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Quality In, Value Out

Previously, I talked about a simple formula for success with online events:

Make a great show and charge people for it.

Simple, right? Well, yes, it is! That’s what you normally do!

COVID-19 knocked us all off our game. It was a shock and we’re still going through it. But remember, people pay for good shows and YOU are the ones who make those shows.

Quality In leads to Value Out.

If you put quality into the shows, you get value out of the customers in the form of revenue.

Early on, artists and organizations were putting stuff online for free. It was thrown-together and casually done. It was meant to build morale, not to equal in-person entertainment, so it was free. This gave people the wrong idea, that online events will always be thrown-together, casually done, and free.

But that’s not the case.

Quality means different things to different people, but for us in the live arts and entertainment business, it comes down to three things:

  • The content
  • The performance
  • The overall experience

With online events, this doesn’t change. Content must be good. If it’s online theatre, a script that got thrown together yesterday probably won’t be a huge hit. A musician playing an instrument that’s badly miked isn’t going to make a great impression. A bad comic is still a bad comic. The content itself has to be thought through and vetted with the same care as usual.

The performance also must be high quality. If nobody’s rehearsed, if the performer stops mid-set to take a bite of pizza (true story), if the casting was an afterthought, or the whole thing just looks amateurish, people probably won’t like it. Especially today, things don’t have to be super slick or high-budget, but that doesn’t mean they can be done poorly.

Finally, the overall experience has to be good. The audience experience includes everything: buying and ticketing, accessing the show, production quality, interactions with the performers, and customer service. All of it has to be just as good as in your venue, but translated to this new medium.

Put quality — meaning dollars and talent and time — into your content, your performances and the overall experience, and you can get value out in the form of real revenue and meaningful profits.

Quality in, Value out. You knew that already. Now take it online!

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