Once a niche business for a small segment of fans, VIP programs, or "enhanced experiences," are now an in-demand offering for fans and a critical revenue stream for artists and events. The topic will be addressed in-depth on a panel at the upcoming Billboard Touring Conference in L.A. Nov. 9-10.
The panel is set for the second day of the 13th annual gathering, which will take place at the SLS Beverly Hills hotel as the conference moves to the West Coast after 12 successful years in New York City.
The premium sector has evolved significantly in recent years; a decade ago, VIP offerings largely consisted mostly of "gold circle" seating and fan club meet-and-greets. In today's era, where numerous marketing studies point to a consumer shift toward favoring experiences over "stuff," VIP-related packages fit the bill for fans of all ages and economic status. Now the VIP menu for tours and festivals ranges from old-school meet-and-greets, autographs, backstage passes, and bundles with merch, travel and dining; to private performances, sound checks, music-related cruises, and artist-curated destination events in exotic locales.