As an event organizer, getting as many people as you can through the door is one of your top priorities and because you are also our priority, we have outlined 10 tried-and-true ways to give your ticket sales that extra push.
Get your ticket price right
Before you do anything else, set a realistic price for your event tickets. This is the cornerstone of every other action you’ll take to boost ticket sales. Set the price too high, and nobody will want to pay it. Set it too low, and you might not be able to cover your costs.
First, settle on a minimum breakeven price at which you won’t be losing any money. To keep things super simple:
Minimum ticket price = Total event costs / expected number of attendees
This calculation requires you to have a good overview of your expenses and at least a rough estimate of how many people might show up. You now know the breakeven price, but your actual ticket price will depend on how much (if any) profit you’d like to make.
Here, it’s critical to keep in mind your competitive position. Are there other similar events that are priced lower or higher? Do you have a solid reputation or are you a newcomer going against established competitors? Does your event have some unique "wow" factors to distinguish it - e.g. a celebrity performer or the best venue in town?
Answering these questions will let you know how high you can set the ticket price.
Early Bird Tickets
Early bird tickets are another release stage that is at your disposal as an event manager, to help encourage early online ticket sales.
This popular ticketing strategy can be used as a powerful price incentive to target two key customer groups; your event’s biggest fans and customers that might be sensitive to price and are looking for a great value deal. The most common way to use this strategy is to offer customers an incentive to buy a ticket well in advance of the event date, this is most commonly a monetary incentive like a discount or extra entitlements, such as VIP access, freebies, or added ‘money can’t buy experiences.’
In addition to tiered pricing and time-based offers, consider using smart discounts to reward different actions and give people a slight nudge.
For instance, you can encourage attendees to invite friends by offering group discounts or by giving them special access codes for referring other ticket buyers (more on this later). You might also promote a special price to members of a community or forum if you know they’re likely to be interested in events like yours.
Other tactics include giving location-based discounts to people who live farther away to encourage them to travel to your event. Or bundling drink vouchers with entry tickets to encourage combo purchases.
Whichever discount strategy you choose, make sure you can easily keep track of the different offers and also make them clear to ticket buyers. You don’t want to end up listing dozens of different ticket types on your event page and confusing potential attendees.
We’ve introduced a feature called "Campaigns" to greatly simplify how you handle discounted tickets. "Campaigns" automatically adjust ticket prices for your buyers based on preset conditions that you define. Learn more here.
Do you offer a premium option?
Most events will have a percentage of customers who either love your event so much or have extra budget to spend that they are willing to pay extra to make sure they get the ultimate experience. So, it’s your job to make sure that you provide an offering to cater for these people.
Build a ‘premium’ package that gives these people access to extras, such as unlimited food and drink, access to reserved sections of your event, exclusive queue jumps or meet and greet opportunities. If you work to put the right premium package together don’t be surprised if your top tier tickets sell out before the standard ones!
Run some promotional offers
Everyone is used to seeing promotion offers, from buy one get one frees and competitions to loyalty points and buy more, save more deals. So, it’s no surprise that many event professionals adopt similar techniques in order to sell more online tickets.
Expert insight: We recommend that you plan several short promotional campaigns into your ticketing strategies. If ticket sales are going well then you may find that you don’t even need to use these promotions, but it’s always a good idea to plan them in upfront, in case you need them to help boost ticket sales.
Here are some common promotional offers you might want to try at your event:
- Consider offering a small group discount to customers that buy 5 or more tickets at once.
- Offer X% off tickets for the weekend when using Coupon code “XYZ”
- Create a special discount that can be shared with your Facebook fans or other social media followers
- Unique offers (so you can also track their success) could be released to the databases of organizations you are affiliated with (e.g. your exhibitors/sponsors databases)
- Promote on your existing sites
Many ticketing platforms (such as Tiqbuy) will even provide you with a widget you can embed on any site to let people buy tickets in just a few clicks.
By using your own channels first, you’ll quickly estimate how much interest your event generates and be in a better position to plan the rest of your marketing strategy.
Harness the marketing power of people who’ve already bought tickets
Another way to maximize the ticket buying potential of your existing customer base is to offer incentives for them when they share your event with their friends, family and colleagues. Everyone who shares your event post of says that they are attending your event on social media can help to drive some serious revenue.
So, think about planning a referral offer that could be used to encourage customers who need the extra little incentive to share by offering free VIP upgrades or when they refer a certain number of their friends or family.
Real life example: Uber is a great example of a company who have done this well, they offer a free ride to everyone who refers a friend, or Groupon who give you $10 credit every time you refer someone.
If each of your core customers brought just one extra person you could quickly double the numbers of tickets sold.
Piggyback on a ticketing site’s community
More likely than not, you’ll be creating your event on a self-service ticketing site like Tiqbuy. These allow you to sell tickets online and handle all the payment administration on your behalf.
Ticketing sites like ours let you create a personal organizer profile and start building a following of loyal attendees. Even if you’re just starting out, you can still tap into the site’s existing community.
First off, any event you publish on a ticketing site will be automatically listed and appear when people search or browse for related events. Second, you’ll usually have the option to assign an event category and write a detailed event description. Make sure you put as many relevant keywords into your description as you can. That way, you’ll be more likely to appear when people are looking for an event just like yours.
We know how critical it is to be seen by just the right audience. We’ve developed an algorithm that matches events with exactly the right people based on their interests. In a sense, you get targeted exposure for free when you host your event on Tiqbuy. LEARN MORE HERE
Find partners and sponsors
No man is an island. Neither is your event. You don’t have to be a one-person army in trying to boost event ticket sales.
For one, you can usually find relevant sponsors that will not only cover some of your expenses but also be willing to promote the event on your behalf. In fact, they have a vested interest in helping you sell more tickets. After all, if your event is a success, they get better exposure.
Additionally, think of partnering up with relevant vendors and companies who stand to benefit from your event. If you’re organizing a music festival close to a bar, you’re also putting lots of thirsty potential customers in the bar’s vicinity. See if the bar is willing to offer a special deal for your festival guests and help spread the word about it.
You can find plenty of win-win opportunities if you look for them.
Leverage your most successful channel
It won’t surprise anyone to learn that there are numerous online channels where you can promote an event. But what people often forget is that using these effectively requires focus.
It’s easy to get caught up in the possibilities and end up posting a bit on Twitter, a bit on Facebook, and then uploading a couple of Instagram photos here and there. The truth is, doing so will spread your marketing efforts too thin. Instead, it pays to identify your best performing channel and spend the bulk of your budget and time on it.
If you’ve organized events in the past, take a look at which channels drove the most visitors and sales. Here, you will likely turn to your email list of past attendees. Email marketing remains the top driver of ticket sales for 76 percent of event organizers.
If you’re a first-time event organizer, start with the channels where you have your biggest following. In general, the most popular social media channel among event organizers is Facebook, followed by Twitter, then Instagram and LinkedIn. Find what channel has the most potential for your event and double down on your efforts there.
Is there anything worse than having someone check out your event page and then leave without actually buying a ticket? Yes, lots of things. But losing a potential attendee who came this close to signing up is certainly frustrating.
Don’t worry, you might still have a chance to change their mind. Try retargeting. Basically, retargeting is about presenting a follow-up message or offer to someone who’s previously shown an interest. And it works. So much so that using retargeting for events has been estimated to pay for itself six time over.
A retargeting ad may just be that last nudge a person needs to go from "meh" to "yeah!". If you have your visitors’ contacts - such as when they’re past attendees or added a ticket to a basket without completing the checkout - you can use a retargeting email. Otherwise, services like Google let you set up remarketing campaigns that show targeted ads on their network.
The key with retargeting ads is instilling a sense of exclusivity or urgency (e.g. "If you buy the ticket right now, we’ll throw in a free merch voucher" or "20% off the ticket for one day only"). These people are already at least mildly interested, so the extra incentive may just be enough to tip them over the edge.
Create a video teaser
Another effective marketing strategy to increase ticket sales is to create a video teaser for the event. The video should be short (it is just a teaser) and cover the basics:
What is the event about?
Who is it meant for?
Who will be performing or presenting?
Answers to common questions about the event.
The purpose of a video teaser is two-fold. One, it communicates all the must-know details as concisely as possible. Two, it establishes a personal connection by showing the people organizing the event.
If a performer or speaker is showing up, this is an excellent opportunity to include a quick greeting from them or maybe even a behind-the-scenes look at their material.
At Tiqbuy,we offer a complimentary promotional video.
The final release & charge more at the door
Promoting a final release of tickets is the last opportunity that you have to remind people have to buy tickets online before the big day. Most event professionals tend to charge more on the door or at the gate so updating your marketing material to highlight the on the door price increase is a great way to incentivize people who’ve been leaving it until the last minute to buy their tickets.
Which leads us onto door prices…. If you aren’t putting the price up for tickets sold at the door or gate then you’re missing out. Unless tickets have completely sold out before the event day then it’s highly likely that you will get some on the day sales. In fact, if you don’t choose to charge more on the day then you may find that there is no incentive for people to buy tickets online before the big day. The extra money people pay on the day can also be used to offset some of the discounts you may offer in the run up to the event.
Always plan to charge more on the door and make sure that this is factored into your ticketing strategy from the start. Promote it in your advertising to make sure it’s clear.
‘There are many ways to ensure that your ticket sales are moving in the right direction, but as we’ve highlighted not all strategies should be centered around offering discounts to encourage ticket sales.
The key to having a good strategy that will deliver is in the planning. Be 100% sure on the revenue numbers you need before you start and have a clear idea on how you are going to hit these numbers with each of your ticket releases. Having this plan helps you to know when you need to adjust your plan and add in some extra promotions if sales are behind.
Expert tip: Expect the best for your ticketing campaign, but plan for the worst - then you will have every eventuality covered!