In person events are back and here to stay, but many events are scaling back their ticket sales.
How is that a step in the right direction?
The Obvious – Health & Safety
Without talking about the pandemic, let’s talk about the impact. Even as government and corporate regulations are easing, events are still influenced by those previous restrictions. People are more concerned about social distancing now than ever before. Most events have inserted their safety practices right into their marketing efforts to ensure they do not alienate any customer. A lot of guests will continue to gather closely, but organizers have to consider the other side of the market. It’s not necessarily an option to give people the option to spread out, it’s a necessity. You will keep the more health conscious attendees coming back year after year. However, that means lower ticket sales as every venue has a boundary.
Paired with health & safety is a strong desire to separate from the regular crowd. A VIP area at a music festival is no longer a jam packed front row standing room, but rather something like a private lounge adjacent to the stage. Attendees are looking for more than a packed beer tent. They want their own space, and they’re willing to pay for it. This arguably raises the overall quality of event goers.
Success has now changed from quantity to quality. Looking at the desire to separate from the crowd, these newly created exclusive spaces bring in much higher ticket sales. Events may be able to charge 2x-20x the normal cost of a ticket, depending on the amenities provided.
Sponsors are no longer looking for just the number of people at an event. Before data analytics, quantity was everything. Now, specific segmented groups are being targeted due to their high ROI. Being able to promote a sponsors brand to a smaller, niche group means you can sell that ad space at a premium. Companies want their product or service immersed directly in whatever is happening at the event. With a smaller overall headcount, that gives your organization more time to focus on each individual experience.
Data Driven Decisions
Well organized events know how much their attendee segments are worth, and you need to know how much yours are worth – backed by data. From a high level perspective, you can think of your guests as part of a funnel. If you were to integrate technology to track food & beverage consumption, you could then create the following funnel.
- All attendees
- Attendees who ordered drinks
- Attendees who ordered alcoholic beverages
- Attendees who ordered liquor based alcoholic beverages
- Attendees who ordered vodka
Incredibly useful information for a company like Tito’s Vodka. In addition, new VIP attendees have demographically higher income due to being higher paying clients. A separate funnel could then be created from attendees who ordered drinks that did not order alcohol or soda/sugary drinks. A sugar free sports drink or 0 calorie sparkling water company would be interested in this group. This comes with the added benefit that neither sponsor will be competing with each other, thus increasing the total you will be able to charge.
Other data such as how you captured your audience. You can leave some of those requests to the sponsor though.
The idea that events are downsizing in order to grow seems backwards, when in reality they’re growing financially by provided targeted experiences to attendees and sponsors.