Whether you’re hosting a concert in the park, an intro yoga class, or a small business expo, hosting a free event doesn’t mean you have to pay for everything out of pocket. Whether your goal is to create awareness or simply gather your community together, there are a few strategies you can implement to plan your event more efficiently and reach your goals. Here are five ways to get more value from your free event:

1. Offer VIP Options

Including a VIP ticket option creates a sense of exclusivity that will increase attendee engagement. If you’re hosting a concert, this special perk could be a back-stage pass. For a business event, consider offering access to a special roundtable discussion with the speakers after the main event.

2. Track Merchandise Sales at the Event

If you use Eventbrite’s At The Door sales app, you can easily see what attendees are buying at your event. Whether you’re selling merchandise like t-shirts or just burgers at a barbeque, this is a great way to gain insight into how much you should buy for next year. Enabling credit card sales with At the Door can also reduce the complications of cash-only transactions.

3. Offer Discounts in Advance

People love a good deal. So if you’re selling anything at your event—from food and beverage to a band poster or album—consider offering discounts if they buy in advance. This creates a commitment on behalf of the attendee to show up, which lets you plan your attendance more accurately.

4. Reduce No-Shows

Consider charging a small amount for your event. Low prices won’t reduce registrations, but they will generate registrants who are more committed to attend. Knowing your headcount will help you plan ahead for how much food to stock or how large of a space to rent.

5. Promote Your Brand

Consider holding a raffle at your event. A free event is the perfect place to promote your brand to a large audience, and a raffle is a great way to garner excitement and engagement. You could even sell raffle tickets in advance online to raise more money to get an awesome prize.

You know your audience better than anyone, which means you understand which combination of paid and free events will resonate best with your guests and help you reach your goals. If you want to learn more about putting these tips into action by offering paid tickets or using Eventbrite to sell merchandise, visit our paid events information page. As you plan your next event, we hope these quick tips help you boost attendance, create excitement among your guests, and promote your cause or brand.