In our last blog about event registration, we talked about the importance of an event’s goal and target audience, as well as some ways to boost your registrations.
We understand how hard it can get for an event planner trying to maximize an event’s ticket sales, so we’re back with some more insights and hacks to help you with this tough job. Regardless of whether your event is in-person or virtual, how you promote ticket sales can change the dynamics of your event.
Like we emphasized previously, the success of a well-executed marketing campaign depends on how well you’ve analyzed your target audience. Now that you’ve done this, let’s find out how to promote ticket sales while keeping this target audience in mind.
What should the core features of an event ticketing platform be?
Why is this important, you ask? No matter the choice of your technology partner, there are some basic functionalities needed in your tool to promote ticket sales and to implement your strategy correctly and efficiently. These are the features to check for before you sign up for any tool:
Ticket sharing options
Email campaigns integration
Customizable registration forms
Promo codes configuration
Highlighting speakers on the event website.
Affiliate marketing capabilities
It’s necessary to ensure that your visitors can view tickets and make a purchase on their mobile. For this, ticket sales via a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website is all you need.
Pro-tip: Test your event ticketing software on multiple devices before opening your box office. Your prospects will thank you for it.
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What should the price of your ticket be?
Ticket prices play a central role in deciding how you can break even. An affordable ticket can definitely help boost your ticket sales, while a high-priced ticket can work as a big de-motivator for your prospects and a cheap ticket can mean failing to get the funds to run the event. Check the ticket price of events in the same domain and do a thorough analysis of what to expect. In most cases, an estimated headcount of attendees and sponsor funds at the start of the event will help you come up with realistic pricing.
In our previous blog, we gave you insight into how the website is the online destination to your event and how a concise registration form is necessary. After you’ve set specific website goals, form fields, and the price for various ticket classes, it’s time to get your landing page right. Your registration page can work as a deciding factor for your potential attendees. Ideally, this page should clearly list the benefits of attending the event. Creating a clear value proposition can leave a lasting impression on your prospect’s mind.
The basics of an event website should include the name of the event, its venue, date, agenda, and how prospects can reach you for any support.
The right time to start selling tickets online
The next important factor that affects ticket sales is when you start promoting. Marketing efforts for any event need to start well in advance to be able to increase awareness and create buzz. Many event planners observe higher ticket sales during the first few days of opening the sales.
Another spike is observed towards the end of ticket sales. The peak in final weeks of ticket sales is generally because people are uncertain about the event and push the decision-making until the very last moment, which creates a rush in the final week before the event.
Such behavior makes it hard to draw any conclusions about the expected number of attendees until the very end of ticket sales. For this reason, it is recommended to start marketing efforts during the first peak of your sales and announce upcoming promotional programs to ensure consistent ticket sales even before you hit the final weeks.
If you’ve hosted a similar event before, it’s time to evaluate and narrow down the marketing efforts that worked the best for you. For some events, social media posts and ads are all the efforts they need. But for others, partnerships turn out to be a more effective way to promote. Once you’ve identified the platform, the next focus should be to improve the quality of content and use the platform efficiently.
Ways to promote ticket sales
Now that you’re set with the basics, let’s see how we can promote the event and nudge the visitors to click the “Buy Now’ button.
Inducing a sense of urgency
When people land on your registration page, the challenge you face is to avoid the “maybe later” mindset. One of the best ways to deal with this hesitation is to create a sense of urgency while avoiding being pushy. A display with real-time sales data, a countdown timer, or even a pop-up with a sale end date can work as a nudge your visitors need.
Tickets to the rescue
Playing around with your tickets to boost sales is the quickest and easiest way to promote your event. We’ve already discussed how early bird discounts are a great way to encourage purchases, but if you don’t want to run discounts, premium tickets with exclusive benefits (free drinks?) can work like a charm. You’ll be surprised to see how well this nudge works to sell premium tickets.
To keep the excitement alive, you can also try complimentary tickets as special giveaways throughout the sales period.
Use communities and established forums
Apart from resharing attendees’ content on social media channels, another way to boost registrations is to take part in discussions in relevant communities that are dedicated to your target audiences. Just be sure to pitch your event to a community where it makes sense.
Let’s reflect on how referrals have the power to reach out to people who are more likely to buy tickets. The trust that comes with these referrals makes it easier for other potential attendees to decide if they want to participate. You can create an affiliate program with a personalized link that your partners can use to share and get the registrations. With the correct event ticketing platform, you also get the freedom to track sales made by each of these partners so you can incentivize them appropriately.
But what if your visitor leaves the site without purchasing a ticket even after the nudge? No, it’s not a lost lead yet—there could be numerous reasons they didn’t act. That’s when you need to employ retargeting. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a pop-up when they exit that asks them the reason they didn’t buy a ticket.
Group discounts and promo codes
Discounts are always the most reliable and enticing way to encourage attendees. There are many ways to offer these. Some of the tried and tested methods are to provide group or corporate discounts. For example, a purchase of more than four tickets or in bulk can get a cumulative cut of 20 percent on the total price. Appealing, isn’t it?
How various roles can help you
Sponsors and speakers for promoting ticket sales
Apart from using a speaker’s or sponsor’s loyal following to boost your sales, it’s essential to make it effortless for them to share and talk about your event. For this, consider embedding a ticket widget on their site or forums and promoting the partnership on your social media. Setting aside a certain number of tickets exclusively for your speakers is another great way to provide a sense of exclusivity.
Ticketing partner for promoting ticket sales
Find a technology partner willing to promote your event with you. In most cases, you’ll be partnering with a ticketing software vendor to configure your tickets online and start selling. Some of these vendors take this a step further and create an event listing page that helps people discover new events. This is a great place to promote yours.
Finally, don’t forget to leverage attendees who just got through having a great experience at your event. Secure ticket sales for the next event right after the end of your current one by offering them a special price.
We hope these tips and tricks will help you find the best fit for promoting your event. We know you love to experiment, so let us know in the comments what worked best for you.
If, like us, you're more of a social person, let's connect on Twitter (@ZohoBackstage) and we'll keep you up-to-date with all the latest event news.