Creating a Date-based Dynamic Pricing Plan

Maggie Korte

Developing a pricing strategy doesn’t cross every Event Organizer’s mind before putting a price tag on their tickets - but it’s worth considering. Rather than setting one price for an event and sticking to it for the duration of their on-sale, some Event Organizers opt to utilize a different strategy called dynamic pricing.

Dynamic pricing is a method often used in tourism, hospitality, and public transportation. Despite its potential to have a very positive impact on revenue, the strategy is pretty novel in the events world. When used in the ticketing and events industry, dynamic pricing is the act of changing the price of a ticket one or more times based on market conditions. It’s used by Event Organizers to adjust their event’s ticket price(s) in relation to time and/or desirability, in order to best ensure they’re charging the right price at the right time.

A dynamic pricing plan can be date-based, demand-based, or both. All methods can help maximize your revenue and create urgency. Organizing a schedule of price increases and/or flash sales is not only helpful for planning and forecasting purposes, but it will encourage your customers to actively think about your event in the months leading up to it.

For those who want to implement a dynamic pricing schedule, EventSprout’s unique features make execution simpler and more convenient than ever before.

Making It Easy To Automatically Change Your Ticket Price

Dynamic pricing can be broken down into two sections in EventSprout: date-based and demand-based. Event Organizers can use EventSprout’s dynamic pricing feature as a tool to execute either one or both of those methods. This article will focus on the use of solely the date-based dynamic pricing method.

The date-based dynamic pricing feature on EventSprout takes your pricing plan and automates it.  In most cases, Event Organizers will use this feature to schedule ticket price increases periodically based on date and time. Some Event Organizers may choose to schedule a flash-sale as well, which is a quick sale that may last a few hours or an entire day. With our date-based dynamic pricing feature, Event Organizers just have to input their desired pricing plan, and our algorithm will automatically update their ticket price(s) according to the timetable they’ve uploaded.

Our dynamic pricing feature has taken what used to have to be done manually and does it automatically. Don’t worry about closely monitoring your tickets to make sure you change the price at the right time, or creating duplicate versions of the same ticket with different prices. Our customizable feature allows you to set price tiers within one ticket and then “forget” about it, leading to less set-up time, simpler backend reports, and less confusion for customers.

Benefits of Date-based Dynamic Pricing

When advertised effectively, a date-based dynamic pricing plan can generate excitement and eagerness on behalf of your customers. Scheduling price increases based on time can:

1. Increase Urgency Early On

It’s likely that your customers want to save money whenever possible. If you provide a discounted ticket option to your event months in advance, there’s a good chance they’ll jump on the offer to save a few bucks. On the contrary, if they know the ticket price won’t change by the time the event comes around, it’s more likely they’ll hold off on spending their money for as long as possible. Without a pricing plan, there’s destined to be less urgency.

A date-based pricing schedule gives your customers ample opportunities to purchase tickets at a discounted price. Let’s say you plan to bump your ticket price on the 1st day of every month - be sure to remind your customers every time there is going to be an increase. For dynamic pricing to work well, it’s important to be upfront and clear with your customers that your ticket price will be changing and that it will never be as low as it is right now.

Additionally, with our date-based dynamic pricing feature, Event Organizers can schedule “flash sales.” Flash sales should come as a surprise to the customer, but with our software, Event Organizers can save time and effort by planning them as far in advance as they’d like. Flash sales allow Event Organizers to create some urgency at times when sales may be slower.

2. Maximize Overall Revenue

The key to a date-based dynamic pricing schedule is to reward your early customers with a discount and charge your last-minute buyers what they’re willing to spend.

It’s to be expected that there will be a rush of buyers in the days leading up to an event - that’s why raising your price in the final days of your on-sale can be an effective way to maximize your revenue. The bulk of your revenue will be coming from that group of people who are ready to buy full priced tickets just before the event… so, be sure you’re charging the right price.

Maintain ‘Full Price’ Tickets at the Box Office

An important thing to remember is that customers who buy tickets at your event (rather than online) are usually ready to pay full price.  It’s uncommon for there to be discounted tickets at the box office, so if someone has arrived in person and is ready to buy, then they’re likely prepared to pay full price.

Keeping ticket prices lower online is also a good incentive for your customers to purchase tickets prior to the event. When more customers purchase tickets online, your box office will be easier to manage, saving you time and expenses. Plus, you can collect more information, like email addresses for marketing purposes, from the customers who purchase tickets online.

Directions for Setting Up Date-Based Pricing

  1. Set a ticket price.
  2. Click on the (3) dots to the right of the ticket and select “Ticket Settings.”
  3. Toward the bottom of Ticket Settings, you’ll see “Date Pricing” and “Demand Pricing.” Select “Date Pricing.”
  4. Input the price(s) you would like to increase your ticket to on which date(s).
  5. Save!
Event Organizer view of an individual ticket
Event Organizer view of Ticket Settings

Example Scenario

Joe is building a dynamic pricing plan for his annual air show on July 15th. Last year, he charged $30/ticket and sold 3,000 tickets online in the weeks leading up to his event. He sold 750 tickets at the box office for the same price.

Joe knows he wants to slightly increase the price of his air show ticket this year, as is common with annual events. He knows he wants his full priced ticket at the box office to be $40 this year. He knows the lowest he wants to charge for his event is $25, so he will start this year’s ticket price there, to create urgency.

Despite selling the same number of tickets this year, Joe made $11,750 more by implementing a date-based dynamic pricing schedule. 

For sake of comparison, let’s say the same number of tickets are sold both years. However, this year, more tickets were sold earlier, because of the urgency created by the discounted tickets. If Joe sells 3,000 tickets online and 750 at the gate with his date-based dynamic pricing plan, he will make $11,750 more than he did last year.