On what felt like a very strange first day of the working week, it was great to head along the Eccles line to the Lowry for the Ticketing Professionals Conference TPC2022½, with Louisa Hardinge & Rimi Solloway.
Here are a few takeaways from an afternoon of sessions:
1. Accessible pricing to remove barriers and thought-provoking data collection
Let's face it, pricing has never been more key with a cost-of-living crisis upon us. Wez Thistlethwaite detailed some of the approaches to pricing and membership structures that proved a success at Contact. Demonstrating how a ticket price can be used to show value to the audience as a sales driver to the quality of the event itself makes clear sense when spending 3-4 hours all in for a night at a theatre is, for many, a bigger investment than ever for their time. From working on TAA projects where maximising ticket yields from booker groups post-COVID lockdowns have quickly become key considerations for the organisation's overall sustainability, strategies like this could be key for many in the sector. However, what made me think the most is how Contact has collected audience demographic data as part of the booker journey. I've seen several organisations try this when just looking to collect this information, and we know surveying can be tough to achieve a robust sample (they are strategies to support this), so the results were great to see, as well as the response rate. Well done to Wez and his team.
2. Digital transformation is not just about system change
I know how obvious this statement is, though it is always worth repeating. In a session led by Rachel Easton from Tessitura and David Johnstone from After Digital, the case was clearly made for people (us!) working within organisations to be at the forefront of change management projects. Working in this sector, I think everyone has their own change/digital transformation story good and bad; I certainly have both, but in the times we are in with less time, budget, and ever more challenges, it feels learning lessons in this area have never been more vital.
3. We all need to know more about digital advertising
If I could rewind my career to my early twenties, I would 100% pursue a career in digital advertising. (yes, for those of you that know me, I am aware I have spent a long while doing the opposite in arts marketing!) A session from SINE Digital was a thoroughly insightful overview and demonstrated to me, not for the first time, how much has changed in recent years. They is so much to understand and keep learning; this could have been a day-long session, and as we enter a digital world ever more controlled by the big digital giants of Google, Meta, Apple and otherwise, how a cookie-less digital world is even more essential for arts organisations to understand and implement.