Depending on the project and timeframe, I often find myself crunching daily ticket sales reports. Typically, it's a tedious and uneventful process.
In this case, the ticket reporting for an event showed numerous sales anomalies. The event in question was about a week away. And, there were dozens of rows with zero ticket revenue. If you're sending out complimentary (comp) tickets to sponsors and supporters, this could be considered normal.
So, I triple checked the reporting and reached out to the event's ticket manager. When I broached the subject with the ticket manager, their response wasn't what you'd expect. The ticket manager angrily asked, "Eugene, who asked you to look into this?!?!"
My response, "Nobody. It just seems like there are far too many zeros." To say the least, the ticket manager wasn't happy with me.
My next call was to an executive board member to ask them, "what's going on with these comp tickets?!?!" In short, a promo code for comp tickets escaped into the public. In total, around 10,000 USD of comp tickets were issued in error.
A simple solution would have been canceling all the comp tickets. The problem was there were hundreds of legitimate comp tickets in the mix. And no easy way to differentiate the good from the bad. In the end, the client immediately turned off the promo code.
Here's another "rows of zeros" scenario ...
This year, an event comped away over 12,000 USD of high demand VIP tickets to "friends of the event organizers." Considering that the VIP tickets sold out well in advance. That's $12K+ of valuable lost event revenue.
When it comes to complimentary tickets, here are two questions to ask yourself:
1. If you're comping tickets to your event, do you have strict controls in place to make sure every comp ticket is legitimate?
2. If you're giving away complimentary tickets, especially VIP tickets, what's your opportunity cost?
Stay vigilant with your tickets, especially comp and VIP tickets!
Want to get more information on advance ticket sales for your next event? Check out the articles below: