How to Use Pricing Tiers to Increase Ticket Sales
When you’re an event organizer, mastering ticket sales is always a priority. That’s why there is a good chance you’ll do anything to not only sell as many as you can, but do so at the perfect price. Because when it comes to selling tickets, selling more of them at a low price point can mean working a lot harder, and setting the price too high can mean an empty event.
The science behind pricing is never an easy balance, but there are relatively simple solutions you can begin to make — like incorporating pricing tiers. Pricing tiers, (or giving people different price points, offers, and bonuses for buying) can easily alleviate a lot of the problems with traditional ticket sales, and work with your existing marketing efforts to boost your overall sales.
This week, we’re going to be breaking down pricing tiers to explore how you can begin using them to easily increase your ticket sales and bolster your revenue.
Let’s dive in!
STEP 1 — Find your price sweet spot, and set your core price
Any time you begin looking at ticket sale strategies for your event, you need to start by evaluating the ideal price point for your event. Ideally this should be a nice middle number that allows your attendees to feel like they’re getting a good deal, but can be discounted for any early promotional offers without compromising on your bottom line. You want your event to be affordable so people go, but you also need to make money during your event. Click To Tweet
If this is your first time running your event, finding your core price will come down to research.
- Check out what other events at your venue or within your industry are charging. Make sure that what they’re offering is similar, and adjust for any differences that arise.
- Talk to other people in your industry, ask around to see what they’ve paid to attend a similar event, or even how their own events were priced.
- Determine what your fixed and variable costs are, and how much money you want to make when all’s said and done.
If this is a multi-year event, look back and see how much you sold your tickets for in the past. If you’ve made any substantial changes, (upgrades to the venue, higher profile speakers, etc.) or if you’re in a position to do a price increase, do so! Don’t just stay the same price year after year — especially if you’re making substantial improvements!
STEP 2 — Introduce a pricing tier
Once you set your core price, you can begin to work from that to figure out what more, or less you can offer to incentivize attendees to come. Half-day tickets, Early Bird promotions, and VIP tickets are all great examples of pricing tiers that can work well to get individuals buying tickets quickly.
If this is your first time running your event, these strategies, especially the discounted tiers, can be particularly important to get your initial attendees through the door when they don’t know what to expect.
If you’ve run your event for multiple years, building a pricing tier into your existing sales strategy is as simple as asking yourself, at which juncture did past attendees buy their tickets in previous years?
By looking at any previous patterns, you can see if there was a lull right in the middle of your ticket sale promotions and/or if you have a week that does especially well every year. It could be a good idea to introduce a promotion to increase sales during those times.
STEP 3 — Offer a lower pricing tier
As we discussed above, especially if you’re a new event, but even when you’ve hosted an event multiple years in a row, a low-priced ticket tier can be really advantageous for getting people in the door. Ultimately, these lower priced offers add a level of scarcity and helps encourage people to buy early and quickly.
As a first-time event, a low pricing tier could include offers like a half-day ticket rather than a full day, a digital stream of the event, restricted access, a discounted rate (through an early bird special) etc. Since the lower price point makes buying a ticket less of a commitment, you can also use a lower pricing tier alongside any existing marketing strategies you have in place to promote your event to audiences that are new or on the fence about joining.
Therefore, if you are a first time event, you’ll want to look at your calendar along with your marketing plan and begin planning key weeks early on in your sales schedule that could work well for selling your lower-tier tickets.
If you’re running your event for another year and are just adding in a low priced tier, you can use the same strategies outlined above, but can also begin to capitalize on leveraging your existing audience to reach new customers. For example, you can offer buy-one-get-one or referral deals that discount tickets for repeat attendees and helps encourage them to invite new people.
Whether this is your first or next time running an event, a discounted rate or low tier offer is pretty standard and often expected by attendees.
Even though having one can mean losing out on some higher priced sales — it can also mean getting attendees through your doors the first time, which is well worth the trade-off.
STEP 4 — Offer a high priced tier
Once you have your low priced tier in place, the next choice is whether or not to add a high priced offer, like a VIP ticket.
VIP tickets allow you to promote high-end services to your attendees that are willing to pay more for a premium experience. Click To Tweet This can include a lunch with speakers, a special lounge, unique accommodations, gifts, etc. Any time you’re adding value to your experience you can begin to get compensation for it.
However, first-time events need to be careful when choosing to incorporate a VIP experience. Often times, running an event for the first time can be stressful enough without having to find extra accommodations for your VIP customers.
However, while the higher priced tickets aren’t for everyone, they can do a lot to help increase your overall event revenue. In fact, VIP experiences can account for as much as 10% of ticket sales — and generate approximately 25% of revenue. So take a look at what you can offer, and create a unique experience for your high priced tickets so that you don’t miss out on those sales.
There is no wrong way to incorporate a pricing tier into your sales strategy, the possibilities are endless. So choose any strategy that sounds right for you and your event and watch the ticket sales start streaming in.