If you sell tickets to events, increasing ticket sales is probably front and center on your list of goals for the year to come. But how do you develop a promotion strategy that generates early interest and maintains momentum until the last ticket or registration is sold?
To get serious about making your goal a reality, read on for 10 proven tactics to double your ticket sales next year.
1. Double your target and break it down
To double your revenue, start by setting your overall target in real numbers. Next, you can work back to create a series of smaller, incremental targets.
For example: if your event currently brings in $12K and you’d like to make $24K in 2016, that’s a monthly goal of $2K. And if you host an event every week, you could set a target for $500 per event. This kind of granular roadmap to success has proven effective in focusing your mind.
2. Double down on your most successful channel
Review the numbers and analytics for your last event. Check out your Eventbrite dashboard, and any other tracking software you use. How many tickets have you sold through each of your campaigns? Which marketing efforts have driven the most ticket sales in the past? We’ve found that email, social media, and partnerships tend to be the most effective promotions for event organizers.
Once you’ve identified your top performing promotional channel, it’s time to think creatively. How can you use that channel to its fullest potential? Consider simply using it more often. If email is your most successful ticket driver, and you send out one monthly newsletter, can you increase this to a weekly update?
If increasing frequency isn’t an option (after all, few people want a daily email about your event), how can you improve the quality of your most successful channel? If email is your strongest channel, for instance, A/B test your subject lines and calls-to-action, try different send times, or add images.
3. Increase prices
Nobody loves price increases, but inflation is a fact of life. Most loyal fans will understand and want to support the event.
Don’t rely solely on this method — a 100% price increase is hard to swallow — but a 25% increase might not dampen demand. Spend some of your new revenue on marketing and the event itself, and make it a premium experience worth the extra cost.
4. Add a higher-value ticket tier
If you’re uncomfortable with a general price increase, then why not add an additional ticket option for higher value target customers?
Eventbrite research has shown that events including premium tickets in their pricing strategy often drive higher revenues than those without. Can you offer a VIP experience, early access, or free swag or drinks? You may be surprised by how many buyers opt for the more expensive ticket.
5. Create a lower pricing tier
You can also take the opposite approach: increase ticket sales by adding a lower-tier ticket option.
This could look like a half-day ticket rather than a full day, a digital stream of the event, or restricted access. Your usual attendees and fans may still pay for the full experience, but the cheaper option will attract people who were on the fence.
6. Appeal to a new audience
A classic way to double ticket sales is to find a way of appealing to a new — but related — audience.
It’s easy to do this without alienating your core audience. Many beer festivals, for example, have successfully incorporated bars with cider and wine. If your cooking class typically attracts bachelorette parties, try marketing it as a “date night.” If your conference is typically limited to members of an organization, considering allowing non-members to attend.
7. Add a new marketing channel
Our research shows that the average event uses 3-4 marketing channels for promotion, but that leaves dozens of options untouched. Choose a few new marketing channels and see how they perform. Then, choose the platform with the best ROI and put more money and effort behind it.
8. Try street marketing
It may not be the shiny new technology on the block, but street activations can be a surprisingly effective way to sell tickets. Spend an afternoon posting flyers in local coffee shops or stores near the event. If you’re using Eventbrite, you can see a heat map of the geographic locations of your attendees to find the best spots to target.
9. Involve partners and sponsors
Find partners who are willing to promote your event with you. Whether they’re your sponsors motivated by exposure to your audience, or independent partners who you can offer free tickets, this is a great way to expand your network. Find more ways to engage your events’ sponsors in this free guide.
10. Ask for — and incentivize — referrals
Focus on mobilizing your existing fan base. After all, each attendee’s post about your event drives serious revenue.
For fans who need an extra push to share, you can offer incentives. For example, anyone who refers five friends could receive a free VIP upgrade or drink vouchers.
It may take some work to figure out what reward makes sense for your price point and audience, but the payoff can be immense. This strategy has been Uber’s key to growth: by offering a free ride to anyone who refers a friend, they used the network effect to gain popularity across the country. Think about it: if each attendee brought just one more person to your event, you would very quickly double and even triple your ticket sales.
Start increasing your ticket sales today
Not every tactic is right for every event, and it would be a serious time management feat to try them all at once. But if you try even just a few of these methods for increasing ticket sales, and test what works, you’ll be on track to double your event revenues this year. (See, we told you it was too early to give up on that resolution.)
Ready to start doubling ticket sales? Check out our free guide, The 10 Best Ways to Sell Out Your Event.