Although it’s more involved than this, the Ole Seagull’s initial answer to the question “Why are some shows and attractions successful and others not?” is at least simple. That answer would be, “Successful shows and attractions have enough paying customers purchasing tickets to their shows or attractions so that they can pay their bills, keep operating and make a profit consistently.”
“Oh, come on Seagull get serious.” “It doesn’t get any more serious than that.”
As the Ole Seagull was monitoring the posts on the Show Forum of www.1Branson.com this week he noticed a post from “Lance” who asked the question, “Why do shows like, the Presleys’, Baldknobbers, Jim Stafford, Mickey Gilley, etc and attractions like Silver Dollar City continue to draw people to their shows or their attractions even during this bad economy?” The poster goes on to say “It is just good, clean, patriotic, Christian family fun. They are not changing to suit the younger crowd. Why do they continue to be successful? Or does someone think they are not successful?”
Poster “2texgirls” replied, “I think you answered your own question– it’s just good, clean, patriotic, Christian fun… and I couldn’t agree with you more!” An Ole Seagull would suggest that’s a true statement of a basic foundational Branson entertainment principle that has been in place since the Baldknobbers, Presleys and Silver Dollar City started entertining Branson visitors decades ago.
Poster “OkieAnon” starts zeroing on the answer saying “… I think it goes deeper than that, there are several other factors that would have to be considered in the mix” and points out that “for every ‘good clean patriotic Christian’ show that succeeds you can go back and think of shows like …[Names omitted] that are no longer here and for every Mickey Gilley and Jim Stafford, there is a…[Names omitted].” To an Ole Seagull, said another way, the history of Branson entertainment is littered with good clean patriotic Christian shows, attractions and performers that, for one reason or another, did not “have enough paying customers purchasing tickets to their shows or attractions so that they could pay their bills, keep operating and make a profit consistently.”
“DalmationDad,” one of the forums most prolific and respected posters, hits the crux of the answer saying, “It’s all about marketing.” That’s it folks, you can have the best good, clean, patriotic and Christian show or attraction in Branson providing a great entertainment experience across the entire demographic spectrum, with magnificent world class performers, great supporting casts, costuming, choreography etc., but if history is any indication, it will not be successful in Branson, Missouri without effective marketing.
In an Ole Seagull’s opinion, assuming that you have a product that those coming to Branson will want to see, and preferably come back to experience again, that means having enough money to sustain your show or attraction operationally for a minimum of three years. This includes, but is not limited to, an adequate marketing budget, competent people doing the marketing pursuant to an effective marketing plan, building personal relationships and most importantly of all, making sure that you and every employee performs whatever they are doing with enthusiasm, passion, and in a manner that gives your guests a great entertainment experience.
“Oh, surely you exaggerate Seagull. Some shows are so full of talent that once they take out a few adds, put out rack brochures, undercut the other prices of the established shows in town, have area appreciation shows, do local promotions at time shares, resellers, and other events that their talent, momentum, and word of mouth will be all the marketing they need.” An Ole Seagull would suggest that with that marketing plan they would really need to add at least one more thing. “What’s that?” “Repeat after me, ‘Our Father who art in Heaven…'”