Yet ANOTHER thing we need to do before Broadway comes back.

The To-Do list continues to grow.

Last Saturday night after my kid went to sleep, I scooted down to my office to wrap up a bit more work.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Times Square was shut down.

If you missed the news, it was because there was a shooting. And, while none of the three bystanders were critically wounded, one was a four-year child.

I don’t remember the last time this happened. Maybe in the 90s when I got here.  When Times Square was a different place.

Anyone who has been to Times Square over the past year knows that is a different place again. I’ve seen drug deals in front of the Belasco Theater. I’ve seen a drinking-out-of-the-bottle-cocktail party in front of The Marquis. I’ve seen more homeless who need help than ever before.

In other words, I’ve seen a Times Square that is not exactly what tourists are going to want to flock to when they can.

And after all the momentum we built up last week? Well, it takes just one incident like the one over the weekend, to move back three spaces and lose a turn.

We’ve got a lot to do to come back. We’ve got Covid-19 safety policies to put into place. We’ve got equality policies to put into place. We’ve got shows to put up.  And audiences to convince to come back.

And, now, we need to remember that one of the most important factors in a brick-and-mortar industry’s success?

Location.

Location.

Lo. Ca. Tion.

Our political leaders have come through for us in many ways throughout this pandemic, and I’m thankful for their support. And now we need them to focus their efforts on restoring the beacon of light and energy that is Times Square.

And we need to help too. The Broadway theaters are the big citizens on this block.  We need to flex our muscles and do our part.

See, Times Square used to scare people away. I know, because I was one of them. I used to walk around it or bike through it after I escaped two muggings and defrauded out of $100 in 1991.

And for the sake of Broadway’s comeback, we can’t let that happen again.

That’s why this year’s NYC Mayoral race is more important than ever.

I’m not going political, don’t worry.  And not suggesting a candidate to you at all.  But if you are an NYC resident, I will suggest that you vote . . . and vote for the candidate that you believe will restore the epicenter of our city, and possibly the world, to the glory that it was.  Even if that means tourist-packed sidewalks again.

Learn about the candidates running for Mayor here. 

What NYC’s plan to market to tourists means to me.

Everything needs to be marketed.

You.  Your show.  Even NYC.

And, thankfully, NYC is going to spend $30mm on a massive marketing campaign to encourage tourists to come to NYC.   Since those tourists represent 65% of the Broadway audience, this is a big boon to Broadway.  By NYC shouldering some of the load, it will take some of the lifting off our industry’s and each specific show’s shoulders.

The campaign begins in June.

Which tells me two things . . .

We’re going to know when Broadway is coming back before then.

See, Broadway is NYC’s #1 destination.  The city wouldn’t spend this kind of cash unless it could say that Broadway was open.  You wouldn’t spend a ton of money marketing the Louvre if the Mona Lisa was out for a cleaning.  You would buy TV ads for a theme park if your big roller coaster was out of service.

For one, the ads wouldn’t work as well.  Two, if people came and found that their favorite attraction wasn’t open, they’d leave disappointed.

And that means bad word of mouth.  And everything from tickets to Broadway shows to plane tickets to NYC is all based on word-of-mouth.

So . . . the takeaways are threefold:

  1.  Everything needs to be marketed.  Period.
  2.  Don’t market those everythings . . . if the heart of it is missing.

And the third . . . which is the biggie, and it’s a prediction.

3.  Broadway shows are going to announce they are coming back BEFORE this campaign.  And I predict you’ll see announcements of big shows on sale in the next 2-4 weeks.

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Need help with marketing?  Social media, email, or otherwise?  Click here to learn how to market your show, yourself, or your anythings.

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