One of the challenges in marketing a theatre production is that we’re usually on a limited run. As soon as you start to learn which message and tactics are really connecting with the right audience, it’s time to move on to the next show. ComedySportz is an improv comedy show that runs continuously year round, and I bring Chad and Claire on to talk about what’s the same and what’s different about how they promote their shows.
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.
SOR 51: Chad Woodward and Claire Wilcher From ComedySportz Talk About Promoting a Show That Never Closes and Fighting To Be Seen As Theatre
If you’ve followed the blog or the podcast at Sold Out Run very long, you’ve undoubtedly come across mentions of a marketing calendar. If you don’t already use a formal marketing calendar, it’s one of the easiest, most impactful improvements you can make to your marketing strategy. The marketing for every show is going to be unique, but there are some common tactics you’re going to use in many shows.
A marketing calendar is the best way to roll out your marketing campaign, and I put a vanilla “starter” version of a marketing calendar into a spreadsheet that I’m sharing with Sold Out Run readers. Download this and start tweaking things to make it fit your production.
SOR 50: Raquel Richardson Brings Her Professional Marketing Expertise to the World of Theatre and Talks About Connecting With Individuals
It was an absolute delight to once again share the mic with my long-time podcasting compatriot. Way back in 2012 Raquel Richardson and I were the regular hosts of the now retired Marketing Brainpower podcast. Raquel is one of the sharpest marketing minds I’ve ever met, and in this episode I convince her to apply her broad marketing wisdom to the very specific field of theatre.
The first time someone comes to one of your productions is a formative experience. By the end of their visit they will have drawn conclusions about what your organization is about. They’ll even have come up with a rough idea of whether or not they would enjoy any of your future productions.
We’ve all been through this ourselves. Sometimes we’re planning our next visit before we even leave the theatre. Other times we’re counting the minutes until we can leave and never come back.
What makes someone want to leave for good?
SOR 49: Beth Williams of AUP Talks About What She Took Away From the Open Book Project and Which Tactics She Used to Successfully Promote Her Latest Show
At the end of last year I did a series of blog posts where I chronicled the process of promoting a show at a small professional theatre as it was happening. I called it the Open Book Project, and I went into great detail about my thoughts and conclusions from the process. In this episode I bring on Beth Williams from the theatre that participated in the project to find out what she took away – and how the marketing went for their latest show.
Is it possible to do too much to market your show? I suppose it’s possible, although I can’t think of any time when I’ve seen it happen. It’s very easy, though, to do to much marketing all at once. Typically this happens the last week or two before a show opens. (Or worse, the week or two after it opens.) In a scrambled panic to make up for all the marketing that wasn’t happening before, you just vomit promotional material all over anyone with whom you have any kind of relationship.