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

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:

Organ­ise an event

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