Look Ma! We made an iPhone app called “At The Booth!”

I feel like a proud papa sending out a birth announcement.  And while the gestation of this offspring didn’t take nine months, at times it sure felt like it!  (Then again, I’m about as patient as a kid on Christmas Eve.)

On January 26th, I wrote a blog about the Top 10 Broadway and Theater iPhone apps, only to find out that there weren’t even 10 to choose from.

So, my staff and I hit the whiteboard and came up with some ideas, and I also put a call out to all of you for your ideas, and said that if I found one that we liked, we’d make it . . . and share the profits.

Well, lo and behold, my staff . . . and several of you (you know who you are) . . . expressed interest in an iPhone app that tells you what’s available at the TKTS® booth, and at what price, etc.

So, we made it!

Introducing . . . The At The Boothapp, your guide to what’s half-price on Broadway today!  Download it now!

 

At The Boothincludes:

 

  • A list of all the shows available at the TKTS® booth and at what price (both in dollars and percent off – 50%, 40%, etc) updated throughout the day!
  • A “line indicator” that tells you how long the line is!
  • A full directory of all the shows on Broadway and Off-Broadway, whether they are at The Booth or not, including cast lists, photos, videos, and more!
  • A full directory of all of the theaters in NYC, including maps!
  • Links to reviews of all the shows!
  • Links to full price tickets and discount tickets, just in case your show isn’t at the booth!
  • And more!

The app has been on soft-launch for a couple of weeks, and we’ve gotten great feedback already.  We gave a few away to some folks in Times Square and here’s what they had to say . . .

“This is exactly what I was looking for.  It helped me plan my day better and I knew I was going to save money.” – Karen, Texas

“If I can find out in advance that a show is available, I’ll come to TKTS® more often, because I know my trip down won’t be wasted.” – Tom, NYC

So, if you’ve ever wanted to know what was up at the booth before you got in line (or even while you’re in line), download the app today.  It’s a must-have for any savvy Broadway and Off-Broadway theatergoer.

Get it here.

Special thanks to my staff, especially Melissa and Blair, who supervised the development, and special thanks to all of you who submitted your fantastic ideas for all different types of apps.  You helped inspire us to make something where there was nothing before.  Now, if you’ve got another idea for an app (or a dog food, a book, and hey, even a musical), go make it.  It ain’t brain surgery.

(And while you’re downloading apps, don’t forget you can get my blog in app form as well.  Get The Producer’s Perspective blog app here.  I’m funnier on an iPhone. Really.  It’s true.  If you were reading this on your phone, you would have laughed . . . a lot.)

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
sucks.)

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:

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE TKTS SURVEY 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.

– – – – –

THIS IS YOUR LAST DAY to enter the Broadway Fantasy Virtual Investment Game, WILL IT RECOUP?

PLAY TODAY!  WIN AN iPHONE!  CLICK HERE!

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must match.

Update on the TKTS booth: Does hanging up on someone give you a good “rep”?

On Monday, I told you I would test the rep of the men behind the management of the renovation of the TKTS booth to see if someone would take responsibility, and also give a citizen some information.

Here’s how it went down:

Call #1:  D. Haller

Ring, ring . . .

D. Haller:  “D. Haller.”

Me:    “Hi.  My name is Ken Davenport. I’m a NYC resident and I have an office in Times Square and I’m calling about the construction project at Duffy Square that seems to be incredibly behind schedule.  I was wondering what the delay was?”

D. Haller:  “You have to call Ellen Goldstein at the Times Square Alliance about that.  Her number is 212-452-5208.

Me:  “Ah, ok.  But aren’t you the construction management firm?”

D. Haller:  “You have to call Ellen Goldstein at the Times Square Alliance.”

Me:  “Ah, ok . . . but can you tell me . . . are you the construction managers.”

D. Haller:  “Yes, we are the construction managers but you have to call Ellen Goldstein at the Times Square Alliance.”

Me:  “Huh.  Ok.  Thank you.”

Call #2:  Ellen Goldstein at the Times Square Alliance

Ring, ring . . .

Ellen Goldstein:  “Ellen Goldstein.”

Me:  “Hi Ellen. My name is Ken Davenport. I’m a NYC resident and I have an office in Times Square and I’m calling about the construction
project at Duffy Square that seems to be incredibly behind
schedule.  I just got off the phone with D. Haller and they said . . .

Ellen Goldstein:  “They tell everyone to call me about this.  I’m not the right person to talk to about this.”

Me:  “Oh, ok, well, can you tell me who I . . .

Dial tone.  She hung up.  End of conversation.  Hmmmmm . . .

Call #3:  D. Haller

Ring, ring . . .

D. Haller:  “D. Haller.”

Me:   “Hi.  I spoke to you earlier about the construction project in Duffy Square and you said to call Ellen Goldstein.  She said she was the wrong person to talk to and then she hung up on me.”

D. Haller:  “Really?  Huh.  Well, let me put you on with Billy.”

I don’t really know who Billy was.  But he was definitely the Boss.

And Billy was great.  After asking me if I was a reporter, he confirmed that the project was supposed to take only six months.  He told me it wasn’t a management problem, and that the design of this project was extremely ambitious (something confirmed in the TSA’s own description ).  Did you know that the design actually was honored by the New York City Art Commission for excellence in design?

I asked when he thought it would be done.  He anticipated it would be completed by the end of the summer.

Billy then apologized for Ellen hanging up on me and he said I deserved info as does everyone else who lives in this city.

What did I learn in my day as a faux-Geraldo?

  • The person that answers the phone is like a soldier on the front lines.  Arm them with the right info so they can deal with “incomings”.
  • Don’t hang up on people.  Duh.  Cuz they might have a blog.  Or write a user review.  Or tell their friends that your show sucks, and you won’t have a chance to give your side of the story.
  • Speak to the boss.  Go to the top when you want the real answers, even though they may not be the ones you want to hear.
  • And my favorite lesson of the day?

Just because something wins art awards and is praised up and down as
“significant”, doesn’t mean it’s practical.

Whether or not you’re building a TKTS booth or a Broadway show for a market as complicated as the one in Times Square, there has to be a balance
between art and construction.

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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