Everyone in the arts is desperate to get back to performing. We need the money, we need the social contact, we need the audiences. But will they be as keen to see us as we are to see them?
After all, our audiences have arguably managed pretty well without us for a year. They’ve got used to their cozy evenings with Netflix, Amazon Prime and the like. They may have forgotten about us. How do we let them know when we’re back in business and entice them to spend their hard-earned (and in many cases, much reduced) cash on a couple of hours in the company of a handful of enthusiasts with (hopefully) a hundred or more other people?
We need to be in contact with our audience - preferably as soon as possible - and remind them we’re still here and we’ll soon be back in business.
One way the pandemic has changed our habits is the massive increase in our usage of the internet. If your previous audience want to find out whether you are up and running, they’ll look for your website. So your website needs to be easy to find, easy to use and UP-TO-DATE! If a prospective punter sees you are still advertising a production for April 2020 and/or there is no further news, they may assume you’ve packed it in.
So first, make sure your website has been updated. Remove that advertisement for the 2020 show that never happened; put up a placeholder for your planned show in 2021, even if you haven’t set the dates yet; at the very least, display some news saying what you are planning - and make sure it’s in a prominent place on your Home page.
On the subject of planning, if you already know how your performances and venue are going to made Covid-safe, describe that on your website too - with photos if possible. Audiences will want to be reassured if we are to tempt them back.
If you don’t already sell your tickets online, now is the time to give it serious consideration. (And, let’s face it, you’ve got time to research it.) Online buying has boomed during the pandemic. People are used to finding things online and buying them there and then; even people who had never previously dared to try it. You need to tap into this convenient market - and it’s easy. Companies like TicketSource and Eventbrite (and many others) take care of almost everything, for a small per ticket fee. You can even sell their tickets direct from your own website.
Of course, your website is not the only way to keep in touch with your audience. Facebook remains one of the best ways to communicate with your audiences and your members (yes, don’t forget them!), so you must keep posting regularly, especially any news or plans about future productions. (And if you sell tickets online, you can include a button to take visitors to your booking page.)
Finally, you need to get messages out directly to your audiences. All the above rely on them seeking you out. You can be more proactive by making sure you have an up-to-date mailing list, either by post or by email. If you haven’t already got one, is it something you can start compiling? (Of course, you need to make sure you comply with GDPR rules.) If you are going to use emails, a good website can help build and manage a mailing list, or you can use an external company like MailChimp.
Needless to say, AmDram Web Design build websites which not only look beautiful but are easy to update and get your important messages out to your audience and members. And they can link with your Facebook page, online ticket sales and mailing lists.
Now is a really good time to review your website. Is it ready to support you when you’re back in action? If not, or if you’re not sure, contact us.