If you are in the event production business, putting on events such as community theater productions, high school musicals, college plays, or sporting events, you may have dealt with the question “was the event successful?”.
How do you measure your event’s success?
We believe there are five components to success of an event:
- Ticket Volume
- Ticket Prices
- Other Revenue
- Impact on Reputation
The first three deal with the total revenue generated by the event. The last two deal with cost and impact on the reputation of your organization. It is useful to assess the degree to which the event organizer can improve the value of the event production. The items shown in the green boxes above are levers that can be used to drive value.
The volume of tickets sold can be increased by attracting new customers, i.e. customers who did not previously attend one of your organization’s events. Volume can also be increased by having existing customers purchase more tickets. Future posts will discuss how to achieve these increases. For now we just explore the framework.
Achieving a good ticket price consists of being able to offer different price points to your audience or ticket buyers. Some people are willing to pay much more than other people. Offering better seats to people who are willing to pay higher prices is one way to accomplish that. Your box office system supporting the event production must be able to support that. Once prices are set, actually realizing your prices is another leverage point. Offering discounts in a way that improves revenue rather than erodes it and being careful around the number of comp tickets are critical.
Other revenue is generated through sales of ancillary products and services such as concessions, clothing, CDs, etc. Furthermore, for nonprofit organizations, the event should be an opportunity to drive donations and sponsorship revenue.
While the first three items dealt with revenue, containing event cost drives the value of the vent production. The levers here are managing the cost of the production or event itself, and managing the support cost. Many event producers end up surprised at the high support costs associated with their event. Containing costs such as administration, ticketing services, or facilities can all have a significant impact on the event cost.
Another important part of the event value is the degree to which the event takes away or adds to the overall reputation of the organization putting on the event. Levers to control here are the quality of the event itself of course, but also the overall customer experience for the attendees.