It’s the biggest event night of the year. People come out in droves looking for an iconic time, and there’s no shortage of options for them to choose from. With a New Year’s Eve party on every corner, how do you make yours stand out and become a sold-out smash?

Now’s the time to start thinking ahead to successful New Year’s revelry. Here’s how to start your countdown to attract enthusiastic partygoers from the get-go.

10. Plan now, launch early

The most successful New Year’s parties start promoting months in advance with a website, social media presence, and online ticketing options. Planning ahead allows time for organic buzz to spread and gives you ample time to track your data on ticket sales.

In a 2016 Eventbrite poll, 20% of event-goers said they start planning their New Year’s Eve two to six months ahead of time. To best capture that first spike….

9. Motivate the early birds

You can set up multiple ticket types within your ticketing platform to help you roll out a sound pricing strategy. Then, you can sell early bird tickets, as well as tickets with VIP perks like free drink tickets or exclusive, limited-run swag.

Get your initial buyers excited, and they’re more likely to spread the word to their friends and family. It’s all about the FOMO (fear of missing out) — never more true than with New Years.

8. Plan a party worth splurging on

New Year’s only happens once a year, and people love to splurge. Last year, our polls revealed that a third of voters are willing to pay $51 to $100 for entry to a prime New Year’s party. And 11% are happy to pay over $200 for the ticket alone!

The splurging doesn’t stop with tickets, though. Revelers are happy to pay more for things like:

  • VIP access
  • Open bars
  • Free champagne
  • Artist lounge access
  • Premium restrooms
  • Fast, private entry (a killer perk in chilly December)
  • The option to reserve front-row seats

New Year’s is a VIP kind of night, so offer a range of VIP options. With an online ticketing platform, you can easily set up tiered VIP tickets for various amenities (and track which ones perform best).

7. Reward your promoters

For your party to attract the biggest influencers in town, you should enlist a network of promoters. Fans, performers, sponsors, vendors, social media celebrities — all contribute to spreading the word.

Show your gratitude and inspire their enthusiasm by giving them custom discount codes they can distribute. This lets you track which promoters drive the most ticket sales, and reward them in kind.

6. Make purchases as easy as possible

Make it easy for people to buy tickets right where they find out about your New Year’s Eve party. If you use Eventbrite, you can place “buy now” buttons directly on apps and sites where potential attendees hang out: Google, Spotify, Bandinstown, Songkick, and SeatGeek.

And don’t forget about Facebook. A whopping 500 million people check out Facebook Events each month. Make it easy for them to buy a ticket without redirects so you don’t risk losing their attention. In fact, events that sell tickets directly on Facebook drive 2X more sales and free registrations on average than events that redirect to a ticketing page.

5. Drive organic online search

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how you get your event to rank higher on a search results page like Google. If someone Googles “New Year’s Eve party in Chicago,” your nearby event should pop right up.

The first step is to invest in the writing of your online event descriptions. Use keywords you suspect people will search, and use a ticketing platform that Google trusts to help your chances. Use this SEO cheat sheet to get your best shot at ranking.

4. Curate your theme

You might have an idea of a theme for your New Year’s party, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. Start brainstorming now to create a purposeful experience for your attendees, all the way down to the signature cocktails, lobby music, and décor.

Whether you come up with a handwritten list or an entire Pinterest board, share it with your collaborators and encourage them to pitch in with creative ideas.

3. Wait for that sweet spot

Yes, it’s important to promote your event early to get it on the radar of search engines and real people. But you also have to be realistic about the last-minute buyers. Even more common than Christmas Eve shoppers, 46% of people say they decide which New Year’s party to attend last minute.

Double down on your advertising in the time between Christmas and New Year’s so you’re on their radar when they start coordinating plans with friends. Expecting event-goers to buy tickets at the door? Using a box office app like Eventbrite Organizer to ring up last-minute tickets.

2. Avoid hectic last-minute cancellations

Avoid last-minute cancellations with a firm return policy that’s clear up front. Your policy should be easy to find on your website, event listings, and email marketing.

Before sales launch, choose whether or not your ticket buyers can transfer their purchase to someone else. You can also define which tickets are transferable — for instance, making VIP tickets transferable might give people less hesitation to buy them in the first place.

1. Make entry easy

Your marketing efforts have all paid off. Now it’s time to prove that your New Year’s party was the right choice.

Use a mobile app like Eventbrite Organizer to help your staff check in party-goers quickly at multiple entrances. Avoid annoying lines and entry turmoil with a smooth, efficient entry operation that can quickly verify identity — that way, attendees can spend more time reveling at the bar.

For more strategies to throw a New Year’s Eve party that stands out from the crowd, read How to Host an Unforgettable New Year’s Eve Party.

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