(picture of our trip to Maine...Arcadia National Park)
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Hotel tips ? or Theatre tips!
On our fabulous vacation in Maine recently we stayed at a couple lovely
B and B’s as well as inns and hotels. Since I unconsciously relate everything to the theatre experience, I couldn’t help but notice some advertising do’s and don’ts that many theatres fall into as well.
1. Don’t tell us how great you are without relating it to how it helps us as the traveler… or theatre-goer/donor.
A good salesperson knows that it’s not about the salesperson and their product, it’s about the customer. What can you do for us?
If a hotel just lists their services without sounding like it can personally take care of me, I may not bite.
If a theatre just lists their shows and how great they are without actually relating it to how that helps us, it slips right past us. And just saying what the arts provide for a community is not good enough either. What they want to know is “In my busy life, right now, what can you do for me me me?”
Especially when we approach potential donors (corporations and banks etc) if we just say “art is necessary for a community because… blah blah blah.” without actually detailing what we can do for that specific corporation I think we have missed the boat. Ie “I know you are trying to get great PR for your corporation and look good in terms of helping other non profits in the community. We do more than just stick an add in a program book. We do live commercials for you on stage. Or we do charity events with our stars in your name because you are our biggest sponsor. Or whatever means something important to that businessperson.
That will take a bit of research and relationship building as well as customizing it for each business. Yes, it takes longer, but your percentage of successfully connecting goes way up. And it is exciting when you let your creativity go wild and come up with something totally new just for them.
2. Do make us think you are the “one stop shopping” experience we need because we are too busy to do all the detailing of the trip ourselves.
If a hotel positions themselves as the “connection” to some fun events and dining experiences it cuts down on the work I have to do to plan our trip. “Package” deals are great and save me time and money.
For example: “If you chose the ‘Whales and Sales” trip you get 1. Two night stay 2. 20% off dinner at the Seaside Restaurant 3. A site seeing trip on The Schooner boat 4. Whale watching trip for two. All for $ X amount. You have now solved my problem of what to do and where to eat all just by staying in your hotel and I feel like I have gotten a “deal”.
Now apply that to theatre. I know some theatres offer a deal with other restaurants in the area (Show your ticket and get 10% off your meal) That is good. Now what if we combined with other ARTS groups like Museums, or Art galleries, or Dance troups? If you live in an area that has some spectacular attraction, don’t look at that as competition, look at it as a package deal waiting to happen!
What about a “King and I” package that gets them in to see your show, the local Asian Art exhibit, and a dinner at the local Taiwanese restaurant down the street. A whole “experience” as opposed to just coming to see your show. Kinda immerses them in the Asian experience so they can enjoy each segment of that even better. Maybe have a “talk back” with not only the stars of your show, but also an expert of that time period from the local college to give historically interesting facts. That would be a package worth buying I think. And it might be good in terms of getting educational grants. And finally, what corporations wouldn’t want to be a part of having their name attached to that experience? Shun the non believers and just put that out there to the ones that see the marketing potential.
There is some paradigm shifting that needs to happen and thinking about building relationships a new way, offering out-of-the-box ideas to potential donors based on what they need and not the money we need, is a good step in making it happen.