Pricing your live event can be a complex and daunting task, requiring careful consideration of a multitude of factors. From the type of event, to the content, to the location, timing, genre, and target audience, a successful pricing strategy involves analyzing a vast array of variables. Then add on the dynamics following a pandemic, live events are even more complicated and harder to predict than ever before. At such times, it’s crucial to have reliable insights and guidance to navigate these challenges. In this article, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and strategies to help you find the right price for your live event and achieve optimal outcomes.
At AudienceView, one of our goals is to empower the live events industry with insights that allow you to make better decisions. With 1000’s of clients powered by AudienceView, we’re fortunate to be sitting on piles of interesting data points to help you understand the business of live events. We recently analyzed our clients’ tickets sales, specifically looking into how organizations were pricing their tickets by region over time. In this article, we will explore the findings of AudienceView’s analysis and shed light on how different regions are pricing their tickets.
Our first step was to look at the ticket prices across all of our North American clients using our AudienceView Professional and Unlimited solutions. This provided us with a solid data set that includes millions of tickets sold and over a billion dollars in tickets sales. It also means we’re looking at a wide range of event types and formats: traditional theater, musicals, festivals, comedy, sports, symphonies, attractions, live music and more.
The average ticket price for 2022 was $35.13, with significant variations across North America. For instance, the highest ticket prices were observed in Washington DC, averaging $100.41, followed by New York at $71.95, whereas Maine had the lowest ticket prices, averaging over $11.
Ticket Prices in the Performing Arts
Next, we decided we to take a deeper dive into performing arts ticket prices. AudienceView powers 1000s of theaters and performing arts centers so there’s no shortage of great data to look at here.
The average ticket price for all performing arts organizations using AudienceView in 2022 came in at $39.29, which is $4.16 more than the average AudienceView client. Across performing arts organizations, we once again see a wide range of ticket prices across North America. On the high end see Washington DC at $104.60 and New York at $80.36. On the low end, North Dakota had the lowest ticket prices at just over $14.
Changes in Ticket Prices Over Time
Next, we wanted to look at how these ticket prices have been changing over time. A lot has changed over the last few years, but did we see much change in ticket prices? Let’s take a closer look.
In 2019 across thousands of organizations using AudienceView to ticket their events, the average ticket price came in at $33.10. As mentioned above, the average ticket price for all of 2022 across all event types was $35.13. An increase of $2.13 since 2019 is great to see. But let’s take a closer look. When you look at what $33.10 is worth in 2022 dollars (using inflation of 1.14), it comes to $37.74. That means actual value of that ticket in 2022 went down by $2.61 since 2019.
We see a similar trend when looking specifically at the performing arts. In 2019 the average ticket price was $36.07 and in 2022 it was $39.21. Which again, looks like a $3.14 increase at first. But when factoring in inflation, that ticket price in 2022 should have been $41.12, meaning the ticket price has decreaed in value by $1.91.
Looking Ahead – Early 2023 Trends and Next Steps
Lastly, we wanted to take a sneak peak at what the numbers were saying in 2023. We’re only partially through the year but we couldn’t help ourselves. For this data, we looked at ticket sales from January 1st to March 25, 2023. We know this is a smaller sample size and seasonality can play a large role in impacting ticket prices so we don’t want to draw too many conclusions yet.
To start the year, average ticket prices have been hovering at $35, which is consistent with where things ended in 2022. A similar story is occurring when looking specifically at performing arts events. In 2023, we’re seeing a price of $39.41 which is a small $.20 bump from the average price of $39.21 in 2022.
The reality here is that it’s probably not just one thing that is impacting the price of tickets. Various reports from across the industry shows attendance dropping by 30% compared to 2019 levels. With less people attending events, are we seeing more discounting of prices occurring? How has the buying behaviour of ticket buyers change? Are they still willing to pay fill price but just closer to the event? Do people want to attend live events at the same rate they did in 2019? In our latest consumer report we looked at this some of this data…
As you can see, there’s more data to analyze. In upcoming reports, we’re hoping to dive deep into things like attendance trends, pricing strategies and monetization of your event and venue, and online conversion rates and buyer behavior.
We’d love to hear what you think of our findings and if you have other data that you’d like us to dig into. We’re a curious bunch here and are always looking to help you make better decisions for your organization.