Online publications and live events might seem like strange bedfellows. But they’re actually a uniquely suited match.
Adding a live component to an online publication is a great way to engage your current readership. It’s also a smart tactic for widening your audience. Events can help get the word out and attract readers who may not stumble upon your brand in the usual ways. But organizing an event requires a different approach than publishing content. And it all starts with your ticketing platform.
Here’s how to get the most out of your chosen platform so that you can create in-person attendees from your online fanbase.
Choose a ticketing platform that can wear multiple hats
As you plan your event, you’ll need to set up a way for people to buy tickets. Yes, you could simply rely on the ecommerce checkout process you already have in place. But there are benefits to using a ticketing platform specifically designed for events.
Event ticketing platforms enable you to set up online purchases, support multiple ticketing types, and track your sales. They can also help you support and orchestrate events. For instance, they might integrate with social media sites so you can publish your event directly to other platforms. Such discovery sites will drive how you attract new audiences.
You might not know exactly what your needs will be in the future, so choose a ticketing platform that can scale with you.
Pro tip: Choose a platform that integrates with social media
With an event ticketing platform that supports Facebook integration, you can use Facebook ads to attract interested people, then convert them to ticket-holders right on the spot. Eventbrite offers native checkout on Facebook — a free integration that allows events to sell tickets right within the Facebook app.
Set up ticket tiers to boost sales
It’s the rare event that only has one ticket price. Even if your event is a small one, you may advertise a promo code to kickstart initial sales. Or you might offer a VIP option.
In the beginning, brainstorm a ticketing strategy that will give you flexibility, help you spread the word, and facilitate the best experience for all kinds of participants.
Even if you decide to only offer one level of general admission ticket to your first event, make sure you have the flexibility to offer multiple types later on. You may end up eventually scaling up to a bigger venue that necessitates tiered ticketing, or you may decide to throw an invite-only event and need to set your events to “private” instead.
Here are some common ticket tiers you should be aware of:
Early bird tickets are often used to give people the largest discount possible on tickets through a predetermined pre-sale period. You get to decide how long the early bird lasts and how much of a discount you want to offer attendees.
VIP packages offer attendees the exact experience they’re looking for, at a price they’re willing to pay. Premium ticket tiers can help you attract new attendees and make more money from your current audience.
Offering discounts allows you to woo back past attendees, offer bulk discounts on ticket purchases from specific groups, and encourage recipients to act by a certain date.
Use data to optimize your ticket-sales strategy
As you learn and grow from your events, data becomes essential to your decision-making. The right analytics can help you identify which aspects of your event strategy are worth investing more time and money into and which are not.
The ability to see patterns and details within ticket sales helps you refine and grow your event over time, and reporting your event ticketing platform and other sources provided will give you insight. You can quickly gauge how many tickets were sold, which channels drove those sales, and whether partners have pulled their promotional weight.
An event entrepreneur in action
The founder of Smart Hustle Magazine, Ramon Ray, created the event Growth Conference to extend the platform of his publication. Having once been a civil servant for the United Nations and a serial entrepreneur (who started four companies), Ray is no stranger to business.
Still, creating an event was new territory, and he knew he would need a ticketing solution that would handle every step of the process. According to Ray, Eventbrite is “drop dead simple.” “From the Facebook integration to multi-user access, there are so many features we rely on.”
To read the story of how Ray followed the steps above to launch Growth Conference on Eventbrite, read the case study How Smart Hustle Magazine Cultivates a Community Through Events.