The Mobile Theatre: Engaging Audiences on the Go

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This presentation from the 2014 Theatre Communications Group identifies various ways in which theatre companies can leverage mobile technology to connect with their audiences.


  • The Mobile Theatre: Engaging Audiences on the Go Theatre Communications Group 2014 Conference David Dombrosky Chief Marketing Officer
  • Mobile technology is NOT the future. Its the PRESENT.
  • There are 4.5 billion mobile users worldwide with nearly 7 billion mobile subscriptions. SOURCE: International Telecommunications Union
  • SOURCE: ComScore Nearly 40% of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices. (source: ComScore) 25% of US mobile internet users never or infrequently open websites on desktop or laptop computers. (source: Mobithinking) 2013 reports from mass email service providers show that 50-61% of emails are opened on smartphones or tablets. (sources: Movable Ink and Experian)
  • SOURCE: Pew Research Center 90% of American adults have cell phones 58% of American adults have a smartphone 42% of American adults own a tablet computer As of January 2014
  • SOURCE: Pew Research Center
  • In May 2013, Musical America published a special report on mobile marketing in the performing arts. Download it for free at:
  • Group of Minds Longitudinal Study of Arts Patrons & Mobile Usage First survey in 2009 Second survey in 2012 Distributed to 45,000 arts patrons 4.3% response rate
  • We cant afford to engage with mobile. You most likely already participate in mobilized environments. NOT TRUE.
  • Social Media Tools are Mobilized
  • Other Mobilized Online Tools
  • QR Codes QR = quick response Bar codes can be linked to content QR Code readers are free Generators are also free. Ex: and
  • Directing QR Codes to Your Standard Website
  • Best Practices for QR Codes Give the end user a mobile-friendly experience Have a clear call to action Use a code generator with analytics
  • Three Questions: 1. How many visitors are coming to your website each month via mobile devices? 2. Is your website mobile-optimized? 3. How many monthly visitors need to be coming to your website via mobile devices before you actively pursue providing them with an optimized experience?
  • Source: 71% of US smartphone users EXPECT a website to be as easy to use on their phones as it is on their desktop or laptop computers. When visiting a website that is not optimized for mobile use, 81% of US smartphone users will bounce away from the site without engaging. 80% of those who leave will NOT come back.
  • Mobile Websites Websites intended to be opened on a mobile device within an Internet browser Accessible from all types of mobile devices Designed for touch screen navigation Require access to the Internet (3G, WiFi, etc.)
  • Tips for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly or Mobile Optimized Keep the layout simple and easy to navigate Keep images to a minimum Use .png or .gif images faster to load Test your site on a number of mobile devices Optimization plug-ins for current content management systems (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, etc.) Create a separate mobile site For example: instead of Consider using free and low-cost services like YoMobi or DudaMobile Redirect mobile users to your mobile site
  • Responsive Design
  • Mobile Apps Software designed for a mobile device
  • Mobile Apps Software designed for a mobile device Platform- specific
  • Mobile Apps Software designed for a mobile device Platform- specific What can apps do that mobile websites cannot? Apps are faster than mobile websites. Apps allow you to access native features of the mobile device like the camera or GPS Many apps have a feature called push notifications that allow you to send short text messages to your subscribers. Many apps have an offline feature which allows you to use the app without an Internet connection.
  • Mobile Apps Software designed for a mobile device Platform- specific What can apps do that mobile websites cannot? Psychology of the end user Mobile users open the internet browser on their phones when they are searching for something. When mobile users want to engage with content repeatedly over time, they want an app for that.
  • Investigate Multi-Platform Services InstantEncore Mobile Roadie Apps for Venues Crowdtorch TN Mobile Plus Cloudtix Online-based services that use a central control panel to deliver content to multiple mobile platforms Android, Apple, mobile web, etc.
  • Hire an App Developer Be sure that your app has needs beyond a template service Look for local developers or relationships to leverage Make sure that the developer creates apps for Apple AND Android GET REFERENCES
  • Things to Think About What does your audience want from their mobile experience with you? What types of content do you already have to use? What budget level do you have to devote to mobile engagement? Can you leverage other resources or relationships?
  • David Dombrosky