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Event Planners’ Guide to Advanced Pricing Strategies

March 6, 2019

Where is the revenue of your event coming from? Majorly from ticket sales, isn’t it? Well, out with the questions and in with the answers. Yes, for 70% of event professionals ticket sales are the biggest source of revenue. But, pricing those tickets right is extremely crucial for an event’s success. It is sort of a catch-22 situation – price your tickets too high and you won’t have enough people buying them, while pricing them too low will give an impression that it is a low-quality affair, making people averse to shelling out their dough.

Here’s some good news; getting creative with ticket pricing is now possible. Try experimenting with these pricing strategies to help you drive ticket sales and enhance your return on investment (ROI).

The first strategy: Discount pricing
As the event date approaches, offer discounts to get a jumpstart on your ticket sales. Discounts help build buzz, create a sense of urgency and reward attendee loyalty. Price informs perceived value; when people see a discounted price and compare it to the original price, they will perceive it as cracking a deal, possibly increasing the chances of a ticket sale. Three ways to capitalize on this strategy are early-bird discounts, offering discounts to various groups and exclusive discounts to top customers. With early-bird discounts, start with a lower price and gradually increase the price as the event day approaches. When it comes to discounts for various groups, depending on the type of event, offer price benefits to specific groups. For example, for a jazz show, offer discounts to the 50+-year-olds; for a food festival, offer discounted rates to millennials and students. And last but not the least, loyalty counts and has to be given its due credit. Be it someone who’s been to the last 5 editions of your event or a social media influencer who has covered your event, reach out with a discount as a way to thank them for the business.

The second strategy: Bundle pricing
We have all heard of the adage Content is King, but very few of us know that Complementarity is the Emperor, and that is what the second strategy is about. You can earn some additional revenue by offering some extra perks with your main ticket, perks that don’t really cost you much. For example, at a food & beverage festival, you can offer an “unlimited” tasting pass. Or, if your event is about entertainment and performances, plugin in a photo op or a “backstage pass.” Play smartly and make sure to offer an additional experience that is not a part of the main show flow. There are 3 ways to get this right as well: enlisting partners, finalise on 2-3 package options, make them value the ticket value.

Starting with the first one; make sure to enlist your partners – brands, performers, sponsors – to contribute to added experiences. Simplicity is the key; try to keep the offerings, singular or in combinations, simple and straightforward. And last but not the least, in the ticket description, break down the value of each ticket type to illustrate that higher the tier, better the deal.

So, with these pricing strategies, get ready to set the right ticket price for your next event, and make sure your attendees feel that they experienced much more than what they and you meet your bottom line too; this way, you turn a catch-22 into a win-win.