This month we caught up with Flavia from ‘Finger in the Pie’ to get some top tips for those of you with shows as we head into festival season!

You’ve got the venue, assembled your team and made your show and just when you thought you had the hard stuff out of the way – you have to sell some tickets too! Marketing can feel like a beast but here’s a few ways to order your thoughts and make a cohesive plan that gets results.

1. What is your goal?
 At the start of all projects, marketing and otherwise, it pays to think over what you want to have achieved by the end. If a key goal is increasing your standing in the industry, don’t overlook those industry people in your marketing efforts – yes they might not be the kind to pay for tickets, but if you will be disappointed that ‘no-one important’ saw your show by the end, then include them as a demographic in your marketing campaign.

2. Who is your audience? 
This should probably take the form of several groups of people to reach out to. The more obvious “lefty liberal Guardian readers” might seem like a good bet, but also try to think about demographics who don’t have arts marketing geared at them all the time. Does your show tap into any themes, nationalities, academic subjects that you can look to as well?

3. How does that audience decide what to see?Each audience should be investigated/guestimated in terms of what newspapers and websites they read, who do they follow on Twitter, what groups are they a part of on Facebook, and basically how do they decide what to do with their free time? This will lead you to some avenues to try when publicizing your show.

4.  The personal touch. This covers two points actually. First that where of course an online presence is important, clinching that final sale can take more direct personal touch. It’s easy to dismiss an eflyer, facebook event or status update. A direct message to a friend you really want to come or calling up the head of theatre studies in the local school will engage more effectively with them and translate into sales. When flyering at the Edinburgh fringe look people in the eye, talk to them, create a personal connection.

The second point this covers looks at the audience experience, people like to come to the theatre as a social activity, so selling the show to a key person can snowball. Be that the organizer of the drama club socials or just a popular person in their own social circle. Maybe offering personalized special group offers to these key people can secure large numbers of bookings in one go. Marketing reach can be quality over quantity.

As a final note i just encourage you to always place yourself in the shoes of the recipient of your marketing, think of it as a character role play exercise if you like! 😉 What makes you book for the things you go and see? What marketing do you like to receive?


(Finger In The Pie)