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TOPIC: group sales

group sales 04 Mar 2012 22:31 #37982

  • leeler
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I had an elementary school contact me last week for a special show. We sold out two shows for them plus added another for the public to make way for the sold out elementary show. With that said, I have mixed feelings about these but I figure the PR value pushes it over the top. We negotiated a reduced ticket price (I pay full price to the studios, of course). That, coupled with the fee for the 3D company makes it pretty expensive. My other thoughts are what happens to the families of the elemantary kids who came to see the show, would they come again or say, well, little Sally just saw it with her classmates so I guess we don't need to take her now. Conversely, there were surely some kids who otherwise wouldn't have come. to top it off, the first show bypassed the concession line altogether. What are your policies with the local schools/groups? Do you suck it up and take a financial beating or do you negotiate with them? Do you have a strict policy or do you keep it flexible?
"What a crazy business"
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Re: group sales 05 Mar 2012 02:34 #37983

  • rufusjack
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FWIW,

We do not not discount prices at all since we are already the low cost leader. We will run a private show with a min. of 20 tickets. We allow one teacher free for each 20 students. If they want a regular scheduled time, they have to buy all of the tickets for that show.
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Re: group sales 05 Mar 2012 14:25 #37986

  • lionheart
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I received advice from another operator that I followed. I now think I should not have. It cost me several group sales to schools. The advice was that I should not discount beyond my lowest rate (matinee/kid's ticket price), and that I should also require the group to pay a set amount per peron on concessions. This worked great for the groups that did buy, but caused many to go away without buying.

I offered a group show at a time of their choosing (outside scheduled showtimes), as long as there were a minimum number of tickets sold. They had to pay the kid's price, $6, plus $2 for concessions. For $2 everyone received a small popcorn and a small soda. People could upgrade concessions if they paid the difference. Of course, this was good money, but most schools didn't want to spend $8 per child.

This deal was better than what some nearby competition offered, and later became worse than others. I pointed out that it was a show run just for them and even though it wasn't much of a discount, they were getting the privilege of having the place to themselves at a time of their choosing. I think to get all the lost business, we would have had to offer to let the kids in for something like $2 a head and not require the concession purchase. So, if the school brought 50 or 100 kids and let them buy concessions, that wouldn't have been such a good deal for me at such a low rate. However, I believe I needed to find the middle ground. I closed before I did.

Probably I could have offered to do a package deal for $4 or $5 a head including a free small popcorn. Let the kids buy soda if they want it (have the school tell them in advance, so they don't have to go thirsty). Maybe some schools would have liked this, but some would still be too cheap. Those, I could do without.

As for losing business because the kids had already seen the movie, I didn't think I did. I made up for it with my price structure on the group deal. Even with a $4 package deal, I think I would have been money ahead. My best weeks were usually the ones where I could book a group show or two.
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