#TBT Straightjackets Of Our Own Design

It never ceases to amaze me how often missed opportunities are a feature, not a bug.

Here’s an example: Tuesday’s post about influencer marketing generated a user email that asked a great question.

As a musician I share Holly’s aversion to comps, though, I use them when available. The ‘influencer’ model seems well-suited to the single ticket, brand building world. Another model I’ve tried to encourage would be, instead of comps, issue a limited number of vouchers, redeemable to select concerts to musicians, staff, board members that they could distribute to prospective first-time concertgoers that they might encounter in daily life. The vouchers would be redeemed in return for contact info. Has this model been tried? Thanks.

My reply focused on a related issue of capacity in that even if they wanted to implement such a program, most performing arts organizations get hamstrung by limitations in their box office and ticketing software.

Simply put, those providers don’t offer the functionality to implement or properly track effectiveness.

In turn, this reminded me of a post from Jan 30, 2015 which lamented this very shortcoming so what better post to serve as today’s #TBT entry:

To Subscribe, Or Not To Subscribe, That Is NOT The Question

Unfortunately, things haven’t improved much since 2015 and the field is still struggling to get out of that straightjacket.

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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