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You can make the best impression possible on your audience by engaging with them throughout their time in your performing arts venue. Today’s technology allows for a more immersive and dynamic experience in a venue than has ever been possible before. So, how can you achieve total audience engagement and leave your patrons with an experience that they will not only never forget, but will be anxious to experience again?

Printed Program Book

In some areas, a performing arts printed book may seem like a relic of a by-gone era. With digital e-readers and mobile devices, we are seeing a decline of paper products. Newspapers and magazines are going digital only. So, is a performing arts printed program book even still worth it in today’s environment? Absolutely!

Unlike a newspaper or a magazine, a performing arts printed program book provides more than just the information contained within. It serves as a lasting souvenir of your guest’s night out on the town. A memento that they can come back to and relive the magical night that your performance provided them. It is also the best option for them to stay informed during a performance where pulling out a mobile screen would be a faux pas.

The performing arts program book is your chance to really engage with the audience. It could be as simple as a list of credits for the performance and a brief synopsis of what they will see. But the audience will be truly engaged if you include more in-depth information about the history of your venue, a glimpse at the backstage, a thank-you from the president, or whatever other tidbits you think will enhance the patron’s experience.

Adding in these little extras are like the special features of a DVD. They keep the patron engaged with a source of entertainment that you have provided instead of looking elsewhere as they wait for the performance to start, relax during intermission, or even after they have gotten home and want to reflect on the evening. As they look back on their experiences at your venue, material produced by you will play heavily into those memories. That is engagement!

Mobile Experience

The digital version of your program book allows for a higher level of engagement than its printed version does. It can provide an up to date schedule of events at your venue and updates that are too fresh to make it into the print version.

More importantly, your performing arts digital program book is interactive! You can direct your audience to visit your social media sites, where they can get more information and engage with you further. You can set up an instant audience survey that allows you to gain valuable insights into the customer experience at your venue. Best of all, patrons enjoy engaging with your venue in this way. The more ways you give patrons to engage with your venue, the better they’ll feel about the value that you have created.

A digital version of your program book should not replace the printed version, but you should absolutely use one to supplement it. Almost everyone uses mobile devices these days and if they are going to whip out their phone while they’re waiting, you certainly want your content to be what they want to consume on it.

Digital Signage

The days of printed posters being enough to capture the fancy of a patron is over. Digital signage is everywhere, and it should be at your venue as well. This isn’t just because plain old paper posters are boring. Performing arts digital signage offers you additional opportunities to engage with your audience that does not exist with static posters.

During the intermission and the time before the performance starts, your performing arts digital signage can be providing your patrons information about the evening’s performance. That information may be biographies of performers, a synopsis of the performance, or other information that might also go into the printed program book. This gives your audience several ways to engage with the content to ensure that all users are engaged regardless of their preferred method of consuming information and content.

You needn’t limit yourself to simple show information, however. Perhaps your performing arts digital signage displays a feed of comments about the performance from social media. This not only adds an extra layer of engagement but encourages your patrons to share their own experiences to social media.

The limits of how you use performing arts digital signage to engage with your audience are only the limits of your own creativity. Once you implement digital signage into your venue, they will become a driving force in how you engage with the audience when they are not sitting in their seats watching your performance or browsing their phones. It is the final piece to total audience engagement.

So, no matter where your patrons are in your venue, or what they are doing, they will have the opportunity to consume the information that you want them to in a dynamic, and engaging way. This is total audience engagement! Good selling.

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