Event pricing affects more just than revenue—the way you set your prices impacts who attends your event and how your event is perceived by the public. Here are a few tips on event pricing that can contribute to your event’s success.
- Consider purpose, history and goals
- Drive registration with discounts
- Support events with sponsorships
- Keep it simple
Drive event revenue with smart pricing and discount strategies
Consider Purpose, Goals and Previous Prices
Deciding on a pricing strategy for scout events can be tricky. Here are a few things to consider:
- Consider the Purpose. What’s the purpose of the event? If it’s a fundraiser, ticket prices should at least cover the per-person costs of holding the event so that contributions at the event can be used to support your programs. Depending on your council’s fundraising strategy, you might choose a higher ticket price, with the difference applied toward the fundraising goals. If the event isn’t a fundraiser, you’ll need to decide whether the ticket pricing should to cover all the event costs, if sales at the event are expected to make up the difference or if the council will pay for part of the event (for example, to support outreach and recruiting).
- Check Historical Event Prices. Next, take a look at historical cost, pricing and attendance data for similar events. Were you able to meet your registration goals? If not, you may be pricing the event too high. If similar events were full to capacity with long waitlists, you may be able to raise ticket prices to better balance supply and demand (and bring in more revenue.)
- Set Goals. What are you trying to achieve with the event in terms of registration and revenue? Do you want to match or exceed last year’s revenue? Do you have a target registration number in mind—for example, to serve the same number of participants as last year or to increase registration by 10 percent?
Armed with this information, your team should be able to set a reasonable overall pricing strategy that supports the event’s financial goals.
A good event pricing strategy includes research!
Drive Registration with Discounts
Once you’ve decided on your base pricing, the next step is to decide if you’re going to offer discounts. Discounted registration for scout events can serve a number of purposes: generating revenue early, rewarding scouts for reaching sales or program goals and providing financial assistance to scouts who might otherwise not be able to attend. The ideal scouting event registration software will support a complete range of discounting options including:
- Early registration discounts. If your goal is to sign up registrants as quickly as possible, consider offering advance purchase or “early-bird” discounts. Early discounts can be automatically assigned to everyone who registers before a specific date, or you can create a limited number of advance-purchase tickets that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Coupon code discounts. Another way to increase registration is to offer discounts based on coupon codes. Discounts on event registrations can be awarded as part of a sales rewards program or earned through other opportunities.
- Multiple registrant discounts. Promotions like “register four and get a fifth registration free” or “get 20 percent off your fees if you register six or more” can fill events fast.
- Discounts based on or applied to another registration. Want to drive registrations on more than one event? Offer discounts on one event that are based on the visitor’s registration for a second event.
- Promotional merchandise pricing. Another way to drive revenue is to offer event registrants discounts on the purchase of merchandise. This can be event merchandise ordered as a registration add-on or a discount on other items that you sell.
- Financial assistance. Providing financial assistance ensures that your council is inclusive and meets the needs of every member of the community. Look for event registration software that support convenient and confidential ways for registrants to request and for your council to apply financial assistance. (For example, you might offer recipients a one-time-use coupon code, or have administrators manually adjust the balance due on a case-by-case basis.)
A smart discount strategy can increase revenue and participation
Support Events with Sponsorships
Depending on the type of event, sponsorships can present an exceptional opportunity to generate revenue and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Sponsorships are most common for fundraisers like galas, awards dinners and tournaments but can also offset expenses for many other kinds of events. Sponsorship options can include:
- Cash and financial sponsorships. Generally the most common type of sponsorships (especially for fundraisers), financial sponsorships usually provide different kinds of sponsor recognition and a fixed number of registrations for the event. But, financial sponsorship opportunities can support other kinds of events as well. For example, sponsor donations for a badge workshop can cover the cost of supplies, instructors or transportation (to name just a few).
- In-kind sponsorships, where goods or services are donated in exchange for recognition. These are common at fundraisers but can also be used to offset costs at almost any kind of event. Possibilities include donations of snacks and beverages, awards, auction items, door prizes, free or discounted event merchandise and even donating use of a venue.
- Media and publicity sponsorships are a special kind of in-kind sponsorship, where the donation takes the form of event promotion and advertising to their constituents, readers, social media followers or any other target group that they can reach,
Because there are tax implications associated with sponsorships, be sure to consult your financial staff beforehand to determine how to position, solicit and recognize the contributions of different types of sponsors.
Different kinds of sponsorships can generate funds, offset costs and publicize your events
Keep It Simple
With so many pricing and discount issues to consider, it may seem paradoxical to say that you should also keep pricing simple, but it’s true nonetheless. Once you’ve gathered your information, set your goals and selected a pricing strategy, the next step is to simplify and clarify the pricing options as much as possible. This will help ensure that you don’t miss any revenue opportunities resulting from registrants and sponsors misunderstanding their options.
Make sure your event pricing options are easy to understand
Elissa Miller, M.Ed. is Doubleknot’s Communications Director. As the former development director for a regional nonprofit, she’s passionate about helping nonprofits and youth-serving organizations effectively harness new technologies to streamline operations and support their missions.