Deciding and designing the pricing and the ticketing procedure for your event can be daunting, especially when you have so many options.
It's easiest just to default to the simplest model: a list of the event fees on your event site along with a poor call to action, such as an 'add to cart' button. This lets you easily integrate the ticketing element into your event website and forget about it. No other steps or decisions required.
However, the way you set up the pricing and ticketing features can and will greatly influence your headcount.
A good place to start is to understand that by designing the ticketing feature for your event, you'll help potential attendees put things into perspective.
This phenomenon is called 'anchoring' and is widely explored by behavioral economics. According to Chris Anderson, the author of The Future of a Radical Price, "The initial question is what behavioral economists call an 'anchor', which calibrates a consumer's sense of what a fair price is. It can have a dramatic effect on what they'll ultimately pay."
On the other hand, as the famous psychologist Dan Ariely highlights, "most people don't know what they want unless they see it in context." The author continues, "Humans rarely choose things in absolute terms. We don't have an internal value meter that tells us how much things are worth. Rather, we focus on the relative advantage of one thing over another, and estimate value accordingly."
So why not explore this psychological phenomenon by learning how to set up your fees and ticketing features wisely to boost your event’s attendance?
Here are a few smart strategies that can help:
Tip 1. Offer an early bird option
By introducing the element of urgency plus the possibility of saving money, you’ll motivate people to decide if they want to purchase the tickets faster. The early bird option can be a powerful nudge for those who aren't 100% sure if they want to attend. The idea of saving money and getting the same benefits as later-enrolled attendees has a powerful influence, and it will do its magic.
Tip 2. Establish smart pricing choices
Let's say that you want to sell $200 tickets. To better contextualize the prices (making the fees look more attractive), set up a multi-optional ticketing feature, configuring three purchasing plans with different pricing options. Let’s visualize it. The first purchasing plan could be, "Attending the event: $170", the second plan could be "Attending the event + cocktail dinner: $200", and the third purchase plan option might be "Attending the event + cocktail dinner + 1 hour master class with the speakers: $250." (Note that these prices are just for example's sake; feel free to set your own prices based on your event.)
By providing different options, you'll help potential attendees understand exactly what they're getting for their money. As specified by Dan Ariely, most of the time, participants choose the intermediate fee (not too expensive, not too cheap).
Tip 3. Win-win plans
Attendees can be good event promoters, and you can offer them something in exchange for their promoting. There's no easier way to do that than set up what we refer to 'win-win plans'.
Instead of selling tickets in exchange for money, you can offer points. To earn these points, attendees will have to share your event page on their social media accounts, create content for the event’s blog, or send the event details to five friends.
This is a win for both parties - you're getting the word out about your event (and hopefully increasing headcount) and free marketing, and your attendees are saving money. Just be sure to limit the number of people who can buy the tickets using this point system, or else you could lose money in the end.
Tip 4. Give discounts for different groups
Don't forget to offer discounts. People love to save money (especially if you mention specifically how much they'll save). Create different attendee profiles and personalize the pricing. For example, if you’re hosting an academic event, you could configure different fees for professors, students, or representatives of other institutions. This way, you’ll make attending the event more affordable for a larger group of people, which can help you gain more attendees.
Tip 5. Use a countdown clock strategy
When facing the element of urgency, people are more prone to make a decision and take action. So don’t forget to embed a countdown clock (that shows also the seconds) into the pricing and ticketing page of your event site (add the clock to other pages if possible). Let people know that they have limited time to purchase the tickets.
You can influence how many people buy tickets to and attend your event. To do so, you have to apply a series of strategies to make your potential attendees understand the fees.
- Think about introducing an early bird option and help your public to save money by taking a quick decision.
- Set up different pricing plans and let the people choose the one that suits them best.
- Don’t forget about the win-win options and trade the event tickets for points your potential attendees will earn by promoting your event.
- Also, make your event affordable by offering discounts for different categories and embed a countdown clock to create the sense of urgency.
Take control over the pricing and ticketing options and attract more attendees.