Among all major events in nightlife during the calendar year, New Year's Eve is the one that's known for generating the most last-minute sales. In fact, Business Wire reported last year that according to a survey, 43% of people typically wait to book their plans until the week between Christmas and New Year's. This can pose issues when running a nightclub or hosting a large-scale event, as it makes it difficult to forecast sales and monitor if you're in the position to reach your goals. One way to avoid such troubles is by incentivizing your guests to book their ticket or VIP table far ahead of time. If you're not sure how to go about doing that, we came up with a few ideas that will help.
Plan, Announce, & Market Early
Before your event goes live, finalize as many details as possible regarding both the night itself and the specific tickets or bottle service packages you'll be selling. People want to know exactly what they're getting before committing to it, so the fewer questions one has, the more likely they are to book – especially early on.
Consider answering these questions as part of the description on your event page: What is the appropriate attire? How long does the party last? What time should I arrive? Will there be a DJ or a live band? Will there be a champagne toast or balloon drop? Will you be handing out party favors like hats or horns? Will there be appetizers or food offered? What kind of music will be played? What is the timeframe of the open bar?
When it comes to inventory, clearly convey the difference to ensure your guests know what it means to buy general admission versus VIP, or to ensure they know what bottles and services they'll get if they choose a table.
You don't have to wait until it's socially acceptable to play Christmas music to actually announce your event! Get one step in front of your competitors by launching your marketing campaign as soon as Halloween has passed. It may go without saying, but the earlier you introduce it, the more success you'll see early on; if you wait too long, some have already booked elsewhere before they even found out about yours.
Hold A Pre-Sale
"The early bird gets the worm," as they say! One of the best methods of creating urgency is to offer a lower price for inventory over a limited period of time. This can be shared to whomever you choose: your social media followers, your email subscribers, past attendees, or just everyone.
If you're a current TablelistPro partner or choose to become one in the future, pre-sale access can be promoted as a perk on Tablelist Diamond, a paid membership program for users of our nightlife booking app, Tablelist. Through the program, our clients have the option to list members-only perks and benefits – not limited to just pre-sales, but also discounted tickets, complimentary RSVPs, skip-the-line privileges, and more. You can track and monitor which ones resonate with your guests, then use that data to optimize your inventory while creating a better customer experience.
Tier The Pricing
Once tickets and tables are on sale to the general public at your venue, consider different levels for pricing so it gets more expensive the closer it gets to New Year's Eve. This can be done in several ways, as Attendease explains; its comprehensive guide to event ticket pricing details strategies like odd/even pricing, bundled pricing, and time-batched pricing.
Warn About Sellouts
Often times, the fear of missing out is enough to make people buy in advance, which is why it makes sense to embed a ticker on your website that shows the percentage of tickets that remain. Create countdown posts on social media whenever the event reaches certain levels of sales – like 50% gone, 75% gone, and 90% through 100% – or do this through an email campaign at levels of your choosing.
Offer Limited-Time Add-Ons
A common technique to lift sales ahead of time is to include an add-on if purchased by a certain date. For VIP table buyers, it could be a complimentary bottle of champagne or vodka. For ticket buyers, it could be a pass for expedited entry, a drink ticket, or a free coat check stub. Be creative here, and make it meaningful; don't just offer something for the sake of offering it. These freebies won't cost you much in the long run if it means ensuring a booking is made.
Make the Buying Process Seamless
If your venue isn't already using its own website to sell your event, this is a significant missed opportunity. Your site is already attracting visitors seeking details about your event, which presents itself as a chance to seal the deal on the spot. More so, if you use a third-party site for sales, there's an immediate risk that you'll lose the buyer to another event promoted on the same site. Using your own avoids this entirely.
In just a few steps, TablelistPro makes it quick to start selling online. Simply embed a widget onto your site using the HTML code we provide for you to start listing inventory on there – or set up a personal, venue-branded holiday website to post your event and sell tickets and VIP tables. Once a booking is made, all of the client data and sales information will be tagged and synced back into the app immediately.
A further explanation can be found by reading our blog post, "What is a Widget, and Why Does My Venue's Website Need One?".
Utilize Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Perhaps the easiest incentive of all is to take advantage of the two major shopping holidays. Guests will be more open to spending money those days, and some will intentionally wait until then to make a New Year's Eve purchase. The offer can be anything listed previously, like a discount or add-on; Tablelist, in particular, shared a code for 10% off tickets and tables at select year-end events last year.
Ready to start tracking your New Year's Eve event, guests, and staff with simplicity and ease? Invest in TablelistPro, the leading real-time online reservations and venue management app designed for the nightlife industry. Visit our website to schedule a demo or discovery call with us to learn more.