Why implementing a strategy for event tickets is as important as tracking the results of ticket usage
Don’t put the cart before the horse… why? Because without some horsepower your cart will not go anywhere!
No matter where you are trying to “go” with any initiative, it is important to proactively set goals and develop a strategic plan. All actions require motivation, even if that motivation is not consciously considered before the action takes place.
For example, consider a CEO that recently purchased a season long suite lease for the NFL team in their market. This action may have been motivated by the fact that he or she is simply a fan of this team and has been since childhood. Or, it could have been a result of ongoing research into their customer base that revealed sports hospitality moves the needle. The former exudes no strategic thought, the latter defines it.
Let’s take this example a step further. The company has now hired YOU to help manage the tickets for this suite, and the CEO has – very ambiguously – noted that they are interested in tracking the results.
“Results? What results? I thought you just wanted to watch football games!”
“What Results?” This question is the foundation for our series on How to Generate an ROI on Company-Owned Sports and Entertainment Event Tickets. It begs the question, if we are looking at the Return of these assets, then what variables should be included and tracked?
There are countless metrics you could include in your assessment: ticket utilization numbers, incremental revenue gained, number of companies hosted, number of employees hosted, new business converted, and the list goes on…
But if you do not establish the purpose of your initiative, you will be stuck tracking all of them, which will of course mean you’ll be tracking none of them well enough to gain true insights.
So, step one: Call a Meeting of the Minds
This is to say, let’s get everyone on board with the variables here. The goal is to ensure there a mutually agreed upon sets of KPIs that will remain consistent at least until the next touch point or review takes place.
The most important person to solicit input and receive sign-off from is the individual that must justify the amount of good that comes from this purchase. Sometimes that is the head of marketing, sometimes it is the CEO him–or–herself who must bring this purchase to the Board of Directors.
Step two: Define Purchase Motivations
When the meeting is set, ask the person who signed the dotted line:
“What were you hoping to get out of this purchase when you made it?”
Then listen to the answer. They will likely list of a myriad of hopes and wishes ranging from driving new business to enjoying Sundays with the family.
Step three: Prioritization & Affirmation
When they are done talking, recap all the unique items provided, and say:
“You just listed these motivations; how would you prioritize them?”
Stop. Listen. Let them rank the importance of their purchase intentions and write them down accordingly. Then, recap again – as an example:
“If I heard you correctly, we as a company are looking to enhance retention first, then win new business from prospects, and lastly cut attrition amongst our mid-level managers. Is that correct?”
At this point the group will deliberate. Use your experience to drive the conversation and ensure that there are mutually agreed upon goals. We suggest a matrix that breaks down each purchase intention with a goal of utilization percentage. Something like this:
Step four: Define Roles, Responsibilities, and Tactics
Your role is fantastically simple because it is all-encompassing: make these hospitality initiatives generate a return.
But you cannot do it alone. Others will be need to at the very least be open to your involvement in their day-to-day if not directly involved themselves to make these initiatives successful. For example, to understand the current customer base you will need access to CRM records. To use upcoming hospitality events to convert prospects, you need to know which prospects are in the funnel – perhaps through involvement with internal sales meetings. To ensure employee attrition is minimized, you need to know current rates by working with human resources.
Willingness to open the figurative door to other departments varies company to company. But through this meeting of the minds you can create the urgency required to deliver the authority and autonomy that will allow you to work seamlessly between groups and deliver results.
Step five: Set the Next Meeting
Now that the motivations have been defined and prioritized and everyone has their marching orders, it is time to go to work. But do not let the group leave without setting a routine check-in.
Like any marketing campaign, hospitality works in waves. A regular meeting to review performance towards the predefined objectives – and maybe even the objectives themselves – is of vital importance to the success of this program.
Which brings us to our next note…
Step six: Track Religiously
You now have access to the internal systems and the people you need to accomplish the mission laid in front of you. You know when your next check point is, and the expectations have been clearly confirmed.
The ball is in your court to execute – and while we will cover some great tips on how to drive performance towards various business objectives later in this series – we want to equip you with some of our favorite partners in the space to assist your journey.
Cvent: For a comprehensive hospitality software solution covering everything from venue selection to registration and badges, we recommend Cvent. They are the market leader for a reason, employing a full suite of services and a la carte pricing so that you can customize from event to event and ensure your program can record data on both spend and return.
TicketManager: If you are an organization with a large amount of tickets to sporting events and concerts, then consider looking into TicketManager’s software to help organize and streamline the requesting process to drive performance through those tickets. TM is a preferred partner of Best.Day.Ever. and we are excited for the future of this SaaS company as they continue to evolve their product with new and exciting features.
Best.Day.Ever.: (insert shameless plug here…) Our niche is quite simple – we love doing the work set forth above! So, if you are a company looking to find performance through hospitality or event marketing, considering contacting us. Our service team is here to help walk your team through best practices or take the burden off your plate. And our event-day software solution is uniquely designed to drive results towards whatever KPIs you are looking to achieve.
Step seven: Play the Long Game
Lastly, understand that business is cyclical; which inherently means that hospitality to drive business results is also cyclical. Through your meetings ensure that the importance of large samples of data is not understated. Smaller ad-hoc events can be viewed in isolation to find trends, but do not make the mistake of driving larger decisions based on unproven correlations.
Continue to look at data in the aggregate to glean your insights. You will be surprised at how they jump off the page.