Festival Ticketing Strategies

Summer is the season for outdoor festival events and it’s no surprise that more fantastic offerings are popping up each year like cultural flowers on the entertainment landscape.

Yet music, art and theater festivals happen throughout the entire year all across America. These events attract folks from all walks of life who come to share camaraderie and a common enjoyment of their favorite entertainers and art forms.

It’s a time of escape, a time of sublime transcendence, a time of communal experience that often is indelibly carved into the cultural memory of society. Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival…Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic guitarmanship at the Monterey Pop Festival…David Bowie at the Glastonbury Festival in 1971…Woodstock!

You want to provide the best festival ticketing options for events from jazz and blues to country music and EDM. They’re all staples of a society that craves joyful entertainment and also expects a free and easy experience without hassles or headaches. And while the focus is always on the performers on-stage – the musical, artistic, comedy and theatrical stars who attract the audience – it’s up to festival producers and organizers to make the event a sell-out, stand-up, unforgettable experience that will bring performers and attendees back year after year.

Vendini makes it all possible, and probable, with festival ticketing strategies and more.

Vendini TicketAgent® is the heart of our solution for selling tickets for your upcoming music, art or performance festival event. Using software technology artfully combined with our many years of experience in the live entertainment industry, we’ve created a powerful suite of management solutions that enables you and your festival staff to sell tickets fast, efficiently, on-the-fly, and in all manner of interesting and otherwise challenging scenarios. Vendini TicketAgent allows your festival to:

  • Sell festival tickets, packages, memberships and donations online and at your box office
  • Sell tickets on-the-move and on the ground via our free iTunes app for iPads
  • Sell tickets via secure online credit card processing options
  • Seamlessly monitor sales activity and produce detailed reports on your festival ticket sales

Because Vendini is cloud-based and scalable, festival producers can install TicketAgent on as many computers and mobile devices as needed. Your entire staff connects, shares information and processes orders from the same database. Best of all, TicketAgent is continuously updated and is securely backed up at all times. Your festival may attract thousands or tens of thousands, but you won’t have a single ticket-based headache.

There is of course much more to producing an outstanding indoor or outdoor event than just your festival ticket sales. Below are some festival tips and strategies we’d like to recommend that will assist you and your festival staff in creating, producing and running a memorable, highly successful and kick-ass festival year in and year out. It’s part of what we do at Vendini, so hey – enjoy the information!

Must-Track Metrics for Your Festival

Numbers don’t lie, and one of the great boons of the Internet is the granular and laser-sharp accuracy available via stats and metrics concerning digital activities about your festival. These tips come from Vending’s free white paper, 17 Must-Track Metrics for Festivals.

  • Email open rates – the percentage of recipients who open your email marketing messages. You can determine your open rate for your messaging to drive festival ticketing by dividing the number of recipients who opened the message by the number of messages sent. Benchmarks for this rate vary by industry, but the average open rate for the entertainment and events industry is roughly 22%. If your open rates are below this industry average, try spicing up the subject line or sending your email out on different days and at different times. The best time for you to reach out to your fans will vary based on their demographics and way of life, so keep in mind who it is you’re marketing to. And as always, measure, adjust and try again.
  • Social media click-through rates – the accumulation of clicks on a social media post made by a patron about your festival. Allowing your fans to quickly and easily share their plans to attend festival events on social media platforms is quickly becoming a standard for almost every event. Being able to track the number of clicks on a given post will provide powerful insights, and it’s estimated that every share on social media is worth $3 in increased sales. With this information, you can detect which social networks are a good option for marketing spend and which may not be worth the investment.
  • Website conversion rates – the rate at which people who visit your site convert to paying festival attendees. You’ve spent precious time making your website, so finding out if it’s working is tremendously important! Your festival can measure this rate using any website analytics provider you utilize. You can set what a “conversion” means to your festival – whether it’s a particular package based on the page the visitor is viewing or any sale made once someone visits the site. If your conversion rate is low, try making your call to action more visible on your site. If it’s positioned at the bottom of the screen, move it up. If the button to buy tickets is in gray, change the color to make it more visible. You want to make it as easy as possible for your patrons to make a festival ticket purchase.

Festival Ticketing Strategies for Success

Like many elements involved in an unforgettable festival experience, there are nuances with festival ticketing that can increase your sales frequency, profit margins and even repeat attendees. These tips below come from Vendini Publishing’s Festival Thrower’s Bible, written by Tucker Gumber, Robby Black and several contributors and illustrated by Andrew Steers. Get your very own copy for free.

  • Ticket types and deliverability. Decide if you’d like to provide RFID tickets, traditional tickets or both. How will your festival goers receive their tickets? Think about the various methods, including: printing at home, shipping the tickets to patrons’ homes, and/or mobile tickets. Make sure you have a ticketing partner you can trust. All-in-one solution providers like Vendini will not only provide the software but can also advise you on pricing strategies, ticket types (e.g., student/senior, reserved, VIP) and more.
  • RFID? RFID stands for “Radio Frequency Identification.” It is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves, usually with a microchip connected to an antennae, to automatically identify people or objects. It’s typically used at festivals to control access and validate types of attendees including festival patrons, volunteers, back-of-the-house staff and vendors. RFID festival ticketing can greatly reduce congestion at festival entrances as well as provide potent metrics on audience behaviors and entry/exit usage.
  • General “rules” on pricing. Don’t price your festival tickets based on your estimated operating expenses for the festival. There are other ways to offset expenses, such as sponsors, donations, etc. Instead, price your tickets based on the perceived value of your event. Also, price your tickets to help you sell the largest quantity of tickets possible. In addition, consider whether you should include service fees or if there will be line items such as facility fees included in the ticket prices.
  • Discounts, tiered pricing, payment plans, and demand. There are many ways to increase revenue and festival attendance with smart pricing strategies. You can consider an early-bird deal to sell festival tickets in advance at a lower price. You can experiment with tiered pricing for various types of tickets, such as VIP options, since some attendees are willing to pay more than others. It’s a smart idea to offer your loyal festival goers the ability to break their bill into smaller payments that are automatically deducted from their debit/credit card. Payment plans lower your festivals’ barrier of entry as many attendees can afford to pay monthly, but not in a lump sum. Also, holding back a select amount of tickets and posting to secondary markets like StubHub is a smart strategy to keep the ticket price from being jacked-up by scalpers.

We hope this has been a helpful and stimulating collection of strategies and tips to propel your festival to the next level of excellence. Fueled by Vendini TicketAgent, your arts or music festival can reach higher altitudes that you would have dreamed possible, and our events marketing and logistics solutions can do even more for your event. Request a demo today to see all that Vendini has to offer festivals large, medium and small in size. We can’t wait to amaze you with our technology-driven solutions for live festivals.

While you’re here, please take a look at our Checklist for a Remarkable Festival infographic. It may just give you the blueprint you need to turn your upcoming festival event into the next Bonnaroo, Burning Man…or even Woodstock.