Sunday, November 30, 2008

No-Show Ball, 2008

By now many of you will have received an invitation to our annual No-Show Ball. This year the purpose is to upgrade our office computers. This past summer we were able to upgrade our ticketing system, computerizing our box office and allowing on-line ticket sales. The response to this move has been wonderful.

First we sold more than 30% of all tickets to Disney's High School Musical on-line. The trend has continued through the year, with 20 - 35% of all single ticket sales being sold on-line. Obviously this was something that our patrons wanted, and I for one am glad we were able to deliver.

Second came a very generous grant from the North Central Health Services. This wonderful gift allowed us to purchase top of the line ticketing printers, software and hardware needed to get the box office computer in the Monon up to snuff, to purchase ticketing stock for the new printers, and finally some to offset the cost of the system itself.

We now have one weak link left, our office computers. The newest machine we own is the laptop that I am currently using. The computer is not in horrible shape, especially for being 5 years old, but it is slow and I have had to reformat the hard drive twice in the past year, not a fun thing to go through.

The oldest computer is the "volunteer computer", which houses our databases and our financial books. While the computer essentially works, it is running Office 97, need I say more?

The "No-Show Ball" has a pretty long history at Civic Theatre. It was Susan Kisinger who sent the first invitation to this non-event. The idea is that with the multitude of special events that every other non-profit puts on, not to mention the many requests for year end funding, we thought that this slightly off the wall approach might work best. All we ask is that instead of buying a ticket, hiring babysitters, bidding on silent auctions...etc, you give the money towards some much needed capitol project at the theatre. After all the building is in decent shape, but it is a 108 (almost) year old building with a 30 (almost) year old renovation. In the years of the No-Show, we have been able to purchase new stage curtains, pay off the mortgage a few years early, and put on a brand new roof. I think that it is one of the hottest non-tickets in town.

If you would like more information on the No-Show Ball, please call me at the office, 765-423-7529, or by email steve@lafayettecivic.org

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