Adaptistration blog author Drew McManus recently brought up the subject (previously explored on a November 2006 post) of free concerts and whether these events have the potential to turn people into ticket buyers. Although one might think that the exposure an organization gains from performing at a free event would help to drive ticket sales, a study conducted in late 2006 by the Knight Foundation states that this correlation does not necessarily exist.
Check out Drew’s recent post for an explanation of how exactly free concerts may help an organization to drive ticket sales. One factor in the Knight Report that Drew explores is while free concerts may not help to drive the future sale of expensive tickets, they may be more effective in driving sales if average ticket costs were lower. Also, many orchestras approach such free events as isolated marketing events and do not make an attempt to follow up on the attendees after the event.
Drew’s post from November also explores the relative merits of various kinds of educational programming finding that hands-on activities were much more effective in creating future audience members than more traditional large concert youth concert programming. Drew quotes this statement from the Knight Report (p. 33):
“For orchestral music education programs, there were equally startling implications. Large concert formats for school children had been the dominant form of educational presentation for decades based on the presumption that such exposure was the best way to produce the next generation of ticket buyers. Yet there was little evidence that such programs had the desired effect. On the other hand, participatory education programs – ones in which children actually played instruments and sang in choruses – were strongly correlated with later concert attendance.”
Fostering and developing a love of and appreciation for art music in the youth is the only way to perpetuate our art form long term, and determining how to best approach young people with this material is therefore a matter of critical importance. My article Musical Entrepreneurship delves into this topic as well, so check it out if you haven’t read it before.
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