Whether you’ve been planning events for 20 years or you just started a new job and your role is to increase an upcoming show’s ticket sales, using deadlines to increase your event’s attendance is a must.
Why A Tiered Ticketing Strategy is Necessary
In the award show business, it can be rather stressful to get your ticket sales flying off the shelf when you want them to (i.e. earlier rather than later).
For most paid events, 20% up to 50% of the final attendee count will buy their tickets within the last few days before the event. (This might not apply if you’re Bruno Mars, but in general it’s the truth.)
The reality is that you can't expect people to purchase their tickets early if you don't provide a thoughtful set of pricing tiers that make sense for your organizational goals.
Regardless of your price point, venue, or marketing strategy (hopefully you already have these defined) -- use the following deadline types to increase your ticket sales earlier than the day of show.
Our Award Show Pricing Tips
The word deadline might bring a certain anxiousness to mind, but we think it really shouldn't. Deadlines should be beneficial and fun. Yes...I said fun!
So, what are some of the different types of registration deadlines and incentives you can use to promote your award show?
1. The Early Bird
The early bird deadline is simple and straightforward: the buyer receives an incentive if they commit to your event before a certain date.
What you might not know, however, is how to best market this deadline so that it creates more excitement for people to register ahead of time.
How to market your early bird offer:
- Add different levels of early bird registration (i.e. Early Bird 1, Early Bird 2, and so on).
- Each level can be promoted differently, but make it crystal clear that prices will go up in X number of days.
- Create exclusivity by having a limited amount of early bird tickets for sale.
- This will make attendees more committed to getting the best deal they can.
- Give special access or incentives for awardees and early bird purchasers.
- Since it’s an award show, awardees will likely want to bring multiple people to see them in their glory. So, let them know that if they sign up early, they’ll get an extra ticket or two.
The Optimal Early Bird Timeline
Typically, early bird registration extends out until 1-2 weeks before the final deadline, but this can vary. Keep in mind that once your schedule is public, it cannot be changed.
2. The Standard Deadline
A standard registration deadline is a flat fee with no incentives other than no late purchase fees. That is, “prices go up after this day”.
It offers potential purchasers a cost-effective middle ground, without all of the bells and whistles that your higher price point offers.
3. The Late Deadline
The late deadline and early bird deadline are similar.
For starters, each can have multiple tiers. This gives your potential attendees the opportunity to save money before the final at-the-door sale.
The pitfall for these buyers of the late deadline is that there are typically no incentives and they could have saved money by being proactive.
Keep in mind that in order to keep buyers in a positive state of mind, don’t drive the prices up too much for the late deadlines (unless of course you’re sure the event will be amazing). No one likes buyer's remorse.
Improving Your Award Show Deadline Strategy: Our Final Thoughts
Above all, your goal is to improve attendance, profit, and most importantly the customer experience.
Here are some last minute things to keep in mind:
- Whether you already offer different types of deadlines or are considering these elements for the first time, it’s important to take your time to think everything through.
- Keep in mind that each part of the registration process will take a little bit of time to plan, but a proper strategy will lessen the stresses of needing to acquire last minute sales.
- Regardless of the registration deadline, each level should be advertised throughout the lifetime of the program.
- This will give ticket purchasers a timeline for them to buy as soon as they can.
The Awardee Experience
- You want the awardees to attend along with their supporters. So, make sure to create an experience that gets these people excited about accepting the award!
Need help organizing your show’s award ballot? We have everything from do-it-yourself options to custom solutions. Let us know what we can help you with here.