The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of dramatic changes for businesses. Several industries, including the live events sector, have been hit hard by long-term closures and strict social distancing measures. Thankfully, the UK government has listened to event creators’ concerns.

The government has introduced a temporary VAT change which will see the rate reduced from 20% to 5% until January 12, 2021. This can be enjoyed by VAT-registered businesses who charge admission fees for the likes of concerts, cinemas, exhibitions, and other cultural events. Here’s exactly what the new reduced rate means for event professionals across the UK.

The benefits

Reduced VAT has advantages for both event creators and their attendees. As society begins to slowly reopen, the government hopes that the VAT change will result in lower ticket prices, encouraging people to visit events once again. This not only boosts profits for event managers, but helps financially affected members of the general public afford tickets. Plus, the possibility of more attendees at your events will free up your budget, allowing you to create the best possible experience.

Ticketing tips and tricks

The new VAT rules give you the freedom to approach ticketing in one of two ways: You can pass the saving to customers, or use it to improve both the quality and safety of your event. Here are a few ticketing strategies to try out:

  • Help to increase sales by absorbing VAT into the total ticket price, rather than charging attendees an extra fee on top.
  • Emphasise the value that that your newly priced ticket offers. Remember the value-based pricing method: If a potential customer sees the value of your event as greater than the price, they will be more likely to purchase.
  • Introduce multiple ticket types to appeal to different audiences and encourage people to spend a little more. Give group discounts and offer more expensive tickets that include VIP services such as early access and goodie bags.
  • If you’d prefer to keep your tickets at the original 20% VAT, use the extra money to cover COVID-19 costs like high-quality cleaning and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Adjusting your Eventbrite VAT

Setting or adjusting your VAT rate to the new percentage is simple with Eventbrite. Just head to the Tax section of your dashboard. The new rate will apply across all ticket types by default, but you can change this if preferred. Note that the 5% VAT will only apply to new ticket orders, and not to retrospective purchases. Communicating this clearly to attendees will help avoid any confusion.

Getting the word out

Lower prices are bound to be a selling point for your event, so it’s vital to reach out to your target audience. Connect with past attendees via a quick email, or consider launching a social media campaign to drive those all-important ticket sales. Don’t forget to check that your event’s landing page accurately reflects any updated pricing and highlights the value of your upcoming event.

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