What’s Your Group Doing For Black Friday?

Out of all the orchestra mailing lists I subscribe (over 100 so far) it never ceases to surprise me how few offer any sort of thanksgiving holiday shopping promotion. In fact, so far this season, the only one I’ve received is from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Granted, not every group is going to have offerings suitable for a Black Friday but I was still expecting more than just one this season.

credit cardBut one aspect in all of this that’s worth consideration is whether or not Black Friday is even the way to go for orchestras. Current thinking tends to divide the post Thanksgiving shopping season into three parts: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

For orchestras, brick and motor sales aren’t exactly a primary point of contact for ticket buyers so it’s worth considering the value in focusing efforts on the latter two options.

The 11/21/12 edition of Forbes.com has some interesting thoughts on all of this from Carol Tice that are worth reading; in the meantime, I’m curious to know if any other orchestras are offering a Black, Small Biz, Cyber deal; if so, post a comment to let everyone know.

Postscript: right after publishing today’s post, I received a Black Friday email offer from Longwood Symphony.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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10 thoughts on “What’s Your Group Doing For Black Friday?”

  1. Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is doing a Cyber Monday deal…appears it’s only available through their Facebook page, though. When you buy $50 or more in gift certificates, you get 50% more on Cyber Monday.

  2. Lyric Opera offered a THANKS promo best available seats for $29, so I got a jump start on TAFTO and bought a young student a ticket for Werther as her first opera experience.

  3. The Columbus Symphony (Ohio) is doing a Cyber Monday deal through their Facebook page, and it includes deals for Opera Columbus etc.

  4. Nice to see you give our wonderful Seattle Symphony marketing department a shout out. They make great use of email, social networking and the web, building upon the excitement generated about the orchestra amongst our extremely loyal subscribers. Their enthusiasm for the orchestra complements the excitement generated by the orchestra’s performances at Benaroya Hall, cushioning the positive momentum that creates the exceptional earned income figures generated by the Seattle Symphony.

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