How do I sell out all my event tickets?
If that’s what you’re asking yourself, you are not alone. Every company that plans to have an event or every artist thinking of meeting their fans goes through the same dilemma.
After all, it can feel a little demotivating if people do not attend your event in full strength. To ensure that you don’t have empty seat patches at your next event venue, you’ve got to upgrade your strategies to drive ticket sales and maximize the ROI of your event.
But before we jump into the list, here is what you need to know about the sales cycle. A very important factor in understanding the buying behavior of your audiences.
A. What is the ticket sales cycle?
Your audience has different motivations for buying at every stage of your ticketing lifecycle.
Understanding the sales cycle will enable you to analyze your audience’s ticket-buying intentions and their readiness to buy tickets. This way you will know when and how many tickets to roll out in a period.
Stage 1: Launch spike
When an event is announced and tickets roll out for the first time, there tends to be a sharp spike. This is mainly because of marketing and promotions like emailing customer databases, press and media coverage, social media announcements, and so on. The high buzz drives all of the initial interest and early ticket sales.
The next phases will largely depend on the type of event you're hosting. For most, there tends to be a sharp decline in sales as initial exposure wears off, leading to the second phase.
Stage 2: Slow and steady
After the high of the launch spikes, the next phase experiences a soft halt where the ticket sales will tend to trickle in.
Once the exposure is gone, so is the urgency to book tickets. Sales in this phase will largely be slow and steady. This is also the time during which many organizers will keep an eye on sales, desperately trying to work out the ticket sales target.
Stage 3: Sprint finish
In the final stage, ticket sales will again start to increase, curving upwards gradually at first. The graph will get steeper and steeper as the event approaches. There are a few factors that come into play at this point-
- More of an urgency for customers to book
- Fear of missing out (FOMO)
- In cases where there is more than one occurrence of the event, factors like press reviews and word of mouth help boost ticket sales
B. Things to do before you start selling event tickets
You are now aware of the sales cycle and predictable ticket-buying behavior of your audiences. Here are some important things you need to do to make your event a success-
1. Understand your target audience
When you decide to organize your event and sell tickets, it is important to plan your marketing accordingly. You need to understand who your message must reach and how to influence them to take action.
You can do this by segmenting your target audience into personas or avatars of people who need your product or service. This will help you to filter those who might be interested in your event versus you won’t.
Remember to validate your buyer persona needs with your offering. Also, note that these personas aren’t necessarily the ones you think will come. Rather, they are the ones who will see the most value in attending your event.
2. Set goals with KPIs
Unless you determine what you want to achieve in numbers, you won’t have a concrete idea of how successful your event will be.
Define your ticket selling and event promotion goals first to know what you are working towards. You can track your progress toward these goals by determining Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. So that when you look back after the event, you will know how successful it was depending on the set criteria.
Specific goals can look like-
- 90-100% of tickets sold
- 300 event signups
- 400-plus social media mentions during the event
- 3,000 additional visits to your website during event promotion
Please note that your goals will depend on the type of organization you run and the event you will be hosting.
C. Best ways to sell tickets and boost sales
Organizing a successful event takes more than a plan. It needs a clear and focused strategy and an action plan to make the event a real success.
We have curated some super helpful tips all successfully tried and tested to help you sell your event tickets like hotcakes.
1. Create an event website that stands out
An event website serves as the landing page for most, if not all, of your event promotions. It is the shop window to your event and should have all the key information related to your event.
Begin with the most important details first, then the rest of the information can follow. Don’t forget to include these elements-
And remember that first impressions count. It takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave. Your event website should not only be an information powerhouse but also convey your event’s value proposition and capture your audience’s attention.
These tips should help you to immerse potential attendees in an optimal event website experience-
- Focus on creating a compelling design
Entice your audience using photos, videos, and eye-catching graphics. You can incorporate different brandings like brand colors, logos, and other graphic elements to stay consistent throughout your marketing campaign.
- Implement clear and concise calls to action (CTAs)
Make sure to strategically place CTAs in highly visible areas across your website. This will make registering for your event a seamless and simple process. You can even test CTA placement, copy, and even button color to check what drives results.
- Include sharing functionality
You can include social media and email sharing buttons to allow your attendees to easily spread the word about your event.
- Optimize for search engines
Include relevant keywords that accurately describe your event in the title and description fields. This will help you attract more visitors and rank on search engines. Curate high-quality on-site content and also consider listing to external websites since they typically generate greater visibility with users who are looking for events near them.
2. Make your ticketing site mobile optimized
With a user-friendly mobile app, it’s much easier to grab customers’ attention by providing them with a personalized buying experience.
In fact, according to a survey by Rakuten Insight on online shopping behavior in India conducted in 2022, about 83 percent of consumers used their smartphone or mobile to purchase online.
So even if you have a regular ticketing site, make sure you have an event ticket sales presence on mobile through an app or mobile-friendly website. A mobile sales platform makes it super convenient for potential customers to register for your event on their mobile devices.
If you are just getting started, ensure your ticketing software can accurately register sales made through all of your available channels in real-time. This will help unnecessary snags (like selling out on mobile but not on desktop), and keep your brand looking polished and professional.
Also, mobile devices aren't just a place to buy and sell tickets. They can be used to hold purchased tickets, and even allow event check-ins with a barcode or QR Code scanner.
3. Sell tickets on a scarcity model
A study by Harris Group revealed that 72% of Millennials would rather purchase experiences than material items.
Consumer spending on experiences has also grown 1.5 times faster than overall personal consumption spending and almost 4 times faster than spending on goods (McKinsey).
As an event organizer, you have a great opportunity to capitalize on these trends as the principle of scarcity by offering early bird and VIP experiences in limited quantities.
Marketing campaigns can leverage the phenomenon of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) by rolling out a limited time to act. But ensure to be realistic and authentic with your communications because when consumers realize that the scarcity is artificially created, it may turn them off.
Here are some great ways to do it-
- Provide early access to purchase
The presale model is one of the easiest ways to create a sense of urgency and a feeling of exclusivity in your target audience. Here are some ideas to help you get started-
- Make it a program perk
- Develop corporate sponsorships
- Offer credit card pre-sales
- Partner with local groups
- Premium Seating Ticketing
- Create premium seating
Create a higher-value offer using your best seats. Not all seats are created equal and your audience knows it more than you. For example, if you have got a comedy show lined up, section off the first 15 rows, price them accordingly and set up a presale to an audience of your choosing.
- Offer VIP experiences
VIP experiences can include anything from the best seats in lounges, pre-show parties, special table service, complimentary beverages and meals, autographed merchandise, access to sound checks, and more.
4. Use email drip campaigns
Email marketing gives you great opportunities to connect with prospective ticket buyers as well as people who already bought tickets. This can boost word-of-mouth promotion and sell more tickets than ever.
The three key audiences to target with your event drip email marketing initiatives are:
- People who already bought tickets
- People who bought tickets to your event the last time
- People who visit your ticket sales page but don’t buy tickets
The trick is to tap into their emotions by sending emails encouraging them to buy tickets. Bring out the best weapon (FOMO), and set up a series of drip messages triggered to go out on specific days leading up to your event.
Drip email marketing campaigns as a multi-step process that helps to :
- Reaffirm that the audience made the right decision by purchasing the tickets
- Remind people of all the great things happening at your event to ignite FOMO
- Re-engage with people by sharing event updates that help build anticipation and jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing
5. Promote on social media
We are sure you come across these terms at least once a day-
Like us on Facebook!
Follow us on Twitter!
Check out our Instagram feed!
You can share as many posts with these messages but it won’t work much if you don’t put in the effort to understand each network’s quirks and implement a well-thought-out strategy.
Leveraging the power of social media can boost your ticket sales to the next level. As events are inherently social, it makes sense to tap into different social media channels to promote your events.
You can do it by designing personalized event imagery and posting it on social media. Create the imagery or poster featuring your speaker, stars, or artists and tag them. If they repost it on their social media feed, it automatically increases the awareness of your upcoming event.
Posting PPC ads is also a cost-effective way to employ targeted and retargeting methods to drive ticket sales. Make sure to create an enticing headline that triggers the curiosity of potential buyers.
6. Start a referral program
Referral programs are great incentives to sell tickets through the loyalty of previous customers. You can start doing this by incentivizing customers by offering discounts or other deals if they recommend the event to others. You also help you gain additional promotions for free.
For example, if a customer purchases a ticket online, you could offer them a code to share with others which could lead to future discounts. This will encourage more people to buy event tickets.
There are several other ways to manage referral programs. It not only gets other people interested in your event, but when people know their friends are going, they are more likely to jump in and join the fun.
In fact, 92% of survey respondents trusted customer referrals if they were given by people they know. Also, people who received these personal referrals were 4 times more likely to buy after getting the recommendation than making the discovery themselves.
7. Partner up on event promotion
Joining forces with sponsors, speakers, and other event partners will expand your overall audience reach while getting a promotional boost.
If you have no idea about how to get partners involved in event promotion, don’t worry. Here are a few ways to get started-
- Invite speakers or sponsors to author guest blog posts giving potential attendees a glimpse into what they can learn and expect from your event
- Provide speakers, partners, sponsors, and attendees with pre-written email templates and content making it easier for them to share event promotions with their audiences
- Create engaging social media posts and visual assets promoting the event to your key partners. This will encourage them to post and share with their online networks.
8. Set up payment gateways
Every ticketing platform uses different payment gateways whatever is convenient for them. Typically, you need to register your payment gateway with the event ticket provider before you start accepting payments from customers. These platforms allow customers to securely purchase tickets using their credit/debit card or other accepted payment methods.
You also need to consider other factors such as processing fees associated with each transaction, and whether or not those charges are incurred by you or the customer.
Here are some more other important factors to consider while choosing a payment gateway-
- Types of cards allowed
- Holding time
- Multiple currency support
- Recurring billing
- Hosted vs. non hosted
- Mobile payment support
- Integration with other systems
9. Offer different pricing tiers
People like to have options and having pricing tiers in place is one of the most appropriate ways to sell tickets and boost sales. Structured pricing tiers can depend on different factors like seating location, lounge check-ins, or offering a pre-event appetizer and cocktail for an additional fee.
By establishing tiers in your ticket prices, you emphasize the idea that certain aspects of your event are more exclusive, which can draw in additional interest.
Here is how you can build the pricing structure for the attendees-
- Advanced and Early Bird Packages
- Group packages
- Sponsor discount packages
- Elite packages
- Limited attendance packages
- On-site registration
Once the registration site closes, you can offer on-site ticket sales at a higher cost. On-site registration costs are typically prices 10-20% higher than the final rate. This encourages people to register early but also makes space for last-minute buyers who want to attend the event eagerly.
10. Offer incentives to sell more
Offering discounts, freebies, or special offers can draw people to your event and create more interest. This is a great way to incentivize people to purchase tickets quickly.
For example, you could make offers like “Buy 3 tickets at 10% discount”. This will not only encourage the customers to take action but also nudge them to buy more than one ticket.
Make sure the way you offer your incentives reaches out to your audience in an appealing manner. You can make posters, PPC ads, or even ask the star of the event to promote and spread the word. This will help you drive more ticket sales and make your event a hit.
11. Host pre-event webinars and podcasts
About 40% of B2B buyers prefer webinars for researching purchases, and around 424.2 million people were projected to listen to podcasts worldwide. So it only makes sense to host webinars and podcasts centered around your event.
If you are not sure what to talk about, here is what you can do -
- Speak on topics related to your event’s pillars
- Invite guests, answer questions, and leave your floor open for the audience
- Plug your event into your podcasts or webinars
- Make sure to provide details about your event like how they can register and attend
- Promote the webinars and podcasts on social media and your website
12. Design eye-catching event infographics
People retain 80% of what they see, so designing eye-catching infographics is important to make your event visually appealing. Visually appealing does not have to be loud or complex, it should be simple yet attractive and easy-to-understand.
People can typically process an image in 13 milliseconds, and the average person reads approximately 240 words per minute. It confirms the fact that infographics are a great way to present the key event information you want your audience to share and remember.
13. Score some media attention
Readers and journalists find press releases engaging and trustworthy. You can craft a press release and include links to your event website. Use the press release to pitch targeted members of the press by highlighting stories with unique angles aligned with different media outlet topics and reader bases. You can even promote your events on news portals, newspapers, and radio and even leverage influencer marketing.
We tried to include as many tips as we can to help you sell more tickets and make your event a success. But in the end, it is up to you to find out which strategy works the best for you.
Not every strategy will work for every kind of event. The best way to learn is by doing. Also, remember to sit down and think about your goals and objectives before you start implementing the strategies. Pick the ones that will best complement your goals.
The best strategies combined with event ticketing software like Ticket Generator can help you surprisingly boost sales.
Ticket Generator lets you create custom designs for your tickets that you can start selling to your attendees. It is optimized for mobile use and offers QR Code check-ins to add an extra layer of security for event access. You can generate and distribute tickets in bulk to include as many people as you want up to 1 million!
Get started now to unlock more amazing features to boost sales and increase conversions!