SOR 028: What to Measure Besides Ticket Sales

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Many theatre companies use ticket sales as their primary (and something only) metric of success. It’s critical as a financial and operational number, but it doesn’t give a very nuanced picture of how you are meeting any objectives you have to create a meaningful relationship with your audience – which can be critical to long term success in the performing arts. What else can you be measuring to make sure you are headed in the right direction?

A recent email from a follower of Sold Out Run had a few questions about proving that an organization is successful when you aren’t looking at the box office numbers. It got me thinking, and I started seeing metrics you could look at to demonstrate the connection you are building with an audience and with your community. I quickly realized that those same numbers – while not directly tied to ticket sales today – are reasonable indicators of what could happen to your box office in the years to come.

In this episode:

  • key performance indicators – the things you measure that actually matter
  • why your KPIs are unique – while some indicators are valuable to every theatre company, others are going to be tied to your unique organizational objectives
  • box office numbers as a KPI – it’s an easily translatable measure of the value that your community has placed on this production
  • imperfect data – just because you can’t measure something with 100% accuracy doesn’t mean it isn’t worth measuring

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