There’s nothing more stressful than a last-minute rush to sell out your tickets. Yet for many event creators, that’s the way it usually goes. You start off your early bird strong, watch as momentum dwindles, then see a spike in sales as interest ramps up right before the big day.

So what gives? Well, the answer is simpler than you might think: It’s cultural. Turns out we Americans are a spontaneous lot — according to new research from Eventbrite and OnePoll, the majority of people (56%) make event-related decisions at the last minute.

Here’s why that’s good news for your event, plus three ways you can use it to sell your tickets.

Spontaneous Americans are happier

In a recent study with OnePoll, we asked 2,000 Americans to rate themselves at making decisions and how many impromptu choices get made. About a third of respondents described themselves as spontaneous, with 71% of those describing themselves as “very happy.”

And that spontaneity sees people opening their wallets to make last-minute purchases, with average respondents reporting they spend $144.25 per month (totaling over a typical lifetime an amazing $103,860).

While it’s tempting to throw up your hands and think you’ve got no control over when people buy tickets to your event, don’t. Instead, understand how last-minute buyers think so you can influence them at the right time.

How spontaneous people choose their events

 

Spontaneous Americans may wait until the last minute to make a ticket purchase, but that doesn’t mean their behavior isn’t predictable. There are three things you need to know to understand spontaneous event-goers:

  1. People are driven by a good time or a unique experience: 75% of respondents said they’d attend an event if it seemed interesting or fun.
  2. Cost is the #1 factor affecting a last-minute purchase: 83% of respondents said that cost was their biggest consideration when making a spontaneous spend.
  3. People don’t stall on buying tickets because they’re slackers: 11% of people habitually wait until the last minute to commit, in case something better comes up.

Once you understand their motivation, you can use your marketing to get these commitment-phobes to choose your event once they’re ready to buy.

Win over last-minute ticket buyers

Now that you know what motivates last-minute spenders, you can apply it to your promotion strategy to influence their decision-making. Here are three tactics you can put in action today.

1. Influence earlier ticket sales with an irresistible deal

Cost is the biggest factor affecting last-minute decisions, so offer these price-sensitive people an early bird discount that’s just too good to miss. Once you make this offer — complete with a promo code like “lastchancetosave” — share the offer across your channels with urgent messaging that triggers people’s inherent fear of missing out.

2. Use Facebook Ads to target people whose friends are going to your event

Another top factor in last-minute decisions is whether a friend is going — 56% of respondents said they’d consider going to an event if a friend is going, too. Lean into your Facebook Event ads to target users who have friends going to your event.

Not sure how to do that? Read How to Master Facebook Advertising and Sell More.

3. Make it easy for commitment-phobes to buy tickets on their phones

When event day comes around and the most spontaneous decision makers are checking out your ticketing page to see if you have any tickets left, make it as easy as possible for them to buy on their phone. If you use Eventbrite, you’re covered with a purchase process fully built for phones.

Reduce the stress of last-minute ticket sales

When you know how potential attendees make spontaneous event decisions, you can focus your marketing on hooking people in a last-minute-purchase state of mind. Learn more in our tipsheet, How to Get Last-Minute Buyers to Choose Your Event.

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