Sell Your Program Book Like Hot Cakes
by Kristin Brumley
Thursday, March 29, 2018
If you’ve never considered selling your program at your recitals, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity. With some creative foresight and business savvy tips, we want to help you get the most of your show’s program book. Your program need not be limited to a folded pamphlet or list of your student’s names! Consider, instead, a beautifully designed momento that your dancers and their parents will cherish long after the last performance.
Below we’ve detailed a few ways that you can improve your program and make a profit.
Don't give your programs away for free.
This one seems a little obvious, but you can’t give away your programs for free if you want to make an extra profit for your studio. Say goodbye to the free throwaway handout, and say hello to value. You’ll be putting extra effort into making your programs worthwhile for your dancers--so don’t sell yourself short, either. Make sure to name a price that will cover the materials and your time. If that price is too high, consider selling ads to supplement the costs.
Treat the program book like its own business.
Whatever you sell at your performances--including merchandise and food, discussed in a previous post--should be treated like its own business. Open a bank account specifically for such merchandise, keeping the profits separate from your studio. Charge the studio for ad space in the program, t-shirt giveaways, etc.
By treating merchandise sales as a separate business, it will be easier to delegate responsibilities to people not involved in the business of the studio itself. Delegation and the mindset of running a business will ultimately allow the profits to increase--with less stress to you. If the studio later wants to capture the funds from your program book sales, you can write a check to the studio for the profits at the end of the season.
Include lots of photos.
Program books are memories. Most of the memories your students have about the show will be of the rehearsals and prepwork--not the show itself. Include photos from auditions, rehearsals, set construction, costume fitting, and more. Ask for photos from the kids (they likely have taken a lot!) and also take your own photos throughout the process. Making the program feel like a photo book will help create major value for your students and their parents.
Advertise the program at the studio AND the show venue.
Hang huge posters in the studio and at the venue before the show, listing what exclusive content is in the program. Make sure to make it clear that programs are filled with photos and memories that the performers will cherish, and that these will not be posted elsewhere. While some photos should also go up on social media, make sure to save most of it for the book!
Sell ad space within the program! These can be advertisements from local businesses, dance-related vendors, or for your studio and upcoming studio events. Include several valuable coupons. Coupons for discounted dance shoes or a nearby restaurant that families can visit after the performance are great ways to encourage sales! And your local restaurants will be happy for the extra business.
Give parents some space.
Create space in the program so that parents can create shout outs to their kids. Parents will pay to include their good wishes in print, and you can offer a complimentary program as part of the cost. We offer an easy way to sell these shout outs online when parents purchase tickets! This means it’s little extra work for you, and we make it very intuitive and simple for parents.
Give your audience the scoop.
Your program book is a great place to highlight major events at you studio, even those not directly related to the current performance. Include upcoming and past fundraisers, community involvement, new faculty, facility updates, exciting new classes, etc. This is your chance to reaffirm their decision to choose your studio over the competitors. This is also your chance to thank people by name for being involved. Show that you appreciate everyone who has made your accomplishments possible.
Sell your programs online with your tickets.
We make it easy for you to sell your programs ahead of time. Pre-orders help to cover the material and print costs upfront, which is especially helpful when this may be your first time selling program books. One of our features includes selling any sort of merchandise alongside your tickets, and we help you to set this up when you choose us to help with your ticketing needs. You’ll receive a direct deposit to your bank account every Thursday with any profits, so you won't have to wait to see that money, either.
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