Offsetting the Costs of Ticket Printing

By Lance Trebesch

We have all planned the perfect event in our minds at one time or another. The event that has the perfect decorations, in the perfect location, great food, is sold out and has 100% attendance. These dreams are often cut short when we then review the budget for the event. All of a sudden we are weighing different aspects of the event against each other in a depressing attempt to make the best of your dream event with the funds that you have available. While, there is no good solution to this problem, you will be happy to learn that some of these extras can actually pay for themselves.

Tickets are an easy example of part of the event paying for itself. Sure it costs money to have tickets printed, and the costs seem to keep going up as the ticket design becomes more and more attractive, but this is an easy expense to cut out of your budget. The easiest way to do this is to sell advertising space on the back of the tickets.

In most cases there is a slight additional fee for printing on both sides of your tickets, but there are almost always people looking at getting in front of the audience that you are planning to have at your event. As the event coordinator or part of the team that is planning the event, you have a pretty good idea of who will be attending the event. Taking a little time to think about the people who will buy the tickets will help you identify candidates to buy the advertising space on your tickets. Some common examples include: local restaurants, car dealerships, and local businesses.

It is also a good idea to target an advertiser that has an interest in your event. If you are selling tickets for a high school play and you know that the owner of the local auto dealership is one of the boosters for the schools athletic programs, that individual might be an ideal candidate to use the space.

It is important to realize the benefits to the advertiser in this situation. The tickets are going to be sold to your customers several days or even weeks in advance of the event. Because of the nature of tickets the consumer has to keep the tickets up until the event. They generally put them in a safe place where they will easily see them. On the night of the event your customers are required to bring the tickets to the event. Most customers while waiting to get in, or for a show to start will spend several minutes examining the ticket just because they have nothing better to do.

You can also suggest using the space to print a coupon to allow the sponsor an easy method of identifying the advertising return on investment. Most college basketball tickets that I have purchased have a coupon for a free burger or drink with purchase of something else printed on the back.

The biggest advantage of this program to your sponsor is that they can run a highly targeted advertising campaign for significantly less than it costs for other forms of advertising. The same space in the newspaper or on the radio would cost several hundred dollars and would spend less time in front of the customer than your tickets will.

The additional revenue generated by this sponsor's advertising on your tickets can be used to pay for some to all of the costs of printing the tickets. Depending on the enthusiasm of the advertiser you might even be able to charge for more than the cost of your tickets and add back some of those extra details that make up the event of your dreams.