I can really tell the ticketed event industry is in full recession mode. All kinds of events are not only offering discounts on tickets but free tickets as well.
Yesterday, I was forwarded an email with an offer for free opening night tickets to Ringling Bros. in Miami. That’s right free tickets! On the email was a link to the Ticketmaster page. Being the curious blogger that I am, I had to check it out. It was true! They were offering free tickets to last night’s opening night performance at the American Airlines Arena. All I had to do was type in the code: TMOPEN. I did this and was offered lower level seats with no ticket price. Of course nothing in life is completely free. The same two tickets after paying all the TM service charges and $2.50 print tickets at home came to almost the price of one full priced ticket. But the face value of these lower level seats was free. I am sure there is “method to their madness”. I know that Feld Entertainment people read this blog. Please let me know what the scoop is.
In today’s G (entertainment) section of the Boston Globe there is a story on 18 money saving ways to enjoy the arts. The arts community knows they are in for hard times and they need to do something.
Some of the highlights that stood out in the article were:
1) Use of social network sites to reach patrons. The Huntington Theatre is offering special offers and even free tickets to patrons that join their Facebook group. DeCordova Museum is offering free tickets if you join their Flickr group and submit an “interesting” picture of you and/or family at the museum.
2) Lots of free ticket offers (besides what I just mentioned). There are free ticket offers for your birthday, MLK Day, museum free movie nights, free show if you get a membership, even a free “bailout” ticket promotion for signing up for a newsletter.
3) Corporate Sponsor offers. Bank of America has two promotional mentions. BoA is sponsoring the February school break week (free tickets for all) at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and free tickets the first weekend of the month at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
By now you must think I work for the Boston Chamber or CVB. I am just pointing out there is some panic going on. This may not be good for all of us that make a living from ticket sales. While I am a firm believer in keeping ticket prices low and giving our customer a good deal, giving away “the store” is not the solution. If our customers get used to always getting “free” or “really cheap tickets” how are we going to sell “normal” priced tickets when the economy turns around?
Have a great weekend!