Theatre Marketing Guide For Audience Development

This is a resource of knowledge and ideas from marketers around Australia and the world for both producers and presenters who are looking to attract audiences to drama or theatre.

CircuitWest’s research in 2019 showed that less than half of the people in regional Western Australia who showed that they are interested in seeing theatre actually bought a ticket. So how do we get these people, who say they are interested but don’t buy tickets.

The first thing to remember is this; know your target market and be true to them. A regional venue once set this target: getting many of the middle aged men in the region away from the TV screens watching AFL and in front of the stage watching theatre. At the end of the 23 round AFL season, some excellent programming and amazing marketing (including preshow BBQ’s!) the venue had attracted one new AFL customer to one show. This remains the most expensive customer acquisition in their history. Maybe one day you will programme that show that drags the AFL watchers from their TVs. But in the meantime, theatre marketers need to be realistic and target those who the work might honestly appeal to. Put effort where it will deliver the best return for both the venue and the audience. There are no facts in the theatre marketing ideas shared here; but there is a lot of knowledge, training, street smarts and a plenty of experience. Trial and error and the school of hard knocks have informed much of what you will read.