What we think

Why do we in arts organizations care so much about the Christmas holiday season? We care because as get into the holiday season humming along to well-known tunes, these events and exhibitions have the potential to make or break our financial year. 

Holiday season sales can make up to 60% or more of ticket revenue annually, so this season is vital to organizational sustainability. So, how did your holiday programming do last season?  Did you meet, exceed, or under shoot your sales goals? 

In this virtual discussion session, Vice President of Client Services, Keri Mesropov, reviews the trends we see in holiday programming in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. Her team of experts join the discussion to answer questions about best practices, so you are ready to exceed your revenue goals next  holiday season

Posted February 27, 2018


Jill Robinson
President & CEO

At the close of 2017, the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) published a report The Burden of Rising Expenses: The Bottom Line in the Arts. 

The report looked at financial data of over 4,800 US arts organizations between 2013 and 2016, and raised the question "Are organizations bringing in enough revenue to cover their expenses?"

Jill's latest essay examines the findings alongside what we see in our work at TRG Arts: sustainability continues to be hard work for arts and cultural organizations. 

Posted January 22, 2018


There was a moment during dinner when one of the executives started singing.

 David Seals 
Director of Client Development

It often happens, sharing great food and wine together, that we ask our Executive Summit attendees to describe one of the most meaningful (or hilariously bad) arts experiences of their lives. We ask the question because, after a day of data-driven conversation about success metrics, leadership, and management—it’s important to remember why we all got into this business.

We don’t sell widgets. The art is The Why.

Posted January 16, 2018


This blog post was originally posted on the PatronManager Blog on December 19.2017. Many thanks to Gene Carr, CEO PatronManager for the invitation to contribute. 

Few people are talking about the arts industry’s biggest threat. The problem barely shows up in conference sessions, industry publications or workshops. It is not cuts to arts funding. It’s not greying audiences or Millennials. It’s not a lack of data. Though these issues deserve attention, the problem is patron retention—and its extent is staggering.

Posted December 22, 2017



Lindsay Anderson
Vice President of Client Development

Why do we in arts organizations care so much about the Christmas holiday season? Yes, we program amazing events—shows that get us into the holiday spirit, concerts that have us humming well-known tunes, and ballets that can elicit memories taking us back to our childhood. But we also care because the events and exhibitions we run at this time can make or break our financial year.

Chances are you’ve been thinking about your 2017 Christmas or holiday offering since before last year’s events even opened.  Some of you put your 2017 Pantomime tickets on sale right before Panto began last year.  Or maybe you gave your loyal subscribers or members access to this year’s A Christmas Carol tickets when they attended in 2016.  It’s safe to say we in the arts field spend a lot of time planning and executing campaigns in preparation for this time of year.

Posted November 30, 2017


 Kate Hagen
Senior Consultant, TRG Arts 

The Grant Park Music Festival came to TRG in 2014 with one goal: to build a patron loyalty pipeline that will sustain the organization, regardless of fluctuations in government or foundation funding. But there was one catch. The strategy needed to fit within the mission on which the organization was founded in the 1930s: free access to classical music for all.

To solve this challenge, the Festival expanded its existing membership program to include One Night Pass options. Though Chicagoans and visitors could always attend for free, membership offered many benefits including the ability to reserve seats close to the stage for any performance in advance. The introduction of One Night Passes allowed non-members to reserve seats in the Frank Gehry-designed pavilion for individual concerts, effectively serving as a test-drive for membership. In addition, the passes enabled the Festival to overcome one of the biggest challenges faced by free festivals: capturing patron data to build a pool of contacts who could be cultivated for membership and donations. The end result is a festival that remains free while creating a new patron-driven revenue stream to address potential funding fluctuations. 

Posted November 29, 2017


Have arts leaders increased the loyalty of their patron in recent years? TRG Arts is the longest-standing aggregator of loyalty metrics in the arts industry and has recently refreshed its aggregated Patron Loyalty Index. In this presentation, we'll describe the ways patrons are behaving in terms of their recency, frequency, monetary investment and growth over time, across transactions in single tickets, membership, subscription, and donation.

Posted November 15, 2017


What happens when communities come together around data? As membership leaders consider how to best attract new visitors and members, information on how the wider community engages with arts and cultural organizations becomes particularly relevant. Learn how leaders in the membership field leverage shared data to find the highest-ROI prospects an how trading patron data makes the entire arts ecosystem stronger. Presented originally at the 2017 American Museum Membership Conference, join experts from Jazz at Lincoln Center, MOHAI, and TRG Arts to discuss and discover the power of community data. 

Posted November 15, 2017


Long Wharf Theatre: 80% increase in new subscriptions in one year

In August 2015, Long Wharf Theatre (LWT) was worried about their subscriptions. Over the last four seasons, they’d seen a 23% decrease in subscription renewals and 8% decrease in new subscriptions. 

Posted July 20, 2017


You’ve got a CRM system. You’ve got reports galore. But how can you use data to affect change at your theatre? DataArts has partnered with field experts to create a new series of free online courses teaching essential data skills for arts leaders. In this session, TRG Arts will present a brief preview from Connecting the Dots: Audience Data Essentials, a course they co-created with DataArts. Attendees will leave the session with 4 basic metrics to track at their own theatre, plus ideas about how these courses can serve as a valuable resource for their own learning, or as a professional development tool for their staff. 

Posted June 16, 2017

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