In planning The Mane Ingredient event in Charlotte, NC, I created some practices that allowed my VIP tickets to sell out within 24 hours of my placing them on sale. It’s really not rocket science, but it is strategic. What is ironic is that I did a similar event in the same city last summer and contemplated cancelling the event due to slow ticket sales (fortunately ticket sales improved in the last 2-3 days). But by doing some things strategically this time, I was able to sell out VIP tickets in 24 hours and have only a handful of tickets left with two and half weeks until the event.
Below are my tips for promoting and hopefully increasing your VIP ticket sales (and really all ticket levels) the S.M.A.R.T. way.
Strategically decide what to offer: Take into consideration the type of event, the number of total attendees, the number of VIP tickets available, the venue and your target ticket range. Currently the event planning trend is to offer attendees exclusivity and an experience. Keep these things in mind as you plan what to offer your VIP attendees. As we all know, V.I.P. stands for “Very Important Person.” And you should want to ensure your guests (all of them, but especially your VIPs) leave your event feeling they’ve had an experience that is second to none.
Things you can offer as part of the VIP experience:
- Exclusive (for only VIP ticket holders) access to special guests or presenters
- Drink ticket
- Separate line
- Early shopping with vendors
- Special seating
Make the value known: When I advertised the tickets, I tried to make it sound really enticing and inviting. I detailed what the VIP Experience would include with visual and word clues.
Announce VIP ticket amenities exclusively: When I placed the tickets on sale, I only promoted the VIP tickets, although both sets of tickets were on sale. They had a choice when they went to the ticket page, but because of how I promoted the VIP tickets, there really was no choice (smile).
Repeat the VIP ticket offer until they sell out: I used different pictures to promote The Mane Ingredient. No matter what picture I used (the picture on the left is the venue and the one on the right is the suggested attire), the caption was always the same–demonstrating the value of the VIP tickets.
Time the release of communication: Increase the exclusivity by offering teasers prior to your tickets going on sale (see graphic below). To increase the “exclusive” feel of your offer, release it to your email list first (will help build your email list…read more about that here). Then release it the following day on your social media platforms.
The feature I like about this method is that is something a planner or promoter can accomplish alone–without the assistance of others. But also what you will find is that because of this method, others WILL share your message and event–without your even asking!
What methods have you found effective for increasing early ticket sales?
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