Audience is critical to success [UPDATED]Published 9:16am Thursday, September 12, 2013 Updated 11:18am Thursday, September 12, 2013
One of the challenges of working at an arts organization like A Center for the Arts, a theater in particular, is that of building our audiences and getting people to participate in and come to the programming we schedule.
Without an audience, we can’t survive. Marketing is constant and involves everyone at the organization, no matter what their job title.
Questions that have constantly changing and always debatable answers include: How do we build enthusiasm for our events? How do we inform the largest number of people about what we have going on? What is the best way to keep people updated about our events? How do we get people to buy tickets? How do we get a “word of mouth” campaign going? What is the most effective way to advertise our events?
Everyone we ask has a different answer to those questions and offers us a different strategy that they claim to be the most successful.
We try as many angles as we can afford: TV commercials, website, emails, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, flyers and posters around town, newspaper ads and press releases.
Despite our efforts, there are still always people who have no idea what’s going on and haven’t heard about our latest event.
The challenge becomes even greater when we attempt to do something new and different from what we have typically done in the past or what our audiences have grown accustomed to.
Not only do we have to make people aware of what is happening, but we have to educate them about how it is different from what they have seen in the past to ensure they don’t have expectations that can’t be met.
This is where the trust that we have built over years of outstanding programming comes in.
It is our hope that our audiences, and our community at large, trusts us to bring them programming of the utmost quality.
We hope that our reputation for providing top-notch arts experiences encourages a patron to buy tickets to something even if it is new, different, or something they have never heard of.
All this being said, I want to encourage all of you to do some exploring, investigating, and discovering.
Take a moment to peruse our newsletter, which is available on our website fergusarts.org, and read about our upcoming events. Take a chance on something that you have never heard of before.
Call us and ask us any questions you might have about an upcoming performance. Visit YouTube to see videos of some our artists.
We kick-off our season with Grammy Award winning flutist Rhonda Larson on Sept. 21.
There are tons of videos of her online. If you can’t find any, or don’t have access to the internet, stop by the Center and we’d be glad to show you some. In fact, we have a new TV in our lobby that plays videos of upcoming acts. Stop by any time during our box office hours (Tues-Fri 9:30-5:30) to get a sneak peak of what’s coming up.
Next up is Mila Belakova, a classically trained pianist from Russia, on Thursday, Sept. 26. Her concert is one of our “on-stage” concerts where the audience is seated on-stage with the artist and there are only 70 seats available. This is one of those new things that we want to encourage you to try. More information about any of these shows and more can be found on our website: www.fergusarts.org
Kristin Fondriest is the executive assistant at A Center for the Arts in Fergus Falls.