Organising a festival is a complex and lengthy undertaking. One of the most critical factors in the success of any festival is ticket sales, and while a fantastic line-up of performers and unique experiences can help attract attendees, sometimes it's not enough on its own. This is where incentives and promotions come in; incentives and promotions can be a game-changer in boosting ticket sales, driving early-bird tickets, and building excitement and anticipation. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the importance of incentives and promotions in boosting festival ticket sales and explore the most effective ideas and strategies for utilising them!
The Brighton Fringe Festival reported that early bird ticket sales accounted for 23% of all ticket sales for the festival. In a survey by Eventbrite, 75% of attendees said that discounts or early bird pricing influenced their decision to attend an arts event. Early bird ticketing is, overall, a brilliant incentive.
Early bird tickets are promotional offers used as an incentive for customers to purchase tickets before the majority at a reduced price. By offering a limited amount of cheaper tickets, you can generate excitement and buzz around your festival, provide an initial cash flow, and accurately predict attendance numbers.
It's easy to say, but you may be thinking to yourself, how do I set up early bird discounts? It's simple, just follow our easy 5 step guide outlining what you need to do and how it will benefit your festival:
Monitor sales - Keep track of ticket sales and adjust your promotion if necessary. If sales are slow, consider extending the early bird discount deadline, upping the promotion of your festival, or offering additional promotions to entice potential attendees.
Group discounts are a promotional pricing strategy that can be used by festivals to encourage a larger number of tickets to be bought by a group of people. These discounts usually offer a reduced price per ticket when purchased in a larger quantity. The basic idea is to create a win-win situation where both the festival and the attendees benefit from the lower prices. Again, here is a simple 6-step guide to setting up group discounts for your festival!
There are so many examples of festivals that utilise group discounts as incredibly effective incentives. The Glastonbury Festival in the UK offers a "Coach and Ticket" package, which includes a discounted rate for group travel to the festival, and in a survey conducted by Eventbrite, 67% of festival-goers said that group discounts influenced their decision to attend a festival. Group ticketing clearly matters to your customers.
Loyalty programs are designed to reward and retain loyal festival-goers who religiously attend your festival year after year. Loyalty programs can take many forms, including discounts on ticket prices, early access to ticket sales, exclusive merchandise, and VIP access to festival amenities such as wifi, or unlimited showers.
Festival loyalty programs can help increase customer retention and repeat purchases, while also promoting customer engagement and brand loyalty. By providing additional value to loyal customers, festivals can create a sense of community among attendees. Loyalty programs can also help festivals collect valuable data on their customers' preferences and behaviours, which can be used to improve marketing strategies and event planning. Again, follow our 6-step guide to setting up a loyalty programme:
There are so many examples of Loyalty Programs massively succeeding, such as Glastonbury Festival. They offer a loyalty scheme where fans who have attended the festival five times or more can purchase tickets before the general sale. While Tomorrowland offers a loyalty program called "Global Journey" that allows fans to purchase tickets in advance, get access to exclusive pre-sale, and enjoy additional benefits like VIP upgrades and special event invitations.
A bundle deal is a type of pricing strategy that festival organisers can use to offer a package of tickets or services at a discounted price. Essentially, it's a way for attendees to get more for their money by purchasing multiple items or services together.
In the context of festivals, bundle deals often include combinations of tickets, camping passes, parking passes, merchandise, and other festival-related services. For example, a bundle deal might include a weekend pass, a camping pass, and a festival t-shirt, all for a discounted price compared to purchasing each item separately.
Liking the sound of bundle deals? Take a look at our 5-step plan to setting up bundle deals for your festival.
Again, here are some examples of festivals you may have heard of, utilising bundle deals! Glastonbury offers bundle deals where attendees can purchase festival tickets along with travel packages, glamping accommodation, and merchandise at discounted rates. While Reading and Leeds Festivals offer bundle deals where attendees can purchase tickets for both festivals at a discounted price as well as bundle deals on tickets, accommodation, and shuttle services. And Latitude festival offers bundle deals on tickets, camping, and parking alongside a family bundle deal that includes tickets for two adults and two children, as well as access to a family camping area.
What is a referral program, I hear you ask? Referral programs are simple; they're marketing strategies that can be used to incentivize referrals of new attendees to their festivals. You may have heard of referral programs as "refer-a-friend programs" or "word-of-mouth marketing".
Business (in this case festivals) rewards their existing customers or employees for referring others to their products or services. The referred customer or talent may also receive a benefit, such as a discount or bonus, for being referred.
Referral programs can be an effective way to grow a customer base or attract new people, as individuals are more likely to trust recommendations from friends or colleagues than traditional advertising. Additionally, referral programs can lead to higher customer loyalty and engagement, as well as lower customer acquisition costs.
Here is our 5-step path to setting up your own referral programme!
Boomtown Fair has a very successful referral programme, they offer a system where existing ticket holders can earn rewards for referring friends to buy tickets. The rewards include VIP upgrades, backstage access, and even a chance to win a free ticket to the festival.
Just remember, incentives and promotions are a fantastic way to boost ticket sales; whether that's through the use of Early Bird Tickets, Group Discounts, Loyalty Programmes, Bundle Deals or Referral Programs, just start using them to boost your ticket sales! We'd love to continue to help you along this journey! Why not take a look at our website for more information on how we could help you? Our team would love to hear from you. Why not give us a call or book a demonstration of our website? Please do get in touch.