A guide to ticket pricing (part 1…)

Where are the costs and what is the price?

You’ve got an event, it’s being publicised and you’re going to be selling tickets. So where do you go from here?

Well, one important issue is pricing. Figuring out how to actually price your tickets can be a real headache, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience planning events. This is a short guide for those who need a little advice on this vital but tricky issue!

The basics

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first; clearly the revenue from your ticket sales needs to be enough to cover the costs of your event, plus profit. To work out what you’ll need to charge for tickets, consider that:

Price per ticket = Event cost / Expected attendees

Of course, this formula isn’t particularly helpful until you know the event’s cost and have a reasonable estimate of how many people are likely to come.

Researching the competition

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Write everything down and keep your information up to date. This is a key step, but not because you’re trying to undercut everyone else.

What your research will do is provide you with a ballpark figure on how much you should be aiming to charge given your event type, your likely audience and minimum venue requirements. That’s why you should be looking at similar events.

Choosing a venue

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The venue is usually the biggest event expenditure, so it’s important to consider your choice very carefully. Note that it must be tailored to your customers as well as the event itself. A large concert hall may produce superior acoustics to a cosier, less expensive room, but what’s important is whether your audience will be willing to pay for that difference.

Of course, if you’re already charging a lot for an event, then saving costs by selecting a cheap venue may turn people off. After all, they’re expecting something appropriate for the ticket price they’ve paid!

It’s a good idea to stay away from cut-priced venues in general, unless you know for sure that they will work. Having lower profits or cutting some non-essential costs is still better than receiving bad reviews from attendees. Remember: once it’s out there on the net, it’s out there forever.

Establishing costs

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Which means that it’s time to get that spreadsheet out…

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Why do it this way? Well, it’s going to be a lot easier to reduce costs when you know what can be easily cut and what can’t.

Now, how many people do you think will be coming to your event?

Round down. Be modest.

Look back at your research; how many have attended other, similar events? If you’ve just started out, don’t make the mistake of estimating your numbers by the standards of a well established venture.

Do you have a good response to your promotional material on social media? This is a good gauge of interest but you can’t exactly take it to the bank in terms of real commitment.

Now’s the time to go back to the pricing formula and plug in your numbers.

Are your tickets grossly overpriced compared to the average tickets for similar events? If they are, you may want to start dropping items in the non-essential column of your sheet until you begin to see profits.

If your tickets are seriously underpriced you may want to double-check your maths. If you get the same result, it may make sense to increase your ticket prices so that you have a higher profit margin.

Otherwise, you can also add in a few extras or use the money for more promotional work closer to the date of the event. Remember to margin for unexpected expenses. It’s much better to be safely in the green than to ‘just about’ make it.

Now that you have an idea of what your own pricing should look like, take a look at some of the ticket pricing tips and tricks that professionals use to increase sales.

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