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Increasing audience engagement is something that every performing arts venue strives for, but sometimes it can seem like a daunting task. You may feel as though you are already doing everything you can to increase engagement and still falling short. There are a few things that you can ensure that your venue is doing to maximize your audience engagement. As your audience begins to connect more, not only with the performance, but also with your venue itself, you will see great returns as those audience members become repeat patrons.

Attract

An audience member cannot engage with you if they do not know how. Your printed performing arts program book is the perfect way to let people know how they can interact with you. Your venue likely has a presence on social media. Letting program book readers know that those accounts exist, and how to find them, will help grow your numbers on platforms that are designed specifically for people to interact with one another. These new visitors to your social media accounts may comment specifically about the performance they have just attended. Ideally, they will follow your social media feeds and engage with you regarding future performances and announcements as well.

Although you should have some form of social media presence, that is not the only place you could direct readers of your performing arts program book. Directing patrons to your website allows them to find out more information about your venue and future performances.

You may also have an opt-in email list or text messaging number that you can direct the reader to join. For the email list, the easiest way is to send them to a landing page on your website where they can sign up for the list. To engage with them via text messaging, you will need to have a unique phone number that they can text to first. This can all be communicated through the printed program book.

Provide

Simply getting patrons to go where you want them isn’t going to be enough. If you want them to truly engage with you, then you need to engage with them in a meaningful way. To do this, provide them with unique content that they won’t find anywhere else. This could mean giving them extended program notes that would not fit into the printed program book, special ticket offers, or surveys they can complete to share their opinions with you.

With a little technical help, you can take it a step further. Allow these newly attracted patrons the ability to order drinks right from their phone, or to interact with your venue’s digital signage. If your venue has valet parking, you can also allow them to interact with the valet in the same way. All of these extras will provide an experience that not only keeps your patrons engaged, but that makes them want to come back to your venue time and again.

Promote

As mentioned earlier, having your patrons regularly interacting with your venue’s social media or other digital content is a great way to inform them of upcoming performances. Additionally, the power of digital advertising allows for much more targeted control of the promotions that your patrons see. By using the advertising features available on the social media platform that you use, you can target specific demographics of your followers. Even better, with the right technology partner, you can provide custom texts that are tailored to their specific needs through a easy to use dashboard. A customized text messaging chat-bot set up in this way could prove just as engaging to users as your social media feeds are.

As you can see, today’s technology allows you to reach out and interact with your audience in ways that were not possible just a couple years ago. If you already have someone handling the technological aspect of your business, ask them about how to implement these changes. If you don’t have someone, or if it is outside of their area of expertise, we offer services that you may find enticing to truly achieve the ultimate in audience engagement. Good selling!

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