The always awesome Thomas Cott has sent out this recent roundup on a consistent issue in the arts, dynamic pricing.
If you have followed this blog over the years, you know that I'm not a fan of dynamic pricing but I'll rehash those arguments later.
Here's the point I want to bring up today. I believe pricing, particularly pricing for nonprofit arts organizations, has two elements. An economic element and a moral element. There are always two questions at play:
1. Is this the right price?
2. Should we be charging this price?
I truly wonder if "high" ticket prices and the stated purpose behind many nonprofit arts organizations can live in the same space. I worry that one argument (this show is worth $100) undercuts the other (we are a worthwhile investment of your charity dollars).
Now I should acknowledge that many organizations will find their own answer to these questions. My hope is that there is serious internal debate about these issues before practices like dynamic pricing are put in place.
When I say a serious debate I mean honestly asking these questions:
What does this practice say about us?
Are there long term implications to these strategy that we may be ignoring because of a desire for short term revenue?
Do we have controls in place that will keep our pricing from going entirely out of wack?
Dynamic pricing is a complicated issue. Approach it with care.