Category Archives: Sales

How to Increase Profit with Event Ticketing

There’s a common issue we see in the nightlife industry, and that’s lack of data sharing – especially when it comes to ticketing. Very few third-party companies are willing to give up their most valuable asset: data. And chances are, you’re suffering from this more than you know. Let’s take a look:

You’re gearing up to host a big event. You know you need to charge for the event, and the best way to do so is through ticketing. You choose a prominent ticketing company to handle the set-up, promotion, and distribution of your tickets. People come to your event and all seems well. But when the event is over, it’s over. The ticketing company didn’t give you access to your ticketing sales. You have no idea who came into your venue, where they were from, what they did while they were there, or how much money you made. All you know is you hosted an event and people showed up.

We at BookBottles knew this needed to change. The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze data, which is very hard to do when you don’t get access to your own data. That’s why we believe you should have full control of your events. So we created a platform that incorporates ticketing into the rest of your efforts, giving you that full 360-degree look at how your venue is performing. This platform enables you to:

  • Create and manage an online event page
  • Sell tickets to consumers right through the page via an e-commerce system
  • Integrate the event with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices
  • Track ticket sales and results along the way
  • See how often a certain individual buys your event tickets and for which shows

This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together in one centralized spot to maximize ticket sales and revenue. What’s more is you’re able to analyze results to better set yourself up for success in the future. After all, optimization is the key to long-term success.

Stop selling yourself short by only handling the front-end side of selling tickets. Get access to your data and learn whether your event was a success and which areas need improvement. The more you know, the better results you’ll have. And with better results comes bigger profits.

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

5 Tools to Maximize Profit

Did you know the average lifespan of a club is less than two years? Let’s work together to bring that average up. In fact, it’s easier than you might think. With the right tools, processes, and systems in place, you’ll be on your way to gaining more loyalty and maximizing profits for years to come.

Here are 5 tools you need in your wheelhouse to grow your venue.

1. Integrated Point of Sale (POS) System

Integrated POS systems equate to bigger and better data. It takes your club beyond transactional information, giving you insight into rich details of your club’s results, employee performance, individual guest sales, and trending liquor sales. The best way to integrate your POS system is to connect it with other areas of your club (including the ones listed below) through a platform that handles web and mobile POS options. This type of integrated system not only collects deeper information, but also reports it in ways that help you make better business decisions.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

Your guests – especially your VIP ones – 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 track 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 guests with a better experience, making them more loyal and more likely to refer friends to your venue.

3. 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 process to maximize efficiency and accuracy.

4. Analytics System

This is where that rich data we discussed above comes into play. An analytics system takes the guessing work out of the numbers that are being reported. It shows exactly what you want to know about a given area of your club, including your customers. With this type of system, you’re able to define how much money you made or lost over a given time period, whether an event was profitable, which promoters are bringing in the most guests, and which servers are performing the best. All of this information leads to insight about your club to make better decisions for the future.

5. Mobile App for Staff

The best scenario is when all of the above tools are programmed to connect to each other through a mobile application. Why bother with five different technologies if it’s going to add five different processes to your club? New technology has emerged to group all of these tools together under one platform that operates both on the web and on mobile devices. Installing this type of platform and giving employees and promoters access to the system streamlines and centralizes your processes.

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

Hosting a Profitable Event

Hosting events is one of the best ways to get people through your door. But if you don’t take the time to plan it out, get everything in place, and throw a good party, your event could take a dive for the worst and leave you owing more than you made.

Here is a 5-step plan to set you up for success when hosting an event.

1. Plan your event

Planning is one of the most important aspects of throwing an event. You need to first identify what you want to get out of the event, and plan accordingly to achieve it. The best questions to answer during this step are:

  • What is your goal?
  • What is your budget, and how much can you spend in each area of the event?
  • Who is your audience and what are they interested in?
  • Is this going to be an event tied to a holiday or time of year?
  • How will you get the word out about this event?

Once you answer these questions, you have a better way of moving forward. You know exactly how many promoters you need, what staff members are responsible for, how much money you can spend on talent, what type of talent you need to hire, if you can offer drink specials – the list goes on.

2. Hire the right talent

Talent is a big portion of what lures people into your venue. But you need to make sure you hire the right talent. Do your guests prefer a headlining DJ or a local band? What type of lighting and sound equipment do you need to enhance the experience for your guests? After all, the people you are throwing the event for should define the event’s path. Know what your audience wants and what they’ll pay to attend. And above all else, stay within the budget you allotted in step 1 to maximize your profits and achieve your goal.

3. Generate revenue, even before the day of the event

We’re talking about pre-sales. Every event or venue, regardless of size, benefits from the pre-sale of tickets and inventory. The best way to sell tickets in advance is to get everyone on board with a single platform. There are platforms available that allow you to create and manage an online event page, publish the page for consumers to purchase tickets, have the page integrate with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices, and 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.

4. Be a good party host

Your event efforts must continue, and perhaps even spike, during the night of the event. Treat everyone like VIPs, from the bottle buyer to the general admission guest. Focus on service levels and make them feel appreciated no matter what. Your guests will not only continually come back, but they’ll also tell everyone they know about their experience. This sets you up for success for the long run.

5. Analyze results to better prepare for the next event

The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze the data. If you got 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. The more you know, the better your results.

Ready to take your event to the next level? Get started for free.

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How to Get More from Your Promoters

Marketing is a critical component to your venue’s success. From basic promotions to grand events, your marketing and messaging is what lures guests in and keeps them coming back. Yet, marketing is the area that tends to get the least amount of strategic attention and oftentimes acts alone in a silo. And when a department is in a silo, your venue significantly suffers.

Most clubs look to promoters to act as their marketing personnel. They’re the ones who keep an eye on trends, create a loyal following, and bring new guests through the door. What most clubs don’t do is loop their promoters in with their overall business. You wouldn’t bring in a server and not train or integrate her into your operations, so why would you do this with your promoters? Here’s how to get them more involved and set them and yourself up for success.

1. Train them on your operations.

It’s important for your promoters to know how your business operates and how all staff members fit together to create a successful venue. This helps them understand how they fit into your club and what they need to do to further your success.

2. Inform them of your business goals.

Every marketing activity must align with your business goals. What’s the point of hosting an event if it’s not going to achieve your desired results? Your promoters are more easily able to identify marketing opportunities when they know your goals and vision. They know what trends match your vision, what performance acts align with your brand, and what messaging to use to get guests excited about coming to your venue. The more your promoters can talk about your club in the right away and create innovative marketing campaigns to propel you forward, the more you will see long-term success.

3. Provide them with the right tools.

Now that your promotes are ingrained in your business, they’re able to go out and bring the right people in on a consistent basis, build relationships to keep them coming back, and create top-of-the-line marketing campaigns. But what could help them excel even more is providing them with a system that allows them to make transactions right from a mobile device.

There are systems available that give all staff members – including promoters – a personal login to handle guest management and point of sale. Through this type of system, promoters can add guests to the guestlist, create a VIP reservation, or even sell a ticket to your event. It’s an easy solution for your promoters to sell in real-time and generate instant sales for your club.

4. Measure and reward.

Without tracking measures in place, it’s nearly impossible to truly understand how well your promoters are working for you. The same technology mentioned above can track the referrer of an individual customer, VIP reservation, or guestlist party. Once these customers are in the club, the technology can continue to track spending habits, such as product type and amount. This makes it easier for you to identify not only who’s bringing in the most traffic, but also who’s bringing in the best traffic. And when you know your promoters are doing a job-well-done, you’re able to incentivize and reward them accordingly to keep them performing and maximizing results.

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

Go Mobile or Suffer the Consequences

Did you know more than half of people make purchases through their smartphones? In fact, mobile commerce sales grows 15% year over year, which translates to over $60.8 billion worth of transactions (Source: HubSpot). Even with these astonishing numbers, businesses are playing catch-up to consumers when it comes to mobile. It’s time to get serious and reach your customers at this critical interaction point.

Below are five key platforms we recommend you use to be relevant in the mobile age.

1. Mobile applications

We understand mobile apps can seem daunting. But they don’t have to be. With today’s technology tools, creating an app is relatively easy and inexpensive. Some basic platforms can be created for just a couple hundred dollars. If you put into perspective the ever-rising popularity of these platforms (projections are stating 102 billion app downloads this year alone) and the direct interaction they have with your guests, the expense is worth it at almost any price.

2. Mobile website design

Reading a website on your phone that doesn’t have a mobile setting is impossible. Making a mobile version of your site or moving to a responsive layout will change that in a big way. If you are unable to develop a mobile app, this is a viable solution.

When you use a responsive design layout, your website is automatically customized to the screen resolution of whatever device a given customer is using. On a mobile device, your normal website layout will be a reconfigured version so information is organized for easy use. The most important aspects of a great mobile design include easy-to-read text, clear images, plenty of space for clicking, and filtering options to cut down on searching and scrolling. Use simple design but rich content to keep them coming back to see your updates.

3. Social media

Many nightclub owners have stated their 2014 resolution is to be more involved in social media. It’s no doubt why: 98% of people ages 18-24 are active on social media, and the numbers don’t fall that much with the higher age demographics. Yes, even your grandparents are posting pictures of their vacation on their timelines. In fact, your guests are probably checking their feeds right now.

Social media has changed the way people interact with their friends and peers. It’s now instant, continual, and all at the click of a button. What’s more is people are now making purchases directly on social media platforms. It’s one of the best areas for you to get involved. Just make sure your content is mobile worthy with real time calls to action.

4. SMS/Text-Messages

Getting your guests to interact with you via short codes and other SMS marketing techniques are a must. The instant nature of the interaction leads to real-time results that you can measure. On top of that, it’s a more personal, individualistic way to promote your business directly to your audience. As always, make sure your message is clear and worthy of interaction.

5. Email

Similar to SMS, email marketing is a personal, timely way to market your venue. Almost every smartphone user integrates their email into the device to stay on top of important information. The possibilities for email are vast, from personal promotions based on habits to newsletters to keep them apprised of your top news. Either way, keep the body of your email short and simple so you don’t lose them. And always include a clear call to action, especially in your subject line. People are more likely to open, read and respond to emails that drive them to take action.

The most cost effective form of marketing with the highest return on investment is right in front of you and easier to implement than you think. Go mobile or suffer the consequences.

John Wickes is an advisor for Bookbottles.