March 10, 2014

The Perfect On-Sale Strategy For Your Event

Depending on your event and the demographic of your customers, your on-sale can be one of the most important parts of your event calendar and ensuring you get it spot-on is key. Will Franklin, Senior Account Manager at ticketscript, advises event promoters on matters like this every day and has kindly outlined some of his top tips for the ticketscript blog. So, without further ado, over to Will.

Here at ticketscript, we pride ourselves on our scientific approach to selling tickets and this forms the basis for how we advise our customers. Using the data we capture, I’ve put together some ideas for what we *know* works when it comes to helping you plan a successful on-sale.

Many event organisers choose to go on-sale with tickets as soon as possible, often once a venue and date has been confirmed. This sort of launch approach does work and can get that all important cash flowing to help bankroll the event – but there are some other things to consider too.

Example 1 – Loyalty Driver

Leading up to your event, an on-sale plan for the next one should already be in place. Capturing that hard-earned post-event buzz is essential, and going back on sale as soon as the event has taken place, literally the next day or week, is a great way of doing this.

There tends to be a window (maybe 2-3 weeks for something like a festival) where customers are still talking about the event and are eager to secure next year’s tickets at this year’s prices. This is a great opportunity to get your funds together for the following year. You could try:

  • Super Early Bird tickets (with limited information, simply venue and date for example)
  • Early Bird tickets (in line with your first release of announcements, bands, DJs, facilities etc)
  • Standard “advance” tickets (with headliner announcements etc)
  • Each release should be at an increased price to incentivise customers to buy as early as possible.

Example 2 – Tiered Ticketing

This approach is about intentionally aligning your PR/marketing plan with ticket releases. So, with every piece of news or each promotional initiative you execute, you have an accompanying ticket release – for example:

  • First release (venue and date)
  • Second release (first acts released)
  • Third Release (second group of acts)
  • Final release (headliners)
  • Day tickets (full line-up, further press)

Again each release should be of course be at an increased price to incentivise customers to buy as early as possible. If you’re worried about this being unethical – consider that it’s simply more of a risk for customers to buy early on when they have less information, so it’s justified that they get a cheaper ticket at that stage.

Example 3 – Full customer commitment

This model is designed to encourage your customers to invest in the full event experience. Releasing only weekend tickets first, if you are a festival or multi-day event, will do this. Driving as many customers as possible to commit at an early stage will help increase advanced ticket revenue and ensure customers spend across the entire weekend while on site.

Then, with a final marketing drive in the weeks leading up to your event, you can release Day Tickets. This will drive another spike in sales helping secure the event and bag any customers who could not commit to the full weekend.

Customers must be incentivised to purchase the full weekend/multi-day tickets, so it’s important that the financial gain is enough to push customers toward these packages. In basic terms, buying a weekend ticket should be cheaper than buying individual day passes. Of course, you could consider non-financial incentives too, like special access, goody bags or other freebies to those that make the full commitment early on.

Whichever method you choose… social media is a must

Its important to keep the momentum going with your social exposure. Below are some links to some of our previous posts written and designed to help you get the most from your social media during your on-sale period.

Facebook offers:

Use of hashtags:

General social media:

By Will Franklin

Do you have any other tips for what works best? Let us know in the comments below or via @ticketscript.