It’s Showtime: The Columbian Theatre

What does your business mean to your community? What does community mean to your business?

You might find the two questions inseparable. We do. Community isn’t just a foundation of customers, but the focus of creative energy and collaboration for you, your company, your city and beyond.

Community is invigorating. In particular, the arts play a crucial role in the revitalization and perpetual creative energy in our communities. At Imagemakers, we pride ourselves on harnessing this energy to help your company connect with your community. That’s our business. And it’s why we’re extremely proud of our partnership with the Columbian Theatre in Wamego, Kansas.

The Wamego community theatre, a fixture of our vibrant downtown, continued business as usual during the last few theatre seasons. It featured successful shows, including The Wiz, The Last Five Years, and local shows like Hoo Haw.

Yet something was missing. Somehow the theatre’s impact in the community lessened. The gap showed up in local buzz, but also ticket sales. This isn’t unusual; think about how many times you take a favorite store or restaurant – or even your own business – for granted.

But they didn’t let that happen. And we’re glad. The arts are extremely important to communities. They improve our lives, enrich our minds, open us to new possibilities, and often, help us become better citizens. With that in mind, we pitched in to help The Columbian Theatre invigorate its marketing. We focused on Guys and Dolls in May, striving for a community event to remember, but also for marketing success and measurable results the theatre could build on.

“We very quickly felt a renewed interest from the community and that translated into a significant increase in traffic. I couldn’t put a price on the residual affect this had on our community’s sentiment towards the Columbian Theatre,” said Clint Stueve, executive director of The Columbian Theatre. “Imagemakers redefined even our basic marketing tools in ways we would have never even considered.”

Our approach was simple. We didn’t just offer recommendations, we rolled up our sleeves and worked with The Columbian, helping spread the word. We sent emails, reviewed customers, and most importantly, we talked about Guys and Dolls to everyone. Mary Foster, our director of operations, not only envisioned marketing tactics – she helped fulfill them, everything from contacting the media to offering tours of the theatre. And, Lou Ann Thomas, our copywriter, composed press releases and marketing emails to attract news stories and community buzz. From promotion to execution, every night was Opening Night. Every night was showtime: the chance to introduce the community to the magic of show business – and the magic of The Columbian Theatre.

When it was all said and done, Guys and Dolls ranked as one of the best in The Columbian’s history. Shows sold out, and ticket sales per show grossed 30 percent more than some of The Columbian’s most popular.

“It was a huge relief knowing I didn’t have to second-guess direction, or question expenses,” Stueve said. “That it truly felt like a partnership with the same goals, is why I would recommend Imagemakers to anyone.”

We couldn’t be more thrilled. The marketing worked because we lived and breathed Guys and Dolls, in lockstep with Columbian. Working together, our marketing efforts drove sales, drove interest, and drove customers to the theatre. Today, The Columbian’s executive director, volunteers and board know their new customers. They know their best customers, the communication that worked, and the results as a baseline. They are armed not only with success, but the tools and the talent to produce and measure results in the future.

The best part? We can help you do the same. We’re very proud to see The Columbian thrive again in downtown Wamego. Creating buzz is one thing, but reviewing shared tactics and seeing results is – well, it’s invigorating. For us, for The Columbian Theatre, and for the community.

Perhaps your marketing needs a shot of invigoration? Maybe it’s time to look at your branding, your practices and your products. Give us a call. Send us an email. Let us know your favorite show, your favorite movie, and why you liked it best.

We’re here for you, backstage or in the aisle.

It’s always showtime.


"Imagemakers is awesome to work with!"

Veronica Norris
Marketing/Communications Manager
Exline, Inc.
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