It’s quite commonly known that the arts industry is filled with risk. As a student with both a performing arts degree and a business degree, people often commented that at least with a business degree I could now get a job. Financial security is not something readily associated with the job title freelance artist or performer. But why is this? What causes people to consider stability in business but not in the arts? This post will have a look into why this is and help shed some light on how to ensure this stigma doesn’t affect your event planning.
Ask any stockbroker what they consider the riskiest job and they would be likely to say their own. However performing artists often struggle to foresee when their next gig is. This stigma that business is more stable, and therefore more worth investing in, derives from peoples views on culture and entertainment. People split the arts into high culture and low culture. High culture is traditional or classical art forms such ballet, orchestra, opera. A perfect example of the impact of this distinction is that Dutch government cut cultural finding by 200 million euros for 2013, with the regulatory system deciding who gets funding favoring the high culture art forms over low culture.
Low culture is typically culture that has mass appeal, which as a definition doesn’t really make sense regarding stability; surely if its what the masses want then ticket sales and security should be easily attainable. However low culture is broad, and often redefines preconceived notions of what is art. It can be risqué and controversial. And that’s where the risk comes in, how do you secure something that you are not sure that everyone will like.
Traditional marketing suggests two options to be above your competitors; price leadership and product differentiation. To combat the mindset consumers are predisposed to, entice them to spend money on an experience. Consumers are more likely to engage in an experience, it removes buyers guilt because you are giving them a story, a feeling, a why, rather that attempting to offer a product that could fall short.
Embrace what is different and market your events as an experience to avoid the risk comparison to business. If you promise people they will get what they want out of said event, and therefore treat it as a product, they will view any money put into arts as risky. If you offer the event as an experience, guarantee that they will feel something whether it is good or bad, it eliminates this concern that money wont be well spent.
People want to feel something; it’s why content marketing is so successful. If you implore people to feel, you’ve established a secure way to market an experience.
Written by Tess Hazelhurst
Head of Sales and Marketing SuchCrowd
Photo Credit Sarah Boxer