UNO Releases Results of Landmark Performing Arts Marketing Survey

The price of admission to a ticketed performing arts event is the greatest barrier to attendance in New Orleans, according to a new citywide survey released by the University of New Orleans Graduate Program in Arts Administration. There is evidence, however, that if other marketing and communication issues are addressed, price could become less of a hindrance, according to the survey.

Working jointly with the market survey company Q2 Insights, Inc., under the direction of Kirsty Nunez, UNO students conducted and analyzed both a focus group and an online survey with more than 400 respondents to identify attractions, barriers and preferences in attendance at live ticketed performing arts events.

"The result is a wealth of information for cultural managers on how to most efficiently direct their marketing resources in a rapidly changing communications environment. It really is a landmark survey in the city of New Orleans," said Tony Micocci, assistant director of UNO's Graduate Program in Arts Administration.

The research focus was on paid ticketed performing arts events across the board, from the Louisiana Symphony Orchestra to theater companies, performance events at museums and other site specific locations, ticketed events at festivals, dance and opera.

Here are some other highlights of the survey:

  • Information is the most important decision driver (Event details—86%).
  • The more information that is available about the event, the more likely people are to attend. When prompted, 70% said that venue was an important factor when deciding which events to attend.
  • Advertising was also considered a decision driver for nearly half of the study participants. The more effort it takes to attend the event the less likely audiences are to be show up.
  • Level of effort to purchase ticket was cited as a deterrent by 44% and parking issues was identified by 42%.
  • The level of formality was not considered a strong deterrent with only 10% saying they would not attend if the event was too formal and even fewer (3%) saying they would not attend if the event was too casual.
  • The most popular reasons cited for attending a performing arts event were: the attendee has someone to go with (85%), the date of the event (71%), cost (69%) and advertising (56%).

"We think this survey is a superb example of the expanded initiatives by UNO's Graduate Program in Arts Administration to provide meaningful support to the cultural community while providing our students exciting opportunities to be involved in the latest trends and practices in the field," said Micocci, who added that there are plans to conduct a second round of research in the spring in the area of public attitude and attendance patterns at visual arts events.

Click here to view the entire survey.