How to Offer Event Benefits to Members

We analyzed our data to answer some important questions from membership organizations that want to start, or grow, their event offerings!
Mitch Colleran
February 22, 2022

We are often asked about how membership organizations run and plan events. A common query we get is how to best cater to existing members when it comes to these events.

So, we’ve analyzed our data to answer some important questions from membership organizations that want to start, or grow, their event offerings: 

  • As a member benefit, should my organization offer a discounted ticket or access to special tickets? 
  • If we offer discounted tickets to members, how much should it be? 
  • If we offer discounted tickets, should it have a quantity or be unlimited? 

While putting together this report, we found some helpful answers and trends that we’re excited to share below. 

Discounts Over Access 

There are two methods to offering an event benefit – you can either offer a discount on publicly available tickets or you can provide access to tickets that are reserved specifically for a certain audience. 

Overwhelmingly, organizations choose to provide discounts over access by nearly a 6-to-1 margin. The most likely reason is that providing discounts is more straightforward because it doesn’t require the creation of additional ticket types. 

Our recommendation: If your organization is looking to add an event benefit for the first time, then start with providing discounted tickets. Once you have established your event benefit, then you can evaluate providing access to special tickets.

Half Offered Free Tickets 

Once we learned that it’s much more common to offer discounted tickets (85.7%) over access to hidden tickets (14.3%), we wanted to explore the most popular way that organizations discounted their events to members. 

What we found is that over half of all organizations choose to give members discounts of 100% off for their active members. While it’s obvious that this is the most popular approach from our data, we had to ask organizations for additional context on why.

We learned that this is a popular approach because it’s the easiest way for members to predict the future value of their benefit.

Our recommendation: If possible, offer free tickets as a membership benefit. This might mean that you need to raise the cost of your membership options, but it’s easier for prospective memberships to understand the value of free over 40% off

One Membership Means One Discount 

By a 3-to-1 margin, organizations set up their membership benefit to have a fixed quantity instead of being unlimited. 

And when it’s a fixed number of discounts available, the most popular quantity is one, with 56.4% of organizations choosing to only provide a single-use discount for active members. Interestingly, the second most popular option after a single-use discount was ‘unlimited’. 

While ‘single-use’ and ‘unlimited’ couldn’t be more different – these selections follow the ‘keep it simple' rule. 

Our recommendation: If your organization offers a low volume of events (e.g. 1 conference a year), then keep it simple and offer 1 discount code. If your organization offers events more frequently, then consider offering unlimited discounts (and price your membership options accordingly). 


Based on our data, here’s what we recommend: 

  • Offer Discounts over Access – it’s easier to manage when getting started. 
  • Offer a Percentage discount of 100% – it’s easier for potential members to understand the value
  • Offer a single-use Discount (if you have one big event per year) or unlimited (if you have events more frequently) – keep it simple for yourself and your members

We were able to provide these insights based on data from our Eventbrite Membership Management integration that syncs your Eventbrite account with a membership program – if you find yourself already hosting events on Eventbrite and need to add a simple membership database, then we would love to chat and tell you about how it works

Mitch Colleran