event pricing strategy

The Best Event Pricing Strategy To Help You Sell More Tickets

Murtuza Ali
,
May 22, 2020

When it comes to pricing your event, it can be stressful! In order to correctly price your events and tickets, keep in mind that your company needs to drive a profit. You may have guests that are all in different financial situations, and tickets should have different pricing options to accommodate everyone. With several different pricing options on how to sell tickets, your company can be sure that they will sell the most tickets possible all while still turning a profit.

Event Pricing Method: How Can I Apply Value-Based Pricing?

Value-based pricing is defined as pricing your event at a comfortable level that customers are willing to pay. By pricing your event based on this model, you are able to maximize on your revenues as well as your profits. 

Perceived Value

Perceived value is what a customer thinks they will receive from your event, either in material possessions or lessons, information and networking opportunities. The perception of what a guest will get out of your event is what drives the decision to purchase tickets. The higher a customer thinks about your event, the more likely they are going to purchase tickets to your event.

Value

The Actual Price

The actual price of your event tickets is what the customer actually pays. This price can be greater or less than the perceived price. While the perceived value of a ticket is what the customer thinks they are going to pay, the actual price should be as close to the perceived value, without going over. 

The Per Ticket Cost

The cost of tickets is what comes back to the company after they sell tickets. Your potential customers are going to decide whether or not to buy tickets, based on their perceived value. If the actual cost of those tickets is lower than the perceived value, then the company will make money. Customers want to attend your event, within the price range that they feel comfortable paying.

How To Price Tickets For An Event

How much you decide to price your tickets at can be the deciding factor for your event. There may be certain aspects within your event that might drive the price of tickets up, but clearly communicate that with your potential guests. Following these steps will help you accurately price your event that will bring in the perfect guests. 

1. Determine Your Event’s Value

When beginning the planning process for your event, you need to think of a few aspects. Event organizers need to think about what guests will want to take away from the event. These guests may include attendees, stakeholders, and sponsors. Everyone may want to take something different away from the event, so thinking about what people want can help to plan the event. Some guests may want networking opportunities, while others may want to receive information in different formats. These aspects hold value to your guests, so take that into consideration. 

2. Uncover Your Event’s Value

Your stakeholders are very important in terms of finding the value of your event, and they should be taken into consideration. Asking stakeholders their opinion on what you are planning on charging for your event is a price that they would be willing to pay. If the answer to your question is no, then you may need to reconsider your pricing model. When asking your stakeholders about the pricing model, be sure to include any tiered pricing, flash sales or package upgrades you have included. 

3. Calculate Your Price

Event organizers need to be aware of the company budget when creating ticket prices. Using a budget template can help you determine the best prices for your event. 

Determine Your Break-Even Point

By using the budget template and knowing your company budget, you can determine what your break even point is. Your projected expenses can be on the template, and you will be able to compare them to the potential ticket sales, to figure out your break-even point. 

Research Other Events

Other events similar to yours may be happening in the area, and you, as the event organizer, should research them! You should be looking for things such as ticket pricing, tiered ticket levels and size and attendance. Compare your event to the competition, and you can determine what sets your event apart from the others, and why guests will want to attend your event over the competition. 

Ticket Sales Forecast

Using data from past events, and after doing research on competitor’s events, you will be able to determine how many potential guests you may have. Based on these projected numbers, you can also decide if your venue is large enough to hold everyone. Once you arrive at this number, divide it by the break even point number, in order to come to the price you should price your tickets at to make money.

4. Ticket Sales Tactics

Tickets can be sold at various prices, allowing guests to purchase rickets in a range that is manageable for them. Using tactics such as early bird pricing, bundled pricing and discounted tickets is the best way to acquire guests to come to your event! 

5. Pricing For Virtual Events

While with virtual events you aren’t selling physical tickets, guests still need a form of entry to your event. A sliding scale gives guests an option for ticket prices, depending on their financial situation. 

Flexible Pricing Options

The sliding scale is a great option for guests who may not have many extra funds to spend on event tickets. It allows guests from all over to attend your event, without breaking the bank! Other pricing options include donation, where a company or sponsor can donate a certain number of tickets for the hosting company to give out to guests. 

Anchor Your Price On Desirable Experiences

Ticket pricing can be based on certain experiences that come with each ticket. Experiences may include networking opportunities, Q&A sessions with upper management or private meetings between attendees. These experiences may pique the interest of your guests and they will be more likely to buy tickets, even if the price tag is a bit higher.

Ticket Pricing Strategy: Common Types of Tickets

Every type of event needs tickets and there are several types of tickets you can sell. There are guests who are in all different kinds of financial situations, and they should have the opportunity to attend your event. These 16 types of tickets are the best way to acquire guests, so choose the best one(s) that work for your event. 

1. Regular Tickets

These tickets are the baseline in which every other ticket is based around. There are no extras with regular tickets, but they are affordable for everyone! If your company chooses to have extras to add on with the purchase of a regular ticket, guests can pick and choose which add on they want, along with their regular ticket!

2. Early Bird Pricing & Tiered Early Bird

Most every event offers early bird ticketing, and it can be beneficial to the guest purchasing the tickets, as there are usually discounts! By announcing an early bird ticket special, it will increase the engagement for guests! You may also create tiered levels of early bird ticketing, including specials and add ons for each ticket. Be sure to run this early bird special 2-3 months before the event, and promptly end the sale on time.

3. Timed Batch Ticket Pricing

You have probably seen event ticket marketing saying something like “Purchase your tickets by a certain date and save!” This encourages guests to purchase their tickets sooner rather than later, and they can save money by doing so. As the day of the event grows closer, the price of the tickets will increase, so express to your guests how important it is to buy their tickets early. 

4. Odd/Even Pricing

When trying to decide on ticket prices, keep in mind this trick. Prices that end with a 5 or a 9 are going to sell better than prices that end with any other number. Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid using cents. Consumers like to see whole numbers and not cents and decimal points. If you keep these tips in mind when pricing your event tickets, your guests will be more likely to purchase tickets!

5. Bundled/Group Ticket Pricing

There may be a certain group of people who wish to purchase tickets altogether. If this is the case, they can do so by purchasing group tickets, which usually come at a discounted rate! Tickets can be purchased by table, or however many your group needs! Your company will still turn a profit from group ticket prices, as there will be more guests attending your event!

6. Up-Selling Tickets

If your guests choose to purchase a regular ticket to your event, remind them that they have the option to purchase add ons, and try to upsell them! Add ons may include meals, transportation or any other accommodations you offer. This will give the guest the option to choose things that are important to them, because they are going to be spending their money on it! If you notice that your guests are choosing one certain add on over another, be sure to prioritize that.

7. Top Tier Ticket Price

There are guests who are more than willing to pay top dollar for your event! By offering a top tiered ticket, those guests can gain access to your event, as well as all of the perks that come with it! These perks may include a VIP tour, meals and one on one chat sessions with the guest speakers. While you have a top tiered ticket, this can also help with the sale of regular tickets. Some guests may not be able to purchase a top tiered ticket, therefore they will buy the regular priced tickets. 

8. Member/Affiliation

Your company may offer a reward system for loyal members, and they should be rewarded! Providing loyal members with discounted tickets is a great way to add guests to your event. When one of the guests goes to purchase a ticket, they can add their loyal member number or code to ensure that they are a loyal member. 

9. Valued Customer/VIP

VIP customers are more than willing to spend a greater amount of money on tickets, as they know those tickets come with more perks. Allow VIP guests to purchase their tickets first, before the regular tickets go on sale. Then, the VIPs can add the date of the event to their calendar and wait for the day to arrive.

10. Promo Codes

Offering promo codes for tickets to your guests is a great way to get them to attend! These promo codes can be timed, as they expire on a certain date, so guests need to use them beforehand. Another thing to keep in mind is to keep the promo codes relevant to your event. If you are selling tickets to a conference, for example, your promo code can be “CONFERENCE22” and guests can enter that code at check out to receive a discount.

11. Multiple Ticket Sales

Potential guests can purchase tickets right up until the event! By doing multiple ticket sales, guests can purchase tickets on their own time. Be sure to open the box office at certain times in the time leading up to the event, as guests may want to purchase tickets on their own accord. You may also want to use more than one ticket selling platform, and guests can choose which one they want to use.

12. Flash Sales

Flash sales are a great way to sell tickets to the most number of future guests. Take advantage of any upcoming special dates, such as Black Friday or Fourth of July to hold flash sales. Promo codes can be sent directly to guests and those promo codes can be used for a discounted ticket. 

Black Friday

13. General Admission Special Access

General admission is considered a regular ticket, but those tickets can come with special access. As discussed above, regular tickets can also be purchased with special add ons. While a regular ticket with one or two add ons isn’t the same price as a VIP ticket, it still allows guests to experience something extra, without breaking the bank. 

14. Backstage Pass Targeted Discounts

Certain groups who are loyal to your company should receive special access to your event! This can include a tour of your facility, chatting with employees or a special chat with upper management. While these seem like special events, they can come with a discount for your special guests.

15 Event Ticket Pricing Ideas & Tips

Event ticket pricing might be challenging at first, but these tips and tricks will help you find the best way to sell tickets. Every company and every event is different, so some ticketing tactics may work well for some, but not others. A successful company will sell tickets at a reasonable price, while also making a profit. 

1. Early Bird Strategy

Early bird ticket pricing will help with the attendance at your event. Event organizers can promote the early bird specials through email, to guests from past events. Early bird tickets can also come with discounts for those willing to buy tickets early!

2. Consider Psychology Based Tiered Ticket Pricing

Different experiences are going to cost different prices. By using different colors and fonts to signal different ticket packages, your guests will be able to choose which ticket package is right for them. Event organizers can highlight the package they want to sell the most tickets for, and subconsciously the guests will discover that this is the ticket package they want to purchase. 

3. Advertise Quality Over Quantity

Guests are more than willing to pay more for a ticket if it comes with unique experiences. Believe it or not, there are some guests who won’t even purchase a ticket if there is no VIP experience. If you choose to have unique experiences for your guests, make them worth your guest’s time!

4. Countdown Timer On Registration Page

Help create a sense of urgency for your guests by adding a countdown timer to buy tickets on your registration page. It helps add guests to your attendance, and guests can feel good about knowing they got tickets to a great event at a great price!

5. Send Out Referral Codes To Loud Supporters and Social Media Stars

In today’s age, influencers can be super beneficial to your event. Your company can send out referral and discount codes to influencers and supporters who align with your company values. Once guests see who is in support of your event, they will be more likely to purchase tickets!

6. Have A Flash Sale For Email Newsletter Subscribers

Email subscribers deserve to have the option to purchase their tickets first! Event organizers can send an email regarding the flash sale, along with a discount code. Holidays and special dates can be marketed for the flash sale, which will draw the attention of your guests. 

7. Offer Exclusive Package Upgrades That Only Early Registrants Will Have Access To

Upgrades to add to a ticket package may include things like meet and greets, after parties and complimentary parking! These upgrades can only be available to guests who purchase their tickets early and can either be included or guests can choose them a la carte.

8. Include Your Venue As A Main Selling Point

Your event may be held at a really cool and unique venue. If this is the case, make it one of your main selling points when marketing your event! Keep in mind, however, that because your venue is unique, it may drive up the cost of tickets. Work with local media outlets to advertise your event, which can be seen by even more potential guests. 

9. Track Ticket Pricing Performance With Event Management Software

Using an event hosting platform can help take the guesswork out of selling tickets. Event management software can help track the sale of tickets, who purchased the tickets and when they did! If you notice that one batch of tickets is selling better than others, you may want to prioritize those tickets for the following year.

10. Emphasize Attendee Experience In Your Event Design

Part of hosting an event is creating long lasting relationships with your guests. Guests want to feel like they are taking away something from their event experience, so make the event worth their while! By asking guests their feedback after the event concludes, you can then use their testimonials for any future events for marketing purposes. 

11. Use Emotional Marketing Tactics In Your Event Registration Page Copy

By telling a story, you can evoke the emotions of your future guests. You can also get your event marketed to your community, and there may be people who register and buy tickets for your event that might not have originally been registered. When you evoke the emotions of guests, they will purchase tickets based on their emotions.

12. Include Creative VIP Experiences Your Audience Will Truly Value

According to research, guests value unique experiences rather than material possessions. By knowing this information, you can market your event with experiences for your guests! VIP experiences may include dinner with the CEO, fireside chats or having a live band perform. 

13. Provide White Glove Service With Flight, Hotel, Food/Drink Included In Packages

All inclusive packages will help take the stress away from attending an event. Your event may have guests flying in from all over the world, and they are going to need accommodations. By including their flights and hotel accommodations, along with tickets in the same package, it will provide a sense of relief as they enter a new country! You may also provide them with food and beverage packages, which is another relief for your guests!

14. Research What Other Similar Events In Your Industry Use As Their Pricing Model And Act Accordingly

By researching similar events happening within your industry, you will be able to compare their events to yours. Be sure to check out their pricing model, tiered levels of tickets and any VIP experiences. If the events seem similar, you need to market your event so that guests will be drawn to your event. However, try to be in the ballpark range for ticket prices, as you don’t want to price yours too low in order to gain attendees. 

15. Use Segmented Marketing Campaigns To Promote Different Pricing Tiers

Use the demographics for your potential guests such as age, interests and spending limits to divide them into smaller groups. Once you discover what your guests like, you can market to them within the smaller groups. For example, if you have a group that uses a certain social media app, you can market your event directly to them using paid ads. 

How To Create Event Pricing Models That Maximize ROI

Planning an event isn’t just about finding a venue and securing a menu. Event organizers must research other events within the industry to compare and determine if their event is priced fairly. Researching your target audience will only help you to boost ticket sales and guest attendance. 

1. Take A Closer Look At Your Target Market

Every event has a target audience, and it can be different groups of people every time, depending on the event. In order to get the guests to attend your event, you need to research more about them! How much they feel comfortable spending on tickets, what their interests are and what they wish to learn from the event can help with the attendance at your event. 

2. Choose Which Ticket Types Make The Most Sense For Your Audience

Depending on what your audience is looking for, you can then determine what kind of tickets work best for your event. If your guests are looking for a one day event where they get to leave after it concludes, then a VIP ticket package with hotel accommodations wouldn’t work for this event. Attendee research will help event organizers in more ways than one!

3. Consider The Needs Of Your Event’s Key Stakeholders

Your stakeholders want to see your event succeed, but you should also consider their needs! Ask your stakeholders what they wish to see during the event, and try to incorporate their needs as best you can. Once you build and begin to strengthen the relationships with your stakeholders, they will be more than willing to attend your events and even sponsor your event.

4. Research Whether Or Not This Type Of Event Is In Demand

You may have a great idea for an event with the perfect guest list and are ready to host. However, there may not be enough of a demand for this event. By researching events similar to this one in your industry, you can decide if there is a demand for it- and If there is, you’re ready to market and host your event!

5. Analyze Data From Past Events

When you host an event using an event hosting platform, you will have all of the data from past events at your fingertips! You can see the demographics from the event, what worked well versus what did not. Using this information is only going to help you plan events in the future. 

6. Monitor Ticket Sales Once They Go Live

By using an event hosting platform, you are able to sell tickets right on the platform! You can also track the ticket sales data to see where people are buying tickets, the age and other demographics of the ticket buyers. The types of tickets sold will help you better understand what tickets are going to sell well for any future events. 

Where And How To Sell Tickets To Your Events

Selling tickets to your event seems like a relatively easy task, but it can be challenging at times! There are several avenues you can sell your tickets through, and guests can choose which one they want to purchase from. 

1. Selling Tickets Online

This is the most popular way to sell tickets nowadays! Guests can sign onto an app or website, enter all of their information and purchase tickets. From there, guests will be given a QR code or a barcode which, when scanned, gains them access to your event. No need to print out a physical ticket- everything is accessible right on your smartphone! The use of an event hosting platform can help with the sales of tickets sold online.

2. Selling Tickets At The Door

Sometimes, guests may decide at the last minute to attend your event. If this is the case, be sure to be selling tickets at the door for these guests! Guests should be aware, however, that tickets sold at the door may be pricier than tickets bought in advance. Another thing to keep in mind is that there should be plenty of tickets to sell at the door, as you may not know how many guests will decide to attend at the last minute. 

3. Selling Tickets Through Marketing Channels

After researching demographics for potential guests, you can then narrow down what social media platforms they like to use. To gain more attendees, event organizers can market the event on these social media platforms. Potential guests will see these ads and become intrigued about the event. From there, you can provide more information regarding the event. 

Conclusion

Event organizers work so hard to provide the best and most relevant event for their guests. Selling tickets to these events will not only make money for the company, but it will ensure that you are getting the right people to the right events. There are hundreds of events your company can host, and they all need tickets for guests to gain access. VIP ticket packages can be sold so guests can have the best event experience, or guests can even purchase regular tickets and purchase add ons. Whatever way your guests choose what tickets to buy, you can be sure they will have the best experience at your event.

Author
Murtuza Ali

Ali brings 12 years of rich experience in sales and marketing domain. He is passionate about following and writing new trends in consultative sales, event & digital marketing. He is an avid follower of cricket and loves following IPL matched while he’s away from work. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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