I hope everyone from the Box Office and Marketing sectors takes a moment today to drop by Joe Patti’s Butts In The Seats post from 8/5/2013 where he asks colleagues about their practices with listing ticket price tiers online. What caught my attention, and I hope catches yours too, was the bit about his box office software provider suggesting they only list the highest ticket price level because it would inspire higher sales at that level.
When I arrived at my current job, I noticed only the top level ticket price for each area was listed online even though we offer just about the same discount categories as we did in Hawaii. Thinking it a mistake, I asked my box office manager why that was and she told me the software vendor suggested we only offer the highest level because people would take advantage.
Thinking this may not be the best course of action, Patti tosses the issue out into the open and invites practical insight via comments.
Based on direct experience, the reasons that justify the strategy Patti described are few and far between and the only one that repeatedly jumps to mind are special fundraising events such as galas; but even then, those events aren’t as likely to have tiered discount pricing.
From the narrower perspective of someone that develops an arts org website publishing platform, the Venture Platform, we make sure to incorporate as many potential pricing configurations as possible and let users decide which they want to use on a per event (and even per occurrence) basis.
In its current configuration, we allow arts org users to list prices via the following options:
- Price Range: enter lowest price in first field and highest in second field.
- Tickets From: enter lowest ticket price in first field and leave second field blank.
- Single Ticket Price: Enter the single ticket price into both fields.
- Free events: enter $0 into both fields and “Free” will appear in place of a dollar value.
- No Listed Price. If empty, ticket prices will not show on frontend.
We also provide methods for listing special prices outside the regular ticket price scheme, such as student, seniors, etc.
Nonetheless, I’m curious to know what others think and hope you take the time to leave a comment at Patti’s post. More so, it will be fascinating to see if Patti follows up on the post with what he decided to do, and why, at his organization.