Here is the scenario, you have been holding an event for a number of years now and you have begun to notice a trend. The event, that once sold out within hours of tickets being released, now has tickets still available a week prior to the event. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a great event and it is still pulling in the numbers however it seems to be taking longer and longer each year to sell the tickets.
Unfortunately, this is a sign of the times, with our hurried and busy schedules people are leaving it longer and longer to commit to attending an event – and its not always because they are waiting to see if anything better comes along! Often people will see your event invite/promotion and think “Oh I have heaps of time to purchase that ticket” or “I can afford to wait and check what time/date X is on to see if it will clash”. This leave it till later mentality often means that unless you actively do something to stop this behaviour it will only get worse.
This is where the idea of Early Bird ticketing comes into play – you stagger the pricing of the tickets so that they gradually become more expensive the closer we get to the date of the event.
Early Bird Pricing
Early Bird Pricing or staggered event pricing is simply offering a discounted rate to those who purchase their tickets early – the time limit varies from event to event and largely depends on the purchasing trend you are trying to combat.
To give you an example your conference may fall in November and you put tickets on sale in May. The Early Bird price for the tickets may be $149 and you offer them at that price until the 30th September at which stage you offer a Regular Price ticket which may be $179 and this ticket type is available for purchase up until the day prior to the event. Tickets purchased on the day of the event or at the door may be $199. As you can see there is a $50 incentive for your customer to jump on and purchase their ticket early – and in return you have a much better grasp on how many will be attending because they are purchasing their tickets earlier.
There is one very important rule that you need to follow however when you introduce Early Bird ticket discounts to your event. You need to avoid extending the Early Bird deadline after it finishes – there will be those people who perhaps weren’t quite organised enough or didn’t pay enough attention to the ticket dates and they ask you to extend the offer. The danger in doing this is that it creates the understanding amongst your attendees that for the next event they don’t need to worry about purchasing during the Early Bird period because you will extend it anyway if they ask you to – as you can see this destroys the early purchase culture that you were trying to create by issuing the Early Bird Discount in the first place.
Bulk Discount Pricing
We have all heard of Buy 1 Get 1 Free haven’t we – that illustrious lure that makes you buy two of the item you really only wanted one of. The idea of getting something for nothing is a very powerful tool and that is why bulk ticketing offers such as Buy 9 tickets, Get 1 free work so well. It encourages people to gather their colleagues, friends and family to come along too – meaning more tickets sold for you but also less money that you had to spend on advertising because Word of Mouth is doing the Advertising for you. Bulk tickets can either be sold in conjunction with the Early Bird dates or you can offer them right up to your event date – it’s completely up to you and what works for your event.
Both of these methods can help you to increase early ticket sales meaning that you have a better idea of numbers earlier on in the planning process which can save you time, money and the stress of worrying if anyone is actually going to turn up to your event. Try it out and enjoy the calmness that comes with knowing your attendance numbers well in advance of your event.
Need help with your event pricing?
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