Doors sales and advanced bookers

Journal of Arts Marketing Issue 22 – February 2007

On the trail of the missing hordes
Walk-ups, advance bookers and non-bookers: a study commissioned from Cultural Intelligence by the Arts Councils of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
My first reaction to this recently published research was to congratulate the box office staff at the 23 venues that took part. On average, they capture the names and addresses of 80% of their ticket buyers. And that includes 58% of walk up bookers (that’s defined as people who buy tickets less than an hour before the performance). What an achievement! On behalf of marketers everywhere: we’re very, very sorry for ever having doubted you.
These data capture rates are important because many marketers have been worrying that when they analyse their box office data they get a misleading picture of their audiences. After all, this data can only tell us about the people who buy the tickets. It can’t tell us about the people who come to the event with them. And what about the ticket buyers whose names and addresses we don’t manage to collect? What if all these missing people are really different?
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