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5 Ways A Venue Can Use Foursquare


Recently, we’ve been working with music venues both large & small to suggest ways they can use Foursquare. The main objectives of a venue are:

  • Sell more tickets
  • Increase ‘dwell time’, e.g. encourage people to spend more money when they’re at the venue
  • Increase the number of bookings

First, ideas to increase ticket sales.

Offer a Mayor Special
The majority of people at a gig are there to see the band. However, there will be a number of regular attendees, who may live locally to the venue or are avid music fans. Why not offer them a Special to reward their loyalty – say, they can bring in one guest for free if they’re the Mayor of the venue?

The ‘General’ check-in special enables a venue to encourage check-ins by offering a prize of tickets to a future event. Simply run a prize draw and say you will pick one winner at random. To contact the winner you will need to know their Twitter address, so remember to include this in the terms of the Special.

Offer a Newbie Special.
This is aimed at building a relationship with music fans who are new to the venue. However, it must be relatively cheap to fulfil, since at most gigs the majority of people will be Newbies. One cheap solution is to work with the band and use the ‘Link’ you can insert in to a Special, say a photo or link to a new video.

Increase the Dwell Time per customer

Increase Check-Ins By Offering Prize Draws

To achieve this venues must convince the audience to arrive earlier, and then spend more money on food and beverages. One way is to use the Time Check In, so reward people who arrive at the venue as soon as the doors open. This could be “Free Coat Check”, a free starter or, if you can work with the merchandise company, maybe a discount for the first 20 people who get to the venue.

Finally, to increase bookings the venue must appeal to band managers and promoters. The best way to do that is to help them sell more music and merch. 

Offer music or video from the band
When you have an audience watching a band play in your venue, the obvious thing to do is to offer a music download as a reward for checking-in. As with anything involving music, this isn’t straight forward, since labels and publishers will undoubtedly own the rights. However, if you can get all necessary permissions then it can be done using either a bit.ly link or a capture form. One slight drawback is that the bit.ly is visible to (although not a live link) to everyone. Foursquare can hide the link until checked in, however this will require you to work with them directly.

Offer money off the merchandise
You could offer either a loyalty or general check-in to offer money off the merchandise desk. However, as with music, this isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems. The merchandise company will need to work with the venue to make this work and naturally, both sides may not agree about who funds the discount or which side gains the most value. Will the merch company sell more product as a result, or will they simply end up selling merch to the people who would have bought it anyway, but for less money? Well, the only way to find out is to do it. We will let you know!

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About Neil

Neil Cartwright founded Million Media in 2006 with the aim to help people understand digital marketing and use it to their advantage. The vision hasn't changed but the technology has.

One comment on “5 Ways A Venue Can Use Foursquare

  1. Jon Walker
    October 11, 2011

    Great post. Some good ‘ole guerilla marketing minced with technology.

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This entry was posted on October 11, 2011 by in marketing.
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