Part 2 of the ‘Call it a Tenner’ report for Arts Council England presents a number of case studies from a wide range of arts organisations, according to the pricing strategies adopted. Lessons learned are then incorporated into an set against current pricing theories and models. In this section discounts, subscriptions and memberships are discussed.
It’s not just the other guys – higher admissions in the museum world
Just as the United States has seen a shift to higher ticket prices across commercial and non-profit performing arts, the trend has been mirrored in a rise in admission rates in the nation’s art museums, beleaguered in recent years by flat attendance and chronic operating deficits exacerbated by rising insurance and security costs. The fear that higher admission prices will alienate a more diverse patron group is again not exclusive to the performing arts.
Pricing alone does not determine attendance. What most cultural organisations – performing and visual arts – understand is that it is the thoughtful and strategic mixture of marketing’s four Ps – programming, promotion, placement and price – which is critical to building and maintaining audiences. If an organisation is to remain viable and competitive, variable and demand pricing, flexible subscription and membership schemes, and the vertical integration of additional amenities are only parts of a marketer’s toolkit that must work in tandem with all of the components of the larger strategic planning mix.