Tuesday, March 23-24, 2015
Session 11: Tuesday 3:00 Riverside West
Moderator: Timothy Channell
University of South Carolina.
University of South Carolina.
The Path to Loyalty Among Theater
Patrons: The Importance of Interaction and a Sense of Brand Community
This study examines
how a “sense of community” among live theater patrons contributes to
sustaining a local non-profit entertainment organization. While
“commercial” entertainment ventures focus on their marketing and brand
recognition, their non-profit counterparts many times struggle with
marketing their brand, having difficulty capturing audiences – their
surveyed over 400 theater patrons at an independent regional theatre
known for its performance of thought provoking, off-Broadway
productions in an otherwise conservative community in the South, to
determine if a substantive correlation exists between brand marketing
and the development of consumers’ sense of belonging to the
organization, making them more likely to return and purchase seasons
tickets or become future donors.
The survey asked
the patrons about their sense of community with the theater, the
perception of existing traditions, rituals and history, the interaction
with other patrons before and after the show (more interaction provided
for a higher sense of community), their motivation to attend (the
importance of the particular show they attended, or to support the
theater in general), and their sense of loyalty towards the theater. To
measure these constructs, existing scales in marketing, brand community
research, and sport marketing were used.
supported the view that the theater was a focal point for community
development, and emphasized the importance of interaction for a sense
of community with the theater. Consequently, this sense of community
contributed to a sense of loyalty towards the theater, and the
associated consumer behavior (attendance, donations). Managerial
implications mean theater managers are encouraged to allow for
extensive interaction between patrons, and between staff and patrons,
before and after the show, so patrons can develop a sense of community
towards the theater.
The concept and
practice of brand community continues to play a larger role in
businesses and live entertainment venues as the need to attract
consumer’s increases. The outcomes of this study substantiated the
concept that brand communities play a vital role in attracting theater
or other live entertainment patrons to a specific venue or
organization. Furthermore, this identification with live entertainment
venues is similar to that of commercial brand loyalties. Demonstrating
the existence of a brand community at live performance venues
demonstrates the significant ramifications for theaters, as it will
allow them to develop strategies to create a more loyal following.
Director, Music Media Production and
Ball State University
A New Look at Fostering People Skills
in Music and Entertainment
There is wide
agreement that the music and entertainment field is a people business.
What is less clear is how to foster people skills in an audio
engineering program where the focus is on developing technical skills
and musicianship. One approach for teaching interpersonal skills could
be based on a theoretical foundation based on the work of psychologist
Angela Duckworth. The non-cognitive skills such as grit and
self-control that she has identified as predictors of success in life
correlate fairly closely with many of the top-rated characteristics
reported by David Tough as being desirable in new hires from audio
engineering training schools. This presentation surveys a number of
initiatives begun this year in Ball State University’s program to
develop communication skills and character strengths.