One of the things I have learned in this business is that there are certain encounters that remain consistent, no matter how much time has passed. One such encounter? The discussion of outsourcing performing arts program books.

Why is it when I talk with performing arts organizations about publishing their own program books, they assume they can do it better? Despite the myriad nuances that go into successful publishing, this assumption continues to baffle me. And considering the booming economic cycle, I continue to find this becoming more frequent, which is interesting. Why? Well, during the Great Recession, we had performing arts organizations begging us to publish their program books. There were a lot of reasons behind it, but the main one? It was simply because they could not hold onto advertisers due to the lack of expertise in selling performing arts program book advertising! The true test of a good performing arts program book publisher is being able to hold onto advertisers in good times, and bad times.

Decades of experience at your disposal

For over 17 years at Onstage Publications, we have strived to develop a system that eliminates all the difficulties in publishing performing arts program books. In fact, we are so confident in our process that we can guarantee that we can help performing arts organizations reduce their costs by thousands of dollars. In fact, because of our system we have in place, I think we make publishing performing arts program books look very easy to the outsider, especially in a good economy. Hence the thinking on their part, that they can do it themselves.

You might be thinking, “Hey now, wait a minute…this is too good to be true!” But here’s the thing–it is true!

We are winning an immense amount of new clients, all of which sing the praises for Onstage Publications. Why? Because these organizations are thrilled with the idea of freeing up their time and eliminating all of the hassles involved with publishing their own program books. We take a messy process and simplify it to make life easier for the performing arts organization, rather than complicating it further. In fact, we pride ourselves in accomplishing that.

So why doesn’t everyone see the advantage?

I think that question is better answered with a direct quote from one our prospects who eschewed our services to do it themselves, rather than outsourcing:

“We simply determined that we prefer the flexibility that a hands-on process provides us, including the capacity to develop our materials on the timeline of our own design. Working through a third-party, yours or any other, limits that flexibility, as well as opportunities for local connections and cultivation that managing our own book provides.”


Besides this being a long-winded gobbly goop answer, what they really are telling me is:

“We are inflexible to change. We don’t work well with objectives and we would rather call the same businesses year after year and ask for another donation rather than educate the local and surrounding markets on the features and benefits of performing arts advertising.”

We Promise A Lot And Deliver More

The truth is, that statement demonstrates the short-sightedness many organizations still hold when it comes to efficiency. Not only do we provide an incredibly valuable service that can free up immense amounts of time, without losing a return on investment, but we do it well! We have decades of experience and the deep knowledge of audiences needed to really create something memorable that provides value. Not many advertisers can promise that and deliver on this, but we have never been that ordinary, to begin with.

For example, here are just some of our articles that give you a deeper insight on the knowledge and data we possess that makes us so uniquely beneficial for performing arts organizations.

In conclusion, this quote from Lowell Noteboom, chairman of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Symphony Magazine sums it up best:

“The most important choices we can make often involve what we will stop doing so that we can devote time, people, and resources to the organizations most important work.”

Good selling!

A few of our satisfied clients.

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