What does your pricing say about you?

09 Mar 2022

Pricing is an overlooked form of communication. As soon as a price is placed on something, it sends out a message about the product, says David Reece

‘Dynamic pricing’ to blame for £400 West End seats

12 May 2022

A spokesperson for West End play Cock says “dynamic pricing” caused tickets to be priced at up to £400.

The show came under fire earlier this week after tickets were priced as high as £400, plus a £60 booking fee, on the production’s official booking system.

With the show’s 13-week run set to end on 4 June, a spokesperson for producers Elliot & Harper said “the remaining premium ticket sales are based on supply and demand”.

They also confirmed 15% of all tickets had been sold at £20, with a daily lottery offering £20 tickets at every performance.

Cock is being staged at the Ambassadors Theatre, one of the smallest venues in the West End.

On Wednesday, theatre consultant Carl Woodward noted tickets priced in excess of £300 on Monday were now priced below £200.

The ticket levy

Studio Liverpool's Royal Court
11 May 2022

Using a ticket levy as part of a capital campaign can generate much needed funds. Lucy Costelloe argues the benefits.

Reforms may have ‘negligible’ impact on ticket fraud 

27 Apr 2022

Government reforms to prevent ticket sale scams may be insufficient to create lasting change if they are not enforced, an expert says.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is being granted new powers to enforce consumer legislation, including the ability to fine businesses 10% of their global turnover for breaking consumer protection laws.

The CMA is expected to use its new tools to combat touting and fraudulent ticket sales.

But Adam Webb, Campaign Manager at FanFair Alliance, told Access All Areas the government had failed to respond to specific recommendations submitted by the CMA eight months ago. 

Without legislation to tighten rules around secondary ticket sales, the reforms won’t guarantee lasting change, he said.

“Unless there’s a willingness to take enforcement action against rogue companies, the impact of these new powers is likely to be negligible”, he added.

National reporting centre Action Fraud estimates that ticket fraudsters duped 4,982 victims into spending £3.8m in the 2021-2022 financial year – an average loss of £750 per victim. 

Craig Mullish, Detective Chief Inspector for the City of London Police, said reports of ticket scams for festivals and sporting events rose when Covid restrictions lifted last summer and have grown further this year. 

Dynamic pricing on trial: guilty or not guilty?

pound sign in handcuffs
19 Apr 2022

Thanks to the pandemic and the rising cost of living, a widespread pricing practice is back in the spotlight. Robin Cantrill-Fenwick rises for the prosecution… and the defence.

Much more than ticketing: your box office is vital for success

image of box office at theatre
06 Apr 2022

The box office provides much more than just the ability to sell tickets. It’s important, says Natalie Watson, to use the data insights it generates to help regain audience trust.

Delivering stellar ticketing services

Sietse Bakker delivering the opening keynote of #TPC2022 Photo by Jas Sasni
06 Apr 2022

The Ticketing Professionals Conference (TPC) was conceived in Denver in 2015 at the International Ticketing Associations’ annual conference. Andrew Thomas reflects on how it has developed since then.

Permanent free entry to children's book museum

05 Apr 2022

Seven Stories, the national centre for children's books, is making entry free for good.

The museum removed admission fees on a trial basis in February and received record visitor numbers - 7,500 in a single week.

Since free entry aligns with its overall engagement strategy, it has decided to keep the model permanently.

CEO Wendy Elliott said attendance at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne site now far exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

"It was fantastic to see so many new visitors enjoying our galleries and events, from our region and further afield.

"Our goal is to put stories at the heart of every childhood, no matter what background or place you grow up in, and in order to do that we need be as accessible as possible to as many children as possible."

Event organisers optimistic about future

05 Apr 2022

Worries about ticket sales, rising costs and staff shortages remain front of mind but organisers have "a much thicker skin" than before Covid.

Children’s theatre ticket scheme doubles offering

04 Apr 2022

Children’s theatre Polka is making 4,000 free school tickets available before the end of the school year through Curtain Up! 

The commitment doubles the scheme’s previous allocation, which offers free theatre tickets to primary school children from disadvantaged locations in Merton and surrounding boroughs.

Since reopening last autumn, Polka has hosted 1,700 pupils from 22 schools at Curtain Up! performances.

The scheme's growth responds to the lasting impact of Covid, with schools struggling financially and organisationally to bring children to performances, the theatre says. 

"Theatre gives children a creative outlet, an escapist ride into the world of stories, a way to reflect on their own world, and a chance to experience emotional journeys together. We want to make sure they don’t miss out," said Polka's Executive Director Lynette Shanbury.

Booking patterns match pre-pandemic behaviour, survey finds

21 Mar 2022

Advance booking patterns for performing arts shows last year were “very similar” to before the pandemic, according to analysis from TRG Arts and Purple Seven.

The organisations' ‘Two Years On’ survey found more than half of bookers last year were first time patrons. 

TRG Chief Executive Jill Robinson said the result is "heartening news" but is "not new behaviour in the post-Covid world".

Analysis of 288 UK theatres found the average age of ticket bookers has fallen to 56.4 from 57.4 years old.

Fewer bookings are coming from those born between the mid-1940s and 1960s (down 3%). The greatest increase has come from those born between 1965 and 1980.

The research found the pace of Covid recovery varies across the country, with the South West of England and Northern Ireland performing stronger than Wales, Yorkshire and the North East of England.

Sunak urged to abandon VAT ticket hike

15 Mar 2022

Plans to revert VAT on ticket sales to pre-pandemic levels will be “hugely damaging” for the music industry.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to scrap an anticipated 7.5% hike on live event ticket sales expected in next week's 'mini-Budget'. 

A return to 20% would see the UK’s VAT on tickets - already one of the highest in Europe - far surpass levels set in Spain (10%), Germany (7%) and Belgium (6%), the association says.

Promoters and music industry chiefs are concerned it will force rising in ticket prices, which Njoku-Goodwin said would "leave music fans facing a cost of gigging crisis”.

“Dumping the planned VAT hike would help keep ticket prices down for fans and help music businesses pay down debts they built up during the pandemic, generate thousands of new jobs and nurture new talent,” he added.

Missing audiences present major challenge to arts income

09 Mar 2022

New research suggests venues may not be able to convince up to 14% of regular attendees to return as restrictions lapse. How can organisations adapt?

Should buying a ticket really be this hard?

a crowd of people watch a performance
02 Mar 2022

Buying tickets online is something people do every day, for thousands of events, on millions of websites, all around the world. But, as Kathryn Mason writes, it’s not always plain sailing.

Living with Covid plan could erase 'significant minority' of audiences

22 Feb 2022

The end of restrictions and free Covid testing pose challenges for workforce safety and encouraging cautious customers back.

Mission should inform everything

image outside building of Farnham Maltings
16 Feb 2022

Being purpose driven and mission driven through the pandemic set Farnham Maltings up for success long into the future, just when they needed it most, as Paul Fadden reports.

A is for absurd

20 Jan 2022

Taking the 'new normal' seriously means accepting some changes might need to stay. 

Indoor restrictions to be lifted in Scotland

19 Jan 2022

Scotland will ease its Covid restrictions from Monday (January 24), removing limits on attendance at indoor events.

Nightclubs can reopen from the same date, coinciding with the end of social distancing requirements.

Scotland's Covid certifiaction scheme will be only be mandatory for entry to events of over 1,000 people. 

Organisers must check proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test for whichever is lower of 1,000 people or half an event's attendees. 

The Scottish Government says it stopped short of certifiaction checks at all venues because of the "significant fall" in Covid cases.

Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan said the restrictions, announced before Christmas, had effectively shut down the majority of theatres in Scotland. 

"It will be a huge relief to theatres, artists and audiences that they will soon be able to reopen."

Vaccine passports 'not sustainable' in Wales

17 Dec 2021

A month after implementation, venues say Covid passes have had the opposite effect on audience confidence than the policy intended.

'Catastrophic' collapse in attendance under Plan B

15 Dec 2021

It's estimated nearly £2bn has been lost from music venues since last week's announcement.


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