Posted by Brian Mahoney, Vice President – Ticket Sales
We look at a lot of data on theatergoers whose addresses indicate they're from out-of-town, but we often neglect the fact that they may not be overnight visitors. Many of them are from nearby metro areas within the Northeast Corridor, who are traveling into the city just for the day. And while most overnight visitors arrive closer to the weekend, these day-trip visitors come to the city, see a matinee, and return home -- many on weekdays. Almost three-quarters of the people who arrived on a Wednesday saw a show on Wednesday -- the highest percentage for any day of the week -- and nearly 80% of those out-of-town customers live within the Northeast Corridor.
If we take a closer look at the habits of these Northeast Corridor day-trip buyers, we see that 70% of these visitors who attended a Wednesday show saw a matinee; on Saturdays, 60% of Northeast Corridor visitors saw the matinee. This is probably not surprising, but it helps us understand why some shows struggle to sell Wednesday nights. If most of the Wednesday tourist audience are day-trippers who leave town after the matinee, then are shows who depend on tourists trying to paddle upstream by playing Wednesday nights?
Visitors from the Northeast Corridor have buying patterns similar to suburban customers. In fact, the performances preferred by Northeast Corridor visitors in order of sales are: Saturday Matinee, Saturday night, Sunday Matinee, Wednesday Matinee, and Friday evening.
So next time you think about how your show markets itself to buyers from Philly or Hartford (or even Boston and D.C.), consider that those folks may just be here for the day.