"Pay what you can" ticket pricing

It's not uncommon for theaters to take a single performance of a production to offer a "Pay What You Can" ticket night. Pay what you can (PWYC) tickets allow patrons to dictate the price of what they can afford rather than the price set by the venue. PWYC performances are an excellent way to extend the availability of the arts to students and those on a limited budget.

"Pay what you can" (also known as pay what you wish) ticket pricing is a great way to fill the seats on opening night or even a "preview" performance prior to the official opening. In addition, "pay what you can" pricing allows the theatre or event venue to introduce themselves to a newer audience who may have never attended a show in the past.

When creating an event in ThunderTix, you can create either a single ticket type as PWYC or it can be added in addition to the standard ticket types available. When you select the PWYC ticket option, you'll need to set a minimum ticket price that you feel is acceptable for entry to your event.

Pay What You Can Ticket

A common minimum price is $5 per ticket, but the patron can choose what price they want to pay at or above the minimum threshold. While "pay what you can" pricing offers increased flexibility for students, it also allows generous patrons to open their wallets and give any amount they prefer, similar to how donations are open-ended in the value entered. In the image of how PWYC tickets are displayed below, patrons clearly see what the minimum price is while allowing them the ability to enter any amount they can.

The minimum price you set is completely flexible for your needs. The minimum can even be set to $0 allowing patrons to see the event for free. Conversely, if you currently offer free admission for some of your events, consider changing your free ticket to the new flexible pricing available with PWYC tickets. For the first time, you would be able to continue offering the same free tickets (with the $0 minimum) while allowing attendees to enter greater values.

Flexible pricing during COVID-era events

With the past event climate due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it may be more challenging to charge your normal ticket prices for virtual events. However, PWYC tickets could raise revenue from generous patrons choosing to pay more as a way to support your organization during this challenging time. In fact, for event organizers managing pivoting to virtual events during "shelter in place" requirements imposed by city/state mandates, "pay what you can" pricing may be just the ticket you need to bring in revenue streams to keep your business afloat.

In an era when we are collectively desperate for good at-home entertainment, reasonably priced live events are a great alternative to sitting in front of the TV or streaming a movie.