How much do they spend inside your event?
A number that is not discussed often enough, at least in my experience, is average customer value inside an event.
That customer value is typically the sum of food, beverage, and novelty purchases, per person, once an attendee is on your event grounds. Customer value is applicable to both free and paid events.
Some events have average customer value down to a science. A local ethnic festival has an outrageously high per person customer value for their free event!
Even though Disney parks aren't events in the traditional sense, how Disney extracts people's money should be studied by every event organizer. It is absolutely jaw-dropping.
Years ago, I read an article on what the average Disney attendee spends within a Disney theme park. That amount was over $100 USD per person. Keep in mind that's after spending $100+ USD for an Adult admission. Those are astronomical numbers!
Average customer value is also a valuable tool in your marketing math toolbox. Provided you have accurate data, you can use customer value for event revenue forecasting. It can also be used to roughly calculate attendance at large events. Personally, I use it to verify attendance numbers for clients and prospective clients.
Years ago, an event organizer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania claimed they had 200,000 attendees at their event. Yet, they only generated $200,000 in onsite customer revenue. If you divide the total customer revenue by the number of attendees, you get $1 per person. Which seems very low.
Clients in the same event niche as the event in Pittsburgh, generated on average $8.00-$11.80 per person at their events, year after year. That means the Pittsburgh event most likely had between 17,000 and 25,000 attendees. Remember, accurate attendance numbers are critical for your sponsorship dollars. If sponsorship figure out your numbers are grossly exaggerated, they might not sponsorship your event in the future.
If you have a paid gate and want to calculate your own customer value, here's a quick and straightforward equation. Divide the total number of ticket buyers by the gross revenue from food, beverage, and novelties (plus any other applicable goods sold on your event grounds).
Another fascinating takeaway regarding customer value ... a concessionaire in the air show industry found that air shows that sold more presale tickets had higher customer values. Their reasoning, if people buy in advance, they're more apt to spend money on site. It is my firm belief that higher advance ticket spend applies to any ticketed event. So, make sure you're focused on advance ticket sales!
Crunch your own numbers and let me know what you find.
Here are a few more event revenue and event ticketing insights: