Do you run an event where you sell tickets (as opposed to free events)?
Hands up if you’d like to double your ticket sales in 2017?
Ok, if you didn’t put your hand up, then you can stop reading and keep doing what you’ve been doing. However if you’d like to know how to double your event’s revenue this year, read on for 10 tried and tested tactics to achieve your goal.
- Double your target and break it down
The first thing you need to do when attempting to double revenue is officially set it as a target, and then work back from your end goal to create a series of smaller, incremental targets.
Research continues to show that having a target, and then chunking it into smaller tasks and goals, is a powerful way to achieve your long-term goals.
So if your event currently brings in £60,000 and you’d like it make £120,000, you know you need to make £10k per month and not £5k, or roughly £2500 per week and £500 per weekday.
Every day you don’t hit that £500 target, you can be prompted to ask why, and how can you make sure you hit it tomorrow. Having this kind of granular roadmap to success is an amazing way to focus your mind and help you actually achieve your goal.
- Double down on your most successful channel
Go back and look at your last event, and spend time understanding the numbers and analytics. Review both your Eventbrite dashboard, your Google Analytics account and any other promotional software you’ve used, to figure out which channel has driven the highest number of ticket sales.
For most event organisers, it is email, social media and partnerships according the event industry Pulse Report.
Once you’ve identified your top performing promotional channel, figure out either how to do more of it, or how to do it even better.
So for example if you find email is your most successful ticket sales driver, and you send out one monthly newsletter, can you increase this to send out a weekly update instead?
Or if you’ve found social media promotion to work well, can you double the number of posts you send (or double how much you spend on promoting the content)?
If increasing frequency is not an option (no one wants a daily email reminder about your event), then look at improving the quality and/or effectiveness of your most successful channel even further.
So once again if you’re looking at email, A/B test subject lines or calls to action (CTAs), try different send times or adding/removing images until you find the optimal results.
- Increase prices
Nobody loves a price increase, but you’d be surprised how often people will accept them.
Inflation is a fact of life, and part of a functioning economy. It’s likely your costs with increase in 2017 as venues increase prices to cover their increased utility bills for example, so why not increase your ticket prices?
100% could be a bit too big an increase to swallow (although it’s not impossible or unheard of), but a 25% or even 50% increase might not dampen demand as much as you’d expect.
With the additional revenue you could also spend more on marketing and the event experience, creating a premium brand that is less price sensitive and more loyal because of the quality you deliver.
- Add a higher value experience to purchase
If you feel uncomfortable with a general price increase, then why not add an additional ticket option for higher value target customers?
This could be a VIP experience, early access, a swag bag/free drink or any other kind of add-on that will give the buyers an elevated experience of your event.
Events with ‘premium’ ticket options frequently enjoy higher revenues than those without one, so this is a great step towards doubling your event’s revenue if you don’t currently have a similar package available.
- Create a lower pricing tier
While adding a premium ticket is a great way to capture wealthier or higher-value attendees, you could also take the opposite approach and add a lower-ticket option to increase volume of ticket sales.
This may be something like a half-day ticket rather than a full day, streaming it digitally or offering some restricted access to parts of your event. Your normal attendees and fans will no doubt continue to want the full experience, but the cheaper option will allow for more people to attend who are just curious and maybe don’t want to invest in the full ticket.
- Appeal to a new audience
A classic way to double ticket sales is to find a way of appealing to a new – but related – audience, while maintaining the integrity of your core event and audience.
Many real ale festivals have done this for example, with the inclusion of bars for cider drinkers, craft beers and even wine to attract a more even gender demographic.
Other examples could include a cooking class for busy mums to expand and include dads, an automotive exhibition to include planes / boats etc. or a membership conference to include the option of non-members attending.
- Add a new marketing channel or tactic
According to the Pulse Report, the average event uses 3-4 marketing channels to promote their event, but that leaves dozens of options untouched.
Are you utilising SEO, paid social or content marketing yet? Do you need to get involved with Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube?
You don’t double ticket sales by only sticking with the same channels and tactics, so pick one new marketing activity you think will have the biggest impact, and throw some energy into testing it out.
It might be that you simultaneously try 3 promising ideas for a month, then just stick with the most successful one for the rest of the campaign, so you’re not committing to a single new channel without first testing its impact on your revenue.
- Add more sales people
This won’t be applicable to all events, but for those with high-value tickets, you could well be using a sales team to help sell your tickets.
If this is the case, then a reasonably sure-fire way to increase your sales is to increase the number of sales people you have on the team.
So long as you have a good manager to lead the team, and clearly defined targets / KPIs, the ROI on adding more sales people should always be a positive one and immediately help you towards your goal of doubling revenue.
- Use affiliates and partners
Affiliates are marketing partners that you pay a portion of your ticket fees to for every sale they make. If you don’t use them, then why not consider utilising their audience and digital marketing know-how to help boost sales for your event?
Sure, you’ll have to pay out a chunk of the revenue to them (how much is up to you), but you’ll end up with a much larger pie, and so net-net you’ll come off better. It’s also very easy to set up affiliate relationships with Eventbrite.
The alternative is to find partners willing to promote your event for you. While they may not act as affiliates (e.g. you don’t pay them for every referral they make), you will still need to find an incentive for them to help you.
This could be as simple as free tickets to your event, or being considered a sponsor and key media partner so they enjoy exposure to your audience.
Just ensure you track how well they do for your event using custom codes, otherwise you may be offering more to them than you get in return.
Whether you use one, the other, or both, broadening out your support network is a great way to contribute towards doubling your ticket sales.
- Ask for – and incentivise – referrals
A similar concept to using affiliates and partners, but focused on mobilising your attendees to help spread the word about your event for you.
While many super fans will do this for you naturally on social media, some people will need a little push, so offer up an incentive.
You could offer anyone who refers 5 friends a free VIP upgrade for example; or free drinks vouchers for every ticket they help to sell – you’ll just need to figure out what reward makes sense based on your ticket prices and audience.
However if you can get to a point where each attendee tells another attendee about the event, and helps to sell a ticket, you’ll very quickly reach a point of doubling and even trebling ticket sales, as the kind of network effects kick in that helped make Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp the giants they are today.
Not every tactic is right for every event, and you probably can’t do them all at once, but if you try a few of these methods for increasing ticket sales, test what works and then do more of them (and less of what doesn’t), you’ll be on-track to double your event revenues in 2017!