Like many business owners, you’ve probably never thought about performing arts advertising. If you are unfamiliar with performing arts advertising or maybe you are familiar with it but aren’t convinced that it is worth your time to look into, consider this: the arts and culture industry here in the United States generates $166.3 billion in economic activity each year. That’s a number that can’t be ignored!

According to the most recent Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 impact study from Americans for the Arts, the data is pretty astounding when looking at it from a business perspective.

Patron Average Spend

The study looked at the average amount spent per audience member at a performing arts event. The average person spends $31.47 the night of a performance. This number does not include the price of the ticket, so a large portion of that money is up for grabs by advertisers who connect with the audience during a performance.

The spending figure breaks down into the following categories:

  • $16.82 for meals, snacks, and refreshments.
  • $4.49 for gifts and souvenirs.
  • $4.48 for overnight lodging.
  • $3.09 for local ground transportation.
  • $0.38 for child care.
  • $0.29 for other expenses.

Keep in mind that these numbers represent only what patrons spend on the day of the event and is per ticket holder. So, when you multiply this by the number of ticket holders on any given night of the performance, the number becomes quite big, quite fast.

Knowing this, and that those patrons of the arts tend to be more supportive of businesses that are friends of the arts; if your business provides any of the above products or services, then performing arts advertising could be a great fit for your business.


The survey also found that over two-thirds of nonlocal attendees to a performing arts event traveled into town for the primary purpose of attending that event. These patrons are ideal advertising targets for businesses that cater to out of town people and tourists.

Arts and culture tourists differ from the average tourist in several important ways that make them a great segment of the population to advertise to. These travelers:

  • Stay longer and spend more than other travelers.
  • Are more likely to stay in a hotel or bed & breakfast.
  • Are more likely to spend over $1000.00 during their stay.

During 2012, there were 116 million cultural travelers. This large, high-spending market segment is a perfect target if your business caters to tourism.

Performing arts advertising

People love the arts. 63% agree that the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences.” 73% say that the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world”. 64% feel “pure pleasure to experience and participate in the arts.”

How does this relate to your business and its advertising goals? These individuals’ love for the arts extends to a love for the businesses that support the arts. 69% of them think highly of businesses that support the arts and 61% are more likely to support businesses that do. This all adds up to a perfect opportunity for your business to be the one advertising to them.

There are a variety of ways to market your goods or services with performing arts advertising. The most common is by advertising in the printed program book. These performing arts program books are handed out to every ticket holder. Some performing arts venues offer digital signage that will allow your business to display ads within their programming loop. And finally, with everyone having a smartphone in their pocket these days, many performing arts venues are embracing geofencing around their venue that allows highly targeted advertising to a coveted demographic.

By combining printed program book advertising, venue digital signage advertising, and targeted performing arts mobile advertising, your business can effectively tap into this large and loyal market segment. Now you’ve heard about performing arts advertising. Good selling!

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