When it comes to selling event tickets, you simply cannot beat the advantages of selling your tickets online! As many event hosts already know, selling events tickets can help you:
- Reach a larger audience.
- Sell tickets for a longer time period.
- Make the ticket purchase and checkout process easier for your guests.
In addition to these advantages, selling your event tickets online will give you better access to your guests’ information for future marketing initiatives and will allow you to track sales more accurately as your event approaches. If you’re still not convinced about switching to selling your tickets online, we’ve created an entire guide to online event ticketing and event registration for you to review.
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. That’s why we’ve created these tips and strategies to help you effectively sell tickets online!
1. Select Your Online Ticketing Provider
The first step in the process of selling tickets online will be to choose the best ticketing provider for your event. With so many choices out there, just finding the right offering can be a stressful process! In general, we would 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?
- 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 your own ticket types based on sales dates, pricing, quantity available?
- 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?
- Check-In Capabilities
- Can you scan tickets?
- Can you look up guests by name?
- Can you sell tickets at the door?
- Customer Service
- Live support, online, both?
As this is one of the most important stages of your ticket-selling process, we’ve also created a full list of criteria to consider when choosing a ticketing provider 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 at the same time making it as easy as possible for them to purchase their tickets and share their experience.
- Appearance – Whether you are using your page to help promote a fundraising event or a for-profit event (festival, concert, party, etc.), one of the best places to start when building your page is with its appearance.
Compelling imagery is always a great way to draw in the the attention of your potential buyers. Do you have great photos from your event from last year? If you are a nonprofit event, 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. Here, we suggest adding any logos, colors, or signage unique to your event or your organization.
- Tell Your Story! – Telling the story of your event is a sure-fire way to sell more tickets. By telling your story, you will let your potential guests relate to your event in a more personal way. They’ll then feel compelled to purchase tickets, and they’ll encourage their friends do the same.
- Create Your Tickets – The next part of building your event ticketing site to sell tickets online will be to create your ticket types. Here, you may sell different tickets based on:
- Quantity Available
- Sales Dates
If you are hosting a fundraising event, we would also suggest adding your 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). Here, it is important to determine what kind of information you would 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 your 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 process – this is where you will drive demand to sell out your event.
In order to sell as many tickets as possible, we suggest spending significant time planning your event promotion.
- Promotion Channels – When promoting an event, our favorite channels include:
- Social Media
- Create a Facebook Page / Event
- Post consistent updates on the event (tickets available, countdown to the event, general updates)
- Create an account for your organization or event
- Post pictures from previous events with event updates
- 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. Here, 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 you have a group of people purchase 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 purchase on their account immediately after buying a ticket.
- Social Media
- 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 hard work, it can certainly pay off if your event is featured in a publication. At the very least, most local newspapers and magazines have calendar listings that they can add your event to.
- Create Exclusivity / FOMO –Another effective way to sell tickets to your event is to create exclusivity or “Fear of Missing Out.” When people hear that their friends are attending an event, they will immediately feel the need to join in. This feeling of missing out can play right to your advantage. One tactic to create exclusivity is to publicly display the quantity of tickets left for your event, as well as the cutoff dates after which 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 quantity of tickets left, as well as cutoff dates when tickets will no longer be available, 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!
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step to reaching a larger audience and selling more tickets to your event. Now that you’ve read our guide, we hope you feel well-equipped to get out there to sell tickets online. Good luck!