Every event producer is looking for ways to sell more tickets. At a time when ticket sales are far and away the biggest revenue driver for live events, and the market is becoming increasingly competitive, having a keen insight into what is going through fans minds when they weigh up one event over another is hugely important.
In our search to find out what drives fans to make a ticket purchase, we also wanted to learn what would make them buy more. With over 500 fan responses, we got a strong sense of what would spur fans to come to more live events, and below you’ll find tangible tips and techniques on how to address these wants and integrate changes to your event.
“If they were closer to home”
63.4% of fans surveyed said that they would attend more events if they were closer to home.
While a lot of festival experiences have positioned themselves as vacations or getaways, our research shows that fans are still yearning for more events in the backyard.
As increasingly lucrative as the festival tourism boom has been to the savvy operators with unique locations and concepts, it’s certainly worth looking to your local area and raising awareness about your event. Local radio and a sustained regional press strategy is a great way to raise awareness about your event in the surrounding area.
Coachella offers discount passes to people in the local valley area, which is just as well because the festival is so overwhelming disruptive to the infrastructure of the area that it’s no doubt bought them some priceless goodwill.
This one is a little more difficult to deliver actionable advice on. Being a hugely subjective metric, what represents a “better” lineup for one person might be a serious step down for another person.
One very simple way to gain some insight into what your fans want is to just ask them. Doing a post-festival fan survey is always good practice as it allows you to crowdsource ideas and improvements, as well as creating a sense of collaboration with your audience.
Survey Monkey has now integrated with Facebook Messenger, and the platform’s messenger bots are reportedly delivering around 98% open rates for businesses. It’s definitely worth getting in on this before the market becomes saturated with bots.
Our friends at Aloompa have also been doing some very interesting research into the correlation between Spotify plays and artist popularity at music festivals. Their event app—FestApp—allow users to create personal schedules, and the company the uses this information “to create a correlation score between each artist at the event, based on the percentage of users that scheduled artists”. The end result is deeper insight into the true popularity of artists and this can be used to help event producers deliver the lineup their fans really want to see.
“If my friends wanted to go”
One area for growth that we outlined in the State of Live report was word-of-mouth marketing. Generating that buzz between groups of friends is how you not only shift more tickets to your live event, but build a culture of squads, crews and fams at your festival year-on-year.
We often stress that it’s important not to think of your event as 50,000 individuals, but like 10,000 groups of 5, with tight knit circles making the commitment to drop big money on your production. According to a Nielsen Study, 82% of Americans look for advice from their peers when making a purchase while 67% say they’re more likely to purchase a product when a friend refers it on social media.
“We’ve found that the number one reason a fan doesn’t attend a live event is because their friends didn’t ask them,” explains Verve founder Liam Negus-Fancey. His company provides ambassador-driven p2p ticketing solutions for live events, and since launching in 2012, they’ve helped sell over 300,000 tickets to festivals such as Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival, We Are FTSVL and Electric Daisy Carnival. “Ambassadors generate 1.7x more incremental sales than other channels and we’ve found that customers are 72% more likely to attend year-on-year if they purchased from an ambassador originally.”
Over 60% of fans surveyed felt that attending a festival was too expensive, with 78.7% on fans telling us that they would attend more events if the tickets were cheaper.
But with fans also highlighting that “better lineups” would also make them attend more events, it’s clear that looking to cut costs in the talent budget isn’t the right solution.
An RFID solution can reduce the average transaction time from 90 seconds to 15 seconds, while delivering as much as 30% higher spend per guest. The result is that you can simultaneously slash those wait times, increase revenue at the bar and pass the savings back onto the customer in the form of reduced ticket prices.
“The cashless system streamlines the transaction process by eliminating cash handling and making change allowing for quick transaction and shorter wait times,” explains Justin Moffat, head of business development at Intellitix.