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Event Marketing: Stop Reducing Your Event Ticket Price

Have you ever considered a decrease in the price of your event ticket to increase attendance?

The Price Drop Example

Lately I find myself telling event marketing clients and colleagues about a particular volunteer event where ticket price was a concern. Over four years, the volunteer event had an associated dinner banquet. The first year the banquet ticket price was 25.00 USD per person and over three hundred fifty people showed up. As the years progressed the dinner ticket prices were reduced because event organizers thought the ticket price was too high. The logic used was decrease price and you’ll get more people to attend. The dinner banquet prices went from 25.00 USD per person down to 15.00 USD. When the tickets reached the lowest price the banquet had the lowest attendance.  The above example illustrates the counter intuitive of what most people would think in terms of ticket pricing.   

Expensive = Good
Last week, I started reading a book by Robert Cialdini from his Influence series.  In the chapter titled, Weapons of Influence, Cialdini illustrates that if something is expensive that the consumer will perceive it as being good. One example he used was a jewelry shop owner clearing their inventory of a certain item by doubling the price of an item that nobody would buy. Cialdini infers from additional examples that consumers believe that “Expensive = Good.”  I believe the same methodology can be applied from ticket prices for an event to your products or services.

Doing the Counter-Intuitive

Instead of trying to reduce your ticket prices to compete with a given market consider increasing your price to redefine your position in a given market.   As a caveat, I don’t think you can raise ticket prices if you can’t deliver perceived value at your event. Take the time to think through the scenario and potential virtues or vices. I don't believe in raising prices and skimping on quality. The quality of the experience needs to exceed the actual ticket price in order for a price increase to work.

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