Austin’s Long Center Pioneers Rewards Program for Performing Arts Centers

Performing arts centers are struggling to reach the new generation, but the Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin, Texas is bucking the trend by winning over young consumers with the Long Center Rewards program.

“Now is a really tricky time for performing arts centers because sales are down for just about everyone,” said Senior Creative Marketing Manager of the Long Center Brandon Strange.

“Old business models aren’t working like they used to, and people are having difficulty bringing the performing arts to a new generation,” Strange said. But Long Center Rewards has helped them reach these younger consumers, Strange said.

Long Center Rewards is a mobile app and website that gives points to patrons of Long Center events. When someone checks in with the app or passes an IBeacon set up at an event they earn points that they can use at the Long Center Rewards Prize Store.

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In the Prize Store, Long Center offers a variety of prizes, contests and auctions. Rewards members can use their points to earn seat upgrades, enter into contests for tickets or bid their points to try to win other exciting experiences.

“Our strategy with the rewards is to do a little bit of everything because we want to appeal to as many people as we can,” Strange said. Long Center Rewards is always updating and creating new giveaways to keep members engaged and to encourage them to earn more points, Strange said.

Long Center Rewards helps differentiate the Long Center from other performing arts centers, Strange said. Usually apps of performing arts centers function as mobile versions of their websites, Strange said, but the Long Center Rewards offers much more.

Through the app, you can receive points by following Long Center social media accounts, which has helped Long Center introduce members to their social content. “Introducing members to our digital channels is probably the biggest benefit of Long Center Rewards,” Strange said.

The second biggest benefit is that the app includes an event page that lists upcoming shows, Strange said. The events page provides an easy way for the Long Center to provide a place for young people to learn about upcoming events.

Long Center App

The benefits of the Long Center Rewards program helps the Long Center feel like a prominent member in the young and tech-friendly city of Austin. “We feel like our app helps us stay in the mind of some of the younger people, and we want people to talk about us and think of us as a popular destination,” Strange said.

Long Center Rewards is continuing to create new members and maintain engagement with current users. Both are signs that Long Center Rewards is a platform that is helping Long Center grow and build lasting relationships with young consumers.