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Event marketing | 29 September 2015

Event Ticketing 101: 5 Tips For Event Organizers To Sell More Tickets

Dan McCarthy

Achieving a sold-out event is the goal of any event planner. Ticket sales is a main revenue stream for many professional event organizers.

Here are 5 event ticketing best practices to help you sell out your next event, or conference.

1. Create Multiple Ticket Options

Give your consumers different types of tickets to consider at varying price ranges.

Offering multiple ticket types is an effective way to increase ticket sales as it appeals to a wider audience of potential attendees at various price points.

When choosing an event ticketing platform, be sure to choose one that will allow you to offer multiple ticket types.

Some common ticket types to consider include:

Early Bird

Early bird tickets should become available as soon as possible and should be sold at a discount to create urgency. Those early buyers are strategic to the success of your event as the average consumer is highly motivated from FOMO – the fear of missing out. Your early bird ticket buyers are also your first event ambassadors.

Partial Day

If your event is held over multiple days, then create ticket options for those unable to attend the event in its entirety. This will certainly drive sales because there are those who may like to attend but are unable to make time in their schedule for an event spanning the course of two or three days. Create a ticket that’s just good for one day and price it at a discount to accommodate those unable to be present for the whole event.

Returning Attendees

Your company records should contain a database of everyone who attended a prior event. Reach out to these individuals stored in your CRM platform and offer them a discount for the upcoming conference as a thank you for attending previous events.

Virtual Event Ticket

For some prospective attendees, traveling to your event will be a prohibitive cost. To capture these otherwise lost attendees, consider offering a virtual event ticket or pass so that they can have access to the events videos of sessions or at the very least event presentations.

Since these attendees won’t actually be at the event, the ticket should be considerably discounted. Additionally, most events that offer virtual tickets tend to only promote this kind of ticket type when event day is near. That way, less expensive virtual tickets won’t cannibalize sales of more expensive ticket types.

2. Embrace Social Media

You’re probably thinking “well, duh.” Only someone living under a rock at this point wouldn’t consider using social media as a way increase event ticket sales. The reason this point is listed, though, is because not enough people know how to leverage social media the right way. While Facebook is fine and dandy, make LinkedIn a point of focus if you’re organizing a professional event.

Promoting an event on LinkedIn means that you’ll be able to instantly access an audience interested in making industry connections and learning business best practices. Afterall, if people are using LinkedIn in the first place, that’s probably what they’re trying to do.

Consider creating an event specific LinkedIn group and make it open to the public. That way, you’ll be able to reach new potential event attendees, while engaging existing ones. The discussion that happen within the group will help current attendees while also potentially enticing non-attendees to actually buy an event ticket.

3. Get Help From Your Sponsors

You may feel that ticket selling is your duty and not something you want to bother your event sponsors with. It goes without saying, however, that your sponsors are probably a much more established company compared to yours; otherwise, you wouldn’t be relying on them for funds.

Your sponsors aren’t funding your event out of the goodness of their heart. They’re getting exposure in return, so a high turnout will benefit them just as much as it will benefit your own company.

Since it’s likely that your sponsors will have a wide range of contacts, don’t hesitate to reach out to sponsors and ask them to promote to qualified contacts.

This could be a simple request asking them to link to your event website in their next blog post, email newsletter, or social media posting.

4. Design A Referral Program

Some of the fastest growing companies of all time become so successful because of effective double-sided referral programs. Examples of this include the discount that Uber users can offer to non-Uber users. Both the current users and the new user get a $30 discount when the new user signs up for and actually uses Uber.

Event planners can create a similar referral program for attendees. If at the end of the event registration process attendees are asked if they want to share the event with friends for a chance to get a discount, most will share your event. By doing so, your attendees will help to generate increased revenue. For more information on how this can be done, check out this article in Social Media Examiner.

5. Nurture Your Leads

Using a marketing automation platform, event planners can nurture leads so that more potential attendees become actual ticket purchasing attendees.

Event planners could for example, send out the initial event invitation through an email newsletters. An analytics tool can determine the prospects that actually opened the email. It may be able to narrow it down even further and determine who not only opened the email but also clicked on the link to the events page.

These people are your prospects that you should reach out to with a follow-up email, reminding them to register for your event. If you’re organizing a smaller event, then consider personally reaching out to each attendee with a customized email.

Alternatively, organizers can try calling attendees who interacted with an email. While cold calls typically have a negative reputation, studies actually show they are much more useful when reaching out to a potential lead than making a completely cold phone call to someone who’s never heard of your event.

Selling Tickets Is all About Strategy

Your event doesn’t have to be super lavish or feature a celebrity speaker to do well. People will buy tickets if you can make it worthwhile for them by providing discounts, and different purchasing options. Organizers can further improve event ticket sales by promoting the event or conference on social media, and by nurturing potential leads through a series of emails or phone calls. It also helps to understand online payments.

For additional information on how event planners can better market their event, grab a free ebook on 100 awesome event planning tools. Click the button below to grab a copy.

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