Holiday Head Start: Plan Now for the Busiest Night of the Year

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New Year’s Eve is the biggest event of the year, and it’s also the most competitive. A lot of venues start selling tier 1 tickets as early as late September, and sell out of those tickets by the end of October. That’s why it’s important to get a head start and get your event planned out so you can have a successful and profitable night.

Follow these 7 tips to ensure a successful New Year’s Eve party.

 

1. Publish Your Event Now

You need an event page, and you need it to be launched now. This gives you time to market your event and attract customers so they can start making their plans around your party. It’s important to have a section of your website or a specific landing page dedicated to your event; simply having a sentence description on a third-party ticketing company’s website isn’t going to cut it. People want to know the vibe of your party, understand why they should attend, and get a gage on what they can expect by attending. Plus, having your own page allows for greater SEO opportunities, allowing guests to find out about your event in search results.

It’s also important to make sure customers can buy tickets directly on your website and aren’t redirected to a third-party. Redirects oftentimes lead to cart abandonment, and you can lose out on that customer’s data. Work with a ticketing company that’s built for nightlife events and integrates with your site for the best user experience, and to collect the most data to fill your guest database.

 

2. Pre-Launch Your Tickets

Experience is everything, and it’s what drives your customers to be loyal. Your customers are looking for a personalized experience, particularly those who attend your nightclub or bar on the regular. Consider an exclusive pre-launch of tickets for the customers who have come to your venue throughout the year before launching your tickets to the public. Reach out to them via text or email and give them preferential treatment on tables and tickets. This is going to make a big impression on your most loyal customers, and it’s going to drive them to plan their night out with their friends at your event.

 

3. Use Your Data

Data matters more than you realize. It’s what allows you to understand what does and doesn’t work to set you up for success. Use last year’s data to understand which channels brought in the most guests, and replicate that. If you don’t have access to last year’s data, it’s time to start looking into systems like Vēmos that allow you to access all of your information in one central spot.

One of the most important pieces of data you’ll want to track is your marketing channels. You need to track where your customers are finding you and why they’re choosing your event over others. To do this, assign specific links to each channel and staff member. Then, use those links on your various channels (e.g., a different link for Facebook, Twitter, third-party media, digital ads, etc.). Also, make sure your staff is using their personal links when they promote your event so they get credit. The results will inform you of what you should and shouldn’t be spending your time and money on.

 

4. Leverage Marketing Channels

Once your tickets are set up and your trackable links are in order, it’s time to start promoting. Keep in mind that it takes an average of 7 touchpoints before consumers consider purchasing, so you’ll want to get in front of them sooner than later. Make sure you use multiple forms of communication across various channels to increase the cycle of those touchpoints and to engage your customers faster. Here are a few things for you to consider:

  • Set up your social channels to be in line with your event by updating your images and post cadence.
  • Add an events section on your Facebook page that gives full information about your NYE event, and integrate your ticketing page into your Facebook fan page for people to buy tickets directly through social.
  • Consider contests or ticket giveaways to build engagement and interaction.
  • Run Facebook ads to target a specific segmented audience.
  • Get your promoters engaged and turn them into a mobile box office.
  • Leverage partnerships with third-party outlets, such as your booked entertainment, sponsors, key social influencers, and media outlets. Partner with them and have them promote your event on your behalf.

When you get your marketing channels to work together, you’ll gain a bigger audience reach and increase the likelihood of selling out before your event happens.

 

5. Incentivize Guests to Purchase Tickets Early

Encourage people to pre-purchase their tickets by creating supply and demand. Show them your ticket prices will increase as the event gets closer in order to create demand for the small 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. This encourages people to buy early and have time to share their plans with others. Plus, when guests pre-buy their tickets, you're generating revenue before the night of your event, helping you cover costs before your event even happens.

 

6. Stay on Top of VIP Table Guests 

Your VIP guests are important, and you want to make sure they’re not getting lost in the shuffle of general admission purchases. For New Year’s Eve, I recommend pre-selling tables, either in full or with a deposit. That way, you can obtain a gage on your table inventory and the number of VIP guests you can expect. It also helps mitigate your no-show rate the night of the event.

During the night, make sure you set up your door to handle tables through a different entrance and check-in process. Now, your highest spenders are getting exclusive treatment right off the bat. Also make sure your staff knows to keep an eye on how many people are sitting at each table. It’s easy to overlook a party of 10 that actually brought 20 people with them during a hectic night, and as a result you risk losing out on payment for extra people. That’s one of the easiest ways venues lose money on New Year’s Eve and other big event nights. Having a separate entrance and a reservation system that ties to your events/ticketing system will help alleviate this issue.

 

7. Set up Safety and Compliance Procedures

It’s easy to lose sight of safety and compliance when preparing for the busiest night of the year. Yet, New Year’s Eve is typically the night during which people over-consume, which accounts for the highest amount of emergency room visits. Work with your bartenders to make sure they know when to stop serving overly intoxicated guests. Get on board with an ID Scanning system to reduce your liability. Better yet, use an ID Scanning system like Vēmos that syncs with your database, helps to detect fake and invalid IDs, manages your digital 86 list, and syncs with a city-wide ban list so you know who you should and shouldn’t let into your venue. It may not be the fun part of New Year’s Eve, but it’s important to mitigate your liability on this busy night.

 

Last but not least, make sure all your staff is up and running on the same system and strategy for smooth operations. All the small details matter, and it’s what leaves a lasting impression with your guests. Cheers to your successful New Year’s Eve event and hosting a fun party for your guests to ring in 2018!