With so many options available for online ticket sales, it can be stressful for event organizers to cut through the clutter and find the best option. Many online ticket sales providers offer a broad range of similar functions, but there are a few features in particular that can make your ticket sales, event planning and execution more streamlined and less stressful.
In this post, we will focus on some of the online ticket sales features that we find the most helpful when running our own 1,000+ person event, as well as features that our clients use most. Feel free to mention any additional features that you look for in the comments section at the end of this post.
Pricing & Costs
Of course, one of the first things you will be looking at when searching for the best online ticket sales service will be the costs associated with the provider. Typically, costs include the following structure of fees:
- Flat cost per ticket
- Percentage cost per ticket
- Credit card processing fees
You’ll want to be careful when looking at each of these fees. Your goal will be to find the lowest combination of flat fees and percentage costs. Here at Accelevents, we charge $1 per ticket plus 1% of ticket sales, for example.
One topic that is related to the pricing of an online ticket sales service is knowing who will be responsible for the costs and fees of using the product. For example, will the event organizer be charged for the costs of using the ticketing service, or can all fees be paid for by your ticket buyers?
Having the flexibility to cover the cost of ticket fees or having your buyers pay these costs is a huge benefit, as having your buyers pay these fees means that the ticketing service is essentially free for your organization! This can be especially helpful for nonprofit fundraising events.
As you probably know from experience, having the ability to customize when setting up your online ticket sales is crucial. We agree here, and think that having customization options in the following areas is vital for a successful event!
You will want as many customization options as you can when creating your ticket types / tiers. Some things to think about when looking for customization options include:
- Ability to create different tiers and prices of tickets
- Flexibility in choosing different sales dates for different ticket types
- Selecting the quantity available of each ticket type
- Functionality to add discount codes
Each of the above customizations will allow you to better set up your online ticket sales in order to track your success and sell out your event!
In order to sell as many tickets as possible, you will want to have an appealing event / ticketing web page. This means that you’ll want to be able to customize your online event page in order to make it as personal as possible. In general, our recommendation is to spend a lot of time crafting the story around your event and why you connect with your event personally. Once you’ve mastered this story, you’ll want to be able to adequately convey your message on your event page. Some features to consider when shopping around for ticketing providers include:
- Ability to add in your own personal story and message AND have it display prominently on your event ticketing page
- Ability to add your own logo and images – these images can help the visual appeal of your event page, and can lead to increased sales
- Donation options – if you’re supporting a cause or nonprofit, it’s crucial that you have a donation button or tab that can be added to your event page
Information Collected from Ticket Buyers
Depending on the type of event you are hosting, you may also want to have the option to ask for custom information from your ticket buyers. Standard information asked includes name, phone number, and email, but you may want to know more information as well. Additional information you may need includes:
- Table preferences
- Job title
The ability to ask for your own custom set of information from your buyers can be a huge benefit, so definitely be on the lookout for this feature when researching options for online ticket sales.
Over and over, we hear that check-in is a pain point for event hosts. The check-in / registration process can be a bottleneck at your event, leading to long lines and unhappy guests. However, when done well, event check-in can be quick and easy.
When considering different online ticketing options, spend some time learning about each service’s check-in process. Do tickets need to be printed, or can a digital version be used?
Can your volunteers check your guests in? And if so, how do they do this? Will they be able to download an app that allows for each guest check-in?
Finally, what are the actually mechanics of check-in? Can your volunteers search by name to check users in? Is there a functionality to scan a QR code on their printed or digital ticket?
These are all questions that you will want to ask when researching the check-in capabilities of on online ticket sales provider.
The ability to integrate with another service or website may be something that will set certain providers apart from the rest for you.
Are you running a fundraising event? If so, the ability to integrate with a mobile bidding or donation platform will be a massive benefit for your team. Integrating with a mobile fundraising platform means that your guests will have a seamless end-to-end process from ticket purchase to check-in and ability to donate. They will not need to enter their payment or user information more than once, making the entire process easier and more pleasurable for your guests.
At Accelevents, our event ticketing service connects directly to our mobile fundraising platform, meaning you can address your ticketing fundraising needs all in the same place. Furthermore, your event page can include both your ticket sales page and your donation, silent auction, or raffle page – making ticket purchase and donations quick and easy!
Additionally, you may already have a robust nonprofit or event page set up. In this case, you will want to look for a ticketing provider that allows you to integrate or embed your ticketing function directly into your already existing nonprofit or event page.
Finally, as with most services, you will want to ensure that you choose an online ticket sales service that guarantees amazing customer service. All of the features above mean nothing without having an accessible customer service team that can help you set up your event for success and can assist with any questions you may have throughout the process.
Questions you can ask to determine the level of customer service provided by a ticketing service include:
- How many people are on your customer service team?
- Is customer service 24/7, or are there certain hours when I will not be able to reach a customer service rep?
- How can I contact customer service? Phone, email, live chat, or all three?
- Do you have a help center that includes answers to commonly asked questions?
As you prepare to embark on your search for the best online ticket sales provider, remember that your goal is to run a successful event. Selling tickets is a major part of your success, so finding a great service is crucial. Also remember that you will want to find a service that makes your life easier, not more stressful. Checking off the features above will put you well on your way to finding the best ticketing provider and making your next event a huge success!