Bowlus programs geared for families


Local News

September 26, 2019 - 10:36 AM

Going to see a show at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center should be an experience, Daniel Kays, executive director, said.

?From the minute you find out about a show to the minute you make a purchase, to the minute you get into the venue and watch the show, we have to make that the best experience we can,? he said. 

The Bowlus kicks off its new season Saturday with some big changes, all designed to enhance customer service and increase publicity for the Bowlus and its events. 

Changes include a new series of family-friendly shows, a new online ticketing system, an aggressive marketing campaign, and trained ushers to guide visitors, answer questions and help with safety issues at every event.

Those efforts are already paying off, with 53% of total tickets for the season already sold. Season ticket sales for a four-show music series are up by 6 percent over last year. 

About 80 percent of available tickets have already been sold for one event, ?Croce Plays Croce,? with AJ Croce performing music made famous by his father, Jim Croce. That?s scheduled for Oct. 26, so there?s still a month to go.

Several factors contribute to the success of early sales, Kays said, but it all comes back to the same thing: customer service.

Kays outlined the changes Monday in a presentation to USD 257, which serves as trustees for the center. He introduced the four staff members: Mandy Moyer, projects and marketing coordinator; Jeff Jordan, technical director and facilities manager; John Higginbotham, assistant technical director and arts community outreach coordinator; and Kyle Depaola, head custodian and maintenance. 

Kays will celebrate his one-year anniversary at the Bowlus on Oct. 8.



The biggest change at the Bowlus is the ability to sell tickets online. While that may seem necessary in today?s electronic era, it also has revamped much of the way the Bowlus conducts business. 

In past years, the process of selling paper tickets took much of the staff?s time and offered no way to track how, when, where or to whom tickets were sold. Pre-purchased tickets could only be done through the mail or in person. 

Now, customers can purchase a ticket in less than a minute and can even pick their seat. Tickets can be printed at home, or you can use your mobile phone to scan a QR code at the venue. 

The system allows purchase of season tickets up until the first shows start. The Bowlus is offering season tickets for two series; the ?family series? begins Saturday with magician/comedian Jason Bishop and the ?music series? starts Oct. 26 Each series has four shows.

Tickets are available for purchase online for nearly every event at the Bowlus, including Allen Community College plays, and dance recitals. The only exceptions are Iola High School?s drama performances, which require more complicated ticketing processes.

The system allows Bowlus staff to track historical data and locations. In the coming years, staff can review the data to see when sales are most profitable, what types of performances do best and where the audience comes from.

For example, several people from Oklahoma and southern Missouri have purchased tickets for the Croce show.