While Chris questions holding the line on pricing, I worry about the consequences of NOT doing so. Cruise lines are offering cabin upgrades, hotels are offering one or more free nights after the purchase of a minimal stay, and car dealers are giving deep discounts and many perks for purchasing a car. I think symphony orchestras cannot afford to expect subscribers and ticket purchasers to pay “full boat” for tickets to concerts. In this environment it is better for orchestras to play to full houses than to sell fewer tickets at full price. We need to build audiences for the future, and introduce new patrons who may become new subscribers to our concerts. I don’t think any art form, or for that matter any business, is recession- resistant.
About the author
Associate Professor of Marketing and
Executive Director of The Center For Customer Service
University of Hartford
Dr. Steinberg earned her doctorate from the University of Connecticut and teaches courses in marketing, consumer behavior, and retailing. She has played a key role in working with the National Retail Federation in developing and implementing the job skill standards for retail sales associates, as well as work with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association to develop school-to-career skill standards for the retail, tourism, recreation and entrepreneurial cluster.
As the Executive Director of The Center For Customer Service, Dr. Steinberg has been the leading force in developing the Center’s retail and customer service training programs. Partnering with such organizations as Capitol Region Workforce Development Board, Community Renewal Team, City of Hartford Department of Social Services, and other agencies, The Center For Customer Service was a key player in the region’s Welfare-to-Work training and placement for over five years. In addition, the Center has been active in fostering community economic development in the Upper Albany neighborhood, one of Hartford’s economically disadvantaged areas. Dr. Steinberg developed and currently facilitates the Upper Albany Business Network, a collaboration of small retail and service businesses in Upper Albany. The Network received seed money from the Department of Community Economic Development (DECD) in partnership with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), and subsequently received a grant from the Department of Labor to develop and deliver customer service training to 50 small businesses in North Hartford. She also developed the Micro Business Incubator Program which matches University of Hartford students to work with small urban businesses to upgrade their skills and enhance their operations. This program’s funders include The City of Hartford, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Travelers Foundation, United Technologies Corporation and Bank of America.
Dr. Steinberg is the Executive Vice President of the Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers, is a Board Member and Past President of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and serves on the Boards of several arts organizations including the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.