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Great Stories & Event Marketing

Charging a Premium Event Ticket Price

Event_ticket_price A few months ago I ran across Yanik Silver’s 34 Rules for Maverick Entrepreneurs.  If you’re at all entrepreneurially inclined his rules are well worth a read. There was one rule in particular caught my attention. Yanik’s Rule #3 states, “You must charge a premium price so you have a large margin to provide an extraordinary value & experience.” Even though his rules are geared toward entrepreneurs, Rule #3 is sage advice for anyone organizing or promoting an event.

Yanik illustrates Rule #3 as follows:

“When my wife Missy, and I were in Venice we had a bill for $45 for two cups of coffee in St. Mark’s Square. The reason they could get away with that is because it’s an experience, not only the entire atmosphere but they also have an entire band playing there.

Even Starbucks, which has crazy margins for a $5 cup of coffee, provides an experience of their own. Beyond that is $45 for two cups of coffee in St. Mark’s Square. That lets you do the things that you couldn’t do on a budget.

If I was charging $2 for that cup of coffee, I couldn’t hire the band, have them out there playing, and do all the things that you want to create an incredible experience.”
(Silver, 34 Rules for Maverick Entrepreneurs, p.11)


Always strive to make your event an experience. Stop trying to figure out the minimum amount of money you need to charge a patron. Far too many event organizers don’t charge enough for their events. These organizers are usually the same people who are caught in the red at the end of the day.  The best way to increase your bottom line is by increasing your ticket price.

Remember Dr. Robert Cialdini’s analogy from his book Influence, “Expensive = Good.” Some part of people’s expectations of your event are psychologically derived from the price you are charging to attend your event.

I’m not suggesting that anyone price gouge the consumer.
But if you can charge a premium price for your event and deliver the value of that event, then you ought to charge as much as people are willing to pay. 

One of most common things I heard recently about not charging a premium ticket price revolves around the economy. Things might not be the best economically at the moment, but don't let other people's gloom and doom stop you from delivering value. I know of multiple events in the last four months that have charged a premium price and sold out.

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