Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Would you like a DVD with your happy meal?

So I have been putting in a lot of hours lately getting ready for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, which means many of my meals unfortunately have been from some of the best gourmet fast food places in my neighborhood. On one of my treks out to pick up some lunch, I stumbled onto a McDonald's which had a DVD rental kiosk on the outside. Maybe this isn't new to anyone else (I guess the project was launched several years ago), but it got me thinking. What an ingenious idea. Not only does it provide convenience for the customer, but the customer is required to come back to McDonald's to return the video, at which time it is likely that he will order another McDonald's product. I am seeing many theatres lately who are trying to become social destinations--not just a place to view a play, but to do several other things at the same time. There are your GLBT nights. Your wine sampling nights. During Contact at Virginia Stage Company we even offered swing dance lessons before and after the show. Are our patrons expecting more than just a theatrical experience? Do they want a one stop shopping destination for entertainment?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Metropolitan Opera Follow Up

This just in from the New York Times: The Metropolitan Opera is Going to Expand its Simulcasts.

Mr. Gelb anticipates that the number of people who attend live Metropolitan Opera productions and those that view them in the theater next year will be about the same (around 800,000 people).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Met Opera Tickets Selling Like Hot Cakes!

Where are all the naysayers now? You know who I am talking about. Those folks who said that Peter Gelb was crazy for simulcasting operas from the Met to movie theaters around the world. Wouldn't it hurt ticket sales? Wouldn't people rather pay a cheaper price and see a Met opera in the movie theater? Apparently not.

Give credit where credit is due. Ticket sales at the Metropolitan Opera, which has been striving for a broader audience under new General Manager Peter Gelb, rose 7.1 percent in the 2006-07 season. It was the opera house's first ticket-sale increase by season in six years! Check out this article: Metropolitan Opera Ticket Sales Rise for First Time in 6 Years.

Congratulations Mr. Gelb. Excellent work.

P.S. Hear about it all straight from the horse's mouth. Elena Park, the Metropolitan Opera's Assistant Manager in charge of creative content, is a plenary speaker at the 2007 National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Miami, November 2-5.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday morning marketing brilliance...

Elisa Zlotowitz, Human Resources Manager at Americans for the Arts, sent me these photos that were forwarded on to her:

Friday, May 11, 2007

Web 2.0 -- The Machine is Us/ing Us

Three Blog Posts to Read

A friend of mine who works at the American Association of Museums sent me a link to a new blog which he said I would be interested in. I have been reading it for the past couple of weeks and have found it fascinating. If you get a second, check out Nina Simon's Museum 2.0 Blog.

Several things have been on my mind lately, but nothing as much as Americans for the Arts Annual Convention which is coming up in three weeks. We are constantly trying to find ways to improve the convention experience for our attendees, and this year's convention has many new bells and whistles. Needless to say, I have been reading a lot about conferences lately, and found Nina Simon's blog post Game Friday: Conference Connections really interesting. It solves the whole "I don't know anyone here" problem.

I have also been struggling with the phenomenon that is Second Life. For those of you who don't know what it is, check out the website. The best way I can describe it is a virtual earth, much like the video game SIMS. It has been getting a lot of press lately because of the role that it is playing in the political arena. It was announced recently that Second Life would host the first virtual political debate, and that presidential candidates are giving out virtual "I support XXXX for president" t-shirts that avatars are wearing. So how are the arts are going to play a role in this new environment? Check out this blog from Nina Simon about how museums can take advantage of Second Life.

Last but not least, I found Lewis Green's blog post Web 2.0 Reality Check and thought--are we all just wasting our time?