I sincerely hope that I’ve said at least one thing on Sold Out Run that you don’t agree with. I’ve shared a lot of strategic and tactical ideas on theatre promotion, and I hope you embrace no more than 90% of what I suggest. If everyone is following the same best practices, then we all start to look the same. That is death to both your arts community and your particular organization.
My name is Clay Mabbitt. I have a professional marketing background, and a love of theatre.
After seeing and being part of some exceptional theatre that never found its audience, I felt compelled to share what I know to help raise the level of promotion going on for stage productions.
Welcome, and if you’re new to Sold Out Run I encourage you to take a quick look at what this site is about.
Every market is unique. Your city – and more specifically the people in your city who make up your ideal audience – is unique. On this site I share my experiences and insights about promoting theater with you, but there’s no guarantee that the tactics that knock it out of the park for my productions will be anywhere near that successful for you. (And vice versa.)
I share things here because I think they will often work for a lot of people, but at the end of the day do you really care if a tactic works for a lot of people? No, I’m guessing you’re mostly interested in those tactics that specifically work for you.
While the blog has been monopolized by the Open Book Project for the last few months, marketing other theatre events was still going on. Earlier this year Actors Theatre of Indiana brought triple-threat, multiple Tony-winner, Sutton Foster to town for a one night engagement. I’m friends with one of the people on their marketing team, and that led to a unique opportunity to participate in the brain storming sessions for promoting this event. One idea that came out of that session was a video contest, that I helped put together.
The contest was engaging, viral, and easier to pull off than you might think.
Thanks in large part to the Internet there’s more information about theatre marketing out there then you could ever hope to incorporate into you own promotions. So how do you navigate that ocean of data for the bits that are going to help you out with your particular marketing challenges?
The cast has taken their final bow. I’ve sat down and talked about the entire marketing campaign with the producers to find out what they thought worked and didn’t. I’ve even mapped out what I would do differently to promote this show if I had a time machine and could go back a few months armed with what I now know. It’s time for my final conclusions about the Open Book Project.
Over the course of a theatre marketing campaign you develop a lot of material and hopefully a few insights about promoting a show. Don’t let all of that hard work just fade away. If you are intentional about how you wind down this project, you can capture the fruits of your labor so they will be easy to tap into when you’re marketing future productions.