Travel Agent NewsSimon Goddard from Vibe believes that now is the perfect moment for to sell travel for participants of concerts and other events.

Seize the opportunity to sell travel to concert goers

Simon Goddard addresses the ‘hows’ of selling travel packages to event attendees.
Simon Goddard addresses the ‘hows’ of selling travel packages to event attendees. Photo Credit: GettyImages/Cesare Ferrari

With the advent of major sports events like the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, restarted world tours headlining internationally renowned pop stars and massive music festivals, Simon Goddard, chief information officer of Vibe is urging travel players to look at these event attendees as another potential source market.

“Too much time and money is wasted in travel trying to persuade people to visit places they don’t want to go to,” Goddard explained. So why not look to the people who actually want to see their favourite pop stars perform live on stage or watch soccer players in action at the destination they’re scheduled to appear at?

Goddard outlines 14 recommendations for travel industry players to drive event-led sales:

1. Have the tickets ready on hand

Only focus on events you have actual entrance tickets available to sell. This is very important, as the tickets are your ‘honey pot’. The minute you send someone away to another site to source the actual tickets they never come back.

2. Identify the types of events to sell

Which events should you sell? Smaller and more obscure events are often richer pickings for these types of campaigns. Just type in ‘Formula One weekend trip’ into Google and you´ll see. Perhaps consider literary festivals on aristocratic estates, come-back concerts for old rock bands at venues with comfy seating, cookery courses in Tuscany with famous chefs, or lower league football or motor racing events?

3. Keep packages concise and focused

At the beginning of the booking flow keep the concept of what you are offering super simple and concrete: ultimately it is just a package to attend X event. By making it a package to do event X and Y and Z, you could make your offering ‘confused’ and ultimately put people off.

4. Flexibility on travel options

Give the traveller total flexibility on the options they pick, they might not need a flight but value a hotel, or vice-versa.

5. Offer add-on services

Don’t just stop at offering a flight and hotel, consider selling extras like the airport transfer or even insurance. Not only are these extra commissions for you, often the commissions are nearly as high as the flight or hotel.

6. Flexibility for duration of stay

Ensure the traveller has the flexibility to amend the travel dates to either arrive early or stay on after the event. A lot of people want to take advantage of being in a city to explore it and take their time – but if you can’t offer them flexible dates they may want to go elsewhere. Consider too that they might want to stay in more than one hotel during the trip.

7. Go to your preferred hospitality partner

When sourcing the accommodation always explore options with your existing supplier partners first, for example taking advantage of allocations or a special deal just for the event.

8. Present the most affordable options

As with so much in digital marketing, the lead price is what gets you traffic and keeps people moving through the booking process. So offer the cheapest options for the tickets and all the other elements, allowing people to upgrade as they go through the booking flow.

9. Roll it up in a neat, tidy package

When marketing and selling the package really drive home, hard, the message that this really is a ‘complete package’: a one-off, one-stop affair.

10. Showcase experiences via video

Video is a great way to sell anything but in particular travel. You need to make the most of it here by showing the potential traveller exactly what attending this event – and all the services you’ll offer to get them there and back – is going to be like.

11. Use SEO to drive organic search

Most people wanting to attend the event will start the process with an online search. Use SEO to drive them to a tailored event specific landing page, but make sure to use the right key-word combinations and parameters in your PPC campaigns, for instance cutting out those who are based in or near to the destination already.

12. Tap on existing subscribers and followers

But don’t forget about your mailing lists and social media followers when promoting these packages, existing customers either might already be considering the event or could possibly be tempted to attend once they see your deals. Event-led packages are perfect fodder for ‘The Socials’.

13. Follow up with more offers post-sale

When it comes to the post-sale follow-up marketing / sales opportunities, then consider cross-selling them other activities or events that they can enjoy once in that destination, be that a bus tour or gastronomy experience or whatever the main local attractions are.

14. Fans like event merch

On that note, in the post-sale process also explore the chance to sell ‘merch’ for the event in the booking flow too. Branded t-shirts, backstage passes, match programs, whatever – as long as it comes with a commission and the traveller would consider it relevant. But just like point number one, make sure you have the merch available to see – no sending people off to other sites!

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