9 actionable methods to increase ticket revenue
The close of one year allows us to reflect on our performance while eagerly anticipating new processes to implement in the upcoming new year especially on how to maximize ticket revenue. From live entertainment venues, be it music halls, magic shows, cabaret dinner theaters, or performing arts centers, this post explores innovative strategies for increasing revenue from ticket sales with actionable methods that can help you maximize your profits and enhance your customers' experience.
1. Dynamic Pricing Strategies
Dynamic pricing is a powerful tool to both motivate early ticket sales and to optimize revenue. Reward early ticket buyers with price discounts, then gradually increase prices as showtime approaches. With ThunderTix, you can apply a set-and-forget price increase scheme to your events that gradually increase prices over time.
Further, prices can fluctuate based on demand and other market factors. If the local newspaper or TV station features your venue in their stories, it's an opportune time to nudge prices up by a dollar or two. Holidays are another great time to adjust prices in real-time to ensure maximum profitability.
2. Premium Pricing for Preferred Seating
Offering premium prices for preferred seats, like aisle seats in large performing arts venues, those tables front and center at the magic show, or booth seating in music venues are all prime opportunities to boost revenue. Customers pay for enhanced experiences!
Consider increasing prices by 10% for these premium seats and tweak prices as needed. If sales are unimpeded by these price jumps, consider increasing the front row aisle seats the front most tables just a bit more.
History dictates which seats are considered the best seats, but if you are unsure, simply review your seating arrangements and look at early sales to see which seats buyers choose most frequently.
3. Bundled Ticket Sales
Encourage group attendance by requiring the purchase of all seats at a table or in a box. This strategy not only ensures full occupancy but also promotes a more social experience. (Attending events with friends is not only more fun, but it's more likely to be shared on social media.)
In ThunderTix, you have the option to select which tables should be purchased as a set. If you want to leave some tables as communal (different parties sharing one table), be sure to put those tables in the back. Since groups have more fun, place bundled ticket tables near the front of the action, and heighten the enjoyment for all attendees.
4. Service and Convenience Fees
Introducing a nominal fee to cover ticket processing or credit card transactions is a standard industry practice. Ensure these fees are transparent and reasonable to maintain customer trust.
ThunderTix has very low fees per ticket, and those can be passed on to the consumer on any ticket price to completely defray the cost of service. Low fees are perfectly acceptable to patrons. However, we bristle at the steep fees charged by the industry's behemoths.
Further, since most payment gateways charge 2.9% of revenue for credit cards, you may be able to pass on those transaction fees. This helps to cover lost revenue to your payment processor for accepting credit cards. In the case of credit card processing fees, with ThunderTix you retain 100% of any fees you pass on to the consumer as additional revenue.
5. Early Bird and Last-Minute Discounts
Encourage early purchases with ‘early bird’ discounts, which can help in forecasting attendance and revenue. Conversely, offering last-minute discounts can fill up seats that would otherwise remain empty.
Post these special pricing deals on social media. If Saturday night is forecast to be cold and rainy where attendees might be likely to stay home, offer BOGOs or limited time discounts to encourage ticket sales.
For reserved seating venues, early bird discounts help fill seats giving the appearance of a fast-selling show. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a powerful motivator, and diminished seating availability inspires ticket sales.
6. Membership and Loyalty Programs
Create membership or loyalty programs that offer perks like early access to tickets, discounts, or exclusive experiences. This not only drives sales but also builds a loyal customer base.
Let members share specific discount codes with friends, and track those referrals in your database. Provide extra rewards, drink vouchers, or seat upgrades to your most raving fans.
Loyalty programs can be automated to recognize the number of patron visits, then send notifications to your loyal customers via email. Let the cycle continue!
7. Strategic Partnerships
Partner with local businesses, hotels, or tourism boards to offer combined packages or promotions. This can expand your reach to new audiences.
For your partners, share discount codes that are specific to each business. Name your discount coupons uniquely to track the level of referrals from each partner. Give each partner a unique link that already includes their discount code making it easy for patrons to redeem. Print vouchers to share with hotels inviting attendees to enjoy a house beverage.
To drive business to partners, consider including advertising on your eTickets with special codes or promotions on event night to redeem with area businesses. Your partners track these to recognize the full value of their advertising for future promotions.
8. Engaging Social Media Campaigns
Use social media to create buzz around events. Interactive campaigns, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes content can boost ticket sales. Make sure you give patrons the opportunity to share on Instagram, X, or Facebook with relevant hashtags.
At the venue, create Instagram worthy areas for patrons to take shareable photos and videos. Create prizes for those using suggested hashtags, and repost these on your own channels. Celebrate prize winners with additional photos.
9. Feedback and Continuous Improvement
Always seek feedback from your audience and continuously improve your offerings. Understanding customer preferences can lead to more targeted and successful revenue strategies.
One way to elicit customer comments is via a "net promotor score" or NPS. An NPS score simply asks, "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?" Customers rate you on a score between 0 and 10. The NPS scores are tallied to give you an idea of how you are doing. The best businesses rate over 40, and anything below that indicates you have work to do. (Costco and Apple are two of the highest rated U.S. companies at 70 and 65 respectively.)
Understanding how to maximize ticket revenue lies in understanding your audience, using flexible and dynamic pricing programs, leveraging membership and loyalty discount programs, and using effective marketing strategies especially around social media. By implementing these actionable items, you can ensure that 2024 is a year of not only great performances but also of increased profitability and customer satisfaction.