Setting a price for your event is one of the most important aspects of the event planning process. Yet for many event organizers and marketers, it is also one of the least understood.
A few questions that might enter your mind include:
• Is there a sweet spot for ticket prices?
• How do I know my audience won’t balk at the prices I’m demanding?
• More importantly, is your event even worthy of paid tickets?
These issues highlight the importance of setting the right ticket prices to increase sales and ensure your event turns a profit. Naturally, the wrong pricing strategy can hurt profits and reduce your audience size dramatically.
These problems can be avoided by employing the following event pricing strategies.
1. Understand Your Event and Brand as an Organizer
Your event pricing strategy should be the product of reflection on the value of your event. Simply put, you need to understand your event’s goals, as well as the mindset of your audience in order to create a successful event pricing strategy.
To do that, you need to think of qualifying questions concerning your event and your brand as an organizer.
• What’s unique about your event?
• Why is it in demand, if at all?
Figuring out these questions will help you zero in on how much your market is willing to spend on tickets. If demand is high, for example, then you can also demand high prices, but not to the point that exceeds the spending ability of your audience.
Ticket pricing also has a noticeable effect on the image you want to cultivate for your event. So setting your tickets at very low prices can backfire and cause people to not take you seriously. In other words, ticket pricing doesn’t just involve the number of heads at your event, it can also strengthen or weaken your brand as an event organizer.
2. Create Revenue Goals
Does your event have revenue targets? For many planners, this question is usually left up in the air because there are simply too many unknowns leading to the event. Revenue goals give you a base line to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
If you already have a target number of event participants, setting your revenue goals should be easy. Simply divide the total cost of your event by the number of attendees. This basic formula should give you a better idea of whether you are pricing your tickets too high or too low.
Your type of event also affects your target goals. Event participants made up of corporate or B2B attendees will often have more purchasing power and can allow you to turn a profit even with high ticket prices—the target market can afford it, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
You should also take note of how competitors in your industry price their events. Your potential attendees are likely to make comparisons between events and organizers, so be sure to stay one step ahead of them by pricing your tickets competitively.
Moreover, event ticketing doesn’t have to be your only source of revenue. Sponsors and exhibitors are viable revenue sources that allow you to cut ticket prices, making your event more attractive to ordinary participants.
3. Offer Tiered Pricing
Many event planners will agree that their primary concern when choosing a pricing strategy is not selling enough tickets. One workaround to this problem is to diversify your ticket options by offering tiered pricing. Not only will this strategy give you peace of mind, it should also provide buyers with more leeway to buy tickets that match their purchasing ability.
Having just one ticket option not only has the potential effect of marginalizing potential participants, it also rules out any possibility of audience members willing to pay more. Having several pricing options allows you to avoid these disadvantages and maximize attendance and profit.
Of course, each price tier should have a corresponding value—paying more should come with clear benefits, giving participants good reason to spend more.
4. Evaluate the Success of Your Past Events
If you’ve organized several events in the past, evaluate how well each event performed from a financial standpoint. Having several attendees is great and all, but if you’re not turning a profit, what’s the point?
Looking at your past events, compare each one’s rate of return and ticket sales. What strategies and factors resulted in more sold tickets and revenue?
Making data comparisons highlights the usefulness of event management software, which gathers and analyzes data for you to create an accurate pricing plan. You can even use it to ask your potential attendees on their ideal price range for tickets, allowing you to customize your next event according to their specific needs.
5. Track Your Event
Once you’ve created a complete pricing strategy, it’s time to put it into play and see what happens. Be sure to track important metrics on the days leading to the event and on the day of, such as ticket sales, social media activity, and mentions by the press.
You’ll want to keep an eye on whether your ticket pricing strategy is generating the desired results, and whether you’re surpassing previous ticket sales records. Listen to what people are saying.
Tracking your ticket sales will be key to identifying problems early on. For example, if ticket sales are lagging on the first week of availability, you can consider offering discounts or adding freebies to sweeten the pot and stimulate purchases.
The pointers in this guide should help you narrow down your techniques for finding the right event prices. Always remember that ticket prices have a direct effect on how well your events perform, and more importantly, what kind of relationships you build with your attendees.
The key is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. As important as it is for your events to turn a profit, you don’t want to lose touch of what your potential attendees want and what they’re capable of spending. If you make sure that you’re realistic with your goals, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing the right price for your event.
Written by Tabitha Naylor
We've recently expanded our solutions to include next-gen RFID ticketing, it has been shown to drastically reduce ticket fraud and help make events around the world more profitable. Once you've decided on how to price your event check out our RFID solutions to keep your event more engaged, secure and profitable.