It’s the holiday season and that means the public is looking forward to discounts. Fairs and Fairgrounds should be taking advantage of that concept as well. There are two reasons to offer Black Friday deals – first of all you’re continuing to keep the Fair event at the top of your fans list of things to do and second, and more importantly, you’re adding revenue to your bottom line during a relatively slow revenue period. Typically the last quarter of the year has much less events on the grounds than other months.
Below are 5 ideas for ways to offer discounts for Black Friday and other Holidays:
#1 – Season Pass Discounts – If your fair sells a ‘run of fair pass’ (or season pass) consider offering it at the lowest cost possible on Black Friday. Grandparents/parents can buy the tickets for their grandchildren as holiday presents, and families can get the best possible value to attend the Fair multiple days. Make sure that the pricing is at least 20-30% off the regular pricing.
#2 – Discount Admission Tickets – Offering admission tickets at 30% on-site admission pricing is very attractive to those who are ‘cost conscious’. Consider a one price level for all, or a buy one get one free option. Take a look at what other venues/events are doing in your area . That will indicate what the public is willing to buy. It’s important that this pricing is lower than your regular discount pricing.
#3 – Discount Parking Tickets – Consider offering a parking upgrade for those who choose convenience and time over price. Have a section of your parking lot designated as VIP Parking, it’s closer to the admission gate, has covered parking (ie solar panels or even trees), or provides valet parking. You’ll need to follow your state/county/city ADA guidelines and offer ADA spaces in this area as well.
#4 – Concert or Paid Attraction Tickets that includes Fair Admission – if your Fair has paid concerts, or other paid attractions (rodeo, demolition derby, car or other racing), offering those tickets for a larger discount than is normally sold will be attractive to those bargain seekers.
#5 – Sign Up for the Fair’s/Fairgrounds e-newsletter and get a ‘code’ for a % off a purchase of a ticket, concert, event, etc.. This one will help you increase your email list, while also generating interest in fair fans purchasing tickets. You should have this be at a different discount level than the Black Friday deals. It should be less of a discount because they are receiving a different benefit for their email address.
Bonus #6 – Flash Sale – pick a day and pick an admission ticket and do a ‘flash sale’ – an unadvertised sale during the pre-sale period. Encourage people to sign up for your newsletter so they get the email the morning of the flash sale.
In developing your ticket sales marketing plan, take advantage of other nationally recognized holidays before your event and implement one of these 6 sales opportunities for those holidays as well.. Having a calendar of these promotions should be part of your ticket sales marketing plan so you can track the response.
In the event you think discounting tickets will hurt your bottom line revenue realize you’ll attract those bargain hunter fans that all fairs have, and you’ll provide some ‘weather proof’ revenue for your organization. You won’t severely impact your onsite ticket sales – there are always a group of people who do not take advantage of discount ticket sales for a variety of reasons.
And there you have it – 6 ways to use Black Friday as a method to promote and sell Fairtime admission, concert, fair attraction tickets or increase your email database.
#1 – Season Pass Discounts
#2 – Discount Admission Tickets
#3 – Discount Parking or VIP Parking Experience
#4 – Concert or Paid Attraction Tickets that include Fair Admission
#5 – Sign up for the Fair’s e-newsletter and a % off a ticket purchase
Bonus #6 – Flash Sale ie unadvertised sale
In all of these options, make sure that any convenience fees collected do not ‘gobble’ up any savings your fans would get. Each online ticketing company has multiple ways to price their rates, having a good contract in place to insure your fans aren’t paying more than they save is important.
Remember to check out what other venues and events are offering in your area as well as what other Fairs and Festivals are offering. Keep a spreadsheet of the venue/event, regular pricing and discount pricing so you have some actual data to compare. Another group to watch is major retailers – what are they offering to residents in your community or close to their retail outlets. These retailers have a massive research team (and budget) providing their marketing teams with significant data. Take advantage of that. For example, I observed a large retailer offering ‘tortillas’ on opening day in a community many assumed was not hispanic. Getting that type of data provided us with the ability to market to a different demographic than had historically been under-represented in that zip code for our demographic marketing.
Hopefully these ideas can spark other ways to get some pre-fair ticket sales as well as some marketing and PR about the fair out in the community months before the event.
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