How to decide on the price of your event’s tickets?


  1. Anticipate your costs and expenses
  2. Choose the price of the tickets
  3. Offer several ticket types
  4. Choose your online ticketing platform

An event planner is in charge of a multitude of details and has to make a lot of important decisions. Among the latter, the choice of the ticket price is critical. If the price is too high, participants will not be willing to pay the price you ask, and therefore will not attend your event. In contrast, tickets sold at too low a price will not allow you to generate enough revenue to cover your expenses. Even worse, a low price can give your potential attendees the impression that your event is not very interesting.

In order to avoid these pitfalls when deciding on the price of your event, we have listed our event planners’ best tips in this article.

1. Anticipate your costs and expenses

Make a list of your current and future expenses

You know this better than anyone else – events require planners to create a series of checklists, including when it comes to deciding on your ticket price! You should start by classifying your various expenses in categories. Try to be as comprehensive as possible: food, drinks, decorations, entertainment, equipment, etc. Now is not the time to decide what you will actually spend or not, the idea is to map out all the things you will most likely need.

Fine-tune your costs and budget

Now you will make a selection among your comprehensive list. Look for the expenses you had when you organised similar events in the past. These will help you save time, but you should remember to pay attention to any changes that may occur due to your service providers.

Ask them for quotes if you think their price may have changed or if it is the first time that you will work with them. If you have no way to assess their price, use a high estimate to avoid unpleasant surprises. Finally, make a selection and keep only the necessary expenses.

Listing all your expenses and then fine-tuning your list will give you a precise overview of the revenue you need to generate in order to cover your costs. The more you progress in your event planning, the more you will know how to balance your expenses and revenues and be able to make strategic choices in relation to your ticket price. Also, the date you announce the ticket price depends on your type of event: large events and professional events tend to let people know about the ticket price several months in advance while parties and smaller events can wait until a few weeks before the event. It’s up to you!

2. Choose the price of the tickets

Compare prices of local events

Check out Facebook (in the events section or the Local app), local magazines and the Web to compare the price of similar events to yours happening in your town or city. Don’t just look at the final price – you should take into account the target audience, the location of the event, its duration, transports, entertainment and speakers. These criteria will help you adjust your price based on how you compare to these events in your local area.

Plan a balanced budget of your revenues and expenses

Planning a balanced budget is the minimum required when organising an event – except in a few rare cases. Then, depending on the situation and opportunities presenting themselves to you, you may make a profit. Only non-profit organisations have less of an interest in making a profit as they generally need to have a perfectly balanced budget to be granted subsidies. If you plan to organise repetitive events, you should start by aiming for balance first, then try to increase revenues each time, but be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. Processing step by step will help you in the long term.

Make your decision once you have all the information

Expenses made, forecasted costs, the price of local events and a balanced budget are the key elements that will help you set your event’s ticket price. Given the information collected and your goals, your whole strategy will rely on a balance between the aforementioned elements.

3. Offer several ticket types

Creating several rates

An increasing number of events set-up efficient pre-sales campaigns using early bird rates. The message to convey is clear and simple: “book your ticket now and save x% on the ticket price.” Some events use an early bird rate first, then move to a regular price. Others go further and offer 3 or 4 different rates that are put on sale at different times.

Here is an example, for an event planned to take place in July 2020:

  • July – December, previous year: sale of the very early bird tickets at 50% discount
  • January – May, year of the event: sale of the early bird tickets at 30% discount
  • June– July, year of the event: sale of the last promotion tickets at 15% discount
  • July 2020, year of the event: sale of the regular tickets at the full price

This is just an example. The number of rates and the duration of the promotional campaigns can vary. It is also possible to apply a discounted price online and a full price for tickets are purchased on location. That way, you can sell more tickets ahead of the event and be more relaxed during the event.

Finally, you can offer discounted tickets for students, people with disabilities, senior citizens, jobseekers or any other category you deem relevant.

Offer a pay what you want option

Why should you be the only decision-maker when it comes to your ticket price? Those primarily affected – your attendees – should also have their say. You can offer a “pay what you want” service and let your attendees choose the price that seems fair to them. Generally, this is favourably welcomed and strengthens the trust that an audience has for the event planner.

Give promo codes

You can please your friends, colleagues, service providers, suppliers and faithful customers by sending them promo codes. They are easy to create and allow you to increase your awareness while rewarding the people who are loyal to your events.

4. Choose your online ticketing platform carefully

Using an online ticketing platform allows you to benefit from many of the options and tools necessary to deciding on the price of your events’ ticket(s). An online ticketing solution also offers you sales channels – such as a minisite or adding your ticket module to your own website in a couple of clicks – and communication channels that are just as important as the price of your tickets.

To organise successful events at an affordable price, find out about our solutions by clicking below:

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