How many of you save your Broadway ticket stubs?
I saved them all.
When I was younger, I’d get my Playbill, and that ticket stub (which is no longer a stub, thanks to ticketing scanners) would go right in the middle.
Full embarrassing disclosure: when I was in high school, I used to take the cover of my Playbills, the ticket stubs, and a few choice photos from inside the Playbill, and I’d create a poor-man’s decoupage that I framed and put on my nightstand. I guess my hope was that they would help all of my Broadway dreams come true. (My Secret Garden Playbill/photo combo even had an autograph from Daisy Eagan!)
Ok, so I was a lonely kid . . . but it was pretty obvious what I was going to do when I grew up.
This post isn’t about my awkward youth (there isn’t enough space on the entire internet for me to go into that), but rather that ticket . . . which for me, and for so many of you, I bet . . . was a souvenir.
And a souvenir is merch . . . and merch is marketing.
The ticket as a souvenir is slowly but surely disappearing as we transition to e-ticketing, and eventually mobile ticketing technology (having the ticketing scanners scan an image on your phone itself, which requires no paper product at all).
And as much as I’m a huge fan of this technology (and of all technology), it’s going to take us a long time to adopt it.
- We’re always slow to adopt technology.
- Our customers like hard tickets.
While hanging out at the booth last week, I watched a woman turn to another and say, “Did you get ’em?” Her friend smiled, then fanned out five Billy Elliot tickets like a winning poker hand. They both literally screamed with joy. Now imagine what it would have been like if she showed her friend a UPC image on her phone.
Broadway tickets still have a Willy Wonka “Golden Ticket” effect that we don’t want to disappear too soon.
They are a tangible passport to entertainment that can create a positive emotional response about our product . . . whether or not you choose to frame it.
– – – – –
UPDATE: Two days after I wrote this blog, it was announced that New York State became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring paper tickets. To read more about it, click here.
It’s no secret that the Broadway market is competitive. With…
The year started with no grosses. And when things were…
With warmer weather coming, shall we continue to see an…
Broadway saw a dip in gross revenue with 24k less…
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.