Creating a smart ticket pricing strategy is crucial to the long-term success and profitability of your event. But how much should you charge for your event tickets? It can be a tricky one to get right. Too high and you might scare off attendees, too low and you won’t be able to afford a decent budget to attract them at all.
It’s common for event managers to default to one of two pricing strategies:
- Cost pricing — setting ticket prices at a percentage higher than costs
- Competitive pricing — defaulting to the same or a similar price as competitor events
While both strategies have merit, they fail to consider one critical factor — the opinion of your customer. A value-based pricing strategy asks that you set your event price at a rate customers are willing to pay.
How to establish a value-based pricing strategy
There are three key components to value-based pricing: perceived value, the actual price, and the cost per ticket for the event:
- Perceived value is what the customer thinks your event is worth, with that perception (regardless of reality) driving the transaction
- Actual price is what the customer pays, and is as close as possible to the perceived value with exceeding it
- Per ticket cost is what it costs to put on the event
With value-based pricing, your customer is comparing perceived value and price — and you’re using cost per ticket to determine the baseline for breaking even. If the customer’s perceived value is higher than your ticket price, then your customer will decide to buy. If your cost per ticket is lower than that price, you will make money.
Customer perception varies and so should your ticket prices
What’s the secret to discovering the magical ticket price that your customers will pay? As it turns out, the most successful events on Eventbrite (for total sales) all have one thing in common — they sell multiple ticket types. The average is around three types per event.
Multiple ticket types help drive the perceived value of your ticket by making cheaper tickets look like a better deal, and more expensive tickets look VIP.
How your ticketing platform affects your pricing strategy
Crafting the right pricing strategy for your event is one thing — executing that strategy is another. Particularly if you have multi-tiered pricing, you need your online ticketing page to be clear and concise, as well as instantly unlock the next tier when one has sold out. Two large festival organisers, Rhythm & Vines and Wanderlust, have found this to be a challenge before moving their ticketing to Eventbrite.
NZ music festival, Rhythm & Vines, created a ticketing strategy of up to 50 different ticket types, including multiple ticket releases, multi-day passes, VIP tickets, premium campsites, and more. However, relying on previous ticketing providers to make changes for them was a clunky solution that didn’t allow them to execute this strategy. Switching to Eventbrite allowed them to control everything through the powerful self-service platform and it has paid off. Rhythm & Vines went from selling tickets up to the day of the event, to selling out faster than ever before. Tickets are released five months earlier than with previous providers, and up to 50% of tickets are now sold out before the line-up is even announced.
Wanderlust have also reduced the customer frustration and administrative workload of a multi-tiered pricing strategy with Eventbrite. “Our festival has multiple ticket types and attendees can buy a single or multi-day pass, or a music-only ticket. We also use tiered pricing to stagger ticket releases” explains Jacque Halstead, Head of Business Development and Programming. “We never used to include pricing on our website, because some tiers sell out within hours and we needed to update the website every time a new tier went on sale or a day sold out. Now we don’t have to worry because everything pulls straight from Eventbrite. This is my absolute favourite feature! It sounds so simple, but it has a big impact on us and our ticket sales” she says.