Managing success

Arts Professional: Essential Audiences 24 April 2006

Making ‘sold out’ mean success
When an arts organisation has been successful at attracting audiences, the problems don’t stop there. Heather Maitland looks at ways of managing success.
A couple of weeks ago I visited a small arts centre mid-morning and couldn’t get through the front door. The coffee shop was packed, the queue for the box office snaked right across the entrance and Mini Music Makers had just ended so the place was knee deep in toddlers. So why, when I finally fought my way upstairs to the admin office, was the team looking glum? “Doing so well is really bad for business.” they explained.
So many of the events were selling out within days that people who didn’t book as soon as they got their brochure were being turned away. A perception was growing that the Arts Centre was “always sold out”. But several events had plenty of seats left. The team were worried that these seats were becoming impossible to sell once the initial booking frenzy was over…
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