These days, everything is going digital, and event ticket sales are no exception. If you’re interested in attending an event, chances are your first stop is going to be the internet, where you’ll find purchase options for anything from concert tickets to food festival passes. This trend even applies to the movies, with more and more moviegoers opting to forgo the box office and buy tickets online.
As an event manager or host, you simply can’t beat the advantages of selling your tickets online. Capitalizing on the digital marketplace can help you:
- Reach a larger audience
- Sell tickets for a longer period of time
- Make the ticket purchase and checkout process easier for your guests
- Receive instant payouts to cover event expenses
In addition to these benefits, selling your event tickets online will give you better access to customer data for future marketing initiatives and will allow you to track sales more accurately as your event approaches. If you’re still not convinced that selling your event tickets online is the way to go, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to online event ticketing and event registration.
Once you’ve made the decision to sell tickets online, it’s important to use the right tools and strategies to ensure that you sell as many tickets as possible.
We’ve compiled these tips and strategies to help you start effectively selling tickets online!
1. Select Your Online Ticketing Provider
The first step in the online ticket selling process is to choose the best ticketing software for your event. This will allow you to build a website for your event, include payment processing options, and provide you with valuable analytics. With so many choices out there, finding the right platform can be a stressful process! In general, we recommend comparing the following criteria when weighing different options:
Pricing & Fees
- Does the vendor charge a flat fee per ticket, a percentage of the ticket sales, or both?
- Can you pass any of these fees on to your ticket buyers?
- What kind of credit card processing fees are associated with ticket sales?
- You don’t want to be covering event expenses out of pocket. Make sure that your ticket provider will payout your ticketing proceeds as the ticket sales occur.
- Events are stressful. Having a real human whom you can ask questions to will save you a lot of time and frustration. Just make sure your ticketing provider offers 24/7 support with a real person since events often take place at night and on weekends!
- Other things to consider are the support channels available. Is the support on-site? Live Chat? Phone? Email?
Design & Customization
- How much flexibility do you have in creating your own event ticketing page?
- Can you add your own logos, messaging, branding, etc.?
- Can you create multiple ticket types based on sales dates, pricing, quantity available?
- Can you embed the checkout page on your own website? Some providers charge a premium for this.
Information Collected from Guests
- Can you collect both standard (name, phone number, email) and custom data from your guests?
- Do you have access to data and analytics in real-time?
- Can you scan tickets at the venue, and how (barcode scanning, QR code scanning, etc.)?
- Can you look up guests by name?
- Can you sell tickets at the door?
- Do you need the ability to create a custom agenda with multiple sessions and speakers?
- Are you selling tickets for an assigned seating event? Does the ticketing system have a venue design tool?
- Are you hosting a recurring event like a yoga class where people can register for several dates?
This is one of the most important stages of your ticket-selling process, so for more in-depth information, head over to our full list of criteria to consider when choosing a ticketing platform. To check out Accelevents’s own affordable and easy-to-use software, click here.
2. Create Your Event Ticketing Page
Now that you’ve selected your ticketing provider, it’s time to create your event ticketing page! This page will be the hub of your online ticket sales activity. You’ll want to create a captivating page that draws the attention of potential guests while also making it as easy as possible for them to purchase their tickets and share their experiences.
Whether you’re using your page to help promote a fundraising event or a for-profit event (festival, concert, party, etc.), spending time on appearance is one of the most important places to start when building your page. You can find some of our best tips for building a killer event site here.
Compelling imagery is always a great way to draw attention from your potential buyers. Do you have great photos from your event last year? If you are a nonprofit, do you have images of your organization in action? If so, include these on your event page in order to connect with your ticket buyers.
Once you’ve put some nice images on your site, it’s time to work on your brand. We suggest adding any logos, colors, or signage that’s unique to your event or your organization. If you don’t have a logo or graphic, you can create an awesome logo for free using a site like Canva.
Tell Your Story!
Telling your event’s story is a surefire way to sell more tickets. By sharing your story, you’ll allow your potential guests to relate to your event in a more personal way. They’ll feel more inclined to purchase tickets, and they’ll encourage their friends to do the same.
Create Your Tickets
The next part of building your event ticketing site in order to sell tickets online will be to create your ticket types. You may sell different ticket categories based on:
- Quantity Available
- Sales Dates
If your event includes seating, you can include a venue seating chart (allowing buyers to more easily choose seats) and use it to determine ticket types. For fundraising events, we would also suggest adding any sponsorship opportunities to your event ticketing page. Below, you’ll find an example of what your ticket types may include:
Decide on the information you’d like to collect
Depending on the ticketing provider you’ve chosen, you may have the ability to collect custom information from your guests beyond the basics (name, phone number, email address). It’s important to determine what kind of information you’d like to collect before creating your tickets and going live with sales. Things to consider may be:
- Food preference
- Table preference
3. Start Selling Tickets!
Finally, it’s time to get to the fun part — selling tickets! While you’ve made significant progress in creating your event page to sell tickets online, event promotion is one of the most crucial stages of the sales process – this is where you’ll drive demand to sell out your event.
In order to sell as many tickets as possible, we suggest spending the time to properly plan your event promotion.
– When promoting an event, our favorite channels include:
- Social Media
- Create a Facebook Page / Event
- Post consistent updates on the event (tickets available, a countdown to the event, general updates)
- Create an account for your organization or event
- Post pictures from previous events with event updates
- Create a giveaway for a certain number of tickets to increase engagement
- Email – Do you have previous guest lists from past events? If so, using an email communication strategy can be extremely useful in generating demand for your event. We suggest creating an email campaign aimed at your past guests or supporters, informing them of the event and providing updates on such things as:
- Ticket availability
- Time until the event
- Any special updates (guest appearances, performances, etc.)
- Word of Mouth – Word of mouth is still the most effective marketing strategy for an event. Once a group of people purchases tickets to your event, engaging them to promote your event is crucial! One way you can use this to your advantage is to first invite your closest friends and family to purchase tickets to your event. Once they’ve purchased, encourage them to spread the word in person and via social media. You can even include a social media popup on your event site so that people can share their ticket purchases on their accounts immediately after buying event tickets.
Work the Press
– Another way to promote your event and get the attention necessary to sell out is to work with local publications. These can include news channels, newspapers, or local magazines. Contact the editors or event writers at these publications and “pitch” them on the story of your event. While this is a bit more demanding and time-consuming, it can certainly pay off if your event ends up featured in a publication. At the very least, most local newspapers and magazines have calendar listings where they can include your event.
Create Exclusivity / FOMO
– You can also try creating exclusivity or “Fear of Missing Out.” When people hear that their friends are attending an event, they will typically feel the need to join in, and you can use this feeling of missing out to your advantage. One way to create exclusivity is to publicly display the number of tickets left for your event and the cutoff dates after which the tickets will no longer be available.
You can easily display this information on your event website, and it will drive increased demand and urgency as tickets sell. You can even schedule emails and social media updates promoting the number of tickets remaining to generate that sense of “gotta do it now!”
Finally, we suggest creating different ticket tiers such as Early Bird, General Admission, and Last Minute—all selling for different ticket prices and typically during different time periods. By creating different ticket tiers, you will drive your guests to purchase tickets faster in order to take advantage of the lower-priced / early-bird tickets.
While we’ve provided some of our favorite promotion tactics here, we know of at least 37 more ways to promote your event, so check them out!
Online ticket selling is a vital tool for event organizers everywhere—regardless of whether you’re planning a benefit concert, a cooking class, or anything in between. Online sales will allow you to reach a larger audience and sell more tickets to your event, all while increasing brand awareness! Once you’ve learned how to sell tickets online and experienced incredible results, you’ll never go back!