Earlier in the year, we published an article outlining how you can create an effective pricing strategy for your ticketed event. As we mentioned in that post, the right pricing strategy will not only help you sell more tickets, but can also help increase your event’s profitability, one of the best measures of success.
While a strong initial pricing strategy is crucial, you should not stop there! Instead, we encourage you to optimize your pricing as your event approaches.
In this post, we are going to outline exactly how you can optimize your event ticket pricing in order to create value, drive urgency, and ultimately sell more tickets at a higher profit!
In our post on effective pricing strategy, we provided a basic rule to follow to create a profitable event. This rule ensures that the perceived value of your event is above your ticketing prices, which in turn should be higher than your event costs.
When considering this rule, you may observe that one way to increase your profitability will be to increase your event’s perceived value – the value that your guests receive by attending your event.
This brings us to our first tip to optimize ticket pricing…
1. Create Perceived Value
When it comes to your event tickets, there a few tried-and-true strategies that are proven to create perceived value and generate a sense of urgency in your guests. The result? Higher-margin ticket sales that occur at a higher volume!
- Offer VIP Tickets – VIP tickets are a perfect method for creating perceived value. These tickets will typically include benefits that standard ticket holders do not have, such as:
- Special seating at the event
- Access to different sections of the venue
- Invitations to special cocktail hours or speaker sessions
These benefits typically do not require many additional resources or incur additional costs, but they will allow you to significantly increase your ticket prices and your profitability. Furthermore, you are creating better value and a more engaging experience for your guests.
- Early Access – Similar to VIP tickets, Early Access tickets or passes are another great way to increase perceived value. Simply by allowing certain guests to arrive “pre-event,” you will be able to charge increased prices. Again, your profit margin will skyrocket!
- Ticket Transparency – Another easy way to create perceived value and drive your guests’ urgency to purchase is by focusing on ticket transparency, which happens when you clearly display either or both of the following to your guests:
- Quantity of tickets remaining
- Prices of different ticket levels to be released closer to the event
By showing guests the quantity of tickets sold or tickets remaining, you will be giving your audience a constant reminder that they need to purchase their tickets before it’s too late. The “fear of missing out” is an extremely strong force in driving sales.
Another method to drive urgency is by displaying the prices of each ticket tier that you are offering, along with the timing for their availability. When people see that ticket prices will be increasing as the event approaches, they will be compelled to purchase their tickets as soon as possible!
2. Increase Your Prices Over Time
While fairly obvious, our next method for optimizing ticket prices is often overlooked. This method involves selling your tickets for a higher price as your event approaches. As mentioned earlier, this will increase perceived value and urgency, and it will also help you sell more profitable tickets. Increasing prices will clearly display to your guests the difference in price that will be paid now versus closer to the event, showing them the benefit of buying sooner.
When increasing ticket prices, we like to use a few common labels (in ascending price order):
- Early Bird
- General Admission
- Last Minute
- At the Door
3. Constantly Monitor and Observe
Our final tip is to constantly monitor your ticket sales, making note of any significant changes or patterns. Are certain ticket tiers selling faster than others? Do tickets seem to sell at a much quicker rate at a certain time relative to your event? Which promotion channels have the best conversion effect?
Any details like this will help you optimize ticketing in real time leading up to your event. More importantly, these details will be very effective if you run an annual event, as you can capitalize on your observations and optimize your ticketing strategy, year over year.
Now that you’ve read both our posts on ticketing pricing strategy and ticket price optimization, we hope that you feel confident and ready to execute your most profitable event yet – Good luck!