Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Since the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ opening in 2011, they’ve drawn in more than 2.2 million visitors from around the world. Of these visitors, 225,000 have been school children, a feat made possible by their Open Doors Program. On top of Helzberg Hall and the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, the Center also has a gift shop and Dining Experience that distinguishes them from other performing arts venues in the area. You can even take a behind-the-scenes tour of the building!
Joanna Polley, Community Outreach Supervisor, has been a part of the Kauffman Center’s marketing team since October 2016. Even though she’s still learning how to assist and add to the brand, she’s already done an amazing job engaging the community through the Kauffman Center’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Beyond promotional opportunities, she’s found ways to attract a younger audience to a typically ‘old school’ form of artistic enrichment.
Even though the Kauffman Center hasn’t done much with influencer or content marketing, their active involvement with their many social media accounts has bolstered the Center’s brand awareness. Not only can performance attendees and performing arts enthusiasts interact with the Center through these platforms, but the Kauffman Center can also promote their upcoming shows and giveaways at an affordable price. Facebook makes it easy to share posts, and event pages allow attendees to ask questions about the performers or express their excitement about the upcoming event.
Currently, the Kauffman Center is trying to promote their spring and summer performances. These include George Benson & Kenny G (May 24th), Michael McDonald & Boz Scaggs (June 17th), Blondie & Garbage (July 18th), and Mary Chapin Carpenter (July 26th). They’ll also be hosting the fourth annual Future Stages Festival on June 25th from 11am-4pm. This FREE community event features more than 600 youth performers, and includes a wide-range of interactive activities for families to enjoy in between performances.
As far as mobile marketing and mobile development go, the Kauffman Center has created a user-friendly mobile experience over the last few years through the evolution of their online application. The Center’s even streamlined their online ticket purchasing process, introduced interactive venue seating charts, and focused on creating online content that is engaging and clear. Their mobile app has drawn in repeat customers by making their event calendar and purchase page easy to navigate on a mobile device.
The biggest challenge that the Kauffman Center’s marketing team faces is creating a consistent and engaging message that appeals to all the different audiences that they’re trying to bring in. Since the Center’s programming is so diverse and appeals to so many different interests, their team has to research and network with several different target audiences.
Joanna says the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art’s ongoing marketing campaigns for their annual signature community events (e.g. Chinese New Year, Big Picnic, Passport to India, etc.) have been an inspiration in her own marketing efforts. She says: “their grassroots and social media marketing is always so effective as they manage to draw huge crowds at these events year after year”. They’ve also managed to “achieve brand consistency for all their marketing materials while still changing out design elements for these annual events”.
The Kauffman Center strives to create extraordinary and memorable performing arts experiences for their patrons, as seen through their community involvement (Future Stages Festival, bravo KC Birthday Party, Student Matinees), diverse programming, and passionate volunteers. The Center aims to display professionalism in all aspects of their brand, and hope to grow their brand recognition as they establish themselves as one of the world’s premier performing arts venues.