Ask Me Anything: Start Repertoire Scoring

March 19, 2018

“We want to do some repertoire coding to inform better budgeting and forecasting for future events. What are some best practices?”


Repertoire coding is an excellent way to get a sense of how different types of content sell at your organization, and using it to budget and forecast is an excellent plan.

The first thing you’ll want to do is determine your scoring criteria. We suggest starting with numerical values and then adding labels later on. Some criteria to consider when scoring:

  • Artists Involved
  • Time of Year
  • Family-Friendly
  • Popularity/Accessibility

But there are many more!

Once you know your criteria, decide the highest and lowest points each of them can receive. Maybe particularly difficult pieces get negative scores, but the highest popularity score is 3. It’s up to you and what will make the most sense, and this process may take some tweaking the more you get into it. Keep in mind that the larger your range, the more composite scores you’ll be getting in the end.

For example, let’s take a particular concert that may be tough content-wise, but has is a great conductor and soloist. If we use what we have above perhaps we come up with:

Artists Involved 2
Time of Year 1
Family-Friendly -1
Popularity/Accessibility 0

So the repertoire score for our upcoming concert is 2, and if our scale is -4 to 12, that definitely falls on the mid to lower end.

Remember this is all dependent upon the criteria you choose and the range of scores you select. But after each production or performance is scored, you can start to examine similarities between them. What were capacities like? What were people paying? How early were people buying? And you can use that information to improve your budgets and forecasts.

You may even be able to start predicting audience behavior based on the repertoire the patron prefers to see. For example, you may choose to stop sending marketing materials about blockbuster performances with high rep scores to patrons who prefer lower-scoring performances

There’s no right or wrong way to set up your scores—just make sure they work for your organization and is neither too simple nor too complicated. And we’d be happy to help you out if you need it!


JCA Arts Marketing collaborates with cultural organizations to increase revenue, boost attendance and membership, and grow patron loyalty. We provide consulting and software services to hundreds of cultural institutions across multiple genres, including dance, museums, opera, performing arts centers, symphony, and theatre. We can help you achieve your marketing goals.