The Strategy Behind Your Lines

We attended an event last week at a local nightclub and took note of how the line was treated. Lines aren’t something that most clubs put a ton of thought into, and it was quite evident at this event that it was not a part of the event planning process. The venue did a decent job of pre-selling tickets to their event, and they also had the opportunity for people to buy tickets at the door. What they did a horrible job at was managing their line.


There was only one line for this event. While that may not seem like a big deal, it is when you consider that there are 3 different audiences standing in this one line:

  1. Guests who pre-bought a ticket
  2. Guests who were on the VIP guestlist and did not need to buy a ticket
  3. General admission guests who needed to buy a ticket at the door

What’s the benefit of a guest pre-buying a ticket if they don’t even get to skip the long line? Plus, when there is a second line for pre-purchased tickets, it entices guests to make behavioral changes to buy a ticket ahead of time, which in turn equates to more money in your pocket before the night of your event. That’s a win-win for everyone.


Putting a bit of strategy into how you treat your line can increase your revenue and speed of night, especially when it comes to pre-sale tickets. Here’s what many top-performing nightclubs do to achieve this:

  1. Use separate lines for different functions (ex: different lines for general admission, guestlist, VIP tables, and pre-purchased tickets).
  2. Slow down the general admission line for your events, but not enough that it takes away from your speed of night and becomes a true annoyance to guests.
  3. Focus on your speed of night in your pre-paid ticket line by speeding this line up a bit more than the general admission line. This mitigates a long buildup in the pre-paid line, which shows your general admission guests the benefit of buying tickets ahead of time.
  4. Use ticket scanners at your cashier station to speed up the check-in and payment process. Scanning a ticket allows the cashier to quickly pull up guest information and charge the proper amount (if any) within a matter of seconds rather than entering each person into a system manually. This speeds up the bottleneck at the cashier and allows your club to collect more valuable data.

Don’t overlook the strategy behind your lines. After all, they’re an important aspect of increasing the performance of your future events.


Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing at BookBottles. Contact her at whitney.johnson@bookbottles.com.

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