Increase Attendance with a Flex Pass
With season tickets and subscriptions down, try adding a Flex Pass to increase interest and attendance.
Traditional subscriptions for newspapers, magazines, and the performing arts have plummeted while things we used to buy individually, such as food (Hello Fresh and Blue Apron) and clothing (Stitch Fix), now have subscriptions. Of course, entertainment now uses a subscription model: it’s called streaming. Do you want to watch that show that everyone is talking about? You’ll need a Netflix subscription, or is it Paramount+, or Hulu, or Prime, or. . . ?!
It is difficult to explain the increase of our tried and true subscription model for other products and the decline of our traditional season passes, but to quote Bob Dylan: “The times they are a-changin.”
Season Subscriptions benefit both event organizers and their patrons.
Benefits for the event organizations:
- Revenue: early, preseason collection of revenue helps fund the upcoming season.
- Fill the house: You can front load shows which can generate word of mouth for future patrons.
- Availability: You know upfront which seats are available to sell throughout your production run.
Benefits for the patrons:
- Discounts: Often tickets are discounted 15-30%.
- Scheduling: With costs and traffic increasing, this gives time to plan ahead and schedule date nights or other outings.
- Exchanges: Most subscriptions now offer free exchanges as part of the season package.
- Access to other shows. Often, season subscribers get first access to new and touring shows. People are willing to pay in advance for many shows to have access to one coveted show.
Revenue and attendance are both down post-pandemic, but they were trending down before the shut down, so we must ask ourselves: Why are people rejecting traditional subscriptions/season passes in the performing arts?
4 Reasons why season subscription renewals are down:
- Choice: One thing that the latest subscription models have – that traditional models do not – is choice. Netflix may win subscribers to watch Stranger Things, but those same subscribers have the opportunity to see diverse programs such as The Great British Baking Show and Squid Game.
- Money: People don’t necessarily want to or have the ability to purchase a season of shows that may not appeal to them.
- Location: With the streaming subscriptions, people can consume entertainment anywhere with their phones or other devices. For the performing arts, people must attend in person to experience its magic, and people are slightly more reluctant to leave home than prior to the pandemic
- Time: Patrons, especially younger generations, enjoy the flexibility to follow their whims whether that means attending a football game or a Shakespearean play; traditional subscription/season passes may be too restrictive for last-minute alternatives
Give Patrons Choice in Their Season Subscriptions with Flex Pass
The biggest difference between traditional season passes and the current subscription economy is simple: choice.
We need to provide patrons the flexibility they want. We can achieve that by offering a choice of date, premium seat selection, no-cost exchanges, and how many times they see a show.
Create a Flex Pass and Increase Interest and Attendance.
A Flex Pass provides patrons and organizations the flexibility they need.
Choice for all:
- Do you want to offer a Flex Pass that directly models your traditional season pass?
- Create a Standard Flex Pass that one patron can use to attend all the shows in your season but allows them flexibility to choose dates and seats as the performances approach.
- Do you want word-of-mouth publicity for your shows?
- Create Flex Passes that multiple people can use: Allow a patron to use their Flex Pass to bring a friend to a show. This provides you with a new attendee to your production and increases their interest in other shows.
- Do you want to encourage repeat purchases?
- Offer a “punch-card” style Flex Pass with which patrons can bring several guests to one performance using up their total redemptions while encouraging them to purchase another Flex Pass to use for the remainder of the season.
In order to get started, provide incentives for patrons and publicize them with your seasonal mailings and advertising blitz.
Here are some ideas to try:
- Price the Flex Pass in a way that gives a discount to the normal ticket price.
- Exclude or limit your normal ticket fees.
- Provide exclusive access to other shows that are not on the Flex Pass.
- Include discounts to partnering businesses.
Do you want your organization to reflect our modern, changing times by providing new and existing clientele with exciting season ticket and subscription options that equally benefit your organization and your patrons? Start selling Flex Passes now.
The choice is yours.
Contact ThunderTix to get started.