What we learned from Ken Wachter and his career navigating the entertainment industry.
From Siegfried and Roy to the first concert at Lambeau Field, he has planned, scheduled, promoted, finagled, and catered to some of the best-known acts in the business. But he’s learned that success has less to do with focusing on the personalities (ahem, demands) of the entertainers and more to do with the importance of being in the right place at the right time, and never losing focus on what really matters — the customer experience.
Just a few of the insights Ken shared from his life behind the entertainment:
- Entertainment inventory has a short shelf life. Something as unpredictable and uncontrollable as bad weather can wipe out the inventory and you can’t get that time back. Understanding and accepting this fact is the first step to planning for it.
- Promote the big events, the good dates, and don’t waste money forcing attendance at an event that takes place on a Tuesday.
- Families live and die by their calendars. Recurring family shows that take place around the same time every year are more successful.
- Don’t underestimate the power of suggestion and the power of great reviews. Siegfried and Roy were apparently amazing promoters, as well as entertainers. They charged higher amounts to see their show in order to set the perception of quality and increase demand. They also waived admission fees for anyone who interacted with Vegas tourists, from hotel concierges to taxi drivers, ensuring that the answer to the question, “Which show would you recommend?” was always, “You have to see Siegfried and Roy.”
- Successful franchises have large season ticket bases, and they take good care of the ticket holders.
- Know your audience and communicate with them. Be aware of how personal and societal biases might affect your marketing strategies.
- A good experience is key. Say “yes” to people as often as possible.