As all event planners know, pulling off a successful event is extremely demanding and time-consuming. In fact, event coordination consistently ranks as one of the most stressful jobs in America! Whether you're a newbie or a pro, using the tools at your disposal to streamline the event management process is a no-brainer. That's where an event ticketing system comes in to play. If you're hosting an event that's open to the public, selling tickets to your customers is one of the most important steps in the pre-event phase. Event ticketing systems can help you reach more people, assist with marketing efforts, facilitate event registration and payment, and ultimately increase ticket sales.
We've compiled this guide to event ticketing systems in order to provide you with an overview of what they are and how they work, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of using them. If you're already familiar with online ticketing tools and want to learn more about how to implement them, be sure to check out our guide to selling tickets online!
An event ticketing system is a software platform that allows event organizers to sell tickets to their in-person and virtual events online. This can be through the event organizer's own website or through a third-party ticketing website. The event ticketing system handles the entire ticket sales process, from ticket creation and pricing to payment processing and delivery. Think of it as a convenient, one-stop-shop ticketing solution. But don’t worry, you won't need any technical knowledge to implement a ticketing system and start reaping the benefits!
Typically, these systems allow you to easily build a dedicated ticketing website or event page, select different ticket types to sell (early-bird, general admission, VIP, etc.), outline a seating chart, set the ticket price and payment options, get real-time sales performance data, and much more.
Event ticketing systems and event registration systems are both tools that event organizers can use to manage their events, but they serve different purposes.
An event registration system is designed to help event organizers manage the registration process for their events. This includes tasks such as collecting and segmenting participant information, processing registration fees, and building and managing attendee lists. An event ticketing system, on the other hand, is mainly used to generate revenue for the event organizer through the sale of tickets.
Another notable difference between the two systems is that event registration systems typically do not charge transaction fees, whereas event ticketing systems often do.
Both systems can be used together, but they are often used for different stages of the event planning process.
For event organizers planning a fundraising event, ticketing software can be especially valuable. For example, Accelevents' ticketing software integrates with its fundraising suite, making it easy for guests to add a donation at checkout while completing their registration.
There are a number of other benefits to combining your ticketing and fundraising solution. One major benefit is that using an integrated ticketing and fundraising platform will mean that your donors only need to enter their credit card at the time of ticket purchase, cutting down on registration lines for the auction or other giving campaigns at the event.
Let's take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of using event ticketing systems for any type of event. Read on to learn why you should definitely consider using one for your next event.
There are many significant advantages to using event ticketing software:
One of the biggest benefits of using online ticketing software is the reach it provides. With social media integration and email promotion capabilities, you can reach a wider audience and promote your event beyond your own efforts. Simply allow customers to share their ticket purchases directly on their social media accounts. You can also easily share discount codes via email and social media to encourage people to purchase tickets.
A ticketing software allows you to sell tickets around the clock, 24/7. This means that you can make sales even when you're not physically present or available to make a sale. As a result, you'll never miss an opportunity to generate revenue!
With an online ticketing system, attendees can easily purchase tickets using a credit card or other secure payment method whenever it is convenient for them. Online event ticketing also eliminates the need for event organizers to handle cash payments, which can be time-consuming and may also carry a risk of loss or theft.
Quick Tip: Make it easy to pay! The best event ticketing platforms support a variety of payment methods, such as PayPal and credit card processing through Stripe and other similar services.
Online ticketing systems can greatly simplify the event check-in process. By allowing guests to pre-register and purchase tickets in advance, there is less congestion at the door on the day of the event. Check-in can be streamlined by using a mobile device to scan a QR code or barcode, making the process quick and efficient for both guests and event planners.
Quick Tip: Look for ticketing platforms that support mobile apps for iOs and Android to ensure a smooth check-in and scanning process.
Onsite ticket sales and seating reservations can also be handled through a ticketing platform, eliminating the need for a will call or box office and improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Having a central source of truth for all of your event data will make everything from keeping track of refunds, post event accounting, and performance to promotion of your next event much easier. Anyone on your staff who you share access with will have the ability to run their own reports.
Online ticketing systems also offer valuable analytics and reporting tools. You'll be able to track your online ticket sales and registrations as well as gather information about your attendees that can help inform your future sales and event marketing strategies.
Having access to customer service is an important aspect of using ticketing software, especially when navigating a new platform. Most ticketing software solutions offer online and phone support during the ticket selling process, and may even provide onsite customer support in certain cases.
With the help of customer service, you can make the most of the ticketing tools at your disposal and learn something new in the process.
Quick Tip: Look for great reviews and a fast average response times when evaluating the quality of the support offered.
As all event professionals know, no system is perfect and there are a few minor drawbacks that need to be considered before using an event ticketing platform.
The biggest drawback to event ticketing systems is that they are paid platforms. Most platforms charge a flat fee per ticket plus a percentage of the ticket price. Generally this falls anywhere from $1 per ticket plus 1% of the ticket price up to $2.59 per ticket plus 7% of the ticket price. Higher fees do not mean a better platform as some companies have legacy architecture that requires them to charge high fees just to stay in business.
In addition to the fees from the ticketing provider, you will also need to pay credit card processing fees. The standard rate for credit card processing is 2.9% plus 30 cents a transaction. However, most ticketing systems allow you to pass both the ticketing fee and credit card processing fees on to the ticket buyer.
Here at Accelevents we see approximately 85% of event organizers passing these fees on to the buyer. These days, most ticket buyers expect to pay a service fee. That said, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and if you do want to absorb the fees, it is well worth budgeting for a ticketing service when you consider the time and frustration it will save you and the additional ticket sales it can create!
Different ticketing companies offer various price points, so the payment structure and fees are definitely something to take into account before deciding on a ticketing platform. Accelevents, for example, provides affordable ticketing software and even offers a free trial, so you can make sure you're getting everything you need and more with no strings attached.
While some providers allow you to create completely customized pages for your events including branding and logos, others have more rigid templates preventing you from fully customizing or branding your event. This may not be an issue for some events and some event organizers, but given that branding and marketing are vital parts of the ticket-selling process, it is important to consider customization when choosing an event ticketing platform.
Using event ticketing software for your next event will make ticket sales, registration, and the event check-in process more efficient. This increased efficiency will not only benefit you, but it will benefit ticket buyers and event operations as a whole. If you're ready to step up your ticketing game, you can get started with your free Accelevents trial here and experience the difference for yourself!
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