Year of Publication

2015

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chair

Dr. J. S. Butler

Executive Summary

This paper assesses the accuracy of the ticket sales and revenue forecasting model used by Lexington Children’s Theatre, a Central Kentucky Performing Arts non-profit. Research suggests that if bias is present in the models, it could be a result of the Optimism Bias, which is a tendency for humans to predict favorable outcomes. Recent data seems to suggest that humans may also act pessimistically with forecasts if the endgame would work in their favor.

"The Lexington Children’s Theatre provided data for 108 productions over a twelve-year span from 1998 – 2014. Using a series of regression models, I found that the organization’s model was highly accurate in regards to predicting overall revenues earned by specific productions, but faced some level of bias when predicting the number of seats filled. It appears that this bias comes from an overestimation on the number of seats the Summer Musical would sell. I also found that the cost of a ticket, type and placement of a production do not statistically influence the percent capacity sold of a production, suggesting that some other subjective values are present when a patron decides to purchase a ticket.

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