By Samantha Stallard, Director of Marketing & Business Development
The idea that some of your guests are willing to spend even more money to attend your event is truly mind blowing for some event marketers. VIP tickets are designed to offset costs and curate an advanced experience for those interested, but, that requires more than just anticipating guests' needs or services they're interested in. It’s about understanding their passions, creativity, and what feels both unique and exclusive.
The first, and most simple, element to remember is being a VIP is a credential and these guests desire and deserve to stand out among the crowd. Easy upgrades like a different colored name badge or RFIP bracelet, better seating, and goodie bags highlight these guests will have the others asking “how did you get that!?” and they can boast of their VIP status. This may seem trivial, but wanting to feel this level of significance is a basic human desire and not very hard to accomplish.
Next, VIP tickets should offer a better view. Whether your guests are attending a concert, a sporting event, or a corporate conference, the premium experience access reigns supreme. Second to an incredible view should be premium bathrooms (with soap! Flushing toilets! Air conditioning!), comfortable seating, shade (if its largely outdoors), free, unlimited snacks and drinks, and exclusive meet and greets with high profile performers or special guests.
Here is our list of VIP event experiences actually worth the ticket price (Hint: Not Fyre Festival):
- Fighting the sun and crowds all day oftentimes lead to intense physical and mental exhaustion at music festivals, but with VIP, there should be none of that. Famed annual festival, Coachella comes with a hefty price tag for general admission alone due to the kind of audience it attracts and it's resort-like ambiance. For more than twice the cost, VIP guests can relax in two designated areas with seating, shade, exclusive vendors, nice bathrooms, and a separate VIP entrance (which literally saves guests a mile of walking each way).
- At Lollapalooza, a VIP ticket gives you a lot. From a private entrance to avoid the long lines, it’s possible to experience the festival’s four biggest stages without ever leaving the VIP area and all sorts of posh activities to keep attendees occupied even if they’re not interested in the band on stage. Golf carts shuttle VIPs from North Lounge to the South Lounge, while spa treatments and air-conditioned bathrooms are present at both ends.
- While tickets to the Olympics can be difficult to get ahold of, on the whole the organizers try to make the sporting spectator tickets fairly affordable to the masses. With Tokyo winning the 2020 bid an insight into ticket prices looks to be fair at around $40 - $60 per ticket for certain events (not including travel or accommodation costs of course) but it will be the opening ceremony that is costly. As all participants are showcased and parade the best seats for the Tokyo opening ceremony are looking at around 20 times the usual ticket price, at $1,400. Of course this event only comes once every four years and the opening ceremony tends to be a once in a lifetime experience.
- Oftentimes, the best VIP deals are offered through event sponsors. American Express invites exclusive cardmembers early registrations to VIP experiences such as suite access at the US Open Tennis Championships. Those selected receive a surprise message revealing that they’ve been chosen to attend. A U.S. Open Supreme Package (from $700 up to $1,850), which includes VIP parking, breakfast in the Media Dining Room, exclusive dining access, and a $200 U.S. Open Event Card for each guest.
- Content Marketing World is known for its outstanding speakers, but the real treat is the VIP experience where guests enjoy one-of-a-kind speaker interactions with people like Mark Hamill. Not only do they get information that has never before been presented by the speaker, they get to experience it in a much smaller group, offering everyone a chance to have their questions and comments addressed in a more intimate environment. Sharing tips with other experts can often lead to career breakthroughs, business ideas, and connections that last a lifetime.
- Event planners at Adobe's 99UConference know that their VIPs are busy executives who will likely need to take a break from the main event to take calls, send emails, and catch up on additional work. In order to give them a break from the conference chaos, 99UConference designed a VIP center complete with soundproofing, luxe lounge seating with special power stations, and a simulcast of all sessions so they didn’t have to miss a thing.
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