Audit your income streams: Find the untapped revenue in your venue

Bryony Bell (she/her), Head of Content, Spektrix

Despite the challenges of recent years, audiences are still eager to attend the theatre, to support culture and community, and to make the most of a great night out with drinks packages, merchandise, and upgrades. So how do you tap into their enthusiasm and keep driving revenue across every sales channel?

Explore ideas for identifying your priorities, using data effectively, and targeting offers to the right members of your audience, with our practical Revenue Maximisation Audit tool. Work through it independently or gather your team to consider how you set targets, interpret data, and deliver campaigns – and where there could be opportunity to achieve even more. 

Audit your approach to ticket revenue, memberships, donations, and secondary spend; and access personalised recommendations to work more collaboratively and use your audience insights for maximum effect.

The three pillars underpinning revenue growth

Three vital pillars form the basis to a strategic, data-driven, outcome focused, collaborative approach to revenue generation. By keeping them top of mind, you’ll find yourself thinking outside the box, throwing away the things you’ve ‘always done’ a certain way, and looking at your venue and upsells from an audience member’s perspective.

Know your priorities 

Make sure you know what matters most to your organisation, so you can choose the initiatives that will have the biggest impact on your audiences, your team, and of course your revenue.

If you want more audiences – is your focus on first timers, or repeat attendees? If you want more diverse audiences, will you prioritise a certain age group, postcode area, or social demographic? They’ll each need a different approach – so make sure your goals are specific enough to really drive decisions.

Know your audience

On its own, every data point has value – from ticket purchases to giving history and merchandise sales. But the risk is that you throw everything at everybody – inviting the same people to book the next event, make a bigger gift, buy tickets sooner, pre-order champagne… By working together across teams, you can join up data and refine your asks, so you know exactly what’s most likely to resonate with each customer.

Track current customer engagement across touchpoints, and use that data to predict future behaviours. Look for the propensity to increase spend, donate, or join a loyalty programme.

Know what works for you

Not everything will work first time. Some attempts may work better than expected. So how do you make sure you’re testing what works effectively? Connect targets across teams, getting the right offer in front of the right audience members and measuring success venue-wide – not only against departmental budgets.

Drive ticket revenue

Soho Theatre wanted to direct customers more easily to relevant events in their busy programme. Working with Cog Design, they collect some additional data when customers create a new account in Spektrix – and this populates the Recommendations tab of their website, focusing people’s attention and helping to guide their choices.

Drive audience loyalty

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery used data to identify the right audience groups to target for memberships, subscriptions, or donations. By combining ticket sales data, integrated partner data, and offline enquiries, they can quickly map next steps and follow up offers to each audience group.

Donations & secondary spend

Two River Theatre ask online ticket buyers to support their work with a philanthropic donation. Most patrons receive a broad invitation to support the new season of work. Those booking for Shakespeare performances see a targeted message, asking them for a gift of $11 in honour of their 11th Shakespeare season.

Drive revenue in your own theatre or arts organisation

In this blog we’ve collected just a few creative ways in which cultural venues are using data to prioritise, segment, and communicate more effectively. Contact Spektrix if you’d like to find out more about any of these examples, or download the Revenue Maximisation Audit tool to start mapping your own initiatives.

Spektrix works on behalf of the arts and culture industry to provide leading ticketing, marketing, and fundraising CRM software, expert support and sector insights.

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