There's a feeling many event planners and promoters know all too well. Panic. That blind panic when your event is only a couple of weeks away and you haven't sold as many tickets as you thought you would. With every day that passes the fear increases that your event is going to flop harder than Robin Thicke's Paula album. Then one of two things happens.
Either there's a flurry of activity in the week leading up to the event and you breathe a sigh of relief (and secretly curse last-minute-decision-making ticket buyers). OR your event does, in fact, end up only being half full and you drown your sorrows in some cocktails and try to Photoshop more people into the crowd photos.
So what can you do to avoid binge eating tums for the months leading up to your event? One way is getting creative with your ticket prices. Below are several pricing tactics you can execute that should result in more ticket purchases earlier on.
We've all seen them. Ticket pre-sales come in many forms that buyers are familiar with. Presales for an artist's fan club, credit card XYZ's holders, radio station listeners etc. Ever thought about doing one of your own? Do you have a mailing list or a strong social media following? What about rewarding last year's attendees with early access? Offer those users a presale code or a private link to the event before it goes live to the general public. Not only does this get your ticket sales off to a good start but you're giving your audience a reason to join your mailing list or engage with your social networks.
One word of caution. Make sure you're not selling off a lot of inventory or all of your best seats during a private presale. This is a really good way to ensure you have an angry mob of disappointed patrons on your hands come public on-sale day.
Freshtix offers a couple of different ways to do this:
Early bird pricing is a great way to create a sense of urgency and drive earlier purchases. You may not have even announced your festival lineup or your conference schedule yet but if your discount is compelling enough it won't matter. This is also a great way to get those much-needed funds rolling in. Just because you don't have all the details ironed out doesn't mean you can't go ahead and start selling tickets. To make this strategy more effective display the regular price so the buyer knows how good of a deal they're getting by committing sooner. Learn how to do this with Freshtix.
So maybe you're one of those people that doesn't like giving discounts. I get it. Early bird pricing isn't your thing. Another option is to make it known that the ticket prices will increase the day of the show or at the door. If you're going to increase the ticket prices at the door make sure you take your ticket fee into consideration. Typically a venue will not charge a ticket fee when tickets are purchased on site. Why does this matter? Well, let's say your tickets are $18 in advance and $21 at the door. Your ticket fee on the $18 advanced ticket is $1.89 so the ticket purchaser is really only saving $1.11. That's not much of an incentive. If you're not using Freshtix, ticket fees can run so high that your advance ticket price can even end up being higher than your door price!
$18.00 ticket + $1.89 fee = $19.89
$21.00 at the door, a savings of $1.11
Where's the incentive?
The point here is this: If you want to encourage early purchases by raising the price the day of the show or at the door you still want to offer compelling cost savings.
Combine your tickets with something of added value. Are you hosting a wine tasting? Include a pair of commemorative tasting glasses with the first 100 ticket purchases. Concerts can include a signed poster, festivals can include a free t-shirt, schools can include extra raffle tickets, really the options are endless. You see where I'm going with this right? Offer something exclusive and fun just for simply committing early. People love free stuff. Let me say that again in case you didn't believe me the first time. PEOPLE LOVE FREE STUFF.