Continuing an online discount is a crucial part of an overall marketing strategy and drives advance sales! It's so effective in increasing overall revenue that we even recommend leaving your online discount in place throughout the event. Here we take a look at why...
Money in the bank
If you end the online discount before the event date, many potential visitors will simply choose to buy on the gates - people see the discount as a trade-off for printing their own tickets. This means that you will take a significant hit on your advance sales, affecting the advance funds available to you. It can in fact harm your overall show income as these people may choose not to turn up.
Visitor commitment and loyalty
Being able to book even just a few days before the event ensures that the visitor will definitely attend - the discount incentivises their online purchase and then means that they will attend despite any last minute bad weather or change of plans. Due to their early commitment, many of these customers will also tell their friends/family that they are attending which aids word-of-mouth marketing. It has been suggested that if a discount ends early, it will drive customers to buy earlier. Unfortunately, this is not true; we have solid evidence that in fact it has the opposite effect and will decrease advance sales.
Shorter queues and less cash
More cash/card sales on the gates means higher banking charges, more cashiers/staff required and longer queues - a higher percentage of advance online sales helps to keep this to a minimum. Crucially, the less money the visitor spends on the gates, they more they have left to spend on-site at the exhibitor and trade outlets
Data for future marketing
When a customer pays via cash/card on the gates, your show has no further contact with them. Online purchase data enables you to contact customer about future show dates (observing the strictures of GDPR of course!) meaning you can maintain a dialogue with that customer to keep them engaged and returning in future years. The shows that send e-shots have seen email open-rates of up to 68% from their previous visitors demonstrating they are the most engaged group of ticket buyers.
Of course, all the above are very good reasons to implement e-ticketing in the first place. The benefits far outweigh the costs, particularly in the crucial few days before the event!