Yes, this phrase is like a broken record in the event industry: “You just have to charge more!”
Let's be honest, it’s easier said than done. For years, event organizers have given me a deluge of reasons why they can’t raise their ticket prices. Here are just a few actual event organizer quotes over the years:
- “Our sponsor would never approve of that price…a $20 General Admission gate ticket?”
(Unless they’re covering all your event costs, sponsors should not be able to control what you charge for your event.)
- “I think we’re asking the public to pay too much. We can’t charge that much!”
- “If you think we can charge $100 for a VIP ticket to an air event in this town, you’re out of your effing mind!”
(In this case, all VIP tickets for the event SOLD OUT at $100-$150 each.)
As with almost all monetary transactions, the price is rarely the REAL REASON that people don’t buy. A more significant reason would be if you didn’t establish the event’s value with your consumers and attendees. Don’t raise your prices unless you can get the consumers to agree (with their wallets) that they’re getting a great deal.
If you’re an open gate event producer, the advice that follows is a potential gold mine… In some event niches, the actual demand for premium tickets dwarfs the demand that the organizers’ perceive, resulting in consistent under-pricing. This leaves large portions of the potential event revenue and profit un-turned.
If you don’t want to raise your General Admission ticket prices, raise the prices of your premium-level tickets. Multiple clients have retailed their VIP tickets for up to $250 USD, which people have bought in droves. Even better, VIP tickets have SOLD OUT to events that the public could attend for free.
Here’s a story about a Canadian event that greatly benefited from taking the above advice to heart.
A few years back, the Canadian International Air Show, which can be viewed for free by the public, started offering various Ultimate Air Show Experience packages with price tags up to $4,000 CAD (~ $3,017 USD on 1/29/2019). They have had continued success in selling these packages, with some repeat customers saying that they were elated with the experience and returning year after year.
With a well thought out plan and some decent marketing, you could do the same!
What's up with the picture?
It's to illustrate that people will pay a very high price for items that they deem have value. In the case of lottery tickets, you can pay up to $30 for a single scratch-off. It's a temporary hit of dopamine and most people are left disappointed - but they keep coming back again and again.
Want to get more advice event ticketing and pricing? Check out the articles below:
- Event Marketing Idea: Blocking Your Tickets
- Smart Advance Ticket Strategies
- Event Promotion: The Psychology of Ticket Prices
- Leveraging Huge Ticket Discounts to Drive Advance Tickets Sales
- How to Sell Even More Tickets to Your Event
- When to Start Selling Tickets for Your Event
- Charging a Premium Event Ticket Price
- Getting Them to Buy Tickets Early