While it may be difficult to price your event in way that works for everyone and will channel a river of gold into your pocket, there are several commonly held beliefs regarding ticket pricing that simply aren't true, and finding a price that's at least close to ideal is well within your reach.
Guest post by Katie Sawyer of Eventbrite
Bad news: there’s no one-size-fits-all way to price your event, and no secret formula for netting endless profits.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to find the right price. The first of which is to question the assumptions that may be standing in your way of creating smart ticket pricing strategy that will help you drive a profit.
Here are three myths about setting the perfect price that might be holding you back.
Myth #1: You can’t find out your attendees’ perceived value
The best strategy to price an event is to determine how valuable your attendees think your event is — and deliver at that price. Luckily, there are ways you can learn if you’re providing enough value for your attendees to justify your price.
- Research your competition. A Google search is a great place to start your research. Use relevant search terms like “beer festival,” “craft brewery event” or “beer tasting” — or whatever equivalent is applicable to your event. Check those event’s ticket prices and see if yours are in the same range.
- Survey your audience. With feedback surveys, you can ask attendees what they want from a VIP experience or why they would attend a beer festival. When you know what your attendees value, the more you’ll be able to show why your ticket price is worth it.
- Experiment with your ticket types. If you’re using a ticketing technology partner with full reporting capabilities, you’ll be able to see how different ticket types perform — so you can quickly assess what offerings attendees find the most valuable. Low VIP sales may indicate your price is too high, while outsized early bird sales may actually indicate you need to reduce your discount.
Myth #2: Attendees won’t pay for higher-priced tickets
Ticket price tops the list of millennials’ considerations when choosing to attend festivals, but that doesn’t mean they’re not willing to pay for a memorable experience. In a recent study, half of millennials reported that they were willing to spend $36-50 per ticket to a food and beverage festival.
When deciding whether to invest in an expensive ticket, your customer assesses how much value they’ll get from the VIP experience. Use these checkpoints as a gut check to see if your price is too high.
- If your event’s value is higher than your competitors and priced higher, you have a leg up on the competition. Check your ticket sales — if you’re selling out your event, you know you are delivering value at a price attendees are willing to pay.
- If your event’s value is higher than your competitors, but priced lower, you’d be wise to raise your price. You’re leaving potential money on the table!
- If your event’s value is equal to your competitors and priced lower, you could benefit from raising your prices. It’s nice to have competitive prices, but if attendees are willing to pay a higher price, don’t be shy about charging more.
Myth #3: You can’t increase the value your attendees perceive
If you want to charge more than attendees are currently willing to pay, you have to increase the value attendees perceive from your event. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your ticket value — and increase your profit:
- Offer early entry. Let’s say 100 of your attendees are willing to pay an additional $10 for early entry to your event. With minimal effort on your part, you enhance the experience for 100 of your attendees — and add extra profit to your bottom line.
- Experiment with price. According to Nels Gilbreth, VP of Pricing & Monetization at Eventbrite, most organizers increase ticket prices three times throughout their onsale. Once one price point sells out, the perceived value of tickets rises because potential attendees understand the scarcity. For example, if you know that your target market values your event at $60, use early-bird pricing to sell slightly cheaper tickets at $55, then increase the price to $60, and finally raise the price one more time.
- Advertise discounts. Limited-time flash sales give prospective event goers a reason to buy right away when they’d otherwise be more likely to bookmark your event for later. Creating urgency around your event is a great way to boost perceived value and excite potential attendees. And ultimately, you’ll sell more tickets and increase your profit
- Work with your ticketing partner. Your ticketing platform works with event organizers day in and day out. They can help you identify opportunities or challenges in your current pricing strategy.
Setting your price
Pricing, when it comes down to it, is all about getting into the head of your customers. To find out more tips for crafting a pricing strategy that keeps attendees happy and grows your business, check out Executive Strategy: How to Price Your Event.
Katie Sawyer is a writer at Eventbrite, where she helps event organizers throw awesome festivals, food and drink bonanzas, and cultural events. You can find her sampling beer, stuffing her face with cookies, and checking out local comedy shows.