Maximizing Your Ancillary Revenue Potential

Have you conquered every aspect of ancillary revenue for your event? How much you think outside the box can greatly affect your event’s bottom line. Patrons will pay for convenience, so take a hard look at what you currently offer and consider expanding.


Using an online ticketing provider (i.e. Interactive Ticketing) that allows you to charge a ticketing fee is the first place to look when analyzing ticketing revenue. Find a complete ticketing solution that’s cost effective, integrated, and supported by a team you trust.  Just be sure shop around so that you do not overpay for the service. Keeping your costs low, and continuing to offer a long list of innovative features with an opportunity for an additional ancillary revenue stream is ideal.

Offer value to patrons while maximizing ticket revenue through strategic seat tiering. If you have three tiers consider whether a fourth makes sense. If your event is a fair, can you offer admission included in the show ticket price for perceived value.

Also, be sure the time your shows begin and end help revenue generation. Give patrons time to fill up at the concessions and buy merchandise.


Increase sales through strategic vending locations and increase your product line to include snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, wine coolers liquor, refillable event souvenir cup/mug, etc. Red River Valley Fair’s (“RRVF”) souvenir beer mug sales plan provides a perfect example of how a souvenir mug can build a brand, create urgency, and build loyalty. “We order 4,000 of them and they are gone normally by Thursday night – so in about 3 days [of a six day event]. We sell them for $5.00 and it costs the individuals $9.00 to fill,” advised RRVF General Manager, Bryan Schulz. By ordering an amount of mugs well under what they know they’ll sell, RRVF ensures that all of the mugs sell early, creating a sense of urgency amongst patrons to get to the fair before the mugs are gone. “You can tell on Saturday that there is a totally new batch of people coming to the Fair because they don’t have mugs and are looking for them.” Loyalty is apparent as patrons hold onto their mugs for decades. “When you look out in the crowds you will see mugs dating back to the late 1990 and early 2000’s,” adds Schulz. In 2015, RRVF tried something new in selling mugs in advance of the Fair. The only promotion for the sale was on their website, Facebook, and texts. 150 mugs sold before the Fair opened.


Premium and VIP passes are not just for where to sit at the concert. Offer several tiers of everything. Different levels of parking, shuttles with air-conditioning, convenience passes with combined fair admission, carnival passes and parking are all excellent opportunities to categorize levels. Festival campsites lend themselves to an array of service levels. Consider the following:

  • Personal port-a-john
  • Personal shower stall
  • Luxury campsites with pre-pitched tents
  • Mobile phone charging stations
  • Coffee, with a souvenir cup of course

If you are not earning commission from area hotels for bookings, you should be. If you do not have the manpower or the will to negotiate with each hotel, consider using a service such as Event Lodging Solutions (similar to Expedia,, etc.).


Having an effective sponsorship department is critical to maximizing sponsorship dollars. If you don’t have the budget to allocate someone to field calls and run down leads solely on sponsorships, at minimum have a professional sponsorship deck readily available. Hire a company to create several different looks for you to choose what best represents your brand. Besides the basics of what when and where, decks should include information such as patron demographics, attendance, media outlets, social media reach, number of campers (if applicable), and benefits to sponsors.


Provide artists the best vending location possible. Factor in access points, signage, and visibility. Make a wi-fi network available for merchandise checkout that has limited users to process payments quickly. Don’t lose sales due to stagnant internet. If you can, allocate the same person every year to be your liaison with the artist merch seller so that you have someone reliable who understands the lingo, percentages, counting in and out, etc.

Check in with your REG representative do discuss ancillary revenue ideas.