Playing out of the Great Hall at FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place), the HPO is committed to enriching & serving the cultural life of the Hamilton/Burlington region. In addition to putting on it’s season of professional orchestral shows, the HPO also provides music education programs to address the needs of the community. A number of HPO musicians have gone on to major careers – perhaps most famously, the Canadian Brass. Members of the HPO perform with many other ensembles including the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Orchestra of the National Ballet and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Not unlike many ticket selling entertainment properties these days, the HPO was faced with the challenge of maintaining/growing it’s attendance and ticket sales revenue from its season of professional orchestral shows. In recent years, many entertainment properties have felt the squeeze of a fragmented entertainment dollar. Operating in a classical art form, the HPO recognized that it needed to place further emphasis on attracting new patrons to the orchestra, graduating single ticket buyers into subscribers, and simultaneously providing an even greater level of service to it’s loyal subscriber base to retain their business.
Fast forward to this year and the Covid-19 pandemic, the HPO faced an even greater challenge with maintaining viewership and subscribers because of an audience that was unable to physically go and watch the performances in person.
Understanding the challenges that the HPO faced, Cosmos was brought on to provide a turnkey solution. In a perfect world, the HPO may have considered bringing on a team of full time Sales, Service & Retention reps; however, faced with the economic reality that many arts organizations face, they needed something more cost effective, and turnkey. Cosmos’ solution would allow the HPO to scale up its sales/service/retention resources at strategic points throughout the year to minimize staffing costs, while simultaneously maximizing results.
The HPO also needed to ensure that an outsourced company would be able to fit in and coordinate efforts with their existing marketing initiatives. This was achieved through maintaining open lines of communication, and training to the Cosmos staff representing the HPO name.
In order to meet these challenges, Cosmos was able to dedicate resources to provide a direct touch with Renewal Subscriptions, Lapsed Subscriptions, and Single ticket buyers. The direct touches were facilitated through outreach by phone and email, while also being coordinated around the HPO’s other marketing initiatives such as direct mail, and email marketing.
Cosmos’ executives focused their efforts on taking the time to listen to feedback from the fans they were speaking with so that they could make educated recommendations on the best ticket option for them.
Following the conclusion of each campaign, the Cosmos team would compile a summary report, and present it to the HPO executive. This report included relevant productivity and sales statistics, as well as qualitative feedback from fans, and suggestions to implement for future seasons.
With no time to spare the Cosmos team and the HPO got to work on creating a strategy for season ticket buyers and subscribers to watch and enjoy the orchestra’s performances, virtually. In October 2020, Cosmos assisted the HPO in renewals, donations, and ticketing for their live virtual concert campaigns. With a collection of trained staff, the Cosmos team became active listeners on the phones; checking in on people and building genuine connections with fans during a time of uncertainty.
These relationships helped to grow the HPO’s online presence through donations and ultimately provided people with the opportunity to contribute and participate in the art of music from the comfort of their own homes.
Ticket Sales from 2014 – 2019