TOP 10 WAYS TO THRIVE IN A DOWN ECONOMY

I was reading Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2009 Trend Issue and it became evident that what the editors were saying about “businesses to start in 2009”, could be applied to the live entertainment business.  So with that in mind, and a bunch of extra stuff added, here is the Top 10 Ways To Thrive In Today’s Down Economy

 

1)       GO GREEN – You have no idea how much money you can save.  Wal-Mart found out.  Appoint a “Green Czar” for your office with the idea of taking your company Carbon Neutral.  One easy way to get your staff into this is to pass a certain percentage of savings onto your employees; although you probably don’t need to do that (it is still a good idea).  Here are some other ones.  Recycling cans and bottles, switching to florescent light bulbs (also added bonus of saving on cooling costs in summer), maintain irrigation systems and change sprinkler heads over to water saving types, car pools, install motion detecting light switches, provide “power strips” for employees to plug all chargers and electronics into (this way one switch shuts off all…most power from electronics is used when the power is actually off), etc.  Also, the simple fact that going green is a trend makes consumers want to associate with your company or product. 

 

2)       USE TECHNOLOGY – The obvious web/mobile app that will have the most immediate impact on live entertainment is the paperless ticket.  There should be a real financial savings to consumers who choose this option.  When Ticketmaster’s business went from predominantly phone sales to the web, that savings was never passed on to the consumer.  One can argue there is a cost for keeping up with technology, but Ticketmaster would have never switched over if there wasn’t a huge cost savings.  You don’t have to pay for a computer’s healthcare, sick days, taxes, etc, after all. 

 

3)       MARKET TO BOOMERS – I think the folks from Entrepreneur said it best with boomers represent “the biggest wealth transfer in history”.  Average Net worth: $257,800, Average Annual Income $71,400, 38% expected to inherit $210,000 (average), 35% have already inherited $113,000 (average).  How about a “Financial Show”, couldn’t be better timing right now?

 

4)       THINK HEALTH – Whether it is something as simple as updating your food and beverage selections, or you are developing a health related consumer show (maybe related to aging, see #3), heath is on everyone’s mind.  You should be thinking about this in your business.  Even keeping up with your staff’s healthcare maintenance can save you money by saving your employees trips to the doctor. 

 

5)       MARKET TO GENERATION Y – Echo Boomers, or whatever you call them, now number 75 million in the U.S. (Source: Deloitte Consulting), with buying power of $1 trillion (Source: U.S. Census Bureau).  Find ways to reach this game loving, social networking, born on a computer audience and get yourself a piece of that $1 trillion.  Wouldn’t suggest a “gaming tour” or festival just yet.  So far, no one has been able to figure out that model. 

 

6)       DROP OR RAISE YOUR PRICES – Look at the market.  For every case of an overpriced ticket, there is an under priced one (maybe in another show category, but you can find it).  There are so many examples of events raising their ticket prices and seeing a large sales spike.  Unfortunately, the opposite is true more often. 

 

7)       CHANGE YOUR MARKETING – We in the live business need to catch-up with the rest of those that market products.  This doesn’t have to be about spending money, but it does have to do with creativity and innovation.  Time to start listening to the young people in your office.

 

8)       STOP SPAMMING, START COMMUNICATING – I’m as guilty of this as anyone and it must stop.  Just because you have a database and a consumer gives you permission to send them info, doesn’t mean you should be sending them 3 emails per week.  Develop a dialogue with your fans and watch your business flourish. 

 

9)       FITNESS IS BACK – I would be really interested to see if places like Canyon Ranch are down in this economy.  Either way, fitness is back on consumer’s minds.  How can you work this into what you are doing in your business?  How about staging the world’s largest spinning class where a portion of the proceeds go to Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong” campaign?  How about installing a small fitness room in your office (you would be surprised how little it can cost)?  It is proven that those that workout have more energy than those that don’t and are able to concentrate on better at work. 

 

10)     ENERGY – This has to be top-of-mind with most people these days.  Consumers couldn’t be more confused on what the options are, which ones are best, etc.  Create a show that addresses energy, and if it is entertaining and priced right, it will sell for sure.

Please always remember that we are in the live entertainment business.  It is our job to get people out of their homes and make them happy, educate them, and break them out of the funk they are in.

Talk to you soon,

 

Jim

 

 

 

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