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PAYG or block bookings? The best ticket types for classes

Do you offer PAYG or block bookings tickets to your customers? Have you started to wonder which ticket type would be best for your classes? Or are you debating offering more ticket types to fill up those gaps in your sessions?

It’s a great idea to offer a variety of ticket types to your customers. We’ve offered a list of the different ticket types you can pick when listing with Happity (along with the pros and cons of each for comparison)!

Find out more about listing your activities with Happity

What are the different ticket types?

PAYG (Pay As You Go) or single sessions

On Happity, we name these ‘Single session’ tickets by default (though you can rename them if you prefer) – and they are marked in the checkout pages with a single session icon.

Pros: PAYG is perfect for offering maximum flexibility, and allowing you to fill in extra spaces.

Cons: Running your business completely on single sessions can make it difficult to grow. It means there’s a lot of uncertainty from week to week. It also means you have to do a lot of marketing every single week, to ensure people continue coming back to classes.

Block tickets

A ‘block’ ticket allows you to set a price for customers that are prepared to commit to your class over a series of weeks. You can set this at any number you like. We find smaller numbers like 3 or 4 tend to work well. These are offered on a rolling basis, meaning people can book these at any time and commit to your class for a few consecutive weeks.

Pros: Block bookings can help you to grow. They give you greater security, especially if there are upfront costs and venue fees to be paid.

Cons: It takes a little more effort to commit someone to booking a block. Typically, to add appeal to your block tickets, the price of a block booking should be cheaper than booking single sessions individually. Either that, or you should consider offering free/cheap trial classes for parents to be able to “try before they buy”.

If you’ve never used these ticket types before though and are introducing them for the first time, then it’s best to keep these closely matched to your current prices, and increase the cost of single session tickets instead.

Term tickets

Customers can book for a whole term. On Happity, the price of these tickets will automatically pro-rate – reducing week by week as each class takes place. So if a customer books a term ticket and have missed the first few classes then they will be only be charged for the rest of the term.

Pros: Similarly to block bookings, term tickets can help you to grow. They give you greater security, especially if there are upfront costs and venue fees to be paid.

Cons: Again, It takes a little more effort to commit someone to booking a whole term. It might not be a problem for already converted regulars who adore your class. But it may be more of a struggle for finding new customers. Consider your pricing carefully. And consider offering free/cheap trial classes, or single session tickets at a slightly increased rate to allow parents to “try before they buy”.

The above might have given you a bit of an idea as to whether you want to offer PAYG or block bookings. But there is more to consider about which tickets to offer…


When a class clarifies that “drop-ins” are available, this is usually referring to the fact that parents can book their place on the door.

Pros: This is truly offering flexibility to parents -being able to book a session right up to the last minute. This also means that you can do a push on social media or emails up until the very last minute, letting parents know that you have spaces still available for a class happening soon.

Cons: Offering this can lead to a lot of uncertainty from week to week. It will take a lot of organising and making sure that you keep people updated until the very last moment. It also means you have to do a lot of marketing every single week, to ensure people know that you have spaces available.

Want to appear in the “drop-ins” filter on Happity? Click ‘drop-ins accepted’ when creating a new class, which is found on the ‘Other’ tab.

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Sibling discounts

Before deciding whether or not to offer sibling discounts, check what your bookings are looking like at the moment. Do you have spaces every week? Do you know many regulars who could bring multiple children?

Pros: It’s common to offer a reduced price for siblings to help make your class more affordable for families. It widens your potential customer base.

Cons: It’s a bit of a trade off – if your class is already running at capacity, then sibling discounts could mean you’re losing out on much needed revenue.

You can mark spaces as ‘sibling’ tickets on Happity, and they are only available to your customers when they have bought a ticket for their first child.

Find out more about the Happity booking system

Trial offers

When you offer a trial, the most important thing to consider is how likely they are to become a repeat customer, and how long they’ll stay with you.

Pros: Trial offers are great for getting new customers through the door initially. Launch new classes or establish your brand with this option! If you only take term/block bookings then offering a free trial class could be useful for helping customers to take the next step of booking a full term.

Cons: If you’re already offering classes on a single session basis, then there generally isn’t really a need to have a trial offer as customers can already try out your class on a low-risk basis.

Looking for an alternative solution to offering free trials? We’ve come up with one here!

PAYG or block bookings? How are your bookings going this month, and what ticket types are you offering?

Do you use PAYG or block bookings for your classes? This was a question that was asked in our FB community a place where like-minded class providers can ask questions and seek/offer support.

Here are some of the responses that the above question received:

  • Whilst PAYG might require more admin, parents are appreciative of being able to budget more on this option with the current cost of living crisis.
  • Some parents leave it to the very last second to book certain classes, so don’t despair if you have a lot of gaps leading up to your class dates.
  • If you don’t already offer PAYG tickets, perhaps consider offering them at a slightly increased weekly rate to your block ticket offer. This won’t lessen the value of your block bookings, but also gives parents more options.

Join the conversation today

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