The concept of Full House

Boxen Herning Handball

Some might think that by Full House I am referring to the popular 90‘s TV series by the same name. However I am not.

I am referring to the concept of “sold out” for different events; here sport events in particular. When we talk about events we talk about a product of experience an entertainment and in general a product that competes with other cultural and entertaining opportunities such as theater, movies, concerts and might even TV. Therefor is it also a challenge to attract an audience for these events.

Sport events are especially tough, due to fact that a part of the experience is the excitement of the audience, which means that the organizer must present an arena full of people. This is what is needed to meet the expectations of people who have paid a lot of money for a ticket.

So how to fill the arena and deliver the expected experience. For certain sport events it is no problem, because there is a large fan base that shows up for every game and support their team. However other sport events are not that popular and need much more care to sell.

Here comes the concept of free tickets. But why give tickets away for free? Do you make money on giving things away for free? I would claim that you can make even more money, than when charging the audience for the ticket. Tickets are a money making machine and stop charging money for the product you are selling is not the infinitive solution. The problem is when you cannot sell tickets enough to deliver the expected atmosphere, which is required for not disappointing the audience.

So when that happens it is about time to give the tickets away for free. Do not see the concept as giving away the product for nothing, but see it as effective advertising. You should keep in mind that no matter if you hand out fee tickets or not, your expenditures for having the event will be almost the same. However your revenue will increase dramatically. Because when people go see sport events they buy a beer or two, or might even three and of cause they also need something to eat meanwhile, as well as snacks to pleasure the experience. All these goods are bought in the arena and are goods with a large profit margin, which means good revenue.

Let’s try a simple example with imaginary figures: We have an arena with a capacity of 10.000 spectators. Of these 10.000 tickets we have sold 5.000 to a price of 350 DKK. which is equal to 1.750.000 DKK. An average spectator spends around 100 DKK. on snacks and beverages during a game, which is 5000*100 = 500.000 DKK. 1.750.000+500.000 = 2.250.000 in total revenue. Then calculate the extra revenue of filling up the arena. 5000 extra spectators multiplied with 100 DKK. equal to additional half million. In total 2.750.000 DKK.

A bonus to the extra revenue is the advertising effect, which might tempt people to buy a ticket for the next game. Therefore is it also important that people feel special when receiving free ticket and therefore should it not be the same that gets free tickets every time. There are various opportunities to award people free tickets, but it might be clever to give people free tickets in uneven numbers. Imagine receiving three tickets for free and then have to buy the last one, so the whole family can have an experience together. If this is possible it will result in a 25% increase in revenue from tickets.

Another potential source of revenue is to think of the sport arena as marketplace for lotteries, accessories and competitions. In reality it is all about being creative and one nationality that Danish event organizers could learn from is the Americans. One thing is clear; giving away tickets for free is not such a bad idea, because when people first are gathered around an event you have every opportunity to sell additional goods.

Mayor, Lars Krarup

Lars Krarup, Mayor of Herning

Monday the 22nd of November Mayor, Lars Krarup spoke as the last guest lecturer in the Thought-Leader Series second season. It was an exciting day for me personally, since it is not every day you get to meet the mayor.

Lars Krarup has been mayor for 9 years, and was when he was elected, among the youngest mayors ever elected in Denmark. Lars is daily responsible for 9000 employees which he only can describe as a mouthful. However he finds his job very interesting and assured the audience and I, that there was never a day looking like the day before. One of the problems you are facing when you have 9000 employees is that you don’t know every single one of them, and therefor does Lars also put an honor in personally welcoming new employees working at the city hall.

Even though Lars Krarup today is a well-respected and popular mayor, the story of how he ended up at the city hall is far from usual.

Lars carries around a scare on his hand from the time he was a trainee to become a butcher. That was where his career started, at the local butcher, where he was taught a lot about sales and service. The important aspect was to treat the costumers with respect and please them, so they would come back.

At some time Lars looked at himself and realized that it was time to try something new and he became a sales man for the Danish Beer Brand Tuborg. Within Tuborg, Lars advanced and grew to become a key account manager for Tuborg, and was later selected for the team, which mission was to merge the two sales departments of Tuborg and Carlsberg. This was where Lars got the interest for strategy and leadership and when offered the position as CEO of the Blue Fox (Herning Ice Hockey), the answer was yes.

At Herning Blue Fox Lars learned about the difference between black and white. In the word of sport there is only one thing that counts: “TO WIN”

It was very much a coincidence that Lars was elected the mayor of Herning. And looking back at Lars’s career, everything has seemed to be randomly coming to him. This was also one of the messages he wanted the students to understand. Lars does not really believe in career planning but he has been really successful with the things he has accomplished. Why this is so is according to Lars himself, that when he is confronted with a task, he goes all in. As he said: “There are no easy ways to continuous success.” By this should be understood that you might be lucky to be elected the mayor, without any particular efforts. But to remain successful as mayor for 9 years, it takes hard work and effort.

“There are no easy ways to continuous success.”

As Mayor, Lars Krarup is today using one of the first lessons he was taught as a butcher trainee: To sell a good service so people will come back. Because even though Lars is working for a public institution, he prefers to see it as business that needs to make a profit to survive. Therefore is Lars also putting a great honor in employing the greatest people to do the job, even though they might be smarter and brighter than himself. This approach is also what have lead Herning to be one of the most successful regions in Denmark, where the distance from though to action is very short.

The meeting with Lars Krarup was a great experience and both the students and I learned more about the system and the man who makes Herning a great place to live.

Alexander Hold and Lars Krarup, Mayor of Herning
Alexander Hold and Lars Krarup, Mayor of Herning

 

Are your Website Alive?

Alexander Hold - Bolia Christmas Theme

You might have noticed that AlexanderHold.com has got a Christmas theme, which will stick on until the 25th of December, then hopefully I can change it to a New Year theme the 31st of December and then go back to my usual design the 1st or 2nd of January 2011.

You might wonder why? So let me explain you why!

The thing is that people notice visual changes better then content changes, simply cause to the way the human brain is build up. Try to do a course on mind mapping and you will understand why it is essential to do certain task visual and others written. In general peoples visual skills are way better then their reading skills, and therefore they do also have a tendency to notice visual changes before they realize there have been a written change.

I started wondering about this particular issue, in the process of finishing a marketing plan for the University. While I was valuing brands and positions of different furniture retailers, I noticed major differences in the online branding strategies concerning the retailers website.

I believe that a business websites is like a window display in a shopping mall, and it is all about catching the attention of the people passing by. It is the same with websites, which is why I want to bring up to good examples.

Press on the pictures to see them in large!

Bolia.com website
Bolia.com website
BoConcept Website
BoConcept Website

Looking at these two websites you see that the first one Bolia.com is set up with a Christmas theme, that might not be Christmas style, but it still sends a clear signal that Bolia is alive. Comparing to BoConcept which is an international furniture retailer, their website is always professional and static, which sends a professional but dead signal.

Google does it too. You can’t have been active on the web, without noticing Google’s different logos in occasion of holidays. These logos help Google, which is normally a really clean website, to get a spite of wildness and aliveness into its clean a dead design. See the logos here!

And that is why you at the moment can experience a Christmas theme at AlexanderHold.com.

There is nothing wrong with learning from the successful, so consider if you can do anything to your website to make it seem more alive and let your target audience perceive a website full of activity. This might bring them back again to see if there have been any changes.