For the 20th Anniversary of the Aspen Live Conference (Dec 10-13, 2015), it was important to reward our alumni with a presale. In today’s live entertainment landscape, and in music specifically, presales have gotten completely out of hand, confusing the public and burying our message.
This year’s Aspen presale has been our biggest on-sale in twenty years! Here are three lessons we’ve learned from our presale:
1. Reward Your Best Customers – For Aspen Live’s 2015 registration kickoff, we opened the gates with an offer to our alumni with special pricing. Only past guests were notified. Your goal (like ours) should be servicing your alpha fan, not creating hype or even demand. That can be a byproduct but not in your sites just yet. You are there to say “Thank You!” We did, and it worked.
2. One Presale, No More – Aspen is running one presale with an expiration date, which gives our alumni enough time to react, but not so much time that they procrastinate (REMINDER to Aspen Alums, Friday is your last day to save at http://www.aspenlive.com). Offering multiple presales makes it feel like no one wins… and have you heard our (live music business) radio spots lately? “American Express customers blah, blah, blah, with an on-sale to the general public on blah, blah, blah (spoken so fast, you can’t hear the dates). Use your Citi Visa or MasterCard and get a Sherpa to carry you and your friends to your heated seats where a cold Pepsi, the choice of a new generation, will be waiting for you…part of the Bud Light Concert Series, Ford Trucks, and Jiffy Lube.” Holy sheep shit!
3. Make Your Value Proposition Compelling – Not only were Aspen community members given $100-off registration, guests also had first choice on hotel room categories with significant discounts for those who got in first. It was a simple process that worked far better than we could have imagined. The first 20 rooms were sold at $175 per night…that’s right, IN ASPEN. The second 20 were $185, then $200, and now $280. If you acted quickly enough, you saved over $100 per night…and another $100 (minimum) on registration. What can you “bundle” for your guests so they feel they lose if they don’t act?
If the three easy steps listed above can work for a music conference, it will work for you. Just make sure you plan as far in advance as you can (within reason).