Go Ahead - Raise Your Prices

This blog post isn’t going to shed light on any brand new information, but it is going to reiterate a point that needs to be made more frequently. I wouldn’t be writing this if I weren’t continually frustrated with some managers in the field who are irrationally afraid of touching their ticket prices.

Now, I’m not talking about raising a ticket from $25 to $50, but I am talking about the difference between $25 and $26.50. The bulk of the arts audience is not price sensitive. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and there are sectors of the audience that need discounting in order to bring them in. However, I’m not talking about those people, I am talking about the people who make up the core of the arts audience. The ones who have the ability to pay.

The reason people aren’t coming to your events is not because they can’t afford to, it’s because they  haven’t found a compelling reason to trade their time and money for what you do. That’s why I’m calling your attention to an article entitled Admission Price is not a Primary Barrier for Cultural Visitation from the excellent “Know Your Own Bone” blog. Here’s what this article has to say:

There are many reasons why visitors may not be attending cultural organizations, but for those who are likely to attend, cost is not a primary barrier. We need to move this conversation forward, and in order to do so, we need to retire untrue assumptions and excuses about our barriers to engagement. Sure, people like free stuff. But what cultural organizations offer is valuable and people are willing to pay for it.

Let’s put cost to rest as the immediate “go to” excuse for lower visitation and start focusing on real ways to increase access and create programs that truly fulfill our missions of educating and inspiring audiences. There’s work to be done and we are delaying progress with this excuse that allows us to overlook our biggest opportunities for engagement.

Needless to say, I agree.

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