Almost Two-Thirds of Arts Patrons Have Changed Their Cultural Habits Due to the Recession, According to New Patron Technology Study

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The current U.S. recession has negatively impacted arts and cultural patrons with almost 2/3rds of arts patrons reporting that they have changed their cultural habits due to the recession, according to a new study announced today by Patron Technology.

“As the recession continues on, there are structural changes lurking beneath the surface that should be of concern to all arts organizations,” said Eugene Carr, president, Patron Technology.

The current U.S. recession is impacting arts patrons and causing them to change their arts and culture habits, according to a new Patron Technology study. Patron Technology announced the results of the study at today’s Rethinking Arts Marketing for the 21st Century conference in New York City.

Approximately two-thirds (62 percent) of arts patrons reported that the recession has changed their arts-going behavior. As a result, those arts patrons are attending fewer performances, seeking discounts, and buying cheaper seats at fewer overall organizations.

“As the recession continues on, there are structural changes lurking beneath the surface that should be of concern to all arts organizations,” said Eugene Carr, president, Patron Technology. “We wanted to move beyond anecdotal discussions of the recession’s impact and conducted a comprehensive study of arts patrons – surveying over 10,000 respondents – to determine the real impact of today’s economy on arts organizations.”

The new study of arts and culture patrons revealed:

Arts patrons impacted by the recession say they are attending 25 percent fewer performances.

They are attending fewer organizations overall - 48 percent said they attended fewer organizations’ events, and 16 percent said they were now more open to trying new organizations.

The arts patrons most impacted by the recession are generally younger and less affluent. Those most affected are between 25 and 55 years old; their average age is 52, vs. 59 for those not affected. And the household income for those affected is 25 percent lower as well.

Ticket prices to arts events are too expensive, these patrons reported. Fifty-two percent said they sought out discounted tickets.

“The results of this study demonstrate that the audience of the future, those that are younger, less affluent, and less committed to individual organizations, are the ones most affected by the recession. This data should motivate arts organizations to double down on their marketing strategies for new audience development, as new patrons are the ones most at risk,” Carr said. “The good news is that arts managers have a wide array of new and affordable technology and marketing strategies – customer relationship management (CRM) software, social media, e-mail marketing, dynamic pricing for events - that they can use to reach out and build relationships with younger patrons during these hard economic times.”

Methodology: Patron Technology surveyed 10,000 arts patrons at 23 individual arts organizations across the U.S. The data was analyzed by BlueBear, LLC, a Cincinnati-based marketing research firm.

About Patron Technology
Patron Technology, Inc. strives to revolutionize the arts industry by offering world class CRM, ticketing, and e-mail marketing technology at a price that every organization can afford.

Founded in 2001 by industry veteran Eugene Carr, the New York City-based company is the leader in e-marketing technology for the arts industry with 1,800 arts and cultural clients that use its PatronMail e-mail service. PatronMail’s client list includes organizations of all sizes in all 50 states and eight foreign countries, as well as individual artists — including the New York Philharmonic, the Denver Art Museum, the Public Theater, Victoria & Albert Museum (U.K.), and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

The company's newest service, PatronManager CRM, was developed in partnership with Salesforce.com and the Salesforce Foundation. In addition, the company offers an innovative social group ticketing product, ETM Group Sales.

Dedicated to educating the non-profit community about e-marketing, the company presents a regular schedule of live e-marketing seminars across the country, two monthly e-mail newsletters, and live webinars. The company has also published three books on e-marketing by its president, Eugene Carr.

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