What if you treated every night as an event? And what if that approach was the reason your customers were walking through your door? Or the reason your venue was earning more pre-sale revenue than ever before? Well, that’s exactly what we began to see at the end of 2015.
In the past, events were most commonly thought of as a hosting a major musical act or going along with a major holiday, such as New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, or Halloween. For these types of events, venues would book talent in advance, create their event landing page, and then start marketing and pre-selling tickets. These events were successful because they were planned in advance and had revenue coming in through the door well before the night-of.
Now, that thinking is starting to become the every day. Treating every night like an event (even the average nights) allows you to get the most out of every night. It builds buzz around a common night and elevates your venue to be one that is highly desired. People begin to know what to expect, and they start talking to their friends. Plans are easier for your customers. Walking through your door gets easier for your customer. And with this ease comes more money.
Here’s how you can take on this event-based approach.
1. Identify your inventory
A big part of an event is pre-sales. Without pre-sales, it’s hard to get that event-like mentality. Fortunately, pre-selling inventory is easy and can generate more revenue than not pre-selling at all. The first step is simply identifying what you have to sell. Some ideas are having your customers pay for cover in advance, booking a VIP table in advance, buying a VIP table ticket with bottles a part of the package, or even drink packages at the bar.
2. Have a dedicated events page
Your customers need a place to be made aware of your events and buy your inventory. Either have a dedicated page on your website for events or a different landing page specifically dedicated to your events. Whichever route you choose, make sure you have the ability for your customers to buy their tickets directly through you. Our system syncs directly into your website so users don’t have to get redirected. Plus, that money goes directly into your account right away so you can pay for your night even before it happens.
3. Build a marketing strategy
It’s not likely for your customers to just come across your event page right away. That means you’ll need a marketing strategy in place to get the word out. Set your promoters up for success by allowing them to sell on the streets, engage with your customers through social media, and leverage partnerships to build your base.
4. Collect data
The best part about pre-selling data (other than the revenue, of course), is that you’re able to collect your customer’s data easier than at the door. Your customers are used to making online purchases, and are used to providing their information to do so. This is an opportunity for you to collect their information in a non stressful environment and build your customer database. You can then use this database to better market your customers and keep them informed of your happenings. You can even segment your customers into specific audiences and send messages that are only relevant to that audience to truly get the right crowd in your doors. Data is a powerful tool, and is what’s going to propel your ROI.
5. Strategize lines and door pricing
It’ll take a bit of time to condition your customers into buying in advance. Putting a bit of strategy into your door operations on the night of your event is one of the best ways to show the incentive of buying early. Use different lines for different customer types, such as a line for your pre-sale customer and a line for customers paying at the door. This helps speed up the pre-sale line and shows the benefit of buying early. Also consider increasing your prices the night of your event to further show the benefit of making purchases ahead of time.
6. Review. Optimize. Repeat.
You’ll never know how successful your marketing efforts are if you don’t track and measure results. Review the data at the end of the night to understand what went well and what didn’t. Repeat the things that went well, ditch the ones that didn’t, and continue with new ideas until you find your stride. We recommend you use referral tracking codes to track all of your marketing efforts. This will help you understand which channels are the most effective for driving people to pre-buy. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event.
Whitney Larson is the president and director of marketing at Vēmos. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below.