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SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKET SERVICE DIRECTOR
Alternate Career Titles:
Head of Subscriptions, Ticket Service Director
Career Overview: Obtains new subscribers for the orchestra, renews subscribers, records ticket sales.
Career Salary Range: $24,000 to $49,000+
Become a Subscriptions and Ticket Service Director
As the name suggests, the Subscriptions and Ticket Service Director oversees selling and keeping track of tickets and subscriptions during the orchestra season. Because of the fact that the same subscribers don’t purchase every single year, the Director must compile programs geared towards attracting new subscribers for the upcoming season. These subscriptions are important because much of the orchestra’s funding comes from subscriptions (apart from income derived from grants and funding).
Some of the programs the Director runs might include organizing phone campaigns, physical mailings, or telethons. In addition, he or she handles advertisements and sends out press releases on the subject. Sometimes the Subscriptions Director may oversee a number of volunteers who help with these projects. In a few instances (like in major orchestras), the Director has a paid staff to complete tasks.
Aside from trying to gain new subscribers, the Subscriptions and Ticket Service Director needs to also track current subscribers, by sending out renewal forms and following up after the forms have been sent out. In addition to subscriptions, the person filling the Director position is responsible for coordinating individual concert ticket sales. This includes keeping track of the amount of tickets sold, where they were sold, etc. If tickets are sold through a ticket service like Ticketmaster, the Director must make sure they receive payment. The Director must be organized enough to know at a glance who was sent which promotional materials, when the materials were sent, when follow-up calls were made, and when follow-up calls should have been made, etc.
Last but not least, the Director of Subscriptions may be asked to speak to certain groups or to attend functions on behalf of the orchestra that he or she represents. In terms of hours, he or she usually works regular hours. This position is responsible to the Orchestra Manager and/or the Board of Directors.
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In small orchestras, this position may be filled by a volunteer, but in larger organizations, one may earn between $24,000 and $49,000 or more per year, depending on the orchestra size and its budget.
There are limited availabilities for the full-time paid positions available in major and regional orchestras. To compound the fact that opportunities are limited, there is not a lot of turnover in this department.
Advancement in this position comes from individuals finding employment with larger orchestras, although this is not easy due to low turnover, etc. They may also advance their careers by becoming Directors of Development.
Education and Training
Requirements for this position vary greatly across the industry. The Subscriptions and Ticket Service Director might be required to have a college background or degree, but in smaller orchestras, the individual may just need experience in bookkeeping.
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Experience, Skills, and Personality
The individual holding this position must have the ability to remain organized. He or she should have the ability to write creatively and well, and should be able to supervise staff members and volunteers. Knowledge of bookkeeping is necessary.
Unions and Associations
The American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL), the Associated Council of the Arts, or local arts councils are possibilities for the Subscriptions and Ticket Service Director.
Suggestions for Getting Started
- Try volunteering by asking an orchestra to help out on a ticket subscription campaign.
- Find out if your local orchestra offers internship programs.
- The American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL) newsletter will occasionally advertise openings.
- Send a targeted résumé and a cover letter to any orchestra you think you might want to work with.
- Check out openings online on orchestra websites.