Why Ticket Sales are Bad (and how to improve the homecoming dance at your school)
As we head toward those months of September – November our company recognizes that the homecoming dance season is very important for us to get a great jump on the school year. Year after year we run into a schools that use the economy as the reason that their homecoming dance sales are low. After fielding many questions and working with a few schools I have found 5 keys that cause this issue.
Homecoming is during a time where the football team is playing, the school year is new, and there is still optimism for a fun year. Slow sales mean that your school has squelched those positive thoughts. It isn’t the recession. Kids don’t know anything about recessions, in fact kids still get stuff they want even when parents are struggling. Kids still spend money and will spend on something they feel is worthwhile. There is your issue. How to make your dance be a worthwhile cause for students to spend money. Do two things different this year. If you are making signs have people hand out personal invites as students leave the school for the day. A black and white copy print duplicated four times, and cut into squares is a cheap way to put info into the hands of your buyers. Don't promise, show! Have the companies you want to work with come into your school and sell you on their services. Then have them do something to sell the students.
Nothing worse than a cheap DJ. Nothing worse than cheap decorations. Now you don’t have to book the largest hotel room just because but you do have to make the place look like it was worth the money. Stop paying for $500 DJs. Pay a person good money so they will care. If I was a $500 DJ there would be no way I would update my music for you, allow requests, or visit your school three times before the event. Remember paying a person minimally for their talent helps them make a living but paying them what they are worth allows them to make an experience for you.
Nothing worse than trying to share a new product with people that have been doing the event at the school since the 90’s. Most of the time there is a rubber stamp that comes with planning an event. With the use of technology a DJ can take requests faster. We are an event photography company and we deliver more images than anyone and faster, why? Technology. If you are still getting the photography company that does presale or always has long lines, they are behind the times (this is where you check out our company Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment www.fireflyepe.com to see how we do modern photography). If your DJ doesn’t use subwoofers, and …well you get the picture. Move forward and find the companies that are delivering a more modern bang for the buck.
At times we get to experience the school dance committee that is creating the “us” dance. You know, they are planning the dance for the eight kids that are on the committee. Well, there are a large group of buyers that dislike those kids and will take their money to the food court over your dance. We take the time to visit the school and committee many times to make sure of ELE (everyone loving everyone). The committee is there to share the love not absorb it for themselves. Plan a dance that has something for everyone. At Firefly, our focus is all students and we only work with school committees that understand that. We had to start saying no to those committees that were making the dance all about their needs and wants without consideration for the entire group of attendees. Not saying you can please everyone but there are good ways to connect with all groups.
I try to give a quick business 101 and help schools understand that all the things kids buy cost money. Just check out the shoes and shirts they are wearing. Yeah, Nike may have an outlet but if you want the new hotness , it ain’t at the outlet. From my understanding the HC dance is designed at some schools to make money. Well, after you pay everyone you need to have some cash left. Start there, pay yourself first. How much do you want in the coffers after all of your hard work? In order to get the coffers up to that level you have to throw one hell of a show. Hell of a shows cost money but will deliver the best financial gain.
You have to go crazy and love throwing parties to make a real profit on these dances. It seems as if some schools have forgotten that these things are very important to the kids but kids are finicky. Deliver a dance where they get more bang for their buck and leave a sweaty mess from dancing all night and you will have a larger return group the next year.