We all belong to a group. Think about it. We really do. No matter what you do there is a group imbedded in it. If you work, the office and/or company are a group. If you go to school, you belong to a school or college group. If you are retired, you most likely belong to AARP. If you belong to a health club, that is a group too. Social network sites are filled with groups and we all seem to belong to at least one. Are you a member of AAA? They are a big group and are known for offering members a discount.
If everyone is in a group, then why don’t group sales rule the roost in the world of ticket sales and marketing? Group sales accounts for no more then 30% on the high end and usually runs around 15% to 20%.
No matter what type of show, event, or sports team you work with there are all types of groups that belong to you. Let’s look at some examples:
If you are a family show who are your demographics? Well the two biggies are moms and kids. Moms belong to all kinds of groups. They belong to playgroups, neighborhood groups, PTA’s, and online social groups. But what about moms that work? Could you offer a group discount to moms @ work? Why not go to HR managers at companies and offer a “Family Night”? Kids belong to groups too. They belong to youth groups, sports teams, dance groups, music and theater groups, and even toy clubs like American Girl Doll. Families belong to church groups, country clubs, etc…
If you are a sports team you have lots of groups to market to also. The youth sports teams that belong to your sport are the “lowest hanging fruit”. Group sales departments should be all over this. My kids belong to sports teams and we barely see any group opportunities come through. This should not be selective. Every single youth sports team needs to be offered at least one group outing (if not more) every season. As I have stated in the past, these kids are your future ticket buyers. They want to love and follow your team. Make it accessible to them. Don’t wait for them to call you.
If your show involves seniors, you have tons of opportunities. You have retirement clubs, retirement communities, senior centers, bus companies, doctor’s offices, churches, fraternal groups, etc… Have you ever thought of selling group tickets to pharmaceutical reps? They could organize a group outing for patients and doctors. They may even have the money to pay for the group.
With our economy out of whack, groups should be even more important today. Customers are always looking for deal. Groups can offer that. People like to hang with other people they know. Groups do this. Groups fill up lots of empty seats. Isn’t that why we are in this business?
The point I am making is that group sales needs to step to the plate. The days of just sending out a mailer to a list that is used over & over is not enough. I am not dissing the group sales person, I am speaking to management. If you sell for multiple events a year, a group sales department of one or two people is not going to cut it. You need people on the streets and in the office. You need to give them the resources.
Start the new group thinking today. Make a list of what types of groups will come to your event. But even before you start that list write down every group you belong to. You may be surprised.