5 Questions from our Broadway Hotline

Remember the Broadway hotline we started up a few weeks ago?  No?  Well, click here to read all about it (and then make sure you subscribe to the blog by chucking your email address into the box in the upper left hand corner of this page so you don’t miss out!).

Well, the phone has been ringing.

And people have been asking questions, of all different kinds.

And they learn about whatever subject they are wondering about.

But what’s even better, is that we learn just what the heck people want to learn about.

Follow me?

If you’re a Producer, a Writer, or even a Manager, you can learn a tremendous amount from the questions that your audience, readers or employees ask.  In fact, I used to have a rule when I was Company Managing shows – if more than two members of the company asked me the same question, then I wasn’t doing my job in getting them the information they needed.  It didn’t matter how crazy I thought the questions were . . . if more than two people wanted answers, then I needed to provide more information.

This same theory can be applied to writing, producing or anything you do.

And that’s one of the reasons we started the hotline in the first place, to see just what the heck people wanted to know about Broadway.

And I thought you’d like to know too . . .

So, I thought I’d share some of the questions we’ve gotten on our hotline with you.  I’ve also added my own comment so you can get an idea of what I learned from each phone call.

Here are 5 Questions we’ve gotten on the Broadway Hotline:

1.  What shows are playing tonight that are like Memphis?

I learned two things from this. The word “tonight” stuck out to me that we need to provide more “day of” information to consumers, and the “like Memphis” told me that the Amazon.com-like “if you liked XX show, you’d also like YY show” could be very effective.

2.  Is it normal for a show that is not open yet to hold center orchestras seats as premium seats before the box office opens?

This customer wanted great seats, but didn’t want to pay premium price, and also didn’t want to pay service fees (note the box office open language).  Availability of great seats is an issue.

3.  What’s the best way to get tickets to Evita?

A little digging on this question discovered that by “best”, this person meant “best locations for the best price”.  They were smart enough to find our hotline, surely they were smart enough to google “Evita tickets”.  What they weren’t smart enough to do was to discern what was best with all the brokers and discount sites out there.  Googling a show for tickets can be a bit like walking through a Turkish Bazaar.

4.  Why isn’t Wicked at TKTS?

This person thought TKTS was a destination to get tickets for all, and that every show used the booth to sell ticket discounts.  I answered this call myself, actually, and the woman on the other end couldn’t quite comprehend that all shows didn’t automatically use TKTS.   I wondered – if Wicked was available for full price at the booth, would this woman have bought tickets?  Probably.

5.  I know I just called, but . . .

We had a couple of repeaters, but this was my favorite. A woman called in looking for tickets to How to Succeed, Book of Mormon and Phantom.  We sent her to Telecharge.  Then she called back and asked how she could get discounted tickets.  Whether we like it or not, a huge percentage of today’s consumer wants, no, feels like they deserve a discount . . . and if they don’t get it, they almost feel like they are being cheated.  We need to increase the “value” (not the price) of buying a full price ticket so that they feel like they are getting a deal, but paying the price we need to keep our shows going for as long as possible . . . because isn’t that our mission?

I love our hotline.  My staff loves our hotline.  Call sometime.  We’ll talk to you about whatever it is you’re wondering.

And hopefully we’ll both learn something at the same time.



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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.