I was wrong!
When I received the tickets I realized that our seats were in the second row! To say that these seats were freakin' awesome would be an understatement. I could see every expression on the actor’s faces. I could see every detail on the costumes. I could see the spit flying as they sung. I even got a kick out of watching the conductor singing along as he did his thing.
My wife and I were giddy at how amazing our seats were and how incredible an experience this was for us.
Here is the application in all of this-the company could have given us the worst seats in the house for $25.00 and we would have been happy, since it still would have been cheaper than the seats purchased through the box office.
But instead of giving us the worst seats in the house, they gave us some of the best. All of the lottery winners sat in $150.00 seats that were purchased for only $25.00 each. With 20 tickets sold as part of the lottery, I figured out that the company could have made $3,000 on the seats ... yet sold them for only $500.
Knowing that we received the best and not the worst made us feel even more special; even more fortunate; even more like “winners.” The company didn’t settle for trying to figure out what it could get away with, how it could squeeze more for less from us, or how it could take the intense interest in the show and turn it into a cynical marketing ploy. Rather, it provided us with an experience that we will never forget. (And those who did not win a lottery ticket could still buy tickets at discounted prices.)
Understand, I am not suggesting that you need to discount everything to create a memorable experience. I am not saying that you have to spend or lose an inordinate amount of money to have happy customers (or employees)...that isn’t the point!
But perhaps we would all be wise to not always be thinking of how we can cut, skim, trim, “tighten our belts,” or make decisions always based on the lowest common denominator.
BTW: Wicked is one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history. It has been running for over ten years and has no signs of slowing down. Perhaps their willingness to “lose” really has helped them gain in the end. After all, the next time it comes into town, we’ll probably watch it again, lottery or not.