For many community presenters, there is only enough money in the coffers for one or two productions a year so how do you make the most of that money and, hopefully, build it up for the future.
Here are some things to consider when you and your committee sit down to think about the next show.
Know your audience
Understanding what your audience likes and dislikes is very helpful in knowing what to program. Find ways to get their feedback and figure out their interests. Be mindful of new audiences too. Think about the people who make up your community and ask them what would whet their appetite too.
Be clear about what has worked and why
When a show doesn't go well it can be easy to throw the baby out with the bath water. Because one type of show hasn't worked it doesn't necessarily mean that it won't work in the future. Sometimes, external factors influence an event, such as conflicting activities elsewhere. Spend time understanding what has been successful and look for that next time.
Get your community involved
Getting 'buy-in' from the local community is an extremely effective way of raising the profile of your program and increasing people's interest. Is there a way to feature local groups before, during or after the mainstage production? What opportunities can the touring company offer to local communities? Involved people feel invested in the success of the show.
Make your show an event
Elevate the experience for the audiences from attending a show to being part of an event. Make the night (or day) memorable and special. Is there a food or drinks available? How has the space been presented? What extra can you offer that increases your tickets sales but won't cost you the earth?
Make the most of events like Queensland Touring Showcase to find out about productions on the horizon. Many larger presenters lock in their programs 12 to 18 months ahead and piggybacking on some of the larger tours will help keep overall costs down. Also, consider planning for the next three years so you can carefully and strategically develop new audiences.
arTour is able to offer support and advice to presenters and producers across the whole of Queensland. Our new website features detailed information about shows and producers, touring and professional development resources and lots of news and stories from the touring network. arTour can help you find the right production for your budget and offer ideas how to make the most out of the experience. Ask arTour.