What will the performing arts industry look like through the rest of 2021? With the entire world dealing with and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the new variants, there are certain trends appearing, good and bad. Ideally, your organization comes out on top and finds a way to succeed this year and into the future. To make this more likely, let’s look at 2021 performing arts trends so far and how they have impacted the industry.

The Positive Trends 

With the pent-up demand, live theater will return to shine. As consumers feel positivity and optimism about the future, along with a desire to move into a post-pandemic space, performing arts has a role. People are ready to return and celebrate.

Performing arts are a way for the community to come together in what has been an isolating period. If your organization can capture that excitement, you may have an eager audience awaiting your every move.

The Challenges

In 2021 and perhaps beyond, performing arts organizations will have to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, and now the variants. Many will need to start up from scratch, having lost actors, musicians, and venues over the past year and a half. Others are dealing with lost revenue and fewer resources.

While film productions have been ramping up, even through the last few rounds of COVID restrictions, performing arts are generally slower to follow. Bringing actors and crew together on the scale performing arts require has been a challenge. These are the less positive trends, or challenges, that organizations need to overcome to find success.

If you are trying to get by on a shoestring budget, the old model of printed program books really needs to be scrutinized in this new world. Printed program books have always been a challenge for performing arts organizations, even pre-COVID—how many to order, last-minute changes, throwing away unused program books, the high cost of printing, the staff to manage these, and on and on!

Our digital program books can help you make the most of your resources. Forget about design and print costs, or wasted programs. A solid digital program book platform can save performing arts organizations thousands of dollars!

Changes to Theater Operations

There are a few ways theater options might change, whether temporarily or in longer-lasting ways. The first is the adoption of technology into the performing arts. When the pandemic hit, many organizations had to switch to digital platforms to survive. Now that performing arts may be getting back to normal, organizations will have to decide how much technology to keep. 

Not every organization will adopt virtual, online-based performances for the long term. However, with an audience now used to digital engagement, it could be an excellent chance to streamline some aspects of operations with technology. Our digital program books are a great example of using tech to enhance the audience experience, whether you are performing in person or virtually.

At the same time, audiences returning to performing arts may have some anxiety about coming together for a performance. Your organization may still need to highlight how you are avoiding unnecessary contact. Again, technology can help with this, with digital program books giving patrons the performance-specific content they need without extraneous contact.

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