Who is in line at the TKTS booth? We found out!

Did you ever wonder who is standing in line for hours waiting for that half-price (or 40%, 30% or 20%-off ticket)?  Did you ever wonder where they were from (and how that
compared with the overall Broadway audience)?  And what shows those
peeps wanted to see?

We did!

Every show I’ve worked on has had a “booth strategy”, even if that
strategy is not to go there.

Well, as I often say, you can’t have a
strategy without statistics (actually, that’s not true . . . you CAN
have a strategy without statistics . . . but that strategy usually

So we sent out a team of PPers to take a survey of 500 of those bargain
hunters, and here are the questions we asked and the
exclusive results:


1.  Are you male or female?

42.4% male
57.6% female

2.  Where are you from?

80% from outside the tri-state area
16% from the tri-state area

3.  Do you want to see a Broadway show, an Off-Broadway show or does it matter?

77.2% preferred Broadway
3% preferred Off-Broadway
15.8% had no preference

4.  Do you want to see a play or a musical or either?

8.60% preferred a play
79.80% preferred a musical
10.40% had no preference

5.  When you got in line today, did you know exactly what show you
wanted to see or did you wait to get in line to make your decision?

60.80% knew what show they wanted to see
39.20% didn’t know what show they wanted to see

6.  Have you ever paid full price for a Broadway show?

65.60% have paid full price for Bway
34.20% have never paid full price for Bway

7.  What show do you want to see?

The following were the top five shows requested in order of popularity.
1. Chicago    
2. Phantom  
3. Mamma Mia  
4. Mary Poppins 
5. Avenue Q

Were the results what you thought they would be?  How did they differ?

And the most important question of all, what can you do with these results to strengthen your strategy?  The old rule about taking surveys and doing focus groups is not to do them, unless you’re prepared to do something with the results.

The most exciting stat to me?  Almost 4 out of every 10 people in line
haven’t made up their mind on what show they want to see when they get on line.  Now, if
you’ll excuse me, I have to go come up with some ideas on how to
increase my booth presence.

Special thanks to my assistants, Amanda, Krysta and LA for collecting the data.

– – – – –

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  • CarpeDM says:

    Good stats. I would definitely be interested to see how those numbers play out over the course of the year.
    The one that surprised me the most was the 80% from out of town. I would have thought there would be more locals stopping by just to see something on a whim. Whenever I have a free night and some extra money, I’ll run by the booth after work and see whatever is available. I guess I thought there were more like me.

  • jess says:

    Two things caught my attention: 1) Only 3% of those standing in line had an interest in seeing an off-Broadway show; and 2) only 8.6% had an interest in seeing a play. Which means that more than 90% of the TKTS line is there to see a Broadway musical. An off-Broadway musical?? Guess not. A Broadway play? Not of interest. Is this preference just the TKTS crowd or the public in general? And how much of it is just the result of years and years of marketing– i.e., Broadway musicals all budget for t.v. ads, whereas Broadway plays rarely do and off-Broadway even less.

  • BG says:

    The 80% being out of towners struck me as well. My question would be, what time the survey was delivered? My belief would be that New Yorkers buy closer to the closing of the booth. For the exact reason you stated. You run after work when you have nothing to do.

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