What the adoption of the vaccine means for Broadway’s return.

I’m a pretty positive guy.

But I’ve had more down days in the past 365 than my entire life.

Can you blame me? I’ve got three big loves in this world:

#1 – My wife.
#2 – My daughter.

(They’re a tie for #1 & #2, btw. Just listed in the order I met them.)

And #3?

The theater.

And we all know what happened to #3. (#1 and #2 are what kept me through what happened to #3.)

So I’ve had some tough days. And I know you have too.

One of the hardest moments I had was when this survey hit my inbox. It indicated that only 25% of our audience was willing to come back to theater anytime soon.

I didn’t believe them. But I’m also a data guy, so I couldn’t dismiss them either.

So I got kinda down.

And then something popped in my inbox last week that turned my frown right around.

It was a survey about the vaccine.

What in the name of Covid does the vaccine have to do with it?

You can read the NY Times article here, but the crux of it is as follows:

When the race to create a vaccine against Covid began, half the people out there said they didn’t want it.

But now that it exists? Well, read for yourself:

“In polls by Gallup, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center, the portion of people saying they are now likely or certain to take the vaccine has grown from about 50 percent this summer to more than 60 percent, and in one poll 73 percent — a figure that approaches what some public health experts say would be sufficient for herd immunity.” (NYT)

What happened?

The idea of it is no longer ambiguous. It’s real. Tangible. Happening.

And the moment something is real and people can wrap their hands around it . . . they can also wrap their heads around it.

And we’re going to see the same trend in surveys of theatergoers.

Once a theater gets the green light?  Once a Broadway show sets a firm date?  Once the curtain goes up?!?! WATCH what happens to their interest.

It’s going to skyrocket.  Because that word of mouth is going to spread faster than any virus could. (Can you imagine what the ovation is going to be like on that first night back?!?!?)

Most consumers don’t think ahead anymore. It’s why advance sales for theater tickets or vacations don’t exist like they used to.

And this is where surveys and data let us down. (Can you believe it?)

You can’t ask people what they’ll do “if/when” . . . you can only ask them what they will do now.

Now, they won’t buy a theater ticket . . . because they can’t.

But when they can? When they have that vaccine themselves? When there are safety precautions on top of those vaccines?

Well, that day . . . if Evan Hansen were writing a letter to himself on that day, he’d say, “Today is going to be an amazing day.”

See you there.

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The theater is coming back. You ready???  Join over 1,000 other TheaterMakers in our free Take Charge of your ’21 TheaterMakers challenge! It starts Monday!  Get ready for the renaissance.

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