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Workshop: VIP & Upselling

Workshop: VIP & Upselling

HOSTS: Jacqui Harris, AEG Presents (UK)
& Dale Ballentine, Eventim UK

Additional revenue streams are now a staple of the live entertainment industry, as techniques to upsell evolve fast, VIP sector experts explain how promoters can develop their offers...

The first day of ILMC 31 got off to a great start, as AEG Presents’ director of ticketing and hospitality, Jacqui Harris, and Eventim UK chief operating officer, Dale Ballentine, outlined the latest concepts in VIP and upselling, as well as offering tips on how to target new and existing customers.

“Why do we upsell?” asked Harris, introducing the session. “Let’s be honest, it’s all about money.”

It may be predominantly about money, continued the AEG Presents executive but upselling is also important for data collection and for figuring out the kind of customers promoters are dealing with. “It’s quite surprising when you see the numbers,” said Harris.

“Data is the key to everything”

Data collected by Eventim last year showed that a quarter of customers took an upsell at some point in the purchasing process, revealed Ballentine.

The pair then outlined the advantages of event apps with location settings for real-time upselling. Using this data, promoters can “engage fans in targeted ancillary revenue streams,” explained Harris.

“Data is the key to everything,” reiterated Ballentine, before discussing the opportunities presented by experience-loving millennials. “We sell experiences and personalising these experiences is where you’re going to see the biggest uplift,” he said. “Everyone wants to feel special!”

Talk turned to VIP packages, a concept which has grown significantly in recent years.

Harris divided the packages into two categories - those with artist involvement, and those without. “When you have the artists involved, your opportunities for VIP packages increase significantly,” explained Harris, mentioning meet and greets, sound checks and other coveted artist-to-fan interactions.

The ticketing experts shared tips on how to build VIP packages. “Only deliver what you know you can deliver,” warned Harris, stressing the importance of managing expectations and not compromising on delivery. “We all saw what happened at Fyre Festival,” she joked to knowing smiles around the room.