Setting Your Ticket Price

You’re going to want to make a habit out of this whole “events” thing. How do you price tickets so people will buy them AND you’ll be able to continue putting on events? Tim explains everything you need to know.


Setting Your Ticket Price

Pricing anything–your event included–is a big decision. Hopefully we can help make it a little easier. Your goal is to charge what you think people will be willing to pay, based on what they expect to get out of the event.

Millions of tickets were sold through Ticketleap last year and the median price was $20. For an event up to three hours, this median holds up pretty true across categories. If you’re hosting a longer event, like a conference that lasts a day or over a couple days, the range is $200 – $3000, with most falling at $500 or $1,000. But those are averages. For your event, use these building blocks as a rough guide. Have a cool venue? Add $5. If you’re serving drinks add $5 – $20. Food? Another $5 – $20. If you have a speaker or other paid talent add $5 – $15 depending on their popularity. If you’re teaching a skill or helping them get a customer, or adding value in some other way, just charge what you think it’s worth.

If you have a marketing budget and can invest some of it in events, you can subsidize the cost of a ticket. We tried this last month for our Spring Wing Phling — we charged $10 for all you can eat and drink wings and beer. And it worked! 130 people registered and it was our first sold out event. If the purpose of your event is marketing, you’re probably asking: is it right to charge anything at all? Here’s how I think about it: If you’re hosting a meetup  or a networking event in your office, it should probably be free. But if the event is centered around a specific experience that you plan and put together, charging for admission is appropriate and expected.

Another factor in the free debate is no-shows. We ran the numbers and found that even charging a nominal amount greatly impacts the chances that someone will show up. Only about half of free ticket holders will show up compared to 86% if you charge $10 or more. In fact, if you charge $5 you get most of the way there.

Whether you’re investing marketing dollars in your event or you’re running it at a profit, the key thing is to make it sustainable, because your events will grow your community, and that’s something you’re going to want to make a habit out of.


  1. Rachel 5 years ago

    I agree on the no-shows. I’ve found that free events are much harder to get an idea of how many people will show up.

  2. Jp Jones 5 years ago

    I bid my project budget internally weighing costs against expenditure against risk. I create facebook group for each venue. And market that group to the local community to get an idea of how many are interested.

    My goal in my area is 1% to 10% of the local population base become members of the group. I base it since I am in Iowa om County Population. I think the key is you want 2xs the potential customer whom you have made an actually 1st tier connection than you actually can seat.

    For example I am working on marketing a theater concert. The theater is in a small town with a county wide population of 12392 folks. I created a facebook group specifically for Fans of this Theater. In a few days w have 354 active members. Now that is my 1st tier connection. The second tier is that each of those will most likely bring 1 other person bringing an estimated total of 708 possible attendees.

    This theater seats 220. which means to keep the ticket prices reasonable. I really need to do two concerts in 1 day which is 440 persons. That is a lot to ask. So we will be inclined to raise the ticket price to be prepared for two shows of about 150 attendees each.

    • Sarah Lang 5 years ago

      That’s probably a pretty good strategy. Do you find that that many Facebook group members will actually buy tickets? If so, you’ve got a solid group of supporters! We usually bank on about 1 in 100 Facebook fans buying a ticket. It probably depends on how active your group is and why they signed up to the group in the first place. Keep us posted on how your theater concert marketing goes!

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