Case Study

Making fete rides profitable

Making fete rides profitable


The founders of TryBooking put their experiences to the test when they volunteered for their children's school fete and the results exceeded everyone's expectations.


Delma and Grant Dunoon are no strangers to school fetes. As the founders of TryBooking, they have been working with schools for over ten years and have helped bring thousands of events to life. When the call went out at for fete volunteers at their children’s school, they knew they could help.

The Dunoons took on the task of managing ride sales, an area that had previously been one of the biggest loss centres for the school, but was seen as a ‘necessary evil’. The interest and the popularity were evident, but the challenge lay in driving sales. In previous years, ride tickets or bands had been sold in the playground, which limited the number of purchases and the audience, restricting parents, past students and the wider community. 

The first goal set was to ensure ride tickets were accessible to everyone. They set up an online ticketing page with TryBooking and were easily able to share the booking link on the school’s website. They also got in touch with their local paper, who included the link in their upcoming events. 

School fair

The second task was to secure early commitments, especially from potential customers who were waiting for a favourable weather forecast. Saving money can be a big motivator, so the Dunoons set up three ticketing windows: An early bird rate of $26, which ended eight days before the fete. A fete week special, with $28 tickets sold seven days before the fete and an on-the-day rate of $30. It was easy to set up pricing tiers on the event page, which automatically updated the prices as each date milestone hit. 

The final challenge for the Dunoons was distributing the bands on the day of the fete. By using the reporting functionality, they knew that pre-sales had gone well, and they were expecting a good crowd to turn up to collect ride bands on the day. Manually checking printed lists would take too much time, especially for groups of excited children. Instead, the team electronically scanned tickets as they were presented. This created an extra value for those who had pre-purchased tickets; as they were able to get on the rides quicker than those who waited to buy their tickets on the day.

After the initial rush of band collection and ticket sales had eased, the Dunoons looked at ways to help those still buying tickets. “You need to be engaged,” says Delma. “When you see kids that keep coming back to buy single-ride tickets, swapping them over to a band with unlimited rides might be better for them. Have a quick chat and help them make that decision.” A discount was also offered as the afternoon drew on to help maintain the strong interest in rides. 

The school was ecstatic with the results from the ticket sales. Revenue from rides increased by a whopping 400% and pushed well past the break-even point, to become the fete’s most profitable attractions. Integrating technology with this traditional event had worked and serves as a great example of how schools can benefit from using TryBooking.  

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