No matter what price you put on a seat, it’s a diminishing asset that will be worth nothing the day after the event. If a show hasn’t sold as well as you hoped and you’ve got too many seats left, you need to shift them.
Emails, texts, Facebook posts and Tweets are the media to use for getting instant last minute responses- so put maximum effort into collecting email addresses and mobile numbers (with permissions and preferably interests) and social network followers. Start with your ticket buyers but also use competitions and cheap offers to get audiences to fill in forms with their email address or mobile number. To build your followers on Facebook and Twitter, include lots of interesting stuff about your local community and the arts scene in general (i.e. not just your own organisation) as well as offers (which are a major reason for joining).
Use ‘whats on’ websites (e.g. local newspaper) and other media like BBC local radio that might carry news of last minute offers. Create a story for a last minute press release- last minute hitch, charity event link up, appeal for prop, audience member’s special anniversary- there’s always something.