I don’t feel strongly either way about group buying schemes. Sure, I signed up for one a while back when they were all the rage and people
were rabbiting on about them over lunches and cocktails. I mainly wanted to see what all the fuss was about. A few deals passed me by and I sat back and listened to the reports of those who’d taken them up. As a result, I will never go for one of those spa treatments where you allow small fish to bite chunks of flesh from you – I don’t care if you’re offering me 70% off. I like my dead skin cells.
After watching from a safe distance for a while, I decided to take the plunge and buy a deal. Dinner for two at a rather upmarket new restaurant. Fiancé Person and I went along one evening and had a rather mediocre meal which ended costing us a packet anyway when you added drinks and
all that in.
So I figured that I’d had my little dalliance with group buying and that was that. But I didn’t cancel my subscription, because really I couldn’t be bothered and also because it was nice to watch as the deals got slowly more extravagant and bizarre. Really, a dental consultation? Joy.
But then a month or so ago Fiancé Person spotted a great couples spa treatment which we decided to buy. We haven’t used it yet, because apparently the rest of Cape Town also thought it was a pretty sweet package. The first appointment we could get is late in October. I’m not too fussed because it’ll be a nice surprise when the reminded pops up in my inbox, because I can guarantee you I’ll have forgotten about it by then.
The real reason for me blabbing on about all this is that I’ve noticed a new trend. A rather clever move on the part of some theatres. I’ve spotted at least three shows offering half-price tickets to shows. A stroke of genius.
For a little over a year now more and more people in the industry have been lamenting the fact that people just aren’t going to theatre anymore. Some blame the recession, others a change in society, and then some (and this left me gobsmacked) the media. But that particular gem is fodder for a whole other post one day when I’m fired up on red wine and stale canapés.
So it’s fantastic to see some theatres taking proactive steps to getting people back into their auditoriums, those “bums on seats” they so treasure. Sure, they’re having to sell tickets at half price, BUT I’d wager they’re selling more than double what they would have without the aid of the group buying sites. AND I’m also certain that a majority of the people taking up the offer wouldn’t normally decide “Let’s go to the opera tonight, love, we’ll set the PVR for American Idols.”
Fuller theatres are great for the actors pouring their souls out for their art, and brilliant for the owners who rely on audiences to stay afloat. Also, you can guarantee that those people who just paid half price for tickets tonight are going to go home and tell their friends about the show and they in turn will hopefully head out and buy full price tickets.And here’s hoping they’ll be more aware of what’s on stage and won’t just sit back and wait for another deal to take in the next show. It’s all about finding ways to entice people back to the world of the performing arts and grow fresh new audiences.
So to those theatres who have taken the first steps, well played and a standing ovation from me.