I’ve given a myriad of pitches a multitude of times begging folks to become season ticket holders. I’ve given the benefits for you, and the benefits for us. I’ve tried everything from urging with passion to veering close to guilt about it.
We don’t do horribly on season tickets. We have about 200 sold right now, which is roughly what we had overall last year. We used to have more when we offered a 3-show package, but that wasn’t really helping US out that much. There were still 2-4 shows a year we were scrambling to find an audience on. Nor is a flex pass helpful where people get like 6 punches they can use any way they want. We have no guarantee on who will see what, and it leaves us in a bind. Perhaps, once we have a solid enough season ticket base, we can offer those packages to help get even more folks in, but that’s likely a ways off.
Sure, we know other theater companies do both. We’ve just made a decision not to. Why? To offer a 3-show package increases our risk on the other 3 shows every year. A flex pass is a mess on our end, and also doesn’t help all of our shows. The reason we offer a discount to the season is that we’re giving you a deal to buy all 6 shows. You agree to come to all the shows, we give you a solid discount. You don’t get a discount for buying 2 or 3 of the Bucs homes games.
We know how much better of a place we’d be in if we could simply doubly this number of season ticket holders we currently have. It makes us ache, frankly.
We know we’re good for selling 800-1200 single tickets to any show above and beyond our season ticket holders – and that’s a number to really be proud of.
A lot of these folks buy most of the shows, some buy all anyway – just as single tickets. Yet there’s no guarantee of any of that.
I’ve heard the arguments for not buying season tickets: some folks feel better about buying full-priced tickets because it helps us more, some people don’t have the money up front, others don’t want to make a commitment, some might not want to see every single show.
Some of those reasons are very fair. Others I might like to argue someone out of.
So here goes:
I’d rather buy full-priced tickets because it gives Jobsite more money.
You’re right we get more money, but in the long run the security of having a ticket sold to each show in advance at the start of the season helps us do better financially overall. It allows us to budget better, and allows us to add performances to the run sooner because the tickets are sold in advance. Otherwise we may do fantastic at the door at the last-minute and not be able to add shows because it’s too late – which actually loses money for us. If you really want to help us financially, buy season tickets and then donate the balance of what single tickets would have cost back to us. We’d gladly take it.
I can’t spend that much money in advance.
Maybe you’re right. This is something to think about though. Say you’re going to buy your Gorey Stories tickets in the next week or two. Those are $24.50 plus service charges. It’s $93 more to add the other 5 shows in the season, meaning you’re only paying $18.50 for those other shows. You’re also only going to pay a one time $8 processing fee (whether you buy 1, 4 or 10 season tickets) which REALLY cuts down on your overall expenses. We do not set the service charges for our tickets, those come from TBPAC. We also don’t see any of that money. Buying a season ticket makes sure you’re getting the absolute best deal possible. A 20% savings and a greatly reduced fee.
I can’t make a commitment like that so far out. My schedule is always changing.
This is also fair, but shouldn’t stop you from buying season tickets. Yes, you do sign up for an opening weekend performance when you buy. Thu, Fri, Sat night or Sun matinee. That doesn’t however mean you are stuck. You can, at any time, call the TBPAC ticket office (up to 24 hours before curtain) and ask to move your ticket to another night. As long as that show isn’t already sold out – you’re set. It’s always free the first time you need to do it, and it’s just $1 per ticket for each additional change.
I don’t want to see all the shows in the season, I know there are one or two that just don’t interest me at all.
This is perhaps the hardest one to argue. On one hand it’s totally fair to say you don’t like left-wing agit-prop theater and there’s just no way you’ll sit through Embedded. Ok, we give you that. But do you have a friend that might really enjoy the heck out of that? A relative? Look like the good guy and gift the tickets! Also, TBPAC has a ticket donation program where they will give the tickets to a needy person who signs up for a special program through the arts council, and you can even get a tax receipt. Buying season tickets is like getting a show for free anyway, so even if you just see 5 of the shows you’re still saving money once you consider the savings on fees.
In the end, buying a season ticket is STILL the best way you can make sure Jobsite survives. We live and die at the box office, off of ticket sales. We’re really trying our best to diversify, but this is where we can make an immediate impact. This is something we can focus on to make us a stronger company. We’ve been stuck a bit here the past two years while having this as a priority. There has to be a way over the hump.
We know we have the people coming, we do quite well most of the time. Who are the stewards, the pillars of Jobsite who are going to make sure we can achieve permanency? This is a big question we’re still asking ourselves. We’d love to know.
You can stand up and raise your hand right now by simply joining us as a subscriber. We truly need it. You can learn more about how to subscribe, and more about the benefits (not just how you’re helping us) by going here.