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How Beer Festivals Can Deal With a Post-COVID-19 Pandemic World

By TicketSocket
How Beer Festivals Can Deal With a Post-COVID-19 Pandemic World

As the entire world continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, how exactly will beer festivals and live events stay relevant during and after this crisis? TicketSocket offers some sage wisdom on those topics.

1. What kinds of things should event/beer fest organizers be mindful of coming out of this crisis to protect themselves?

As it relates to the health of their business, event/beer fest organizers will want to make sure they have full control of every aspect of their business.

One of the more important lessons that arose amid this pandemic is control over money. It’s vital that your white-label ticketing solution and e-com store function under your own merchant processor. This way, your funds can never be frozen or held for some time. This also allows you to get scrappy and keep some cash flow coming in during a time like this by leveraging a virtual aspect.

Another essential item to review is control of your data. Who owns your customer data? Are you sharing customer data? At a time like this, when communication with your customers is vital - assuring, you are the sole owner of your customer data. It is critical. This is vital for two particular reasons: 1) are you able to properly leverage your database of customers and prospects to market to them in this time of need to purchase tickets to virtual events, gift cards, retail items. Now is not the time to ‘go dark’ on your audience, and 2) if your data is shared, is someone else now communicating to your customers about what refunds will look like or possibly even marketing to the new virtual events they could purchase instead that compete with yours?

Now is the time to audit how much control you have in your business.

2. How to increase bottom-line revenue is going to be essential to help make up for any lack of attendance due. What kinds of things can event organizers do to help increase bottom-line revenue besides increased ticket sales?

  • Focus on increasing your average cart price. It can be easy in a time like now to think you should raise ticket prices, but first approach with the mindset of how you can increase the average purchase transaction.
    • What kind of bundles can you offer to encourage people to buy more tickets/registrations at checkout? Offer bulk discounts - the more tickets purchased, the bigger the discount.
    • Product-based add-ons. Your medals, t-shirts, etc. If you do not have these add-ons in place at checkout, you must. If you do not have these products available at all, consider it.
  • “Incognito add-ons,” such as ticketing insurance and hotel booking options, can provide an additional revenue stream that your end customer may not realize.
  • Ask for the referral. As soon as someone purchases a ticket, they should be prompted with the ask on the confirmation page: an unavoidable ask - a big pop-up. Ask them to invite their friends. Incentivize them for doing so. This simple ask can quickly drive an additional 3-7% in your overall sales, and at a time like this, every penny counts. We’ve seen customers have great success with our Ice Cream Social integration - free to all TicketSocket customers.

3. How can event/beer fest organizers help combat fears and commitment issues to increase conversion and put buyers’ minds at ease and help promote attendance?

Communicate. Over-communicate. Voice all their fears and respond to them, do not leave them to internalize on their own.

This is also the time to evaluate your refund policy to protect yourself from future cancellations but also making sure you are providing as much ease as possible to your customer. Ticketing insurance can provide peace of mind at checkout and should highlight what happens in the event of a cancellation due to reasons out of your control. In some cases, ticketing insurance cannot cover refunds for pandemic related cancellations, do read the fine print and have a backup plan in place to protect yourself and also bring superior peace of mind to your customer. Do not make them search for this language or have to reach out to customer service - that can make or break a conversion. Have this information handy during the check out process.

Coming out of the crisis, communication at every touchpoint with your prospects and customers is going to be important - from the time they see that first Facebook ad from you to what happens onsite at the event. Make sure you over-communicate all safety protocols you are putting in place to put the public at ease about gathering in large crowds again. Will you have hand sanitizer around every corner? Onsite cleaning crew assuring port-a-potties are sanitized frequently.

4. What is working well for event/beer fest organizers right now?

Event/beer fest organizers who have figured out how to take their event virtual will come out strong during this epidemic. Instead of asking yourself, “How can I take my event/beer fest experience and make it virtual?” ask, “How can I keep my community and customers engaged online in new ways?”

By reframing the questions, this allows you to be more creative and not limit yourself. We at TicketSocket have seen all kinds of events create a virtual aspect. Ones that you just don’t think could happen without people being physically there. Think GaryVee Wine Library. Or, all kinds of businesses are loving the “virtual happy hour” sessions.

5. What are some best practices or opportunities to keep in mind during this time for event/beer fest organizers?

Here are THREE things event/beer fest organizers should be doing right now to thrive (as much as possible) during this crisis and to assure they come out on top when the fog clears:

  1. Audit your control. Things feel out of control right now. Do not shy away from this. Look at where you do not have control in your business and solve for it. Now more than ever, it is vital to have FULL control over your brand, money, data, and technology. These are the core principals we preach at TicketSocket and a pain point we’ve heard way too much over the past couple of weeks as we consult with event organizers.
  2. Tend to your marketing. Now is not the time to go dark. HowToMarketMyEvent.com is currently hosting a boot camp for free to support event organizers - especially event/beer fest organizers - on what works and what doesn’t in the racing industry. Use this time to set up a solid foundation and assure you have every competitive advantage coming out of this crisis. Remember, your competitor is not another beer fest, it is OTHER events, and the competition will be fierce when this is over. People will not know how to spend their time when they come out of quarantine! There is so much they will want to do, make sure your message does not get lost in the noise.
  3. Go virtual. Do not fight it. Those who figure out how to engage their community online will have no problem bouncing back when this is over. Get creative. If you are not sure how to monetize and charge for a virtual event, start somewhere - even if you are doing free Instagram Lives daily. Get comfortable because this will become the new norm.