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How (NOT) to Sell Tickets To Your Event

When it comes to pricing tickets for your event, there are a number of different strategies. Knowing how NOT to sell tickets to your event is as important as knowing how to sell tickets. What follows are two real world mistakes you want to avoid when selling tickets for your event . . .


Event Ticket Pricing
First, a quick primer on event ticket prices - this gets a little dicey, so bare with me . .  At it's simplest, the PRICE of your event ticket is directly proportionate to the VALUE your event delivers to your attendee. For the most part, the value of your event is an intangible . . . The higher the perceived value of your event (in the consumer's mind) the more you can charge. When it comes to pricing, I recommend the highest price a consumer is willing to pay. A FREE ticket is rarely the best way to attract people to your event. Here's why - If you charge nothing for your event, what value does your event have in the consumer's mind?  If you're thinking about ticket pricing, start by looking similar events to your own in the event industry.

Here are two devastating mistakes that I've seen event organizers make when it comes to ticket pricing and their events. Avoid these mistakes at all costs!

From FREE to Paid Because of Poor Planning
First - Don't go from a free ticket to a paid ticket in the same event cycle. Here's the scenario - an event organizer plans a free event - The event is advertised as being FREE. A few weeks later, the organizer determines they don't have enough budget to cover all their costs. As a result, they decide to charge a minimum amount per person to cover their costs. Poor planning on a event organizers part should never be taken out on their attendees. The previous example might seem unbelievable, but I've seen it happen a few times.  The end result - lots of pissed off people. If you're going to go from a free event to a paid event, do it from one event to the next event.

A Last Minute Price Drop
Second - Don't drop your ticket prices to drive last minute ticket sales.  Dropping ticket prices for your event, after people have ALREADY purchased tickets, is a recipe for disaster.  This happened years ago with a local not-for-profit. The not-for-profit dropped their ticket prices last minute as an incentive to get additional "butts in seats." How do you think attendees who paid full price felt when they found out other people got a huge last minute price break?  This is not a good thing when you run a recurring event.

If you're going to drop the ticket price of your event, do it as an early bird special - "Buy Early & SAVE BIG!" It's a great way to drive advance ticket sales.

Ticket pricing is a huge topic of discussion when it comes to event marketing and promotion. If you want to learn how to sell more tickets to your event . . . dig into the nuances of ticket pricing. Learning from other events is one of your best bets. Hopefully the suggestions above prevent you from making a potentially costly mistakes with your event.

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