Planning events is simple, right? You offer a service for a fee, the client pays your fee and you make money. Rinse and repeat. However, the way in which you price your services can determine how many paying and repeat attendees you get vs. how many potential attendees might walk away. How you price your events also determines whether or not you’ll have a red bottom line or a smiling black one at the end of each quarter. In a way, your events’ (hopefully) automated event pricing model affects every single aspect of your event management. Which means you have to get it right, right?
The name of the game these days is make it simple. You might not be the cheapest on the market, but if your event pricing is the simplest to understand you can count on beating out your competition! Attendees want to understand what they are going to pay so they can plan ahead. They don’t want to wade through fine print, tons of options that confuse them and they don’t want any surprises. Structure an automated registration pricing plan that avoids these pitfalls and you will grow your business. If your event pricing model is confusing to a customer, they will probably go elsewhere. How can you make it not confusing, even when it is? Automated event pricing!
When advertising your events and their cost, stick to keywords that jump out at people and make them feel at ease. Phrases, like the ones below, are great to use (and it goes without saying these phrases should also be true, not just for show, but we’re saying it anyway):
- Simple (duh!)
- No Nonsense
- No Hidden Fees
- No Fine Print
If relevant to your event, offer a few different packages and include a chart that easily and visually compares what each package offers so it is clear what more money buys the attendee and also what they can get for less! A great idea is to reward attendees who pay more in advance with discounts. If you have many different events with different costs to attend, for example, charging $50 for registering to 1 event, but $95 for two events, is a great way to lock people in for more while also making them feel like they aren’t getting hosed and are being rewarded for loyalty.
Consider simplifying your event pricing even if you offer a wide range of services. It might be that every event you offer should in theory have a higher or lower price in comparison but try streamlining so as not to confuse or overwhelm your customers with too many options. For example, if you offer a variety of services to both children and adults, try creating a simple “Child” price and “Adult” price with overly expensive “add-ons” limited and priced out separately or create tiers of services for children and adults with separate pricing for each.
If the above suggestion isn’t feasible for what you offer (or even if it is) consider automating your event pricing! Especially if you have a lot of products or the discounts you want to offer (like in the multiple events example above) your pricing strategy is probably not optimal and you might be stuck trying to figure out how to simplify and streamline your event pricing system. Automation can be a great solution to this problem and is a solution you should consider implementing, so long as your event management software allows you (which it should!).
How do you setup automated event pricing?
When you use an online event registration software with online payments, automating your event pricing is easy to do. As each attendee selects the products or services they want, the system can automatically calculate the price owed, add the appropriate discounts and formulate the correct package based on their selections. As the attendee changes or removes selections, the price dynamically changes with it. An attendee simply has to click what they want and their price is automatically generated, so they get a simple and clear understanding of what they owe and can easily make changes if they want to pay less or test out what their cost would be if they added more services.
Usually this kind of customization can cost big bucks for a business to implement. You always have the option of hiring a developer to implement this, but what happens when your pricing changes (as it does and will do constantly). Amdocs for example offers a dynamic pricing and billing technology but the cost is upwards of $100K. Yikes! There are ways to create this system for less. Companies like Regpack offer automated pricing as part of their custom registration which can be a great and more affordable option.
Simple should extend from every point, not just your price. While price is key, no one will even consider working with you if accessing your services is also confusing. If the process to sign up and register, for example, for your February course is complicated, long and time consuming you’ve just lost a customer. Simple and easy sign-up and registration processes coupled with an easy and straightforward way to to pay AND a simple pricing model is the ticket to happy, satisfied and MORE clients.
Making your event pricing easy and clear to understand means less time explaining how things work and more time getting stuff done.
My biggest piece of advice is simple (see what I did there?!): look at what the norm is for your industry and build from there. Or go a step further and change your industry standard if you feel like the norm can be confusing or isn’t optimal for your customer base. This will help your event stand out among your competition and can give you a leg up. For almost any event professional big or small, simple and straightforward event pricing works, period.