How to Use Raffles to Make Money before Your Banquet
By Jared Wold, Regional Director
There’s no doubt that banquet raffles provide a large portion of RMEF’s total revenue. Generating more than $9.8 million in revenue in 2012, raffles generate more money for RMEF than live auctions!
But we can’t stop there. Did you know that if chapters increased raffle sales at every banquet by $3 per person, we would generate another $300,000 for the RMEF mission? What if I told you there are chapters that have increased their raffle sales by up to $40 per person in only two years? In some cases, chapters have doubled their total raffle revenue! It’s all true and surprisingly simple to accomplish with little additional work.
Because of this importance, you have probably seen a renewed emphasis on pre-event revenue. We know that on average an RMEF banquet attendee will spend approximately $195 at a banquet. Let’s assume that $195 is what they have budgeted for the banquet out of their most recent paycheck. But how can we pull revenue from their other paychecks? The answer: Pre-Banquet Raffle Incentives.
What is it?
Simply put, a Pre-Banquet Raffle Incentive is selling raffle tickets at a reduced price before a banquet takes place. By offering tickets at a reduced cost through your banquet invite, you give attendees an incentive to purchase and spend more prior to your banquet. If the person usually purchases Progressive Raffle tickets at the banquet for $20 each, they will certainly jump at the opportunity to buy them at two for $30 three weeks before the banquet. By offering a deal they can’t pass up, they spend money earlier and out of a different paycheck. By the time the banquet rolls around, they’ve refilled their wallets with their next paycheck and will still bring that $195 to the event to spend on other things!
Spend More, Get More
By bundling tickets together and offering a bigger discount for buying more, we reward attendees for spending pre-banquet. Rather than selling a Progressive ticket for $20, offer two tickets for $30. This encourages them to spend a minimum of $30, rather than $20.
Another proven tactic is to bundle a variety of tickets together and sell them at a higher price. For example, raffles A, B, C and D are normally $10 per ticket. Offer a “Works Package” with seven “A” tickets, seven “B” tickets, seven “C” tickets and seven “D” tickets. Value of this package is $280, but we will sell it for $140! Now that is an incentive to buy raffle tickets early!
Here’s an example of one chapter’s pre-banquet invite incentives:
General Raffle Tickets $50 value for $30
Raffle “A” $20 per ticket
Raffle “B” $10 per ticket
This invite generated $3,510 in pre-banquet raffle sales.
2012 and 2013
General Raffle $100 value for $50
Raffle “A” ($10 each at banquet) 2 for $15
Raffle “B” ($10 each at banquet) 2 for $15
Raffle “C” ($20 each at banquet) 2 for $30
The Works (5 “A”, 5 “B” and 5 “C” tickets) $100 ($200 value!)
This invite generated more than $8,000 in pre-banquet raffle sales both years!
Keep in Mind…
There are important things to remember.
First, this strategy is only recommended for pre-event raffle sales. The night of your event, ticket sales should return to their normal prices. We have learned that bundling your ticket packages with too many options the night of your event can reduce your income. Attendees have the tendency to purchase a package and then stop buying.
Secondly, only use the bundling practice prior to your event where it is legal in your state. Some local raffle laws do not allow discounted tickets.
Pre-Banquet Raffle Incentives have a proven track record for RMEF events. Why not give it a shot?