May 24, 2023
If you’re an event planner organising a ticketed occasion, then getting your name out there and converting interest into sales is one of your most important pre-event tasks. Of course, convincing people to part with their hard-earned cash ahead of time can be tricky – but it’s also important to remember that people generally love a bargain or a special deal.
That’s why it’s so important to diversify the way you sell tickets to an event so that you can appeal to different customers with a range of offers that are more likely to pique their interest. In this guide, we’ll explore eight tried-and-tested pricing strategies for event planners, giving you a full variety of options to apply to your future event projects.
Protectivity provides event insurance for events big and small, indoor and outdoor. Our policies offer public liability, employers’ liability, Event cancellation cover and equipment protection. That way, you can rest assured that you won’t be out of pocket in a worst-case scenario, and can devote your efforts to maximising your ticket sales.
If you want to build up some initial momentum to your event, or you need to get some cashflow coming in to cover the first bills, then some early-bird offers are the way to go. Giving customers the opportunity to get a ticket at a lower rate, if they buy weeks or months in advance, gives you a solid base from which to work from.
If it’s especially successful, then you can adjust your future strategy to take into account however many tickets you have left. However, you should resist the urge to extend an early-bird offer, as it can come across as desperation or a sign of poor sales thus far.
In many circles, these are known as ‘flash sales’, and they can be incredibly effective if planned and executed right. Ideally, you want to post on relevant social channels that you’re offering a substantial discount on tickets for a very short period of time (that particular day is normally about right).
If restaurants and entertainment venues can offer discount codes through websites such as Groupon, then why can’t you follow the same principle? Using voucher codes gives you complete freedom in the level and duration of discount you want to provide, as well as how they’re distributed, making them ideal for targeted or personalised marketing campaigns. And if you’re running a conference or exhibition where some businesses will want to run stands, the same approach can be applied to help generate sales in this area.
If you’re running regular events, then selling tickets for a series of them at a more affordable rate is a good way to keep ongoing sales coming through (hence why football teams sell season tickets). But you can also look at the concept of membership in a different way: if organising a trade event, for example, you could put special ticket packages in place for members of affiliated trade bodies or companies. You can enable this by putting different registration options in place for members and non-members, incorporating the different price points.
Encouraging people to buy tickets for larger groups and get discounts as a result can generate large sales volumes ahead of time. Think of a black-tie awards dinner, for example: a full table of ten people might be priced at the same level of six or seven individual tickets, making them more receptive to bringing more people along. Alternatively, framing the offer messaging in such a way that the ‘buyer gets in free’ can help the person making the purchasing decision feel like they’re getting personally rewarded.
If an event is likely to involve multiple purchases by a ticket-buyer, then bundling things together can help them save money, take the stress out of buying things on the day, and improve your advance cashflow. This could include food, drink or merchandise being included with ticket sales; access to car parking, transport or accommodation; or the ability to access the event early or through a priority entrance lane.
If you have particularly loyal and long-standing customers, or some who have invested heavily into your business or event in previous years, then packages that recognise their efforts can encourage them to maintain their commitment in the long-term. The offers in this area don’t necessarily need to be discounts: instead, you can give them levels of exclusivity above and beyond those provided to other ticket-buyers. These can include premium seating, better food and drink packages, the chance to network with other people involved, and more.
Inspiring action from a participant, in exchange for cheaper tickets, is a great way to get your customers engaged with your event. For example, if you’re running a festival-type event, you might want to offer discounted entry for anyone who comes in fancy dress. It’s the same principle as women being able to get into a nightclub free of charge on a ‘Ladies’ Night’ in years gone by. However, you should be careful to make sure that whatever you offer doesn’t discriminate in favour of, or against, a particular group of people (i.e. by race, gender, disability and so on).
However many tickets you’re able to sell for your event, the unforeseen can still happen. This is especially the case with outdoor events, which are often at the mercy of the Great British weather. Of course, if your event is disrupted, you’ll still have expenses to cover, which can become extremely costly if you have to refund ticket-holders. And that’s why event insurance is so vitally important.