Revenue / 10.21.19
5 Ways to Monetize the No-Show Problem
No-shows are an industry-wide problem that impact all venues and organizations managing tickets or admissions. They constitute approximately 5-15% of inventory even at sold-out events, with an average of approximately 10%; therefore, no events reach their full revenue potential. When a seat is left empty at an event, the organization is losing revenue (e.g., parking, concessions, merchandise, etc.), community support, and the opportunity to present the talent and audience with the best possible experience. This is an area that is often overlooked by ticketing managers and accepted as inevitable. This article presents solutions to help your organization better understand how no-shows are affecting your ticketing operation and what you can do to monetize the no-show problem.
For the purposes of this story, a no-show is defined as an empty seat caused when the ticket holder fails to attend the event. There are many reasons someone might decide to purchase tickets but then not attend. These reasons can include, but are not limited to, illness, weather, family emergency, gifted tickets, work and more.
It’s important for every organization to explore their no-show rates and determine if next steps are necessary. Here’s how to get started and monetize the no-show problem.
1. Analyze the Data
Whether you use sophisticated technologies to analyze your data or have limited tools and resources, the first step for any organization is to determine how often no-shows are occurring. To do this, you’ll need to compare your ticket sales and attendance figures to determine your no-show rates.
We live in an era where data is a form of currency, and the ticketing industry is no exception. There are infinite reasons for collecting consumer data; however, uses for customer data have not been fully explored with regards to predictive analytics for forecasting event attendance.
Types of data
Consumer data alone is a powerful tool, but combined with additional sources of event data, it can take on new forms. Other sources of helpful data include, but are not limited to: no-show rates with respect to programming (as you may notice variances across particular teams, artists or musical genres), audience arrival times, popularity of the event and the weather. This data can help you predict no-shows in advance so that you can create the optimal experience for your patrons. After analyzing your data and no-show trends, you should be able to determine actionable next steps.
2. Create Flexible Exchange Options
Providing flexible exchange and delivery options is an easy way for any organization to reduce no-shows. Patrons are demanding flexibility; let’s give it to them! The ticket holder who can longer attend the event doesn’t want to lose the financial investment they made when buying the tickets or see the tickets go unused. By offering options like ticket exchanges, donations, consignment or securely forwarding tickets to a friend, you are giving patrons opportunities to make their empty seats available for others to purchase or attend in their place.
3. Proactively Communicate
It’s important to inform and then continuously remind your patrons that they have options. It can be difficult for even the most dedicated fan to stay updated on specific policies, procedures and functionality available to them. Furthermore, deciding not to attend often happens at the last minute, and it can be a difficult time for the patron to begin to understand their current options. Proactively providing patrons with information they need in a way that is clear, concise and easy to follow can increase awareness and usage of the available options. Here are some tips to consider:
- Tailor Communications – Provide specific offers or solutions in your event notifications and remind patrons that they have return and exchange privileges or other options.
- Be Strategic – Only send communications to likely no-shows, rather than overwhelming every attendee as each event approaches.
- Timing Is Everything – Be sure to send notifications with plenty of time for patrons to respond and enough time to sell their ticket to last-minute buyers.
4. Optimize Seating and Fill the House
Empty seats caused by no-shows can create a negative impression of the venue for your talent as well as attendees and broadcast audiences. To create a better dressed house at your event, discover ways to assign seats at the last minute to fill holes in the seat map. There are many ways to do this, including:
- Fulfill Comps and Discounted Tickets at the Last Minute – This will allow you to better dress the house and fill in no-shows as needed.
- General Admission (GA) Tickets and Packages – Consider creating and selling GA or standing-room-only tickets to patrons that provide entry to the event, then assigning seat locations later. These can be sold as one-off tickets or as part of a package.
- Seat Upgrades – Either manually or by using technology to assist, allow patrons to upgrade to a better seat if available. This can be done on a complimentary basis or for a premium. This will increase customer satisfaction while better dressing the house and increasing revenue.
5. Utilize Technology
Ticketing technology is constantly evolving. It is important that your organization stay abreast of what others are doing and what is currently being offered in the industry. From no-show technology providers and better utilizing your current ticketing software to third-party seating and upgrade software, there are more options to optimize attendance now than ever before.
For too long, ticketing managers have accepted no-shows as inevitable and figured that because the seat was sold, their jobs as inventory managers were done. Now we know that no-shows present an opportunity. Monetizing your no-shows will bring the maximum number of patrons into your events, increase incremental revenue, augment concession and merchandise sales, and provide your audience and talent with the best experience possible.
This story was sponsored by SeatCycle.
Tags: Stadium , Venues , Sponsored Content