This practical guide, by Baker Richards for the Family Arts Campaign, offers a framework for making pricing decisions for arts activities or events. Discover case studies, hints and tips.
How much will someone pay to attend an arts experience?
The simple answer is, 'it depends'... on what they are going to, where, when, with whom, and why.
Price does not operate in isolation. The decision as to whether someone is willing to pay £5 or £20 for something depends on whether they think it is worth £5 or £20, in the context of their experience and disposable income.
Someone will only buy if they believe the price being charged is balanced by the value being offered (i.e. that the value is 'worth' the price).
Once an event or activity is programmed, conversations often then focus only on the 'price' side of the scales. Before you think about price, you need to think about the value you are offering.
Start with the three Cs of value:
- Comprehend the value your target groups are looking for
- Create value to meet those needs, and
- Communicate that value effectively - the more relevant value that you can offer (i.e. value that meets the needs), the more likely audiences are to attend and the more they are likely to be willing to pay.
Remember that different family experiences may be meeting different needs:
- Spending social time together as a family
- Providing a point of connection for different generations
- A means of learning
- Trips and treats, e.g. for a birthday
- For a particular artistic experience
You should think about how you can offer relevant value across all aspects of a family's experience with you, including:
- During the booking experience
- Pre-visit information
- Welcome and front of house or equivalent facilities, including catering
- The experience itself
- Follow-up after the event or activity
When thinking about value, you need to stand in the shoes of your target audiences, visitors or participants: what a family will value is not necessarily the same as what those working in the arts might objectively value. For example, in venues families tend to value seats at the front, even when objectively these may not be the best seats. Different families will also value different elements of an experience differently.
Remember that it's not good enough to create relevant value; it must also be communicated effectively. If you do not communicate value effectively then, to the customer, there is no value. This includes:
- Using appropriate language and images
- Communicating in terms of the benefits the audience is looking for, not the features of the artistic product being delivered
Download the guide to read on:
Pricing family events: guidance for arts organisations (PDF)