Category Archives: Sales

How to Gain More Pre-Sales

We talk about pre-sales often here at BookBottles. After all, it’s one of the easiest ways to not only make revenue from your event, but also guarantee it.

Most venues generate pre-sales by having an online event page from which guests buy their tickets. Others couple this with having on-the-street promoters selling tickets directly to guests. Both are great ways to guarantee pre-sales. But the one thing we see many venues do that actually inhibits pre ticket sales is having too many calls to action (CTA) during the whole process.

CTAs are the words and buttons that drive a guest to do the action you want them to do. In this situation, the CTA is for users to purchase a ticket to your event. Your “buy now” or “purchase ticket” buttons are good examples of your CTA.

However, we see many venues group all possible CTAs on one page. This ends up confusing your guest more than it helps them. The below screenshot is an example of this no-no:

What is the guest supposed to do? Buy a ticket to the event? Reserve a table for that day? Request to get on the guestlist? By having all three CTAs on one line, you’re derailing your guest from doing the action you actually want them to do: buy a ticket. Instead, use the single CTA for the guest to buy a ticket. Getting a VIP table for that night is an upsell and should be done either as a ticket option or after the guest purchases a ticket (it depends on your goal and processes), but it should not sidetrack a guest from attending your event at all. And requesting to get on the guestlist should never be on your event management page. You don’t earn pre-sale revenue by a guest requesting to be on a guestlist; plus, your ticket purchases should be automatically integrated with your guestlist (if they’re not, you’re missing a big opportunity).

Make sure your CTAs are clear. Start by identifying your goal (ex: to pre-sell tickets to your event). Make your CTA direct (ex: buy your ticket now). And upsell guests when appropriate (ex: book a VIP table for the event you’re attending). This ensures you’re guaranteeing and increasing your revenue.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing for BookBottles. Contact her at

Where Does the Money You Make From an Event Go?

Hosting events is one of the best ways for nightclubs to get guests through the doors and to make extra cash on an otherwise standard night. But in order to make that cash, you have to sell tickets, and that’s where third-party ticketing vendors come in. Yet, what most nightclubs fail to realize is that some third-party vendors don’t set your event up for financial success. That’s why it’s more important than ever for you to ask vendors during the vetting process where every cent of your money goes.

The Problem

Most ticketing vendors collect your customers’ payments in their own banks until after the event is over. Once your event has passed, they’ll cut you a check for what you earned…or so you thought.

The fees many of these vendors impose are astronomical and unnecessary. We’ve been trained for years to believe service fees are a necessary evil to selling tickets, and while this is true to some extent, it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg for your venue and your guests. We’ve seen some ticket vendors charge a service fee to the nightclub for using their service, a service fee to the guest for buying from the service, and a handling fee for the guest for handing their ticket purchase. The first fee is taken directly out of your revenue stream, and then second two fees are typically added on top of the price of the ticket for your guest to pay. The two fees coupled with the price of the ticket can make the cost of the event not worth it to many guests, which turns away otherwise excellent patrons to your event, which in turn takes a hit on profit you could have made.

Not only are you losing revenue from all the fees, but you’re also not getting the money you eventually earned until after the event happened. So even if you were smart and went through the effort of pre-selling your tickets to earn a profit and pay all your vendors ahead of time, your efforts were essentially in vain since you may not actually get paid until weeks after the event happened (and months since your guests even purchased their ticket).

The Solution

Look to a ticketing vendor that ensures payment goes directly through your merchant services provider and into your bank account right from the get-go. This type of vendor won’t collect any of your money in its own bank account and will work with you and your merchant services provider to make sure every cent you earn is given directly to you, even when you’re conducting pre-sales. That means you’ll be able to pay for your event before it even happens and enjoy the extra profit weeks afterwards rather than worry when your money will arrive.

What’s more is you can wave goodbye to grotesque service fees going this route. Since the vendor isn’t handling your money, there wont’ be extra unnecessary service fees for you to pay. That’s a big financial win for both you and your guests.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing at BookBottles. Contact her at

5 Tips to Improve Your Bottle Service

Bottle service has been around for decades as a way to attract high-status patrons and earn high, fast-growing revenue. Unfortunately, it’s also become such a standard component to the nightlife scene that many venues treat it as a mandatory guideline rather than a premiere service to their most desirable guests. But getting into this rut is more detrimental to your club than you may realize.

While it’s true that bottle service is common amongst most top nightclubs, you’re doing yourself a disservice by treating it as a service for commoners. People expect to pay top-dollar to receive this premier customized service, and if your staff is acting like it’s just another area of your club, your guests aren’t going to get the experience they expect or deserve.

Below are 5 tips to make sure your bottle service stands out as a desirable first-class experience.

1. Know your audience

Your guests define your business. After all, without customers, you don’t have a venue. That’s why it’s more important than ever to truly know your audience – they’re what determines what type of club you are and how your bottle service should be executed. But there’s more to the story than simply identifying your audience segment. In today’s ever-changing fast-paced landscape, it’s more important than ever to truly know who your guests are beyond their niche generalization. In order to be truly successful, you need to know the guests who frequent your venue, who spend a lot of money, and who would be considered loyal. A robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s tied to your point of sale and integrated into every aspect of your club will allow you to gain a deep insight into your customers and their habits.

2. Use an integrated reservation management system

Too many clubs operate with pen and paper to manage table reservations. Some have graduated onto email as their medium of choice, but this still results in double-booked tables and other errors. It’s nearly impossible to keep track of reservations using these old school processes. Reservations are coming in from different sources, tables are over promised, and what ends up getting marked down isn’t true to what’s actually going to happen that night. That’s where the reservation management system comes into place. Just give your employees and partners access to the system with their own personal login where they can add a reservation for a specific night and choose tables that are only available for that time slot. This streamlines your processes to maximize efficiency and accuracy. And when the reservation system is integrated into all areas of your club, you’re able to capture data about the guest, their party, their orders, and the referrer of the reservation to make better business decisions down the road.

3. Provide personalized service

VIP guests don’t want to be treated like a number. They should be greeted at the door, walked to their table, offered their personal top-purchased liquors, and attended to by their favorite server. Having a CRM system in place helps keep track of this information to give seamless service from all staff members. What’s more is this CRM system boosts upsales for your venue by recommending items based on the guest’s history and interests. You can also upsell a non-VIP customer before they even walk in your door by identifying them in line. The CRM system will tell you if a guest is a regular attendee, which means you have the opportunity to upsell them to bottle service right then and there. The personal treatment you’re able to offer will provide your guest with a better experience, making them more loyal and more likely to refer friends to your venue.

4. Manage inventory accordingly

You can’t afford to run out of a top client’s favorite bottle before he even arrives. That’s where your analytics system comes in. It’s hard to predict the type and amount of liquors to purchase without data. Take time to analyze history and trends of the bottles that are being purchased in your club, especially by your regular guests. Having a system like this in place not only helps you to better plan, but it also strengthens customer experience and allows you to make better business decisions to earn more profit.

5. Market on a personal level

Because your CRM system tracks important customer activity, such as when they come to your club, how much they spend, what they drink, and how many people they bring with them, you’re able to send more targeted, personal and relevant messages to individual guests. This means you’re able to use filters to segment your customers into specific targeted audiences, which in turn means each audience gets messages that are 100% relevant to their habits. That’s powerful marketing and that’s what continues to drive guests into your venue.

Your bottle service shouldn’t be “out of the norm.” Make it personal, make it exceptional, and make it tie back to your data so you can keep improving it month after month.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketin at BookBottles. Contact her at

4 Fall Nightclub Trends

We’re gearing up for fall, which is a great time to reflect on emerging industry trends for the new season. Now that the hot summer trends have died down, we can start to focus on how to provide the best experience leading up to the much anticipated holiday season. Here are 4 fall trends for you to follow to stay relevant in an ever-evolving nightclub industry.

1. Improved door policies

Rules, regulations and policies are sometimes what makes or breaks a venue’s business. As Nightclub & Bar pointed out, “whatever door policy you implement will ultimately gauge the clientele that walks through the door and adds to the perception of your establishment.” Where previously nightclub door policies were moreso aligned with dress code and gender ratio, nightclubs are now turning their attention to focus more on behavioral conduct. Any guest who arrives in an unstable condition is a liability to your venue, so turning these folks away (even if they’re VIP) will maintain the experience every other paying guest in your venue expects and deserves.

2. Increased use of technology

Technology continues to grow in the nightclub industry quarter over quarter. More and more nightclubs are turning to it to track results, effectively communicate across all staff members, and offer exceptional client experience. This year alone, we’ve seen top nightclubs make better use of platforms that are available to streamline operations and maximize profits, and it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. The solutions they’re seeking are ones that offer the whole gamut in one spot, including guestlist management, VIP reservation management, client relationship management, point of sale, ticketing, marketing solutions and, most importantly, analytics. Using this type of technology gives you better insight, increases efficiency and revenue, and ultimately leads to a better customer experience to keep them coming back for more.

3. Planning ahead for big events

Hosting events is one of the best ways to get people through your door. In the past, many venues would rush through the planning process and piece their events together with no strategy in place. But with increasing use of technology, nightclubs now have access to their data and are able to plan ahead for their events. This means they’re able to incorporate ticketing into the rest of their efforts, giving them that full 360-degree look at how their event is performing. On top of this, they’re able to:

  • Create and manage an online event page
  • Sell tickets to consumers right through the page via an e-commerce system
  • Get access to a white-labeled widget so their online ticketing page looks identical to the rest of their website
  • Integrate the event with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices
  • Track ticket sales and results along the way

With this type of a strategy, venues can now synch their promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue before the night of the event and are able to ensure that their event lives up to what their guests expect.

4. Delicious fall drinks

Summer was all about complex refreshing cocktails, but those are getting swapped out for comforting fall drinks. Spices are the name of the game this fall, featuring cocktails such as butternut & falernum, ginger smash and Madagascar, the honey dove, big apple cobbler, pumpkin pie martini, and spiced pear cocktail. All of these drinks encompass the deliciously-craved fall fruits combined with the comforting yet zesty spices that make the crisp fall that much more enjoyable.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of BookBottles. Contact her at

How to Pay for Your Event Before it Happens

Imagine it’s hours before your event and your mind is at ease because you have thousands of dollars in pre-sold tickets and inventory. On top of that, your worries about VIP cancelations are a thing of the past since you reservations aren’t simply guaranteed, but purchased in advance. This is not a dream; this is reality, and it’s easier than you think.

Here’s how you can capitalize on pre-sales to generate revenue that will pay for your event before the event even happens.

1. Put the right tools in place to sell tickets

It’s hard to know how your event will go if you don’t get access to your own data – something many ticketing companies fail to provide their clients. Make sure you have full control of your events and get access to all of your data before, during, and after the event. There are technology platforms that incorporate ticketing into the rest of your efforts, giving you that full 360-degree look at how your venue is performing. This platform enables to you to:

  • Create and manage an online event page
  • Sell tickets to consumers right through the page via an e-commerce system
  • Get access to a white-labeled widget so your online ticketing page looks identical to the rest of your website
  • Integrate the event with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices
  • Track ticket sales and results along the way

This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue before the night of your event.

2. Make sure the money goes directly into your bank

Another aspect of a ticketing platform to consider is that of payment. Most ticketing sites collect your customers’ payments in their own banks and hold it until after the event is over. Once the day of your event has passed, they’ll cut you a check for what you earned, but not until they’ve made sure to take any fees they deem themselves worthy to collect. Then, it takes a few business days for the remaining money to appear in your account, meaning you may not actually get your money until a week after the event has happened (and weeks since your guests even purchased a ticket).

Instead, look to companies that ensure payment goes directly through your merchant services provider and into your bank account right from the get-go. That way, a guest purchasing a ticket to your event is the same process as that guest buying a drink inside your venue. There’s no point in collecting pre-sales to help pay for your event before it happens if you’re not going to get your money from those sales until weeks after the event is over.

3. Analyze results to increase revenue for the next event

Getting access to your data gives you the opportunity to truly understand how your venue and events are performing. If you get on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event. Optimization is key to long-term success.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing at BookBottles. Contact her at