With Join It membership management software serving over 1000 organisations who have hosted over 15,000 events, they’ve learned quite a bit about how organisations put memberships and events together. Here, Mitch Colleran tells us about the options available to provide event benefits for members.

We are often asked about how membership organisations run and plan events. A common query we get is how to best cater for existing members when it comes to these events.

So, we’ve analysed our data to answer some important questions from membership organisations that want to start, or grow, their event offerings: 

  • As a member benefit, should my organisation offer a discounted ticket or access to special tickets? 
  • If we offer discounted tickets to members, how much should it be? 
  • If we offer discounted tickets, should it have a quantity or be unlimited? 

While putting together this report, we found some helpful answers and trends that we’re excited to share below. 

Overwhelmingly, organisations offer discounts over access

There are two methods to offering an event benefit – you can either offer a Discount on publicly available tickets or you can provide Access to tickets that are reserved specifically for a certain audience. 

Overwhelmingly, organisations choose to provide Discounts over Access by nearly a 6-to-1 margin. The most likely reason is that providing Discounts are more straightforward because it doesn’t require the creation of additional ticket types. 

Our recommendation: If your organisation is looking to add an event benefit for the first time, then start with providing discounted tickets. Once you have established your event benefit, then you can evaluate providing access to special tickets.

Over half (53.3%) of organisations offered free tickets to members

Once we learned that it’s much more common to offer discounted tickets (85.7%) over access to hidden tickets (14.3%), we wanted to explore the most popular way that organisations discounted their events to members. 

What we found is that over half of all organisations choose to give members discounts of 100% off for their active members. While it’s obvious that this is the most popular approach from our data, we had to ask organisations for additional context on why.

We learned that this is a popular approach because it’s the easiest way for members to predict the future value of their benefit.

Our recommendation: If possible, offer free tickets as a membership benefit. This might mean that you need to raise the cost of your membership options, but it’s easier for prospective memberships to understand the value of free over 40% off

Organisations prefer to keep it simple: 1 membership = 1 discount

By a 3-to-1 margin, organisations set up their membership benefit to have a fixed quantity instead of being unlimited. 

And when it’s a fixed number of discounts available, the most popular quantity is one, with 56.4% of organisations choosing to only provide a single-use discount for active members. Interestingly, the second most popular option after a single-use discount was ‘unlimited’. 

While ‘single-use’ and ‘unlimited’ couldn’t be more different – these selections follow the ‘keep it simple’ rule. 

Our recommendation: If your organisation offers a low volume of events (e.g. 1 conference a year), then keep it simple and offer 1 discount code. If your organisation offers events more frequently, then consider offering unlimited discounts (and price your membership options accordingly). 

Summary of our Report 

Based on our data, here’s what we recommend: 

  • Offer Discounts over Access – it’s easier to manage when getting started. 
  • Offer a Percentage discount of 100% – it’s easier for potential members to understand the value
  • Offer a single-use Discount (if you have one big event per year) or unlimited (if you have events more frequently) – keep it simple for yourself and your members

We were able to provide these insights based on data from our Eventbrite Membership Management integration that syncs your Eventbrite account with a membership program – if you find yourself already hosting events on Eventbrite and need to add a simple membership database, then we would love to chat and tell you about how it works

In our next article, we’ll be providing data-driven insight into how to plan your membership events (event frequency, attendance averages, and more!) – we’re looking forward to continuing the conversation! 

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