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Pricing Strategies for Online Events

Event Tips >
pot of coins with a plant growing out of it

When venturing into the uncharted waters of virtual events, many new questions arise. Among these: How should I handle pricing? What kind of charges make the most sense with this new platform?

Fortunately, there are many options. And best of all, they can be mixed and matched to suit your needs, maximize your returns, and keep your audience interested in your events.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Conventional Ticket Sales

You know the drill. Set the price, sell the ticket, admit the ticketholder. But with virtual events, there are opportunities to get creative.

  • In addition to regular pre-sale prices, consider offering VIP tickets that grant an encore performance or Q&A session with the performer, an on-air shout out for a friend or business, or a custom-written song.
  • Even though the event is online, consider offering physical tickets to provide the purchaser with a souvenir and add to the feeling of a traditional event.

Brown Paper Tickets offers physical ticket fulfillment for ticket buyers as well as bulk ticket orders. Our customers get creative—we once ticketed an engagement!

Virtual Tip Jar

Anyone can access public social media pages to tune into a live streaming event, so pre-sales are often less of a focus. In addition to pre-sale, VIP, or other special pricing, your event page can include prices with names like “tips” or “contributions.” Allowing tips or contributions for free events can help your artists feel valued and your attendees feel part of a larger community.

  • Create multiple “tip” prices at various values, so viewers can choose how much to contribute.
  • Consider giving extra proceeds directly to your performer. Your attendees will feel they’re making a contribution in a direct and personal way.

Sliding Scale or Pay What You Like

In times of financial uncertainty, having a sliding scale or pay-what-you-like option may entice more buyers than a standard pricing structure. Buyers want to help their favorite events and artists, and with this welcoming option, you may end up with a larger turnout than you ever imagined. If you need to make sure you recoup enough funds to pay your overhead, set a minimum amount and allow buyers to pay more if they are able.


Your audience’s generosity may surprise you. People don’t want to lose their favorite theater or lose touch with their favorite performer. If your organization is a registered 501c3, adding a donation option can help ensure continued future events and keep you and your audience united in supporting the arts.

Once you pick a pricing structure, it’s time to list your event so you can start sales ASAP. Brown Paper Tickets’ flexible ticketing platform can support pricing models of every kind, from tips to tiers to anything you can think up. Learn more about how Brown Paper Tickets can support your online event.