Overheard at the Broadway League conference: Day 1

This week, members of the Broadway League from all over the country have converged upon the Hilton Hotel in Times Square to discuss the state of our state.

With panels on yield management, research, as well as creative conversations with the team from Cry Baby team, Catered Affair and more, it’s the best opportunity the industry has to get together, share information and work towards bettering our industry and our art.  And, like most conferences, some of the best stuff happens away from the panels, during the coffee breaks and cocktail receptions which provide networking for industry professionals of all levels.

If you’re a member, you should go to the conferences, held twice a year.  If you’re not a member, you should consider joining.

In case you couldn’t make it to this year’s conference, don’t worry, “ya got me, baby, ya got me.”  For the next three days, I’ll bring you my favorite sound byte of the day.

Today’s tidbit comes from Brian Mahoney, Director of Ticket Sales for The Shubert Organization, or I as refer to him, The Swami of Statistics.  Brian sits on decades of data on customers, buying habits, lack of buying habits, and more.  And he knows those stats better than most people know their own height and weight.

In today’s panel about maximizing revenue through inventory control, Brian spoke about premium tickets.  And here’s the fact that deserves some consideration:

Guess what show on Broadway sells the most premium tickets.

Wicked?  Nope.

Jersey Boys?  No siree Bob Gaudio.

Brian revealed that the show that sells the most premium tickets is more than 20 years old . . . Phantom.

So Phantom, despite it’s lack of scarcity when compared to those other shows, sells more of the money seats.

Phantom premiums are cheaper than the others, but that’s not what sells them.  I agree with Brian when he surmised that it’s Phantom’s foreign audience that buys a chunk of these tickets.

Isn’t that interesting, because in Las Vegas the high rollers are also not from this country.

“About 80 percent of Las Vegas’s biggest whales are from Asia . . .”  (NY Times)

Hmmmmm . . . good info to have if marketing your premium seats, don’t you think?  Thanks for the tip, Mr. Mahoney!

More from the conference tomorrow.

Oh, and a $15 iTunes gift card to the first reader who “comments” the name of the musical that lyric I quoted in the 4th paragraph is from.  Remember no gheating (click on the high roller link above for a reminder of that definition).

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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.