Realising Potential – Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham Hippodrome audience
photo: Stewart Helmley

Supporting an integrated approach to earned income, we have worked with the UK’s most popular single auditorium theatre for over ten years…

A decade of growth

Birmingham Hippodrome is the UK’s most popular single auditorium theatre welcoming over 500,000 visitors annually.  The theatre offers a mixed programme of nearly 400 performances, featuring touring musicals, world-class ballet and opera, drama and comedy, international dance and the world’s biggest Pantomime.  Together with an extensive programme of education and outreach, the Hippodrome has embedded itself at the centre of cultural life in England’s second city.

The Hippodrome does this almost entirely without public subsidy, carefully balancing its programme to create a consistent surplus at the box office, and generating additional support through sponsorship and individual giving, alongside ancillary income from bars, catering and merchandise.

Baker Richards has been working with the Hippodrome for more than ten years, meeting regularly to report on sales and customer trends which provide an on-going evidence base for strategic business decisions.  Over that period the Hippodrome has more than doubled box office income, growing yield way beyond inflation, while maintaining high levels of occupancy with a growing customer base: fostering loyalty while also continuing to attract more than 50,000 new bookers every year.

The Hippodrome uses the Revenue Management Application (RMA) and with support from Baker Richards has introduced a raft of revenue management techniques including dynamic pricing, which is generating hundreds of thousands of pounds in incremental income.  More recently we have been working with together on a custom behavioural segmentation of the Hippodrome’s audience base to help develop a more strategic customer-focussed approach to marketing, implemented through the Segmentation Engine.  Baker Richards has also worked directly with the Hippodrome’s commercial producer partners as well as Welsh National Opera and residents Birmingham Royal Ballet.  Regular reporting is topped up with an ad hoc analysis service and special projects, including membership, fundraising campaigns and modelling and analysis to support an integrated approach to earned income.

Rob MacPherson (Marketing & Development Director) says:
“Baker Richards combines amazing attention to detail, giving us complete confidence in the evidence base, with insights into what the data means for us and new ideas to keep challenging our thinking.  Above all, they help us keep an eye on the strategic horizon when it’s so easy to get sucked into the day-to-day demands of a varied programme and the need to reach tough targets whilst growing our role in the cultural life of Birmingham.”