Do you need to boost attendance and revenue at your events this year? Sometimes event planners need extra firepower to boost their events, and the proper pricing strategies can help you increase revenue. It might sound like a sneaky trick, but tiering your ticket pricing is a smart strategy for marketing your events.
After all, you want to sell as many tickets as possible, but you must be mindful of margins and attendance numbers. There’s a sweet spot between butts-in-seats and event revenue, and you can hit that number more easily with tiered tickets.
Ticketing tiers should be part of every event’s pricing strategy. It’s the best way to encourage attendees to sign up ASAP — while helping you see positive ROI from all the hard work you put into planning your big bash.
Let’s look at why tiered ticketing is a good idea, plus the six types of tiered tickets you should consider for your events.
Why Should Events Include Tiered Ticketing?
With tiered tickets, admission gets more expensive based on the bells and whistles attendees want or on how close you are to the date of the event.
Yes, ticketing tiers add complexity to your event strategy, but tiered tickets are a good idea because:
- They make your event more accessible: Maybe you want to charge $1,000 a ticket for your annual conference. But $1,000 is a lot of money for cost-conscious attendees. Pricey tickets make your event inaccessible to hundreds of potential attendees, substantially limiting your audience (and earning opportunities). Fortunately, tiered tickets make your event more accessible to people with modest budgets. You can offer cheaper tickets in exchange for a lower level of access that’s on par with the ticket price. Most people are okay with giving up perks for cheaper tickets, anyway.
- They create FOMO: As you sell out of tickets at certain tiers, you’ll trigger a feeling of scarcity in your potential attendees. This fear of missing out (FOMO) pressures them to act sooner rather than later, which can help you fill your attendee roster more quickly.
- They fill up more seats: The last thing you want to do is host an event with a ton of empty seats. Since most conference attendees book their tickets a minimum of one week before the event, you’ll have a better chance of filling seats and boosting revenue ahead of time with tiered tickets.
- You’ll learn more about event pricing: Switching to tiered ticketing is tricky because you learn about pricing as you go. Even if you’ve never done tiered tickets before, your audience has learned to expect them, so treat this as a bold experiment on event pricing. We’re willing to bet that you’ll still rake in more revenue — even with lower-cost ticket options — thanks to a boost in attendance numbers.
Ticketing tiers are a smart way to create urgency and encourage attendees to act quickly. Try offering these six types of tickets to encourage more signups for your next event.
Standard admission (also called “general admission”) is the type of ticket you offer to most attendees. These tickets are the no-frills, baseline experience for which most people sign up.
However, you can consistently offer certain upgrades, like reserved seats, to standard admission ticketholders. Upgrades are great for folks who want select perks without upgrading to a VIP experience.
Some attendees are willing to pay for a cushier experience, so why not offer it to them? VIP tickets are a step above standard admission. They usually give VIPs special access or a bundle of high-value goodies rolled into their ticket.
Create a VIP package for your event that includes goodies like:
- Premium seating
- Free parking or valet
- Access to exclusive parties
- Backstage passes
- Meet and greets
- Free transportation
- Meals included
- Extra drink tickets
- Bonus content or workshops
- On-demand session recordings
Remember, these folks are paying extra, so make their experience worth the additional cost.
Many people will sign up for early bird access to score a cheaper price, which helps your attendees and helps you gauge interest and build an attendee list long before your event.
You can offer different tiers of early bird pricing. Offer standard admission at a lower price and VIP upgrades to early birds who want more of a premium experience.
Opening early bird tickets to existing customers, community members, or loyal followers is a good idea. You can create a “Super Early Bird” option for these folks. After that, feel free to open up early bird pricing to the general public. You can add a countdown clock to your early bird landing page to add urgency and language like “Just 10 tickets remaining!” to encourage signups.
Whatever you do, ensure early bird pricing stays exclusive to early birds. If you offer the same pricing later and attendees find out you fibbed about their exclusive deal, you’ll lose their trust. Remember, early birds are doing you a solid, so reward their loyalty with truly exclusive pricing.
Look, no matter how many promotions you run, you’re guaranteed to have people show up at the door. This ticketing tier is perfect for last-minute attendees and can help you fill any empty seats left at the venue. Selling last-minute tickets does mean you’ll need staff on hand to sell tickets at the door, but that’s a breeze with the right event technology platform.
Don’t take pity on these last-minute attendees. This is the moment when you sell tickets at their full price. Since the attendee is already there and ready to participate, you can justify asking for the full price right before the event starts.
Virtual tickets are an increasingly popular ticket tier in the post-COVID event planning world. Many businesses offer super cheap virtual tickets with online-only access as a way to boost their reach and revenue opportunities — for pretty much zero added effort. Virtual tickets allow you to promote your brand to attendees across the globe, which can significantly boost your ticket sales.
Just make sure you have the proper hybrid event setup. At a minimum, you’ll need an event platform, cameras, microphones, and recording equipment to give virtual attendees a solid experience.
Multi-day Passes or Day Passes
Passes are ideal for multi-day conferences where you focus on different subjects every day. For example, if Day 1 is about Sales and Day 2 is about eCommerce, attendees can buy different passes to view the content they’re most interested in. Let attendees know the agenda ahead so they can decide for themselves.
Day passes also help you give cost-conscious attendees a cheaper in-person alternative to virtual tickets. You can always give attendees multi-day passes at a 10% per-day discount to make the multi-day option more enticing.
Event pricing isn’t straightforward, but ticketing tiers are one of the best tricks to increasing attendance and revenue. Try the six ticket types in this guide to give attendees a wider variety of attendance options. You’ll likely see more significant attendance figures and revenue for your trouble!
But we know that pricing and ticketing can get complicated, especially for big events. If you need a helping hand, Endless Events pulls off jaw-dropping events across the United States for ROI-conscious brands. If you need to wow attendees while generating positive ROI, we’re the team for the job.
See the Endless Events difference for yourself: Request a proposal for your next big event.