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  • Writer's pictureAmir Mertaban

How to Run a Venue. #Ancills

The number one mistake I've seen venues make... they limit their ancills.

Now what the hell is an "ancill." It's just an abbreviation for ancillary revenue.

Most venues are going to sell you a ticket to a show, maybe have some merchandise for sale (artist t-shirt or mug) in the lobby and lastly offer some sort of lame food & beverage options. This is the biggest mistake a venue can make because they're limiting all of the other opportunities that a guest might want to spend money on. This is a very typical scenario for a show:

Ticketing Revenue: the venue on average keeps 10%

Merchandise: the venue keeps 15%

Food & Beverage: the venue keeps 50-60%

Basically, you're going to close in a few months. The above is not sustainable!

A better way to manage your venue is the following...

Think of ticketing as one stream of revenue and literally everything else as an ancill. The marketing team, talent buyer, promoter and artist are all going to sell tickets to the show. The venue needs to spend a lot of time and energy on developing and cultivating their ancills. Here are a few examples of some ancills that you can offer at your venue:

Premium Food & Beverage


VIP Lounge

Valet Parking

Skip the Line

Meet & Greet

Pre-Party Experience

The list is long. Venues spend a lot of time coming up with reasons on why some of the above items won't work, trust me, I've heard them all. My advice is focus on a few that you're confident you can pull off and add over time. Commit to developing ancillary revenue streams and keep the jar full!

Now, implementation of the above is always a different story and that's why we're here. Reach out and we'll show you how we got the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside to make $1M year over year with focusing on their ancills.

Amir Mertaban / / 323-207-5099

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