Now that baseball season is upon us, I thought a baseball analogy would be appropriate.
I recently attended a company outing at our local minor league baseball team, the Dayton Dragons.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge baseball fan, nor sports fan for that matter, but I always enjoy the atmosphere of attending a live sporting event.
As I write that sentence, I can’t help but ask, why is it that I enjoy attending these things?
Here is a person, that does not follow sports at all, and couldn’t tell you a strike-out from a ball, but I love to go to a live baseball game?
Then it dawned on me. They have captivated my attention as soon as I stepped foot in their stadium.
Or in performing arts speak, they have engaged me! And they keep engaging me throughout the whole game.
As I walk through the turn-style, I get handed a program book for that night’s line-up. As I’m walking to my seat, I am constantly engaged by all the digital signage around me, not to mention the jumbotron in the outfield. As I get to my seat and start to peruse the program book, I am asked to download their app to get an even more in-depth experience.
As the game goes on, I notice that their program book, their mobile app, and their digital signage all coincide and are telling me a story throughout the whole game.
From the line-up to the intermission shows, to what have you, a story is being told as I’m watching the live event.
And that’s their secret! They are using these things that work seamlessly together to enhance and engage their fans throughout the live baseball game.
Here is a person that does not care for sports at all, but is having a great time because they’ve captured my attention and are engaging me.
And they did it without it feeling like it is being forced on me.
So, how can this be applied to the performing arts? And how can you hit a home run with your performing arts digital signage?
The secret sauce is telling a story in addition to the story or performance your patrons are about to see.
You need to engage them as soon as they step foot in your venue.
Performing Arts Printed Program Books
This first piece has been going on for over a hundred years—the printed program books for that night’s performance are handed out.
But the real trick is turning that printed program book into an audience engagement marketing tool.
And the easiest way to do this is to use the printed program book to get your patrons to do something, be it visiting a special website, or downloading an app for special content.
Performing Arts Mobile Program Books
Probably the easiest thing with performing arts mobile program books is getting your patrons to go to it. But the real trick is getting them to stay. And this is where most of the performing arts apps fail.
There is nothing more frustrating than downloading one of these apps and it being empty, or worse, not updated for several months.
The performing arts mobile program book must be current and must have stuff that your patrons will find over and above the normal printed program book notes. Otherwise, they will bail and never return.
But most importantly, it needs to be telling your story for that evening, coinciding with the printed program book, and your performing arts digital signage.
Performing Arts Digital Signage
Tying it all together is the digital signage throughout the venue.
The performing arts digital signage needs to continue the story for your patrons when they are gathering in your common areas.
So now, your story continues for your patrons when they are at their seats with the printed program book, on their mobile device, and in your common areas with digital signage.
And this is how you load the bases so that your live performance hits a home run to bring your printed program books, mobile program books, and digital signage home! Or would that be a grand slam? Good selling.