AKA’s VP of Insights and Marketing, Janette Roush, recently returned from a week in Washington, DC for IPW 2017, a convention with three days of pre-scheduled business appointments with online travel agencies and international tour operators who bring groups and FITs to destinations across the US—including the 60 million visitors who come to NYC every year. Once again, she was graciously hosted by Broadway Inbound in a booth directly opposite NYC & Company—the hot spot for activity all week!
In the last ten years, NYC has increased visitation from 46 million tourists to 60 million, but we’ve also increased the amount of competition for their time and dollars. For example, nearly 12M NYC tourists spent a full day downtown in 2016. That’s great for downtown attractions, but it means Broadway needs to fight a little harder to bring the visitors back to midtown at the end of the day.
So, how can we fight harder? It helps when we sell tickets (or at least create the intent to purchase) before visitors are in-market. Here’s three ways to help:
1. Make your product easy to sell.
Every time your show changes an FIT price, dozens of product managers have to log into their reservation system to program that change. If you only have six months of tickets on sale, product managers assume the show is a limited run and not worth adding to the reservation system.
Give yourself a leg up with simple pricing and a long on-sale period; for example, Koreans using this site to shop for tickets need the onsale dates for your show to match the dates they have already booked for their trip.
2. Don’t solely rely on Google Translate.
I once heard a terrific story about a show blurb that said, “Don’t miss this musical,” which was translated by Google to read, “Don’t see this musical.” Yikes! If your show is part of the Broadway Collection, contextual translations of your show description is part of their service. Borrow them for your website and CTMs.
3. Train the people who sell the tickets.
It’s standard to visit group agencies and call centers to train the front-line staff on how to talk about our productions. But think about the phone centers for Amtrak Vacations or for companies like Virgin Holidays—if they are fielding a question about Broadway on a phone call, will they know to mention your show? And what will they say about it? Create relationships with the product managers who train call centers on our products—and create materials (like short, explanatory videos) that can be shown during staff training sessions.