Knowing how to price event tickets is one of the hardest, and most important, parts of planning an event. Aim too high and you can end up with an empty venue. Too low, and your event might not be able to cover costs. Pricing strategy is very complicated, but at its most basic, good pricing is affordable, sustainable, and justifiable.

Here are 4 things you need to know about ticket pricing.

1. Sponsorships for profit

Most large events use proceeds from ticket sales to cover costs, and then use sponsorship money to make a profit.

Corporate sponsors are willing to pay a lot of money to get in front of the right audience. If your event sells a sponsorship for 5 thousand dollars, not an unusual price for a sponsorship, and your average ticket costs 50 dollars, you would have to sell 100 tickets to make as much as you would from one sponsorship.

It is considerably easier to sell your event to a handful of sponsors than to hundreds of attendees. Price your event based on costs and the number of tickets available, then rely on sponsorships to make your event profitable.

Learn how to create a sponsorship prospectus that works.

2. Who is paying for the tickets?

Many large conferences and events sell tickets for hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. While it may seem like people are willing to pay that much to attend events, this is usually not the case.

Event organizers for events such as TechMentor, an annual technology conference, know that their attendees are not the ones paying for their tickets, their employers are. Large companies are willing to pay high prices to send their employees to events because they have a sizable budget allocated to employee education.

If you know that most attendees at your event have their expenses paid by their employers, then you can charge higher prices for tickets. If not, try and keep your ticket prices affordable.

3. Price anchoring

Price anchoring is the psychological tactic of placing higher priced items next to similar, but lower priced, items in order to increase sales of the lower priced item.

For events, price anchoring can come in the form of tiered ticketing, discounting, and time sensitive pricing.

Having tiered ticketing can increase revenue from events by allowing you to sell high priced tickets to those who want them, while still keeping ticket prices affordable for everyone else. Besides a regular ticket, you can have a premium ticket that includes things like a recording of the event, access to workshops, and other benefits.

Discounts for students, academics, members of the military, and other special groups can help your event cover costs while still remaining affordable. Give discount codes to attendees that add value to your event, but might not be able to pay full price for tickets.

A time sensitive pricing strategy can be used to sell more tickets from the start Conference management software like BusyConf allows event organizers to price tickets based on purchase date. Create early bird tickets for people who register before a certain day to encourage early registrations and create late registration tickets for price anchoring to make buying regular tickets more appealing.

4. Social proof

Social proof is a psychological term for when people look at the actions and opinions of others, especially those who hold influence, in order to decide their own actions.

Social proof can be used to justify your event’s ticket prices and show potential attendees that your event is credible. Gather testimonials from past attendees by emailing them or through social media and add it to your website. If your event’s speakers are influential, use their names as social proof by name dropping them on your registration page. Using sponsor logos can also help your event gain credibility.

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published by Osman Sheikh

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