Broadway is back and there are plenty of ways to make it a true one-of-a-kind experience.
BroadwayPlus aims to give Broadway ticketholders a chance to have a VIP experience when they go to see a show. The company started about five years ago after Nathaniel Hill, Founder and President of BroadwayPlus, noticed how many VIP options were available for other ticketed events in New York City.
“When you would buy tickets for concerts, there was a slew of VIP options and travel packages,” said Hill. “We didn’t have any of that for Broadway.”
BroadwayPlus started by working with shows to provide VIP packages that included a backstage tour with a cast member, a bag with show merchandise items, a really good seat and a drink at the theater. The company has since been able to expand and offer several opportunities for ticketholders, including meet and greets with cast members, dinners with actors, private coaching and masterclasses, private parties, and even custom requests.
“We are the only company doing it, so we’ve been able to make a lot of connections doing that,” said Hill. “We’re helping fans access a richer Broadway experience.”
Another side of the BroadwayPlus business is group sales. Through the company, groups can get discounted rates for large numbers of tickets to several Broadway shows.
Actor Alex Tavis has been coordinating group experiences through BroadwayPlus, facilitating groups of 10 or more to get discounted tickets up to 20-40% off.
“This model is used pretty much among all the Broadway and off-Broadway shows. BroadwayPlus does the group sales well, though they are new at it,” said Tavis.
Tavis says that in addition to New Yorkers searching for group sales on their own, he works with groups such as senior living communities and schools, not just in New York City but also on Long Island and in New Jersey, to arrange group outings. The feedback has been great, even though he really started getting into the group sales amid the pandemic.
“When I started around Labor Day this year, I started with the clients I had and have been building more ever since. The response has been more positive, I have been able to put in a fair amount of group sales orders to the company,” said Tavis. “A lot of my clients have been in senior or assisted living communities — I specialize in schools and independent and assisted living facilities — and the independent communities want to go more than the students!”
Both the VIP and group experiences are not just great for the ticketholders, but also the actors. The actors are paid for taking part in an experience, giving them a little extra income, but they also get to make lasting connections with Broadway fans.
“The actors like it because it’s a way for them to connect with fans that’s more enriching than a Playbill signing and taking a selfie,” said Hill. “Most people don’t realize that they do these shows 8 times a week, the amount of discipline and sacrifice they have to do. It’s a richer experience for them to learn that. We’ve received great feedback. When the pandemic struck, we wanted to take those artist relationships and put them into booking online.”
Due to the pandemic, in-person meetings are currently unavailable to ensure the safety of actors and guests. BroadwayPlus is still offering several remote options for meet and greets or coaching sessions, but they ensure guests that it is safe to enjoy Broadway once again.
“Of course we are very COVID conscious. We are not able to do live meet and greets with Broadway performers, but booking them for some private coaching and a party appearance, or dinner with an actor,” said Hill. “We are requiring a negative COVID test for all people involved. The health and safety of the actors and fans are our priority.”
“When I talk to potential groups and clients, I say it’s masked in theater, and proof of vaccination for the foreseeable future,” said Tavis. “It has not deterred guests from booking.”
Both Hill and Tavis are encouraging theater lovers to get in on the VIP and group experiences sooner rather than later since Broadway tourism is still in lower numbers. and you can not only find the seats you want, but also have a truly unforgettable night.
“There’s potential for availability and seats you’re looking for. Some people are still reticent, so I make it a value proposition,” said Tavis. “You can probably get the seat you’re looking for and be happy with the overall cost.”
“Now is the best time to get back to Broadway. It’s a quintessential art form that we need our New York audience to come and support. Shows are doing well in terms of COVID safety, it’s safe to come to the theater because vaccines and masks are required,” said Hill. “There’s no better way to support than with a VIP experience with the actors; you can have a Q&A with a cast member, have your son or daughter have a dance lesson, or have a dinner. It’s a great time to support them in that way. Broadway has become more tourist-heavy, but a lot of that is not back yet. We have a ton of access to seats and inventory available.”
For more information, visit broadwayplus.com. To book a group experience, you can contact Tavis directly at 917-450-6829 or Tavis.Alex@gmail.com.