Meet Patti: The 13 hostess with the mostess.

One of our marketing strategies on 13 is to try and create a  “tug on mom’s coat” syndrome in our younger audiences.  If you can get a young consumer passionate enough about a product, whether it’s a Cabbage Patch Kid, an X-Box or a ticket to a Broadway Musical, they won’t stop tugging and begging until they get it.

To fuel that syndrome, we created, a fan site for the show, where fans can actually interact with cast members online.

Despite a rash of early sign ups and a steady growth, I wasn’t satisfied with the number of people registering AFTER seeing the show.

The problem?  They just didn’t know about it.

So we hired Patti, our “13 Host”.

Patti works for one hour per show:  the 30 minutes while an audience is being seated and the 30 minutes after the show is done.  And in that hour she wanders through the house in her 13 t-shirt and . . . . well . . . she talks to people.  She finds out where they are from, she answers questions about the show (most popular – where does the cast go to school?), she points people to the bathroom, she lets them know that the cast signs autographs at the end of the show . . . and that if they want to interact with the cast online, they can sign up to

At the end of the show, she’s in that autograph line herself, passing out flyers . . . and they get snatched up so fast you’d think we were handing out copies of Wednesday’s New York Times.

We also use Patti to greet our birthday parties and give the birthday
some special attention (who doesn’t love that), and she also gives the
winner of our Text-2-Win-A-Backstage-Tour contest a personal tour of
the theater every night (guess who encourages the audience to text in?).

Since we hired Patti?  Sign ups on that indicate they heard about the website “at the theater” increased by 33%.

Too many marketers and advertisers think their job is over once the butt is in the seat.

But that’s where the real work begins.  Because if word of mouth is what sells tickets, then why wouldn’t shows spend more money on initiatives like Patti, that increase the value of the experience and increase the size of your database of customers aka ambassadors aka coat-tuggers?

So when you got see 13, make sure you say hi to Patti, and give her the secret Producer’s Perspective handshake.

  • Andrew A says:

    Two good ideas in one post. The hostess is smart smart smart, the fan site, (of course on ning) is smart again. Well done Ken. Let’s hope this little show with a huge heart catches fire.

  • Thom says:

    Barnum would be proud! He believed in giving the customer more than they bargained for, and thus keeping interest and word of mouth strong after they went home. I think this is a brilliant idea you have going here. Congrats.

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