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Tips for (sensitively) increasing your ticket prices in the face of the cost of living crisis

Take a closer look at how to increase prices without losing customers

a group of people at a concert

The cost of living crisis has hit both businesses and individuals hard. As an event organiser, this has potentially left you in a tricky position. How do you cope with higher running costs, when you’re all too aware that your customers are struggling too? 

The fact is, a lot of event organisers will need to increase their ticket prices to cope with the rising cost of… well, pretty much everything (travel, energy bills, materials, suppliers… we feel your pain!). 

The key, then, is to raise prices sensitively, in a way that won’t damage your brand or alienate customers. Fostering a sense of ‘we’re in this together’ can go a long way here. As can focusing on more practical factors, like being super diligent when it comes to deciding exactly how much to increase ticket prices by. 

Let’s take a closer look 👀👇.

How to increase prices without losing customers

To increase your ticket prices without losing customers, you should aim to:

  • Be transparent
  • Be sensitive
  • Show your appreciation
  • Focus on the benefits for your customers
  • Be diligent 

Be transparent 

Be upfront and honest about the fact you’re increasing your prices – and tell your attendees why you need to do this. It’s not about providing reams of information and feeling you need to justify yourself. But it’s really important to make sure your loyal customers don’t feel you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

  • Do explain that your running costs are going up – it can help to offer some detail here, but don’t name names or downtalk other brands or suppliers
  • Don’t go overboard with apologies – it can be tempting to do so, but this might just muddy the waters and make it sound as though you’re doing something wrong or unfair, which you aren’t.

Be sensitive 

Make sure your customers know you understand they’re facing difficulties, too. In usual times, you probably wouldn’t need to do this. But in the face of the cost of living crisis, a sensitive reference to the fact you’re aware of the impact cost of living crisis may be having on your attendees can go a long way. 

  • Do touch on the cost of living crisis in your communications.
  • Don’t assume everyone is struggling or patronise your customers – go for a light touch, and keep things warm but professional.

Show your appreciation

Now’s the perfect time to really let your attendees know how much they mean to you. Talk about the good times – all those events where your attendees brought their A-game and created brilliant memories for you, their host. Let your attendees know that they’re part of an invaluable community, and that you genuinely love the events you have built together.

  • Do focus on the positives and make your customers feel like they’re part of a wonderful community.
  • Don’t sound overly bleak about raising your prices – the more doom and gloom you sound, the more negatively your customers will view things.

Focus on the benefits for your customers

If you’re raising your prices because you’re incorporating new elements into your event, then great. Definitely focus on the value-add here, and let customers know what they stand to gain.

But even if you’re solely raising your prices as a response to increasing running costs, it doesn’t mean you can’t highlight benefits for customers. Communicate the fact that your ticket price increase means you won’t have to cut any corners for example, or that you can stay true to your sustainability commitments. Likewise, let your attendees know you’re not willing to compromise on the quality of their experience – and that your prices reflect this in the current climate. 

  • Do let customers know the facts – you can’t deliver your events to the same standards without increasing your prices.
  • Don’t be pompous! Remember, be sensitive in your communications and speak with kindness and understanding. We’re definitely not going for a ‘like it or lump it’ vibe, here. 

Be diligent

When it comes to coping with rising costs as an event planner, it’s a good idea to look at areas where you can save – rather than passing all of these costs onto your customers. Seeking out more affordable alternatives for your venue, ticketing platform, suppliers and materials can all go a long way towards helping you cut down costs. There’s a bit of a balancing act to be achieved here (see above ☝️!). It’s all about shopping around to see where you could potentially be getting a better deal, without compromising on the quality of your events.

Tip: At Ticket Tailor, we only charge a small flat fee for every ticket sale, rather than charging a percentage of your ticket prices, making us a great, cheaper alternative to Eventbrite 😌. Plus we have a plethora of amazing ticketing tech features that help make your events the best they can be. 

  • Do see if there are any areas you can save without compromising on quality, so you’re not passing all your increased running costs onto your customers.  
  • Don’t blindly increase your ticket prices in a panic – make sure you crunch your numbers properly, so your new prices are justified. 

We hope these tips have been useful! Raising ticket prices always feels a bit daunting, but by doing your homework and making sure your comms are sensitive and transparent – you should have no problem garnering the support of your attendees. You’ve got this 💪! 

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