Event though we all love attending free events, making your event free may not lead to optimal event participation. Instead, pricing your event ticket appropriately is more critical to attracting the right crowd. A free professional seminar or conference may seem cheap to some event-goers whereas a free outdoor picnic would become a must-go. You might have covered the costs of an event through event advertising or sponsorship but don’t be too hasty in making your event free!
Make your event free if…
- Your event is about inclusivity and community-building: A free event makes your event seem accessible to everyone and creates an atmosphere of openness and egality.
- You are organising a charity event: Making your event free will remove doubts that the ticket money is going into your own pockets rather than the charity. Sponsorships are widely available for charity events as long as you approach organisations with aligned values and interests. People will also be more inclined to donate at your event if they did not have to spend it on an event ticket
- You are selling your own products at the event: Events are great ways to close deals and get leads for your business. You are able to do live product demos, meet qualified leads and drive conversion. Face-to-face meetings with potential customers builds greater trust and rapport. An event also helps increase visibility of your company in the industry. Charging your event goers may make them less willing to part with their money to buy your products and services
- You are organising large, public events: Free events attract spontaneous event-goers who haven’t managed to register and pay for tickets beforehand. A significant portion of people get drawn into the event by chancing upon it and have little hesitation to join in because it’s free! For organisers, it is also easier to manage the crowd as you don’t have to make financial transactions. However, it is important to secure a sizable audience prior to the event as the buzz created on the day has a huge impact on any passer-by’s decision to join in! Moreover, it can be difficult to collect money on the day if you are expecting a huge crowd.
Making events free has many long-term benefits such as increasing your company’s visibility, credibility and memorability. But having free events means reducing exclusivity and increasing uncertainty about event turnout as well.
Charge for event tickets if…
- You want to track attendance before event: Ticketed events give a better gauge of the expected turnout beforehand. People tend to commit to events that they pay for. Even if they can’t make it, they will try to recover the ticket cost by selling it to others. Using online event management software can help you check who has paid, who has cancelled, how many people are coming and where they come from so that you remain in full control of event attendance, without having to spend every other day manually updating RSVP records.
- You want to increase credibility of event: Charging for events like professional seminars, professional networking or performances help enhance the perceived value and credibility of your event
- You want to create invitation codes for VIPs: Charging for event tickets gives you the option of offering special discounts to important people. You can choose to give out promo codes to selected event attendees, perhaps your big clients, to encourage them to attend the event. Their attendance would give your event the much needed boost in terms of credibility and appeal.
- You want to create event promotions: You can create early bird discounts and group discounts to encourage people to sign up early and bring their friends. This actually helps amplify the marketing buzz surrounding your paid event. You can create a sense of urgency early on as well as encourage people to spread the word about your event. Encouraging people to come in groups also help event attendees remember your event details better and actually come for your event, especially if they signed up early. To manage promotions, discount codes and invitation-only registration, our event ticketing system can customise an online registration software just for you!
In essence, ticketed events afford you flexibility in modifying the incentives that can encourage more event-goers to attend the event! Unless you represent a very reputable company, paid events give a stamp of credibility and assurance for the event-goers who experience a psychological assurance that the event will be of a certain quality.
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