By Lindsay Anderson, VP of Client Development
Chances are you’ve been thinking about upcoming shows that get us into the holiday spirit, concerts that have us humming well-known tunes, and ballets that can elicit memories taking us back to our childhood since before last year’s events even opened. As your events are beginning, how are ticket sales and revenues shaping up? If you’re one of the organizations who routinely sells out by this time (meaning 98-99% of capacity sold), then you’re probably already working on your 2019 events, as you should be.
If you still have tickets to sell and income to chase this season, you can do more and quickly. Here are three high impact actions to make the very most of your festive offerings:
1. Get out of your pricing comfort zone.
If you haven’t implemented dynamic pricing before, now is the time to start experimenting with your festive event.
Increase your ticket prices for high demand dates or times by a few pounds or dollars, or reprice some B prices to A prices. If you’re more experienced in dynamic pricing, push those prices up higher than you thought possible, increase the prices incrementally and see what demand warrants. Don’t let fear or assumptions hold you back.
Monitor sales pacing and per capita revenue (average amount paid per household or transaction) to make sure you’re seeing the desired results. You’ll soon find the top price your patrons are willing to pay. At TRG Arts we’re yet to see sales slow from changes like this, but you can always bring prices back down if you’re seeing resistance. And remember, dynamic pricing can also assist you to promote the message of buying early to next year’s Christmas/holiday show.
2. Tickets left to sell? Pay attention.
Most likely, there will be some tickets still available early or later in the run and on particular days or times of day. Focus your efforts now on earlier events where there is available inventory still to sell, otherwise you’ll wish you did when you approach sell-out at the end of the run. Once those dates are gone you can’t recoup lost inventory, so make the most of it now.
If you have seated events and find yourself with only single seats available on high demand performance dates (i.e. Christmas Eve), you can still sell them. If you have more than one single seat in a row, invite patrons who already have tickets to shift seats so you can move other seats together – it’s worth a look and a phone call, and offer an incentive. If these are the only seats you have left for high demand dates, then they’re very valuable. Make sure people know they’re available and sell them for a high value price.
3. Get something for nothing.
This doesn’t mean offering last-minute discounts or fire sales! Be targeted. Direct offers and discounts on select dates and times targeted to a
specific group of patrons. You may be thinking, “I’ve already done this earlier in our campaign and we’ve contacted everybody”, but you still have tickets to sell.
Take a deeper look in your database: see how many of your patrons don’t attend year on year, which segments have yielded the greatest sales, and look at how you could improve your segmentation of previous Christmas/holiday patrons to reduce attrition/churn.
Mail a cheap and cheerful direct mail piece to those who haven’t yet bought tickets. These patrons are your most likely prospects and you can get them to book by extending a tightly timed offer. It can be a percentage or discount amount off tickets, an added value, but make it compelling! If they haven’t bought tickets by now, they’ll need an incentive to attend on the dates and at the times you want them to.
If you don’t have time or budget to send a mail piece, send an email. Look to digital marketing to re-target your best prospects. Try and find resources to invest as these seasonal events are where you can expect the highest return on that investment.
Optimize your pricing this festive season:
Watch back our Dynamic Pricing is Not Enough webinar to learn pricing and demand management strategies and tactics you can implement for your festive events.
Cinderella. Photo © Nottingham Playhouse.