Posts Tagged ‘Jim McCarthy’

REVENUE PER SEAT VS. AVERAGE TICKET PRICE

April 7, 2014

Do you use Average Ticket Price to measure success on your shows?  If yes, please stop, it is a façade.

I (probably like you) have always used average ticket price as a measuring tool.  It is what we learned and it makes sense.  That is until Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar Events did some simple math on a whiteboard and the light bulb went off.  We (concerts, sports, theatre, family, etc.) should be looking at Revenue Per Seat, not Average Ticket Price.

Lets say you and I were playing a show at your local arena and tickets were $500.  We sold 4-tickets to our family members but the rest of the 15,000 capacity room goes unsold.  What’s our average ticket price?

Average ticket price is calculated by taking your show gross and dividing by the number of seats you sold…so your average ticket price in the above scenario is $500 even though the promoter will be eating Cup of Noodles for a while.  Average Ticket Price = gross / number of seats sold.

Revenue Per Seat = gross / total number of seats.  This formula gives you much more accurate data as you are counting unsold tickets as selling for $0.  Average ticket price doesn’t really tell you anything…especially standing on its own.

In music and live entertainment, we talk about moving to a dynamic pricing model similar to the travel industry.  Well, airlines measure Revenue Per Seat while hotels and cruises, Revenue Per Room.  The average doesn’t tell them how full their properties are, just how much they are getting per sale.  It is a number that doesn’t really mean anything.

As the Blues Brothers once said, “we are on a mission from god”.  Our mission is to use revenue per seat versus average ticket price.  Please remember, although we are used to looking at the gross and average ticket, it doesn’t tell you what you need to know.  It doesn’t tell you anything.

Please share this mission with everyone!

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INFLUENCES…ASPEN IN DECEMBER

November 4, 2013

Do you read? I do…a lot.  Not fiction (which I should)…mostly business, marketing, social media (also known as marketing), and biographies. Two of this year’s standouts are Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales From the New Abnormal in the Movie Business” by movie producer Lynda Obst and Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainmentby Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Anita Elberse.

The big news here is that both Anita Elberse and Lynda Obst will be guests at this year’s Aspen Live Conference, December 12-15, 2013 at the St. Regis, Aspen.

If you till haven’t registered (hard to imagine), it isn’t too late.  We have 26 spots remaining, but believe based on the above they will go fast.  Register TODAY at http://www.aspenlive.com.  Follow us on Twitter: @AspenLive, and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aspenlive…and me on Twitter: @jimlewi and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jim.lewi?fref=ts.

The above books should be required reading for anyone in the music and live entertainment businesses.  In fact, please go to Amazon (or your local book store) and buy them today.  Blockbusters: http://tinyurl.com/n4qbcrt and Sleepless: http://tinyurl.com/nxw7s46.

Below is the latest Aspen Live 2013 Conference Schedule.  Please know that all are subject to change and probably will (just where meetings sit and what they are called…plus one or two more surprises).

Stay tuned, more announcements to come soon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

7:00 pm             Annual Peter Tempkins Chow-Down @ Hickory House (optional) – Please contact Peter Tempkins @ petert@gnw-eg.com

Late Night                      St. Regis, Lobby Bar

Thursday, December 12, 2013

12:00 pm                       On-Mountain Get Together (Sundeck Restaurant-Aspen Mtn; Ullrhof Restaurant – Snowmass)

 4:00 pm-5:00 pm                        Cocktails With An Icon, Hosted By Dan Steinberg, Featuring Alex Hodges

Please feel free to grab a cocktail and unwind after a long day on the slopes as                                         we dive into the amazing career of an Icon.

 5:15 pm-6:15 pm            Jim McCarthy from Goldstar on “Selling Out” your shows

6:30 pm-7:30 pm            Q&A with Movie Producer and Author of “Sleepless in Hollywood, Tales of the New Abnormal in    the Movie Business”, Lynda Obst

                                    St. Regis – Maroon Bells

7:45pm-9:00pm              Voice Media Group Welcomes you to Aspen w/ The Opening Billiards Party @ Aspen Billiards and Eric’s Bar

Late Night                      St. Regis, Lobby Bar

Friday, December 13, 2013

12:00 pm                       On-Mountain Get Together (Sundeck Restaurant-Aspen Mtn; Ullrhof Restaurant – Snowmass)

4:15 pm-5:30 pm            Q&A with Harvard Business School Professor and Author of “Blockbusters: Hit Makers, Risk-takers and the Big Business of Entertainment”, Anita Elberse, Presented by Goldstar

5:45 pm-6:30 pm            TBA

St. Regis – Maroon Bells

7:30pm-9:30pm              Cocktail Party @ Belly-Up hosted by Michael Goldberg & Belly-Up Staff

Late Night                      St. Regis, Lobby Bar

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cooking Aspen         An optional fun hands on cooking class, food and wine pairings, and more.  Please RSVP to jamie@nederlander.com

4:00 pm-5:00 pm            5 Things the Music Business Can Learn From Amazon, Presented by Ticketfly

5:15 pm-6:15 pm                        How Live Content Producers and YOU Can Partner and Make Money with                                   StubHub. 

6:30 pm-7:00 pm                        Aspen Integrated – Part III Hosted by Nic Adler

                                    St. Regis, Maroon Bells

 

7:45 pm- ?                     Closing Dinner (optional) Restaurant TBA…please RSVP to Jamie Loeb @                                   jamie@nederlander.com

Late Night                      Limelight Hotel Bar

Special Thanks To: Access Pass & Design, Adler Integrated, Bill Young Productions, Goldstar Events, Stubhub, Ticketfly and Voice Media Group and You for making such an exciting program possible.

                                       

“SELLING OUT”

October 13, 2013

In a perfect world, we would put our shows on-sale and they’d sellout. In reality, with few exceptions, that’s not what happens…and one reason why I’m part of the Goldstar team.

Goldstar’s mission is to get members to go out more…try new things…while helping partners sell every seat in the house.  And that’s what CEO Jim McCarthy’s new blog is all about, “Selling Out”.

Jim said “we’ve launched this site as a resource and tool for everybody whose job is to create, market or manage live entertainment. I’m your host, and I’ll write some things. We’ll also have guest contributors and links to useful info and articles elsewhere, and hopefully you’ll participate, too. If we do this right, we’ll all learn from each other.”

Please go to http://www.sellingout.com.  Sign-up to receive the blog via email…and if you have something to share, do that! I’ll see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

NEED HELP SELLING TICKETS?

March 26, 2013

It isn’t very often that I write you to plug my projects and clients but sometimes the information feels important and should be shared.  With only 70% of your shows selling on average, let’s talk about Goldstar Events.

When many in the live business hear the word Goldstar, they think discounted tickets when their show or event is in trouble.  Yet that isn’t the business Goldstar is in.

The mission the founders (Jim McCarthy, Rich Webster, and Robert Graff) started with nearly 11-years ago remains the same today…GET PEOPLE TO GO OUT MORE.  Although prices are usually lower than full-price to entice members to try something new, 86% of those members are searching a date and city rather than a specific show or venue. Thus your shows are not cannibalized.

This is a fact, from the time I started working with Goldstar in 2011 till today, Goldstar marketing has only helped primary sales for your concerts and shows.  Never has there been one instance that I’m aware of, where there was a negative effect of any kind.

You get the biggest bang working with Goldstar when a) there is time to promote it properly (early is better than later), b) pricing and scaling make sense (please know that doesn’t mean every ticket @ 50%off…using the company’s Scale Power formula you could have seats as low as $5-off), c) You only market to those you get  permission from thus your open rates and numbers you’re reaching are much greater (Goldstar never spams), d) Although currently in 23-markets, you are best served where member penetration is the deepest…Los Angeles/Orange County, San Francisco, New York, Boston, DC, Chicago, San Diego and San Jose.

On average, 30% of the inventory at your shows goes unsold.  That means once you settle the show, any seat not sold is worth $0. Why would you do that when Goldstar can move those tickets for you…increasing your show gross…not to mention ancillaries without doing anything to upset your primary market?

If you have questions, comments, whatever, please send them to me @ jim@liveworksevents.com…and check out http://www.goldstar.com.

GOLDSTAR

October 15, 2011

Another marketing tool you used to sell live entertainment in  many U.S. markets to help is Goldstar Events http://www.goldstar.com (full disclosure, they have been a LiveWorks client for the past 6-months http://liveworksevents.com).  Actually it was Nederlander‘s Jamie Loeb that introduced many of us to the service… although I started out from the consumer side.

We had just moved to LA and were looking for things to do with our girls.  My cousin Annie suggested becoming Goldstar members since their site contained family friendly events in the area. We did.

Jump 4-years to last December.  Jamie recommended a few of Goldstar’s management team (CEO, Jim McCarthy and VP, Wendi Lebow) participate in the Aspen Live Conference http://www.aspenlive.com.  Once we saw their grassroots growth and marketing strategy (no advertising to hurt primary ticket sales), sales numbers…and most importantly, what they can mean to your bottom line (the service only takes 2% of sale for credit card transactions with zero risk… and the rest goes to the show) we were sold.  You will be too.

Goldstar has created a calculator for you to use to gauge impact.  It’s a mock-settlement from the Nokia Theatre in LA.  Although the scaling may be a little off (I haven’t settled an event @ the venue yet), all the numbers can be changed to fit your show.  Please send me an email for a copy and I’ll forward the Excel doc. 

Goldstar has been investing in our business for over 9-years now…growing market-by-market.  There are other “daily deal” type businesses (Goldstar is actually a marketplace rather than deal site) you can lump them in with, yet Goldstar sells only live entertainment to an audience looking for things to do.  In fact, 86% of Goldstar members search a city and date rather than a specific event or venue…thus creating event discovery versus cannibalizing your primary market. 

Music has been slow in embracing Goldstar due to discounting.  When many see the success other live entertainment has had with the service (Sports, Theatre, Family, even Cinema) they usually point out that there are multiple performances, games, etc, where a concert is just that one night.  If we were selling-out every show, they would have a point.  Unfortunately we don’t and if your event isn’t projected to go clean, you should be doing something to get you there. 

We are all looking out for the long term health of our business (or at least many are).  If you are going to what you call your “loyal customers” with a “special offer” to help boost ticket sales, you are doing just the opposite.  This is your primary market…your Alpha Consumer.  You are just training them to wait for a deal. 

To open new sales channels, we need to look at how other businesses market and sell their products.  Automobile manufacturers for example have regular scheduled sales events that consumers can count on…but also use other discounting methods (like auto sales websites) to drive leads and sales. 

 There is a reason many of us have gravitated to Goldstar.  Please take a look at what you are missing.

Jim