Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Should brands charge for their events?


Photo by Banalities

We've been thinking about this quite a lot recently. The verdict is yes. Here are four reasons why.

1) Starting with a bit of Chris Anderson style Free thinking; events exist in the atom world not the bit world. As such, they have an inherent value which people expect to pay for. Charge for the live, one off, you-had-to-be-there event and then give it away for free online (if you don't someone else will).

2) I seem to remember that Gilmore and Pine wrote something in their book, The Experience Economy, along the lines that charging for a live brand experience forces you to create something worth paying for. That makes sense.

3) Charging for it, rather obviously, helps position it as valuable content not marketing flimflam.

4) From a purely practical, organisational point of view, people are more likely to turn up if they've paid.

5) It helps off-set the cost and perhaps in a Guinness Storehouse type way generate a profit.

Off course, if the experience is rubbish nobody will pay, but if the experience is rubbish you've failed whether you charge or not.