Can event-led sales be key to recovery?

Now is the perfect moment to take advantage of the recovery in public concerts and sports events, says Simon Goddard, a booking technology specialist from Vibe. But selling travel for concert-goers and sports event attendees should not be like moving a mountain, he suggests.

Should you go to the mountain or should the mountain come to you? We all know what is easier (and the wise proverb that tells this tale). Yet too much effort is wasted in travel trying to persuade people to visit places they do not actually want to go to.

Those travelling to a destination to experience an event such as a concert or sports match fit into this category. There is no need to move the mountain, why not just give them what they want?

Right now there has never been a better moment to do this as minimal Covid-19 restrictions mean pop stars are finally re-starting the world tour schedule and major sporting events, including the upcoming football World Cup in Qatar, get underway.

What do you need to do to make sure that your online travel business is top of the list for places to book the whole travel package when planning to attend an event or experience?  Of course, achieving this is more complex than it might at first seem and that  is what puts many off. But the rewards are there and at Vibe we have many years of experience in successfully helping our clients use events to sell travel in a better way.

Therefore, if you want to sell travel for an event such as the Champion’s League football match, consumer conventions, major concerts, or even festivals, we have following recommendations.

  1. 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. 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 will 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. 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. Give the traveller total flexibility on the options they pick, they might not need a flight but value a hotel, or vice-versa.
  5. Do not just stop at offering a flight and hotel, consider selling extras like the airport transfer or even insurance.
  6. Ensure the traveller has the flexibility to amend the travel dates to either arrive early or stay on. A lot of people want to take advantage of being in a city to explore it. If you can not offer them flexible dates they may want to go elsewhere.

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