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A smartphone taps a payment terminal to make an electronic payment.

Unlocking Revenue: 5 Proven Payment Tactics for Event Businesses

by | Feb 7, 2024 | Best Practices, Business, Event Technology, Finances, Tech, Tools and Software

For most growing event businesses, payment processing is viewed as a business expense first and foremost. Each swipe of a credit card can feel like a small bite into your profit margin when you think of the multitude of fees that you’re paying.

You’re almost afraid to ask too many questions about different processing costs, worried that a thorough understanding of how electronic payments work will only reveal more expense to your business.

In this post, we’ll dig into strategies that can help you transform payment processing from an expense into a revenue generator. These 5 proven payment tactics can help you boost revenue, vanquish cash flow woes, and turn your event business into a profit powerhouse.

Planning Pod’s event payment processing system is built to help you boost revenue and reduce busywork with streamlined invoicing tools and integrations with a variety of vetted payment processors.

Win over clients with diverse payment options

Offering clients multiple electronic payment options allows you to effectively manage cash flow and meet your clients where they are. 

Whether you choose to accept funds via credit card, ACH, or mobile, clients enjoy the convenience factor of electronic payment methods. Nobody likes having to worry about having cash on hand or writing a physical check to make a payment – and offering electronic options contributes to an attractive modern image for your business.

Your business can also benefit from the fast processing times and reliable payouts that come along with certain cashless options, like mobile payments or credit cards. This translates to more bookings, fewer late payments, and wider reach for your business, all of which establish smoother cash flow and financial stability. 

What’s more, automated processing saves valuable administrative time, and data insights gained from different electronic payment options can help you to optimize your future business strategies. Make sure that your payment platform and/or your CRM system provides access to data that outlines your profit margins and trends like client spending habits and payment preferences. 

A lock screen is displayed on a smartphone with several notifications including a contract payment reminder.

Minimize late payments with autopay and automated reminders

According to a recent survey by Eventbrite, 82% of event businesses experienced late payments in 2023, negatively impacting their cash flow and hindering business growth.

These delays not only impede revenue streams but can also strain client relationships, making it all the more difficult to capitalize on referrals and return clientele. Just ask anyone who has confronted a customer about being tardy on a payment and the awkwardness (or silence) that follows. 

Enter automated payments & reminders… 

Any CRM software platform worth its salt should include autopay and automated payment reminder functionality. Autopay simplifies invoice collection for your business (ensuring predictable income and minimizing bad debt) while enabling clients to enjoy a smooth, no-hassle experience free from late fees. 

As an alternative to autopay, automated reminders via email or SMS keep forgetful clients  on track, reducing friction and fostering positive relationships. And since folks are used to receiving automated reminders for things like credit card bills or mortgage payments, they tend not to take them as personally as direct communications from you. 

Safeguard your business with credit card deposits

Though you may be using checks or cash to take deposits for events, there’s a better way to streamline this process for you and your clients. Event businesses can unlock a multitude of benefits by accepting both refundable and non-refundable deposits via credit card. These benefits include: 

  • Increased security and protection: Clients benefit from chargeback protection in case of unforeseen circumstances, while businesses have a guaranteed way to collect deposit payments for things like late cancellations or property damage.
  • Reduced administrative burden: Credit card deposits automate the administrative aspects of managing payments, eliminating manual paperwork and simplifying record-keeping.
  • Improved cash flow: Receiving deposits upfront improves cash flow predictability, allowing for better financial planning and resource allocation.
  • Faster dispute resolution: Credit card processing systems often offer faster dispute resolution compared to traditional methods, minimizing friction and delays in case of concerns about non-refundable deposits.

Credit card deposits cater to diverse payment preferences, offer enhanced security for transactions, and project a professional image for your business. Remember, clear communication and thoughtful implementation are key to reaping the rewards while keeping clients happy at the same time.

A person's hand taps a payment card to a payment terminal on a table for contactless payment.

Reduce friction with onsite payment terminals

Onsite payment terminals (you know, those devices you use to pay tableside at restaurants) for any type of event are a game-changer. Whether attendees use them to purchase onsite refreshments, merchandise, or even make donations, onsite terminals speed up service, boost sales with impulse purchases, and let your staff focus on creating magic instead of managing transactions. 

Data insights that you can gain from these devices help you tailor future offerings by illustrating attendee spending habits and determining which event perks are worth offering again in the future. Plus, you get flexibility, security, and improved cash flow. And a tech-savvy image can help you turn attendees into future clients. Whether you’re managing an intimate gathering or a mega-gala, these adaptable terminals are built to scale and fuel data-driven decisions for future events.

Recapture processing fees OR raise your prices to cover them

If you’re tired of paying that +3% credit card fee on every transaction, you aren’t alone. In some locales, you can actually get that fee back with surcharging.

Surcharging credit card fees offers event businesses the opportunity to reclaim lost profits and streamline cash flow. But it can be a double-edged sword, and evaluating your specific circumstances is crucial to knowing if this tactic is appropriate for your event business. Customers might balk at the extra cost, and legal restrictions and operational complexities can add layers of challenge. The key lies in careful consideration of your local regulations, customer demographics, and pricing strategy. 

In some cases, it might be more appropriate to raise your prices to cover processing fees instead. Then customers don’t feel penalized by having to pay a surcharge, and you can still recoup it on the back end while increasing the perceived value of your services.

Remember, transparency and clear communication are always vital to avoid friction with clients. Whether you choose to surcharge or not, understanding both sides of the coin is key when making the best choice for your event business.

Armed with these powerful tactics, you’re now equipped to revolutionize your approach to payments – it’s time to start boosting revenue, stabilizing cash flow, and unlocking the true potential of payment processing for your business. 


Planning Pod’s event management software includes an integrated invoicing system with multiple payment processing options to help ensure timely event payments, increase business revenue, and free you up to focus on delivering amazing experiences. Get started today!