Summertime can often bring about a lull in productivity for us all. It’s hot, you’re feeling a little lazy, and you might want a bit of a break. While that sounds nice, summer is actually a perfect time to increase engagement within your community, growing your theatre’s name recognition and brand through events, programming, fundraisers, and more. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Put on Performances, Big or Small
Whether you’re going all in with a full slate of summer stock or just want to present a show or two, performances are a great way to keep your theatre’s name in the public sphere, doing what you do best!
But not to worry – if you and your crew don’t have the bandwidth for a larger musical or full play, consider putting on a talent show or a one-act performance. This will offer your community the engagement they’re looking for, but will ensure you don’t stretch yourself too thin or present something you’re not proud of. Additionally, this is a great way to ensure your students stay on-task and out of trouble this summer!
Increase Fundraising Efforts
Anytime is a good time to fundraise, but you may have more luck attracting the attention of patrons in the summer months, as things slow down for many of us. If you’re not sure about specific summer fundraising ideas, we have you covered.
Whether you’re slinging soap at a car wash, running a ticket sales contest, or touting your theatre’s production wishlist on social media, now is a great time to plan and execute fundraising campaigns. If you’re not sure where to start, On The Stage offers an exciting Fundraising Suite to help you with a variety of efforts.
Host Community Events
Looking to get your community together and raise your name recognition? Host a community event. There, you can display marketing materials and work to create community partnerships, all while bringing people together for a summer hangout.
You can start small with an outdoor movie night. Perhaps you’re viewing the movie version of the musical you plan to put on in the fall … or maybe you have patrons vote on social media about what they want to watch. Either way, a movie night or other low-key gathering is an easy, affordable way to engage your patrons.
If you’re looking more detailed, consider something a bit more interactive, like a scavenger hunt or cook-out. Perhaps you could even pair up with a local restaurant to host a large community dinner. The sky’s the limit!
If you have the resources, summer is the ideal time to present programming options to your community, as kids are out of school and parents are looking for ways to keep them engaged.
Camps and workshops are a great choice for theatres on the hunt for brand recognition. Whether you host a camp for aspiring actors with activities and an end-of-week performance, or present workshops to area theatre professionals, now is the time to put all your energy into it!
Push Your Merchandise
Whether you sell your merchandise at the aforementioned community events or programming, or you just advertise it on your social media, it’s the perfect time to boast about your swag! We’ve already explained why merchandise should be part of your marketing strategy, so utilize the many pros of merch this summer, which include:
- Building community
- Driving patron loyalty
- Growing brand awareness
- Raising capital
And yes, On The Stage offers an easy, on-demand merchandising solution. Ka-ching!
Enable Social Media Marketing
Perhaps the easiest way to engage your community? Talking to them via social media and employing social media marketing.
People want their voices heard – so listen! Ask patrons what things they’d like to see in your upcoming season, or on your social media in general. Make polls about merchandise opinions, costume choices, or other interactive questions. If nothing else, promote your brand by posting behind-the-scenes rehearsal photos and videos. People love to feel included, after all.
So … while you may be eyeing the pool for a relaxing lounge-around, consider ramping up your community engagement efforts instead, leading to a summer full of hot, hot, hot theatre!