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Event Planning

How to Determine Your Event Ticket Pricing Strategy

Reading time: 8 min

Deciding how to price your own tickets, what kind of ticket types to have, and what discount offers to promote are all important elements of your event's overall success. Attendees may see your ticket price as a deciding factor on whether or not to attend your event. Plus, setting the right price for your expected number of guests will help cover the costs of hosting your event and allow you to put your profits towards the next one. Ready to get started? Our pricing guide is here with advice to help you research, set your price, and decide what strategy is right for you!

Step 1: Do your research

As you get ready to sell your tickets, be sure to read up on similar events to yours and look back to previous events you've hosted. This will help you gauge how many people you can expect will attend your latest event and what price they'd be willing to pay for your tickets. More specifically, here's two ways to determine your event pricing:

Compare to competitors

Look up events in your area on Google and across social media. Once you've found relevant events, take a look at their ticket prices. When doing this though, be aware that various factors (e.g., time of year, location, their talent lineup) could significantly impact the price and offerings of seemingly “similar” events. Therefore, don't treat these comparisons as hard and fast rules; do what makes sense for your event!

Survey your community

You don't have to brave this alone! Ask people in your target audience what they'd be willing to pay for your event. If you've done events before, reach out to past attendees or revisit their feedback from previous post-event surveys. If you're the new event in town, ask locals to share their thoughts using some guided questions prepared ahead of time such as:

  • How much would you pay for tickets to this kind of event?

  • Once you've got your tickets, how much extra would you be willing to spend onsite (for parking, food, drinks, etc.)?

  • At this given ticket price, what would your expectations of the event be like?

  • How far out of your way would you go to attend an event like this?

Step 2: Calculate your ticket pricing

Pricing your tickets is one of the hardest decisions of an event organizer, especially for first-timers. But rest assured: there is no single right answer for the “best” price. Instead, think of your ticket pricing as numbers you will continually assess, test, and adapt to what your audience wants.

First, use the projected expenses from the budget you've created while planning your event to determine how much revenue you'll need to break even. Take this number plus the extra you hope to make in profit, and divide that total by your expected number of attendees to gauge the average price per ticket you'd like to make. However, while this is a good rule of thumb, understand these numbers are bound to change over time, particularly as you account for additional ticket types. 

Step 3: Pick your ticket types

One size may not fit all when it comes to pricing tickets. Having various price levels can ensure there's an option for everyone, so more people can come out to your event. Plus, offering multiple types could make the less expensive tickets seem more affordable, while the more expensive tickets look more VIP. Amidst the many options available, here's a few key ticket types that many organizers use:

General admission

These are your most important tickets! They're on sale for the longest amount of time and are the baseline for pricing your discount and premium tickets.

VIP

From front-row seats to meet & greets with your lineup, these premium-priced tickets are the perfect upgrade for your current audience and for newcomers wanting a first class experience they won't forget.

Multi-day or one-day passes

If your event spans multiple days, offering this ticket type allows attendees the flexibility to choose which days they sign up for based on their availability.

Step 4: Determine your ticket pricing strategy

Now that you've got your ticket offerings solidified, as part of your , you'll need to figure out how you'll incentivize people to buy their tickets ahead of time. This is because, in reality, 50% of tickets don't usually sell until the week of the actual event. Enter: the discount. When used effectively, this powerful tool can solve this issue and motivate attendees to secure their tickets ASAP!

The key to an effective discount strategy is being selective. There's a lot of discount options out there, so focus on offering one or a small combination of them to kick your ticket sales into high gear. To help you get the ball rolling, here's some event discount ideas to amp up your event promotion!

1. Early-bird tickets

Reward your most proactive ticket buyers for buying their tickets before your entire event lineup is announced. Plus, selling lots of early-bird tickets will help give you peace of mind as you pay for deposits and finalize your event budget.

2. Referral discounts

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing strategies, so take advantage of it by rewarding people for inviting friends and family to your event! You can also reach out to influencers and provide them with a personalized discount code to share with their followers.

3. Group deals

Offer a discounted rate to customers who buy their tickets in bulk for a large group. Because the amount of marketing you need to sell the rest of those tickets is reduced, you're saving money and able to pass those savings onto your ticket buyers.

4. First-time discounts

Give your first-time customers the opportunity to save a little extra on one of your ticket types. This will encourage newcomers to check things out and build trust with your organization, while staying on track towards your revenue goals with the rest of your ticket types.

5. Exclusive ticket upgrades

Sell your more premium tickets at a discount for a limited time to incentivize customers to splurge a little. This is especially effective for people who are on the fence about whether to upgrade their tickets or not.

6. Bundles

If you have an event series, you can bundle upcoming events with your current one (e.g., offer a discount for buying tickets to your next three events) to encourage and reward loyalty. You can also sell bundles of perks like parking passes, meal vouchers, or merchandise with your ticket.

7. Plan-ahead pricing

By telling customers your tickets will be cheaper now than on the day of your event, they'll want to grab tickets fast before that price bump kicks in. Plus, selling tickets at the door for a higher price can help increase your event's perceived value (e.g., $49 online in advance versus $99 at the door).

With so many options out there, no two ticket pricing strategies are the same. What's successful for one event type could look totally different for another. Therefore, be selective with your event pricing and the discounts you choose, tailoring to what best suits your event. And remember to always be improving. With an intuitive ticketing platform like TicketLeap, you can pull reports to help assess which tickets you're selling the most of and which discounts are being used. That way, you can be confident you're maximizing your ticket sales and on track to making your next event a smash hit!

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