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Event marketing | 23 October 2018

10 Event Ticket Types to Sell Out Your Next Conference

Maria Waida


Learn how to drive registrations and attract the right kind of people to your conference with this guide to event ticket types.

Every conference organizer strives to achieve sold-out status on their event. By strategically setting up different ticket types for their events, event marketers can exert more control over when and how many people register.

One of the most important psychological principles behind ticket sales is choice. Giving your prospects a variety of choices and price points maximizes the potential for any conference to fully book.

By combining a choice-driven ticket strategy with powerful event registration tools you are able to offer, manage, and track multiple ticketing options.

Learn how you can increase event ticket sales and registrations with these ten great options for ticket types.

1. General Admission

What are general admission tickets?

General, or basic, admission is a type of ticket that guarantees entry without any other bells and whistles. Attendees will not receive reserved seating, backstage passes, or any VIP extras.

When would general admission be useful?

This is a useful option for conferences and most events. Make sure to juxtapose this ticket type with other offers (like an All-Access Pass that highlights what they’re missing out on) to make one or another seem more appealing.

General admission tickets don’t have to be cheap. VRX lays out all the impressive extras included in the basic pass next to the business option (which is a much longer list) for only a little more. If you do choose a higher general admission price, be sure to support it with frequent discounts and promo offers.

Event Ticket Types for VRX

Source: VRX Conference & Expo

2. Group Package Tickets

What are group package tickets?

Group package tickets offer a discount on admission for larger groups. For example, you could offer them to groups of five or more attendees.

When would group package tickets be useful?

These are useful for conferences or other larger expensive events, where the cost of admission is high (and needs to be). Incentivize higher attendance with group sales. B2B conferences especially benefit from marketing to whole teams rather than individuals within an organization.

For their upcoming conference, Business Insider offered two different group package ticketing options, giving the second one an even higher discount.

Event Ticket Types for Ignition

Source: Ignition

3. Table and Seat Tickets

What are table and seat tickets?

Table and seat tickets give attendees the opportunity to choose where they’ll physically be spending most of the evening. They might choose to spend the event with people from their company or mix things up to increase the opportunity for quality networking.

When would table and seat tickets be useful?

Galas, award shows, and fundraisers usually offer this type of ticket. Basically any event where sitting takes up the majority of the evening would benefit from a table and seat ticketing option. The LA Phil gala offers tiered ticketing with bonuses like a formal dinner as well as exclusive pre- and post-concert entertainment.

Event Ticket Types for LA Philharmonic

Source: LA Philharmonic

4. Themed Promo Code / Special Offer

What are themed promo code and special offer tickets?

Whether it’s Halloween, Christmas, two weeks before the event or just a Friday—themed events provide an additional incentive for potential attendees to register.

When would themed promo code and special offer be useful?

These are most beneficial for smaller events that you want to pack out and larger events like conferences that want to offset a high base admission price. They can also be used to track the performance of individual teams, contributors or marketing partners.

Check out how Brightcove uses promo codes to limit early bird access to previous attendees.

Event Ticket Types for Brightcove

Source: Brightcove

5. Early Bird Ticket

What are early bird and ultra-early bird tickets?

Early Bird (or even Ultra-Early Bird) tickets give attendees a price incentive to sign up sooner than later.

When would early bird and ultra-early bird tickets be useful?

Your ticket sale dates might last weeks, months, or even a full year. That’s a lot of time to have to wait for people to make up their minds. Get attendees in the door faster with this ticketing option.

Early bird pushes people to sign up early. They’re especially helpful with events that are further in the distance and expensive to put on.

On the other hand, you can offer early bird tickets for a future conference while the current conference is still happening. Ultra-early bird offers like this are a great way to leverage the excitement of being at the event to drive future ticket sales.

Check out how INBOUND shows potential attendees the early bird price in comparison to the full price. Can you feel the pressure?

Event Ticket Types for INBOUND


6. Virtual Pass

What are virtual pass tickets?

Virtual pass tickets give attendees access via live-streaming or recorded sessions from an event.

When would virtual pass tickets be useful?

This option is great for conferences and budget-strapped attendees. You can also continue to increase revenue once the event is over by promoting the content online. The Growth Marketing Conference highlights the immense savings available through their virtual ticketing option. They also create a sense of urgency by limiting the number of passes available and indicating the total remaining.

Event Ticket Types for Growth Marketing Conference

Source: Growth Marketing Conference

7. Giveaways

What are giveaway tickets?

These are tickets you offer as prizes for contest participation. You can award them yourself through your own game or by partnering up with another company who can host and run it.

When would giveaway tickets be useful?

Free stuff is always a great way to promote an event. It may also be helpful in winning the favor of VIP attendees. In this example, Bizible (not affiliated with Bizzabo) offered a ticket giveaway as part of a sweepstakes. What’s more this exclusive sales acceleration event piggybacked off of another conference.

Event Ticket Types for Bizible

Source: Bizible

8. All-Access Pass

What are all-access tickets?

They include general admission privileges as well as everything else your event has to offer. That can include things like special sessions, workshops, parties or networking event opportunities.

When would all-access tickets be useful?

All-access pass tickets showcase just how much value attendees can receive from attending your event. Even if they don’t purchase this ticket type, general admission buyers can appreciate the event’s true worth.

In the below example, GreenBook provides a standard all-access pass and another all-access pass that donates to a good cause.

Event Ticket Types for GreenBook

Source: GreenBook

9. Workshop Ticket or Workshop Package

What is a workshop ticket and how does it compare to a workshop package?

Workshop tickets provide access to individual programs at the event. A workshop package is used to include multi-session or even multiple days worth of seminars at a slightly discounted rate.

When would a workshop ticket be useful? When would a workshop package be useful?

Workshop tickets and workshop packages can give attendees the opportunity to focus their time or their limited budget on the activities with the highest ROI available at your event. Packages created under an educational theme or divided up per day encourage a greater amount of event participation than general admission tickets do.

In this example, Digital Summit Dallas used workshop ticketing as a creative way to upsell general admissions.

Event Ticket Types for Digital Summit Dallas

Source: Digital Summit Dallas

10. Invisible Ticket

What are invisible tickets?

Invisible tickets are tethered to a promo code and can only be seen by the people that you share the code with.

When would be an invisible ticket be useful?

These are good for assigning speakers, sponsors or other VIPs a special ticket that standard attendees can’t see or directly access. OEB offers the option to either use a promo code or check the box verifying your status as an event Speaker (a seamless option for esteemed guests).

Event Ticket Types for OEB Global

Source: OEB Global

Wrapping Up: Your Event Ticket Types Game Plan

Selling tickets doesn’t have to be challenging but it will require some forethought and strategy. Providing incentives like discounts and variety packages makes it worthwhile for guests to buy tickets. No matter what ticket types you choose for your upcoming conference, be sure to keep these ideas in mind:

  • Perception is everything. Help your attendees see the value in what you’re offering by providing ticket comparisons and cool extras they actually care about.
  • Take advantage of digital options. Attendees don’t have to be physically present to participate. Use tools like live-streaming to get even more people involved.  
  • Offer creative discounts. Everyone likes to get a deal. Whether you use seasonal promo codes or group table packages, attendees always appreciate a little something extra. Get additional inspiration from this event registration guide.

Sell out your conference with the help of a strong ticket type strategy. If you want to learn more about how to get the most registrations possible for your next big shindig, be sure to check out these creative marketing tips.