7 Steps to Planning a Profitable Summer
Summer is the best season to amp your experience for your guests and boost your revenue. People are looking for big ways to spend their summer months, and are more prone to attend events and parties. The most successful venues host multiple, recurring events throughout the summer to appeal to their audience and boost revenue. Let’s make sure you’re seizing the season and capturing your guests for the most profitable summer season you’ve ever had.
Here are 7 steps to set yourself up for success, whether you're hosting one event or many.
1. Define Your Theme and Hire Talent
The first step is to make sure you have the high-level strategic information of your event figured out. This includes picking your event dates and times, defining your event theme, and hiring your talent. Remember, there’s a lot of competition during the summer — why should someone choose your event over another? Events that have a focused theme and stay consistent with that theme during their promotions attract the right guests. That’s because the likelihood of you catering your theme to your specific audience is higher than if you never thought through it in the first place. Know who your audience is and what type of party they're looking for. This will help set the stage for hiring the right talent and providing expectations from the beginning.
2. Get Your System in Place
Make sure you have full control of your events and get access to all of your data before, during, and after the event. This means you’ll need to get an event and ticketing system in place to help you manage your event and pre-sell tickets on your website. There are technology platforms, like BookBottles, that incorporate ticketing into the rest of your efforts, giving you a complete picture of your event and venue’s results. So not only are you able to manage your events and pre-sell tickets, but you’re also able to handle day-of check-ins from the same system along with your reservations and guest lists. All of your efforts are synced together, which is not only easier for you to operate, but allows you to maximize ticket sales and revenue before the night of your event while capturing all your data in one central spot.
3. Train Staff on System and Set Expectations
Now that you have your system, it’s time to train your staff and make sure everyone is on the same page. After all, new systems and processes only work if everyone is on board and following them correctly. Make sure everyone understands how to use the system so there aren’t any issues the day of your event. Set expectations of staff involvement for your event, including the number of tickets they need to sell and night-of shift expectations. The more crystal clear you are, the more your staff will all be aligned for smooth operations.
4. Use a Pricing Strategy
Encourage people to pre-purchase their tickets for your events by creating supply and demand. Showing them your price will increase as the event gets closer creates demand for the few supply of early bird tickets. You can set your tickets to increase price by the week, day or even hour leading up to your event. You can also set your tickets to increase by quantity after x amount of tickets are sold. Take this example (for easy math, let’s assume you have 100 tickets to sell):
- Tickets are released and priced at $50
- Once 25 tickets are sold (one-fourth of your venue), raise the price to $75
- Once 50 tickets are sold (half your venue), raise the price to $100
- Once 75 tickets are sold (three-fourths of your venue), raise the price to $125
- Once 90 tickets are sold, raise the price to $150
You can do this with any dollar increment, with any amount of tickets, and at any time interval. However you do it, it’s going to earn you more dollars per square foot per person, and it’s going to encourage people to buy early and have time to share their plans with others. After all, the majority of people attend summer events based on where their friends are going.
5. Market Your Event
It’s important to first define your audience before you start marketing your event so you know exactly who you’re reaching and what their call to action needs to be. Publish your event on your website event page or create a landing page so people can start buying your tickets. Segment your customers into specific audiences and send messages that speak directly to each segment via text and email. Create a Facebook event and invite people to attend. Boost targeted social ads to build awareness and interact with your audience. Turn your promoters into a mobile box office to sell tickets on the street from their mobile devices. And throughout all of it, use affiliate links to track all your marketing efforts so you know exactly what is and isn’t working for you.
6. Experience Seamless Operations
It’s the day of your event, and you should already be well informed of how many tickets have been sold and feel at ease with the revenue you’ve already earned. Now it’s time to make sure operations are seamless for an enjoyable night. To do this, you need to optimize your lines and focus on getting your guests through your door so they can get inside to enjoy their night and spend money on drinks.
Using a bit of strategy in your lines not only ensures a seamless door, but also physically shows guests why they should pre-purchase their tickets for your next event. Create a different line for a different type of customer, such as a line for your pre-sale customer and a line for customers paying at the door. This allows your staff handling pre-sale check-in to only focus on that task and increase line speed for those that bought ahead of time. On the other hand, it allows your staff selling tickets at the door to only handle that task, aiding in long waits for door sales. We helped a venue check in more than 1,200 pre-sale guests within 15 minutes with this strategy. The more organized your lines are, the faster your speed of night will be, the happier your customers will be, and the faster they’re through your door to spend money inside your venue.
7. Analyze and Optimize
Now that your event is over, it’s time to analyze results for a bigger return next time. Getting access to your data gives you the opportunity to truly understand how your venue and events are performing. This is why we recommend using a unified system like BookBottles, where all functions are operated through one dashboard. That way, all of your data will be in one spot - not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and referrers to truly understand areas of strength and weakness. You’ll know what marketing efforts worked and which didn’t, along with which items sold and which didn’t. Repeat and enhance the initiatives that worked and table the ones that didn’t to continue to grow your efforts and increase your revenue. This information allows you to set yourself up for even more success for your next events throughout the summer months.
Editor’s Note: Whitney Johnson’s articles are provided by BookBottles.