Settling on the right ticket pricing strategy can make all the difference between success and failure. Do it right and you’ll be able to sell out your event. But with the wrong strategy you could end up losing money.
While there may be event organizers out there that exclusively only use promotional codes to sell event tickets, it’s not always the best approach to event ticketing.
Considering the benefits that other pricing strategies – such as ticket bundles and graduated pricing – bring to the table, you’ll likely never want to rely solely on promo codes again. By using alternate ticket pricing models, you’ll be able to offer targeted discounts, sell more tickets, and improve attendee satisfaction.
In this post, we’ll start by explaining why your event ticket pricing strategy matters and then look at three different types of pricing and packaging strategies to help you decide when to use each option.
Why Your Event Ticket Pricing Strategy Matters
Your ticket pricing strategy plays an integral role in the overall success of your event. You’re able to leverage pricing and packaging to maximize ticket sales, make the offer more appealing to prospective attendees, and improve your bottom line.
However, it’s important that your ticket pricing strategy is aligned with your event marketing objectives. In other words, you need to understand your specific needs and requirements (and those of your target attendees) and choose a pricing model that meets those objectives best.
This means that you shouldn’t always resort to creating promo codes and offering discounts simply because it’s easy. Instead, you should also consider creating ticket bundles or offer graduated pricing to maximize profits.
Let’s take a quick look at the main pricing options available to event organizers:
- Offer promotions and discount codes. This typically involves sharing promo codes with past attendees or on social media and letting them enter a code at the checkout page to receive a discount. It can be a flat discount or a percentage based one.
- Create ticket bundles. This is best for when it makes sense to offer multiple tickets in a single package. For instance, a bundle of four concert tickets for $75.
- Offer graduated pricing. Also known as volume pricing, this is when you reward registrants with discounts on buying a large number of tickets. For example, 1-5 tickets will cost $20 per ticket whereas 5-10 tickets will cost $15 per ticket.
Although determining when to use each pricing strategy may seem tricky, we’ll share some actionable tips in the next section to make it a little easier.
Different Types of Pricing and Packaging Strategies (And When to Use Each One)
Here are some of the most common ticket pricing strategies used by event organizers and when you should use each one to maximize profits.
Promotions and Discount Codes
Promotional codes (promo codes) are usually alphanumeric phrases used by businesses to promote products or services. Attendees can enter the code into a promo code box at the registration or checkout page to receive a discount on their purchase.
- Discounts can be offered as specific dollar amounts or a percentage of the total shopping cart value.
- Promo code discounts are typically available for a limited amount of time and to certain attendees. For example, event organizers might consider offering past attendees a special promo code to encourage them to attend their upcoming event.
The main problem with using promo codes exclusively is that giving discounts on tickets to a large number of prospective attendees will take a toll on your profit margins. For example, if you offer discounts to all past attendees or all email subscribers.
When Should You Use Promo Codes?
- To sell out smaller events. Promotional offers can be helpful for attracting new attendees to your events. It’s a great way to subtly nudge prospective attendees towards a buying decision.
- To offset a high base ticket price for larger events (like conferences). Selling high-priced tickets can be a difficult task – especially when you have to reach a certain threshold. By offering discounts, you’ll be able to increase attendance and improve the perceived value of your seminars, conferences, and training classes.
- To track the performance of marketing campaigns. Promotional offers allow you to easily figure out how prospective attendees are finding you. This is done by using different promo codes for different marketing channels which helps you identify how each channel performs.
Best Practices for Using Promo Codes
- Your promo code can be something fun. For instance, if you’re offering 10% off tickets, the promo code can be 10TIMESBETTER. Or you might consider creating a random promo code per attendee using a generator such as Voucherify.
- Send promo codes to past attendees via email newsletters to encourage them to attend future events. Additionally, you can also incentivize registrants with discounts in exchange for sharing your event details with their social media followers.
A ticket bundle is created by offering multiple event tickets as a single package and selling them for a reduced price than what would be charged if the tickets were sold separately.
By offering ticket bundles, you’ll be able to increase the perceived value of your services and maybe even encourage prospective attendees to spring for experiences they wouldn’t have tried out otherwise e.g. front-row seats, backstage passes, or free meals.
- It helps your attendees save both time and money which is great for your brand image.
- You’re able to offer reasonable discounts without having to reduce the average order value.
- You’re able to offer ticket bundles to all attendees – not just past attendees, email subscribers, or social media followers.
- Attendees may not want to buy a ticket bundle if you’re bundling too many tickets together or bundling, say, VIP passes only.
- Attendees may find that the bundled event tickets don’t offer the same value individual tickets do. For example, if tickets sold separately come with swag bags but bundled tickets don’t.
When Should You Use Ticket Bundles?
- Conferences and Meetings. Many times, conferences, meetings, and conventions create bundled tickets for when multiple people from the same organization are expected to attend. For example, the 2019 BANFF Couples Conference tickets page lets attendees purchase a ticket bundle.
- Golf Tournaments. For sporting events, pricing bundles can help you sell more tickets while allowing you to deliver a great experience to your attendees. The 2018 Charitable Golf Event, for example, uses price bundling brilliantly so registrants can purchase tickets for a team of four at once.
Best Practices for Using Ticket Bundles
- Offer ticket bundles at a slightly lower price than the price of the same number of tickets bought individually. If a bundle of X tickets costs Y, then X tickets bought individually should cost more than Y. For instance, if each ticket costs $20 then you could price a bundle of 4 tickets at $70 (i.e. $10 off).
- Make sure that the number of tickets you bundle up makes sense. For example, for concerts, you could create a bundle of 2 tickets (for couples), 4 tickets (for family). In this scenario, a bundle of 3 tickets or 5 tickets might not make sense to prospective attendees.
Graduated pricing is when you charge for tickets based on volume. In other words, you’re able to charge a lower price per ticket for higher quantity of ticket purchases. For example:
- $20 per ticket for 1 to 5 tickets
- $15 per ticket for 6 to 10 tickets
- $12 per ticket for 11 to 15 tickets
- You offer discounts only to event attendees who buy multiple tickets instead of offering everyone the same discount regardless of how many tickets they purchase.
- Gives you a higher profit for similar number of ticket sales as compared to other pricing strategies.
- Gives attendees more flexibility in terms of selecting how many tickets they’d like to purchase.
- You’re not able to collect information (names and email addresses) of everyone who attends your event, only registrants.
When Should You Use Graduated Pricing?
- Flexible ticket quantities. Graduated pricing strategy is great for when you need to make ticket quantity selection more flexible. This is great for events – such as festivals, galas, and fundraisers – where registrants might want to invite their friends and family to attend.
- Group registrations. People are likely to purchase multiple tickets for your event.
Best Practices for Using Graduated Pricing
- Make sure the pricing is clear so attendees know exactly how much they’ll be charged. Use clear wording and consider creating a ticket pricing table.
- To ensure transparency, display the total cost attendees will be charged before they reach the checkout page.
Choosing the right event ticket pricing strategy can help event organizers offer targeted discounts to attendees, track marketing campaigns, and improve their bottom line. Start by analyzing and setting your event marketing goals and then go for the ticket pricing strategy that best fits your needs.
Which ticket pricing models do you use to sell event tickets? Let us know by commenting below.