The Pros & Cons Of Early Entry & Benefits Vs. General Admission
One of the questions that almost always comes up when people are discussing getting tickets to wine, beer and food festivals is this one: “shall we go for the VIP?”
There are, of course, pros and cons to either side and I examine both in this post.
The VIP tickets are often close to double the cost of the regular tickets, making evaluating its value a time-consuming adventure with no real assurances ahead of time that you’re getting your extra money’s worth out of it.
Certainly, you’ll know that from pretty much the moment you arrive at the event.
Part of the problem is that the organizers seem to want to tell you as little as possible, instead using fancy wording to describe, say, a Port-o-Let. My general rule is simple: the less information they give you, the less likely it is worth the cost of getting a VIP ticket. If it appears as the event organizers are hiding something, they probably are hiding something.
The benefits as listed by the event organizers are always a bit vague. They include things like getting in an hour earlier (more on this later), “premium” choices of drink and/or food, a “private” area and better bathrooms.
But what does all that mean exactly? Specifically:
• What are the “premium” beers, wines or food? Are they items I can’t get anywhere but here?
• There’s a few extra beers and wines (or food) offered but you promote 150 beers being poured at the festival; how many more beer choices do I really need on this day?
• What does the private area mean? Are we shielded from the others at the event? Is it so good that I will not want to leave this area?
These are all questions you should be asking of yourself and your friends.
Perhaps the biggest one you should ask is how much time will you be spending in that VIP area? If your objective is to get out and mingle, to be single and take advantage of the ample opportunities being single at an event that serves unlimited beer, wine and booze, then you do not want to be spending half your time in the VIP area. Singles don’t do the VIP area. You want to be out there among them, in the general admission section.
Finally, regarding getting in an hour earlier, that’s one of the biggest draws for people choosing a VIP ticket. You do get a head start on everything and if you’re at a place with a lot of stations, you can make a quick round to find the best places to be when it gets crowded.
Plus, if there are food stations, you can get eating out of the way early without the crowds, and spend the rest of the time focused on the drinks.
But is it worth an extra $20-40 (or more) for that extra hour? Let’s say its’ an extra $20 at a beer festival – how many beers do you plan on drinking in that extra hour and is is the same or more than it would cost to have that amount at a bar?
These are my thoughts; I would love to hear yours on this matter.