Every event comes with its own unique set of challenges. But if you depend on ticket sales to make a profit, it doesn’t matter if you organize a nationwide conference or a local wine tasting — you probably struggle to sell as much as possible.
So if you’re looking to increase your ticket sales this year, you came to the right place.
Get geared up for a prosperous 2017 with these six simple tricks for boosting your event ticket sales:
1. Partner up
Look for partners who can help you uniquely position your event — and create a better event experience for your attendees. Is your event off the beaten path? You could partner with local hotels and sell the experience as a “weekend getaway.” Couldn’t secure a liquor license for your upcoming concert? Try partnering with a nearby bar for a pre-show happy hour.
Partners can also help you sell more by expanding your reach, and by giving attendees an extra incentive to buy. The Bayou City Art Festival, for example, tags partners on social media and gives special discounts for tickets purchased through its partners. That strategy helped them more than double their online ticket sales in 2015.
2. Offer discounts
Keep an eye on your sales so you know when you’re falling into a lull, and use discounts to climb back out. Here are some proven strategies:
- Offer discounts for those buying a large group of tickets
- Give personal-referral codes to attendees to encourage them to invite friends via social media
- Give special deals to members of groups related to your event and sweeten the deal with early access to ticket sales and/or early event entry
- Send out a “last call” email with slightly discounted prices right before your event
- Offer time-limited discounts for the times of day when you could use a boost in attendance. For example, you could give 10% off to anyone who arrives before noon
Discounts can give you just the sales boost you need — just make sure to track your aggregate discount “spend” as you go so you don’t eat into your profits.
3. Retarget interested event-goers
Just because someone visited your page and left without buying a ticket doesn’t mean you lost the sale. Your ticketing platform should be able to show you your site visits relative to ticket sales — in other words, your conversion rate. If your conversion rate is low (i.e. your page is getting a ton of views but you’re seeing surprisingly few actual purchases) try retargeting your page visitors.
You can “retarget” these potential buyers by emailing them discount codes during slow sales periods or launching online ads that remind them about your event. These types of ads are most effective when they create a sense of urgency to buy, so retargeting shortly before your event is especially powerful. Just how powerful? We’ve seen an average of six times return on investment on retargeting ads.
4. Use tracking links
Tracking links will tell you which of your marketing channels are generating the highest sales, so you can spend your marketing dollars where they’re most effective. For instance, when Jacob Matthews, director of marketing at Republic Live, realized their banner ads weren’t driving sales, he cut them and reallocated the funds. Tracking links also allowed his team to optimize the location of the “Buy Tickets” button on his website in order to convert more site visitors into ticketed fans.
5. Manufacture scarcity
Scarcity can help you overcome that lull in your sales cycle in a couple of ways. Limited-time discounts can create a sense of urgency and inspire people to purchase tickets right away. Or you can sell tickets in limited-number tiers at increasing prices, keeping your sales strong all the way up to the event. Whenever possible, play up the exclusivity of your event, let buyers know that remaining tickets are limited, and urge them to take action before it’s too late.
6. Sell at the door
It may seem obvious, but with so much attention paid to selling tickets online, it’s easy to forget the potential for on-site sales. Selling at the door can be a great way to get to take your attendance from solid crowd to packed house. And it’s not as old fashioned as it sounds — if your ticketing partner has a mobile box office app, you can sell tickets quickly from any device.
“We used to stop selling tickets onsite because we weren’t sure where attendance was relative to the venue capacity,” say the promoters of Southern Makers, an Alabama festival celebrating local artists. “Now, we can pull up the Eventbrite Organizer app, see how many people we’ve checked in, and keep selling tickets longer.” They started selling at the door in 2015 — the same year they doubled ticket sales.
For more tips on how to sell as many tickets as possible in 2017, check out this guide on How to Make More Money With Your Ticket Pricing Strategy.