider the “godfather” of event marketing) had a quote at Ringling Bros. The line was: “We are for the masses not the classes”.
If you are a sports team, the same goes for you. Take a hard, close look at your ticket prices. Can your fans afford to go? Do they have a choice? Of course they have a choice. Do you want them to sit at home and watch it on TV? Those empty seats won’t look to good on TV.
If you are in the concert business do you really have to charge $100 plus for a ticket? I already can hear the promoters saying it’s the agents & managers fault. If this is true, then agents and managers out there, do you want your client’s fans to see them now or do you want to sit and wait?
Right now we have a great opportunity to step up our game. Please always remember that the ticket business is the consumer’s discretionary dollar. Put out a product that the event & entertainment consumer wants to see and can afford. We can and should be the recession “escape”.