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Get Creative with Your Event Pricing.

Andy Robertson

An often-overlooked aspect of any event is the pricing for both your ticket paying audience and your vendors and sponsors. The prices you charge should be a combination of financial analysis, marketing, research and economics. Get the balance right and you can maximise profit whilst giving perceived value too.

There is almost a science in establishing your pricing and most tickets prices for example are probably set on a ‘me too’ principle, charging the same as a similar event. With so many events taking place (in normal circumstances) it is more important to stand out from the competition.

Have look at most events and you will see a multitude of ticket prices and promotions. Your marketing team should be working closely with the finance team to plan your ticket pricing and promotions. Using experience gained form previous events can help in understanding what ticket pricing strategies work best but also consider new innovative approaches too. Understand supply and demand principles and price at what the market will bear. Come up with a menu of prices and mix and match them to close the sale.  Consider some of these in your pricing plans:

  • Buy one get one free.
  • Early bird discounts driven by date purchased.
  • Recommend a friend (or more) and get rewarded (with extras and merch) if the friend buys.
  • VIP packages and upgrade options.
  • Payment plans to spread the cost over x number of months.
  • Give Aways and incentives (linked to your merch products).
  • Added value form sponsor freebies (win win) rewarded to specific ticket sales.
  • Single day sales reduced price (one day only).
  • Competitions to win tickets and upgrades connected to your sponsor branding, promotions and media coverage. 

To attract vendors make sure you are firstly targeting the right companies that are a good fit for the audience. Establish a high starting price that will become your rate card, at a price that almost nobody will pay and you can immediately start discounting the rate card price to potential vendors so already they believe they are getting a bargain. Also consider the pricing of the extras, power supplies and internet connection for example that can be priced high and discounted or added free as a tool to make the sale. 

Consider building tiered packages for sponsors as they have an events budget so will be well versed in what they want for a given sum. Offer premium packages that include branding in the best locations along with prime located pitches. Throw in extras like ticket and online branding and sponsor's VIP areas. Be prepared to offer more extras to close the sale and offer a pick and mix menu for sponsor branding that can be tweaked to fit their budget. 

Systems and Processes. 
Ensure that your systems and processes are geared up to accept tiered ticket pricing and promotional marketing offers. This should be dynamic so that changes can be made quickly and have your communication channels set up to push ticket sales to specific targeted audiences. Overall, don’t forget to have a pricing strategy including what you will offer and the timing along with a contingency plan.

If you are using an event management software solution like FestivalPro you get great functionality built in for managing your ticketing for tired pricing and payment plans for example. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience. The easy to use FestivalPro platform will guide you through every aspect that you are likely to encounter in managing your ticketing requirements. 

Andy Robertson
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