Ask Me Anything: Pricing for Uncertainty

Jennifer Sowinski Nemeth

Senior Consultant & Analyst

Jennifer enjoys working with arts and culture clients to help them increase revenue and grow audience through data-driven strategies including pricing studies, venue re-scaling, customer behavior analyses, and segmentation.
June 09, 2020

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Are there any changes I should make to my pricing or seat map to prepare for the uncertainty of the upcoming season?


When things are uncertain, as they certainly are for everyone in the upcoming season, the best thing that you can do is to give yourself options. Do everything that you can now to make flexibility easier for yourself throughout your sales cycle and season.

We previously shared ideas for pricing for reopening, which emphasize flexibility. Another idea to add flexibility to your pricing strategy is to create microzones on your seat maps. Microzones are small zones in your seat map that can be easily switched between different price points.

For example, take this small section of a house, which is normally split into just two zones, with pink being a higher price and green being a lower price.

Your organization might be concerned that this year, the top price won’t sell as well as it normally does… but you’re not sure, and don’t want to lose out on revenue if it ends up selling well. So, you might consider creating a microzone, in blue below.

This middle section (or microzone) could start at the higher price, matching the pink zone, per usual. Then, if your organization sees more sales than usual at the lower price and less at the higher price, you can drop the blue section price down to match the green section, providing additional inventory at the lower price. This gives you the flexibility to adjust inventory as sales go on, while maintaining the availability of both prices.

For the upcoming season, consider how adding microzones in your house might provide this added flexibility. Pay particular attention to areas where you are concerned about holes in the audience, or decreased demand. By doing the work to add microzones now, you can save yourself time and hassle later!


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