Category Archives: Sales

Get a head start on the biggest event of the year

We recently published 7 tips to get a head start on the biggest event of the year. Now with it being right around the corner, it’s time to start elevating your New Year’s Eve party and thinking of ways to take it to the next level. While countdowns and confetti are always the norm, here are a few added elements we’re seeing in this year’s parties.

1. Create Experiences with Unique Themes

Theme-based events have been popular throughout 2017, and the trend isn’t stopping for New Year’s Eve. The succinct nature that comes with a theme is what provides structure to the experience you’re providing. It’s no longer just a glamorized party; it’s a way to truly commemorate 2017 and welcome in 2018. And when you have a theme that’s fully thought out, you’re able to provide your experience right at the start, from when your guest first learns of the event, to when they RSVP, all the way down to when they arrive. The more you can get into your theme, the more enticing your party will be. This year, I’ve seen themes range from a frosty affair, to a tropical cabana oasis, to mission impossible complete with a video invite. There’s no limit to what you can do, it’s a matter of playing to your guests’ interest and executing the experience.

2. Enhance VIP Offerings by Focusing on Details

People are more likely to splurge on a VIP experience for New Year’s Eve, which means you have to take care of them and execute above their standards and expectations. While VIP bottle service is the everyday for many nightclubs, your NYE VIP service needs to be a step higher. People expect to pay top-dollar to receive this premier customized service, and if your staff acts like it’s just another area of your party, your guests aren’t going to get the experience they expect or deserve. To take your VIP to the next level, make sure you’re focusing on all the right details that elevate their night. Greet them by their name when they arrive. Turn your tables into cabanas. Provide a free hookah. Add in a layer of live entertainment. Think of ways you can use your theme to add layers of value. After all, this is a great time to wow your guests and build loyalty for the coming year.

3. Offer a Signature Cocktail

A signature cocktail can go a long way in wracking up those bar sales without burdening your staff on the busiest night of the year. Plus, when done well with your theme, they get guests excited to try something new and festive to ring in the new year. Work with your theme or embrace seasonality as inspiration of a signature cocktail. Bonus points for not making it overcomplicated for your staff, yet still memorable for your guests.

There are many directions you can go with your New Year’s Eve party. The most important thing is to make sure it lines up with the type of party your guests want to attend. From there, it’s all about optimizing your revenue is by getting a head start with planning, selling early bird pre-sale tickets to create demand, and making sure all of your offerings are succinct to set the stage for the experience you’re providing.

Gearing Up for NYE 2018

New Year’s Eve is the biggest event of the year, but it’s also the most competitive. A lot of venues start selling tier 1 tickets as early as late September, and sell out of those tier 1 tickets by end of October. That’s why it’s important to get a head start and get your event planned out so you can have a successful and profitable night.

Follow these 7 tips to ensure a successful New Year’s Eve party.

1. Publish Your Event Now

You need an event page, and you need it to be launched now. This gives you time to market your event and attract customers so they can start making their plans around your party. It’s important to have a section of your website or a specific landing page dedicated to your event. Simply having a sentence description on a third-party ticketing company’s website isn’t going to cut it. People want to know the vibe of your party, understand why they should attend, and get a gage at what they can expect by attending. Plus, having your own page allows for greater SEO opportunities, allowing guests to find out about your event in search results.

It’s also important to make sure customers can buy tickets directly on your website and aren’t redirected to a third-party. Redirects oftentimes lead to cart abandonment, and you can lose out on that customer’s data. Work with a ticketing company that’s built for nightlife events and integrates with your site for the best user experience and to collect the most data to fill your guest database.

2. Do an Exclusive Pre-Launch

Experience is everything, and it’s what drives your customers to be loyal. Your customers are looking for a personalized experience, especially those that attend on the regular. Consider doing a pre-launch with the customers who have come to your venue throughout the year with an exclusive release before launching your tickets to the public. Reach out to them either via text or email and give them preferential treatment on tables and tickets. This is going to make a big impression on your most loyal customers, and it’s going to drive them to plan their night out with their friends at your event.

3. Use Your Data

Data matters more than you realize. It’s what allows you to understand what does and doesn’t work to set you up for success. Use last year’s data to understand which channels brought in the most guests, and replicate that. If you don’t have access to last year’s data, it’s time to start looking into systems like Vēmos that allows you to access all of your information in one central spot.

One of the most important pieces of data you’ll want to track is your marketing channels. You need to track where your customers are finding you and why they’re choosing your event over others. To do this, assign specific links to each channel and staff member. Then, use those links on your various channels (i.e. a different link for Facebook, Twitter, third-party media, digital ads, etc). Also make sure your staff is using their personal link when they promote your event so they get credit. The results will inform you of what you should and shouldn’t be spending your time and money on.

4. Leverage Marketing Channels

Once your tickets are set up and your trackable links are in order, it’s time to start promoting. Keep in mind it takes an average of 7 touchpoints before consumers consider purchasing, so you’ll want to get in front of them sooner than later. Make sure you use multiple forms of communication across various channels to increase the cycle of those touchpoints and to engage your customers faster. Here are a few things for you to consider:

  • Set up your social channels to be in line with your event by updating your images and post cadence
  • Add an events section on your Facebook page that gives full information about your NYE event, and integrate your ticketing page into your Facebook fan page for people to buy tickets directly through social
  • Consider contests or ticket giveaways to build engagement and interaction
  • Run Facebook ads to target a specific segmented audience
  • Get your promoters engaged and turn them into a mobile box office
  • Leverage partnerships with third-party outlets, such as your booked entertainment, sponsors, key social influencers, and media outlets. Partner with them and have them promote your event on your behalf

When you get your marketing channels to work together, you’ll have a bigger audience reach and a higher likelihood of selling out before your event happens.

5. Incentivize Guests to Purchase Tickets Early

Encourage people to pre-purchase their tickets by creating supply and demand. Showing them your price will increase as the event gets closer creates demand for the few supply of early bird tickets. You can set your tickets to increase price by the week, day or even hour leading up to your event. You can also set your tickets to increase by quantity after x amount of tickets are sold. This encourages people to buy early and have time to share their plans with others. Plus, when guests pre-buy their tickets, you’re generating revenue before the night of your event, helping you cover costs before your event even happens.

6. Stay on Top of VIP Table Guests

Your VIP guests are important, and you want to make sure they’re not getting lost in the shuffle of general admission purchases. For New Year’s Eve, we recommend pre-selling tables, either in full or with a deposit. That way, you can have a gauge of your table inventory and number of VIP guests you can expect. It also helps mitigate your no-show rate the night of the event. During the night, make sure you set up your door to handle tables through a different entrance and check-in process. Now, your highest spenders are getting exclusive treatment right off the bat. Also make sure your staff knows to keep an eye on how many people are sitting at each table. During a hectic night, it’s easy to overlook a party of 10 actually brought 20 people with them. And as a result, you just lost out on payment for 10 extra people. That’s one of the easiest ways venues lose money on New Year’s Eve and other big event nights. Having a separate entrance and a reservation system that ties to your events/ticketing system will help alleviate this issue.

7. Set Up Safety and Compliance Procedures

It’s easy to lose sight of safety and compliance when preparing for the busiest night of the year. Yet, New Year’s Eve is typically the night where people over consume, which accounts for the highest amount of emergency room visits. Work with your bartenders to make sure they know when to stop serving overly intoxicated guests. Get on board with an ID Scanning system to reduce your liability. Better yet, use an ID Scanning system like Vēmos that syncs with your database, helps to detect fake and invalid IDs, manages your digital 86 list, and syncs with a city-wide ban list so you know who you should and shouldn’t let into your venue. It may no the the fun part of New Year’s Eve, but it’s important to mitigate your liability on this busy night.

Last but not least, make sure all your staff is up and running on the same system and strategy for smooth operations. All the small details matter, and t’s what leaves a lasting impression with your guests. Cheers to your successful New Year’s Eve event and hosting a fun party for your guests to ring in 2017.

Step Up Your Game in 2018

The end of the year is coming to a close, which means you’re most likely gearing up for your New Year’s Eve party. But in the midst of all this, it’s also the time to a assess your business and set your venue up for even more success in the coming year.

We’re at this critical juncture as an industry of keeping up with the demands of customers, the expectations of general consumers, and continuing with everyday business to keep things afloat. It’s a lot to manage, especially with the busy holiday season.

But in 2018, we as an industry can’t afford to keep pushing out implementing new practices. There have been articles for the past few years claiming nightlife is dying. I disagree. I believe society is evolving, and we’re not evolving with it. We aren’t dying; we’re falling behind.

Think about the experiences your customers have in every other industry. Retail, online entertainment, even coffee shops have all shifted to cater to individual needs based on timing and past habits. Retail stores send emails suggesting items you might like because of what you’ve bought in the past. Amazon reminds you of when you’re likely due to re-buy a household item. Netflix suggests a show you should watch based on what’s trending and what you’ve previously enjoyed. Starbucks knows once you get into the store what they should offer to up-sell you based on your tastes and budget. All of these industries start with tracking your behavior so they can later reach out on a very personal level to get you to spend even more. It’s personal. It’s data-driven. And that’s where we’re falling behind in the nightlife industry.

In 2018, it’s no longer about opening your doors and assuming people will walk in. It’s about guaranteeing people will walk in, and the right people at that. But just like very other industry, it starts with tracking your customers’ behavior. And I mean every customer, not just your VIPs.

Fortunately, tracking your guests is fairly simple with the right system. It shouldn’t add a ton of new processes to your staff, nor take up much more additional time to collect the data. The best solution is a system that has ID scanning, POS integration, and a CRM system at the core of its functionality. Solutions like Vēmos is built with these three at its core, combined with general admission, guest list, tickets, and reservation management features. The reason having the core is important is because you’re now able to track every guest who walks through your door, including their spending habits once inside.

Take this example: It’s Friday night, and it’s Lucy’s first time at your venue.

  • You scan Lucy’s ID with the system to verify legality, but because you’re using a system backed by a CRM system, you have now created her personal guest profile in your database.
  • Lucy then goes to check in with the general admission cashier to pay cover. You now know Lucy is a general admission guest who has paid $20 to get inside, bringing her lifetime value up to $20.
    Lucy goes to the bar and orders a vodka tonic. The next time she orders a martini. Every time she places an order, it’s added to her guest profile because your system is integrated with your POS and is backed by a CRM system. Her lifetime value in her guest profile rises every time she orders.
    Lucy comes back with 5 friends as a guest list customer the following Friday. You scan her ID to verify legality, and are notified that this is her second time at the venue and she’s worth $x. You notice she’s brought more people with her. You thank her for coming back and bringing more guests to your venue. This provides personalization and gives her that specialized treatment.

    Now that you have Lucy’s profile and see that it’s building over time, you’re able to amplify her experience. Does she keep coming back every week as a GA or guest list guest? Upgrade her to a reservation and start her off with a bottle of champagne to thank her for her loyalty. Is there a new concert coming up that you think she’d like? Send her an email or text message to buy a ticket before the concert is unveiled to the rest of the public. Do you think there’s a craft cocktail she’d like better that would earn you more revenue? Promote it to her.

    Because you started with collecting and tracking behavior, you’re now able to later reach out with personal messages to get your guests to come more often and spend even more once they’re there. This is what is going to get you to level up to other experiences in other industries.

    It’s no longer sufficient to make assumptions on how your venue is performing and who your guests are. It’s also no longer sufficient to just focus on the data from one area of your business. It’s about taking a comprehensive approach that provides insight into all of your guests. After all, the more you know, the more you can do. And with a new year approaching, it’s time to garner even better results and higher revenue than the previous year.

Create a Pricing Strategy to Get More from Your Guests

Your customers are the most important part of your business. Without your customers, you don’t have a business. But simply having customers in your door isn’t enough to take your venue to the next level. You need to understand your guests in order to have the highest profit potential each and every night. That’s why it’s important for you to understand your pricing strategy and how it relates to your customer’s purchasing habits.

Here are three areas to focus on to optimize your revenue per guest.

1. Know your inventory

This is the most obvious of the three — pricing your inventory. Take a step back and identify all the areas of your venue you can possible charge. Drinks and food for sure, but what about cover charge, tickets, drink packages, and tables? In all of these areas, it’s critical to understand what customers will pay in return for your atmosphere, party, drinks, and food. To do this successfully, focus on these three items:

  • Market research. What are the industry trends? What are your competitors’ pricing structures? Is that working for them? Why or why not? Learn from this information to help you determine your own pricing structure so you’re not pricing yourself out of the market.
  • Target market. What is your target market’s potential entertainment spend? This means you have to know your audience, and I mean truly know your audience including their demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. This helps you understand what your target audience is looking for and what they’re willing to pay for a venue like yours. If you price yourself too high, you’ll scare your customers away; but too low, and they might see you as cheap. Read this article to learn more about how to understand your audience at a deeper level.
  • Profitability. Always remember the formula r-e=p. That’s revenue – expenses = profitability. Understand your margins relative to pricing. If you’re cutting too far into your margins, look to see if you can stand to increase your prices. Are there other activities you can do to increase your profit potential, such as accepting credit cards at the door to appeal to more guests, using a system to streamline operations and cut down on vendor costs, switching to a different distributor, or even investing an entirely new entertainment concept? Explore your options; sometimes you have to spend money to make even more.

2. Treat guests like individuals

This is becoming increasingly more important with millennials dictating the scene, and is a huge opportunity for every venue. Nearly every nightclub and bar has an estimate of how many guests walked through their door on a given night. What they don’t know is who walked through their door. They get people in, serve them, and let them walk away without knowing anything about them — a reason stated by millennials of why they don’t frequent nightclubs as much.

But if you use a digital system to handle every aspect of your door, you’re able to collect data on every type of customer that walks in your venue. And when you connect this to your point of sale system, you’re able to unearth even more valuable information. This means you have a database of all your guests, including their name, contact info, how many times they’ve been to your venue, whether they’re a VIP/guest list/event/general admission customer, how much money they’ve spent, and what their most popular drink purchases are.

Now think about that. With this information at your disposal at the palm of your hand, you get to treat every guest like an individual. Everyone loves to be recognized. Everyone. And people naturally spend more when they feel appreciated and recognized. Here are a couple examples to do this well:

  • A customer is a regular guest list customer. They come to your venue and you see in their profile they’ve visited your venue every week for the past month. Upsell that customer to a VIP table and provide a complimentary bottle of champagne as a thank you. This simple gesture is perceived by the guest as a premium, highly personalized level of service. It shows him how much he is valued, and entices him to stay longer, spend more, bring more of his friends, and come back more often. This is how you organically build loyalty.
  • You’re hosting an event. You’ve hosted events in the past and used your digital system to build your database. You segment your customer list into a group of people who attended a similar event in the past that spent more than $200 at your bar. Send that group an exclusive invitation to your event before you release it to the rest of the public. They’ll feel like insiders and will naturally establish a deeper connection with your venue. You can also give your biggest spender a complimentary ticket to the event because you’ll know you’ll make even more in bar sales with him.

Treating guests like the individuals they are and catering your experience to their needs isn’t hard. All it takes is a system that captures all your information in one place, your staff to use that system so it automatically pulls necessary information on the guests walking through your door, and your ability to execute on providing that exclusive experience. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference to your guests.

3. Use a pricing strategy for events

This last area to focus on is automated and allows you to make incremental revenue without doing any additional work. For the win. While this is primarily focused on events, you can use this same strategy for an average night by treating every night like an event.

Let’s say you have tickets to sell to your upcoming event. Use an automated pricing strategy to earn more revenue as demand increases. For example, you can have early bird tickets available a month before the event at $50, which changes to advanced tickets two weeks before the event for $60, which changes to general admission the week before the event at $70, which changes to door ticket for $80 the night of the event. You can also set your pricing strategy to increase by inventory instead of time, meaning the first 50 tickets are $50, the next 50 are $60, and so on. This incentivizes guests to buy early and also brings more revenue to you for those that don’t.

3 Ways to Boost Your Revenue

A goal of any nightclub is to drive revenue and translate it to money in the bank. What if we told you it’s possible to not only drive revenue, but also increase the amount of revenue you’re already driving without adding any extra work to your daily operations? We’re not pulling your leg; it’s possible.

Use a combination of pre-sales, upsales, and cross-sales to boost your club. Here’s what we mean by each one.

1. Pre-Sales

Imagine it’s hours before you open and your mind is at ease because you have thousands of dollars in pre-sold inventory. On top of that, your worries about cancelations are a thing of the past since your reservations aren’t simply guaranteed, but purchased in advance.

This is not a dream; this is reality, and it’s easier than you think. All you need is to quantify your inventory (table reservations, cover charges, drink packages, events, etc), make that inventory available to purchase in advance, get the word out about the pre-sale items, and measure the results against your pre-defined goals. Now, you have revenue coming in before you even open your door.

2. Upsales

Most people think of upselling as obnoxious salespeople convincing customers of things they don’t need. However, when presented correctly, upselling is a value-add to your guests’ lives…that also happens to boost your club’s results. In fact, studies show the majority of guests appreciate upselling when it’s focused on their needs. It’s perceived by the guest as a premium, highly personalized level of service which enables them to stay longer, spend more, and come back often.

Perhaps a guest’s behavior in line alludes he will spend a lot in your club – upsell him to a VIP table. Perhaps you can identify a guest has visited your club every week for the past month – offer a free VIP table and upsell him to bottle service. There are systems built specifically for the nightlife industry, including Vēmos, that tracks this information per individual guest. A VIP guest will appreciate the attentiveness of a server saying, “I noticed you ordered a bottle of Belvedere last time you were here. May I start you out with that and another bottle of your choice?” Now you have his attention, have made him feel important, and have likely sold him on a second bottle before he even finished his first.

3. Cross-Sales

Cross-selling is the act of suggesting a complimentary product to the one your customer just purchased. This can happen both when your guest is at your club and before he/she arrives (think enhanced pre-sale).

Most clubs already use the concept of cross-selling when consumers are already in their venue, such as suggesting the customer purchases a round of shots to go with his/her already purchased drink. However, most aren’t realizing the opportunity of digital cross-selling. Let’s look at an example of a guest purchasing a ticket for your event online:

  • Your guest goes online to pre-purchase a ticket for your event
  • He fills out the necessary form fields and hits the submit button to process his payment
  • He gets to a confirmation landing page thanking him for his purchase and recommending him to also pre-purchase a VIP table for the night and a limousine for his transportation
  • He pre-purchases both the VIP table and the limousine, putting extra guaranteed money in the bank

Cross-selling the VIP table and limousine (particularly if you create a partnership with a limousine company) on the confirmation page enables you to earn more revenue than you would have without the suggestion. Now you not only have revenue from three different areas of your club, but you have guaranteed revenue from three different areas.

Using these three types of sales tactics is simple to implement and the payout is huge. Don’t sell yourself short by only doing the basic sales inside your venue. Identify items that you can pre-sell, upsell, and cross-sell, and watch your profit soar.