The Rose Theatre Audience research and development of a comprehensive marketing strategy for this new 900-seat venue in Kingston before its launch, plus promotion of a pre-opening season of As You Like It and successful fundraising events.
The 900-seat Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, is the first professional theatre to open in the town for over 30 years. Before its scheduled launch, Don Keller carried out wide-ranging research and created a marketing strategy for the venue – which faced substantial competition from well-established theatres nearby – before managing the promotion of a pre-opening season of As You Like It and two fundraising galas in the building's unfinished shell.
Initial research into potential attenders and non-attenders, involving desk research, focus groups, fieldwork and analysis, was complemented by extensive consultation with arts, cultural and educational organisations, the local council and Kingston University, the town's retail consortium and arts development agencies. This enabled the written strategy to incorporate local and regional priorities in its proposals for branding, audience development, marketing, ticketing and promotion, and to contribute to the successful launch of the venue. The pre-opening season was marketed on a minimal budget, using a tightly-targeted campaign that combined print, media and outdoor advertising, business partnerships and sales promotions to make the maximum impact in Kingston and the surrounding area, firmly establishing the theatre as a major arts asset for the region.
A Celebration of the Spanish Guitar Creation and implementation of an effective but economical marketing and promotional campaign for a classical concert at the Barbican, working with overseas promoters who were new to the UK and exceeding their box office expectations
Barcelona-based Euroconcert presented a programme of Spanish guitar and orchestral music at the 2,000-seat Barbican in London - their first-ever UK promotion and with a strictly limited budget. While the repertoire was broadly familiar, the Argentinian soloist and Russian conductor were little-known by UK audiences. Don Keller devised a marketing campaign to make the most of the modest budget, appointed a classical music publicist, liaised between promoters and venue, and actively managed pricing and discounts to maximise income. A Classic FM media partnership significantly enhanced the value of paid advertising through extra spots, access to the station's website and online competitions, while other media advertising and distribution were augmented by free listings on music websites and direct contact with guitar and music societies. The Spanish and South American communities were contacted through the networks and websites of embassies and cultural centres. Sales promotions and competitions in selected local newspaper groups, both in print and online, enhanced the impact of local and national editorial coverage, reinforcing the concert's branding and appeal. From an inauspicious start, the marketing campaign built enough momentum for the concert to play to a near-capacity audience, more than exceeding the expectations of the promoters.
Event management Development, organisation and management of a series of professional development seminars and conferences for the Theatrical Management Association and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, covering a variety of marketing, box office and ticketing subjects and aimed at a range of different audiences
Since 1999, Don Keller has organised and managed a series of professional development seminars and conferences, run principally for the Theatrical Management Association (TMA) and STAR (the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) and designed for arts managers at all levels of experience. Topics have included a range of marketing and box office-related subjects, including online marketing and promotion, ticketing security, better analysis and use of box office data, encouragement of greater marketing and box office collaboration, increasing the effectiveness of direct mail, and support for group booking organisers and arts ambassadors. Don has been responsible for programme planning, identifying and commissioning speakers - both directly and in collaboration with steering groups - researching venues, timetabling, marketing, sponsorship, compilation of delegate packs and editorial, and all aspects of delegate and seminar management both in advance and at the events themselves. Projects have ranged in scale from half- and whole-day seminars for up to 100 delegates to a two-day conference for more than 150 people, taking place at venues including theatres, conference centres, hotels and universities in London and regionally.
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