Press Release: Patrick Spike takes over new role as Marketing Director

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director for Arts PeopleFormerly Product Manager, Spike hopes to work magic again in his new position

Dateline: Portland, OR – March 21, 2017

Patrick Spike, most recently Product Manager and all around system expert for Arts People, has now moved into the roll of Marketing Director for the company as other staff members move up the ranks as well. Creating a new department, he hopes to continue his trend of establishing processes and practices for the company in an area that has previously been non-existent.

The company has relied for the past 11+ years on direct contact sales to communicate its mission of performing arts support and to sell its arts specific software system and renowned client support. Marketing and related communications have not been an area that has garnered much attention. “We really have focused on our client referrals, and our amazing sales team’s consultant style approach to reach out to arts organizations and show…

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Losing customers

Beware software systems claiming they are FREE

There are many ticketing and related software systems out there marketing themselves as FREE.  The truth is they are not, and the reality is that their pricing model may drive your customers away.It's NOT free, onthestage.com, On The Stage, tickettailor.com, Ticket Tailor

We all know that nothing is free.  We are also smart enough to know that a claim of being free is merely a tactic to try to entice you in.  This is a hook that unfortunately too often successfully manages to ensnare some people who don’t consider the ramifications of a pricing model where the service is free… to THEMSELVES only.

When a ticketing system claims to be free, it simply means that their fees are not charged to you, as the client organization.  Instead, fees are added on top of the ticket costs to your patrons during their purchase, and all too often these fees are exorbitantly high, provide no options to you for amount charged to the patron, or are some sliding amount that makes it impossible to publish a fixed price.  Try explaining why a $20 published ticket price is actually $21.47 to a patron.  In these cases you typically are without options, and these  fees jeopardize the relationships and loyalty of your patrons that you work so hard to build, all before they ever set foot in your door.

Another ramification of this model is that a) patron disapproval of the added fee costs may drive them and you to try to sell more tickets via your box office where you may not charge fees. This leads to b) having data in multiple places that complicates your marketing communications, patron analysis and more, and c) means you lose the powerful benefit of having more patrons buy online, self serve, taking a load off your staff and providing better customer service. Also, what kind of support is offered by company that is claiming to be free to use?  When you need assistance quickly, help or advice from experts, where will you turn?  Over time, these issues become more and more detrimental and unsustainable.

We love our customersArts People instead not only offers you a variety of fee options to best suit your business model, but also gives you  complete control over how much of the fees you might want to pass to your patrons, how much you pay yourself as a planned business expense, or how much you embed into your ticket prices.  For example, if the fee is $.95, you could simply increase your ticket price by $1 and not show any added fees on your patron’s purchase. Or perhaps you add $.50 per ticket, and the rest you simply absorb.  You can even put a cap on fees to the patron, such as $.50 for the first 4 tickets, after that no additional fees to them.  With our unique pricing controls there are infinite options for you to tailor the pricing application to ensure that your patrons take top priority.  Unhappy patrons, before they ever attend your performance, is NOT a good business model… and we know how patrons really don’t like added fees.

It is important to note that many of our clients report increased ticket sales and donations after they come on board with Arts People. The added revenue may completely cover your costs of using the system. This, along with some simple additional offerings such as selling ad space on your print at home tickets, or sponsorship of your online shopping cart, etc.. and you can more than pay for the system that actually helps you to build your audience and develop lasting relationships with your patrons and donors.

More and more we see clients electing to not charge fees to their patrons at all. Anything that jeopardizes those relationships is not a good idea.  Try looking at other performing arts groups in your area.  Are they adding fees on top?  If so, do you want to do the same? Charge less in fees?  Or would you rather be able to communicate proudly to your patrons that you don’t add any fees?  With Arts People, you get to make all those decisions, and we’re here ready to assist you at any time.

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director

Arts People’s staff, deeply rooted in the arts

Arts People, from its very beginning, looked to experienced arts creators and administrators to staff its ranks.  We wanted to make sure that the people who would be guiding the development of our product, designed specifically for the very particular needs of the performing arts, would know how to give it the power and flexibility required for the industry.  In addition, the client services team and other members have also frequently come from backgrounds that include arts participation. In this way, we have a staff supporting the product and our clients that absolutely comprehend and appreciate the intricate and unique challenges and strategies that the arts present. We work with you to get the most out of your live data, and develop relationships over time with your ticket buyers and donors.

We don’t target sporting arenas or other non-arts venues as many other systems do.  We don’t look to venture capital and investors with dollar signs as their primary motivator who might want to steer the product in a more profit driven direction.  Arts People was created and has thrived with the idea that we are here to uplift and support the performing arts, as powerful and valuable pieces of the communities in which they exist, to shine brightly on our society and to enrich our lives – through both hearts and minds.

Here are some examples of staff members participating in the arts:

Patrick Spike – Marketing Director, former Product Manager, and System Expert, Scappoose, OR – Over 30 years as director, performer, administrator, marketer and consultant for community to Katie on stageprofessional theatre and other non-profit arts organizations. In the Fall Spike will be performing with Bag&Baggage Productions in OR, and in the Spring directing at Ferndale Repertory Theatre in CA. patrickspike.com

Katie Behrens – Client Services Representative, Portland, OR -Professional improviser with Curious Comedy Theatre and others for 9 years, acting, writing, directing, producing, teaching.

Patrick Kelly – Client Services Representative, San Diego, CA – Found his love for the Theatrical Arts in Middle school nearly 20 years ago.  He has worked as a professional actor, director, technical director, musician and general arts administrator for the past 10 years, with a major project underway currently.

Russ Gage – Director of Client Services, Portland, OR – Film festival programmer and producer for over 20 years including San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Portland International Film Festival, Northwest Filmmakers Film Festival, and founder of QDoc ~ the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival.
Cari Palazzolo – Administrative Assistant, Portland, OR – Musician, Digital Designer, and Visual Artist for 18 years, producing, performing, educating, managing. caripalazzolo.com

Sam Valenti – Junior Developer, Kona, HI – Currently Sam is producing Waimea Community Theatre’s Production of Pippin. Previously Sam was Managing Director of Aloha Performing Arts Company as well as more artistic endeavors on the stage.

The Arts People system includes ticketing, fundraising, marketing, CRM / database and other full function features for the performing arts.  Our best in industry client services team works one on one with our clients to make sure they are fully supported and can succeed using their system. If you have any questions about the system’s capabilities or would like to see a personalized demo, please contact us right away.  Our no pressure sales consultants will work with you to see if our system is a good fit for your organization.