Ticket Pricing - How Low Can You Go?
It’s tempting to think that we’ll all make our tickets as cheap as possible and everyone will have a wonderful time. The decision around ticket pricing is more complicated than that, as the price says so much more about your event than most people realise.
Of course it is important that you cover the fixed costs (room hire, AV, entertainment) and have an estimate of the variable costs (marketing, food per head) as well as making a margin on the event – whether it be for your profit or charity, the event still needs to make money.
You should also consider other revenue sources at the event, will you be making a cut of the drinks on the bar? Are there chances to upsell once guests have arrived? These prices need to not only be added into your margin calculations but the prices for your guests need to sit well with the ticket prices – guests won’t be happy with cheap tickets and overpriced drinks for example.
After all this is considered, it’s a good idea to look at what you want ticket prices to say about your event. There’s a wide gap between cheap and overpriced, and you want to fit comfortably in the middle so that your guests after the event feel like they invested in a worthwhile experience.
Do your research
Research by Eventbrite shows that the most successful strategy is to have a variety of ticket types and price points. First, you have to tie down a headline price, go too high and your audience will wait for a similar event with a cheaper ticket price, go too low and your audience will have a perception of a low-value event.
Look at other similar events in your local area, if you’re holding your event at the RICC we can advise you how similar, successful events priced their tickets. There’s no point in basing your pricing on an event which struggled to sell itself, as you’ll find yourself in the same boat a month before your event with no way to change your pricing.
The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. Although Groupon and Wowcher will help you with your marketing by reaching audiences you might otherwise not be able to access, they will also require a discount and then take their cut, leaving you with very little margin if you haven’t already built this into your pricing structure.
Some events use daily deal sites as a springboard to get their event ticket sales going, and then remove them and sell tickets themselves as the event approaches. The other option is to use it as a backup if your own ticket sales aren’t getting the traction that you had hoped for – this can leave those who bought tickets at full price with a bitter taste in their mouth, however, so needs to be carefully managed.
Another way to use offers at your event is to give a discounted rate to more discreet audiences. Is your event sports based? You could offer discounted tickets to local sports clubs and gym members, this has the added benefit that people are likely to come in large groups and bulk up your numbers. At our Lifestyle gym, we’re always pleased to be able to offer added benefits to our members, as are most organisations.
Is there an opportunity at your event to offer an enhanced experience? A premium priced ticket could be anything from free reserved parking and priority seating to backstage access and gifts. These tickets can add a perceived value to the whole event, not just the experience gained with the VIP tickets.
Alternatively you can bundle tickets with other facilities to offer added value, for example, our Halloween party tickets can include meals, and we have had events which sell a table at a gala dinner plus a bottle of red and white wine for the table.
Depending on your type of event, you may have external companies (e.g. AV technicians) or individuals (e.g. speakers at a conference) representing your event to the guests. In this case, it is very important that these external vendors present themselves in a way that fits with your ticket pricing.
A man attending to an issue with the sounds equipment in unbranded t-shirt and jeans is fine for less formal occasions but would stand out at a conference where delegates are suited and booted. Your whole event experience needs to reflect the investment that guests have made into their tickets.
It is a complicated task for you to decide your pricing and how you intend to roll it out, but selecting a ticket and purchasing it should not be complicated for your guests. The pricing should be clearly communicated, we recommend you avoid separate booking fees and hidden costs where possible.
Not sure if you’re cut out for all of this? Not to worry, host your event at the RICC and our dedicated event coordinators are here to help www.rivieracentre.co.uk/meetings-events.