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How to Get People to Buy Tickets to Your Event

Read more information on how to get people to buy tickets to your event

You never know… Even if you’re 100% certain that your tickets are the best of the best type of best! Because you worked really hard, passed through all the organisational phases for your event with tickets, tested it out a billion times, sang all the possible mantras and so on. You still can never know. Life is uncompromising and it follows it’s own rules.


Any event planner’s wildest dream is to achieve sold out tickets. Sometimes it happens; other times, the numbers fall short of expectations. While turnout isn’t always predictable, you can turn the odds in your favor by employing a few tried and true marketing tips for peddling more tickets.

How to create tickets for the event

Actually, that’s not as easy as it looks, but you’ll never know what you can do until you try.  Therefore, it`s time to focus and make event tickets` things right. As usual, there are some iterations to do. So, here’s a list.

How to make tickets for an event:

  1. Analyze your competitors` tickets
  2. Create your own sketch/wireframe/prototype
  3. Create a few different designs
  4. Test it on real people
  5. Print, check and use your tickets

If you’re interested in finding out more about making your own tickets for events – check out this article.

Now, let’s talk about how to sell tickets for an event. That`s a new battle, a new challenge, and a new opportunity. Don`t be afraid, accept it, get this chance and summit the peak.

How to Increase Event Ticket Sales:

1. Rely on Previous Event Attendees

Anyone in business management has heard the saying, “80% of business comes from 20% of the clients.” This 80/20 rule is a good one to follow. Sure, you need to focus on recruiting new attendees, but more resources should be directed at current customers. Since they’re already familiar with your brand, there’s less lead nurturing required on your end.

So how do you convince previous attendees to return for follow-up events? One of the keys is to reward them and offer incentives exclusive to them alone. The simplest way to do this is through a discount on tickets and giving them a chance to reserve their ticket early so that they’re practically guaranteed a spot.

It’s important that you give returning customers first dibs and a discount even more generous than any other offer you may provide, such as early bird sales. This gives returning guests the sense that their loyalty is acknowledged and appreciated.

2. Ask Your Sponsors and Speakers for Help

It’s understandable if you’re hesitant about approaching your sponsors for help. They are, after all, the ones funding your event so it may not appear to be a good first impression from your side. Remember, however, that sponsors benefit just as much from a successful event as you do, since you’re cross promoting their brand.

Keep in mind that your sponsors are more established than you are, hence why you’re turning to them for funding and not the other way around. As such, they likely have a bigger following than you do. That’s a whole field of untapped consumers.

Get your sponsors involved and help them help you by extending any offers and deals to your sponsors’ followers that you offer to your own customers. If your sponsors are active in any online groups on social media or discussion forums, have them introduce you as a new member so you can promote your event.

Also, you can ask your speakers for help. That`s the same story. You’re in the same boat. The more people involved in promotion – the higher the likelihood of getting sold out tickets. Nobody is interested in freeriding.

3. Ask Your Customers for Help

Just as you should ask sponsors and speakers for help, you also shouldn’t be shy about asking your own customer base to lend you a hand. Businesses actually do this all the time. The way to get people involved is by incentivizing them for their efforts, which is normally done through some sort of tiered referral program. Here is what a referral system may look like:

  • 3 referrals – free ticket
  • 5 referrals – two free tickets
  • 10 referrals – free six-month company membership, or upgrade to platinum membership if they’re already a member
  • 20 referrals – free ticket for all events for the next five years

By having a tiered system with rewards proportional to the number of referrals, customers have a goal to shoot for.

4. Have Multiple Ticket Options

When people turn down your event, it’s usually due to time constraints and not because they’re not interested. Customers may also feel disinclined to buy a ticket at full price when they just want to attend for a single presentation or workshop. To make it worthwhile for these people, offer ticket options that make attending possible.

If the event is happening over the weekend, consider creating a cheaper ticket that’s only good for one day, or a ticket that’s good for a single lecture or workshop. That`s incredibly useful for large conferences.

Offer a premium ticket option, an early-bird option, and discounts. It’s also a great tip to offer discounted tickets to groups. People like to pay less!

Here’s another idea: create online access for those who can’t attend in person. For a small payment, allow people to access the main presentation or conference via live stream.

5. Create Social Media Contests

You are completely underutilizing social media if all you’re doing is sending out a few posts. Get creative and host some form of social network contest with prizes (such as a free ticket or two) as giveaways. The whole contest itself serves as an interactive form of promotion that gets word-of-mouth spreading much faster than a tweet or Facebook post.

You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to social media contests. One great and a fairly simple idea is a selfie photoshop contest. Have participants take a selfie (or use an existing one) and edit the image someway by adding your company and event logo in the pic. Reward points for creativity, which may include the use of speech bubbles, captions, annotations, etc. Be sure to provide some sort of consolation prize to participants, such as a discount or promotional t-shirt.

By the way, don’t forget to create a hashtag! They’re becoming more popular than ever now. People use it across all social media. Make it simple and memorable. Ask participants of a contest to use the hashtag and subscribe to your Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Don’t forget other social media networks. Keep them updated and communicate with the audience using social media. Don’t bother them too often, but don’t make them forget about you as well. Find your golden middle 🙂

6. Create Anticipation Through a “Pre-Event, Event”

What is a pre-event event? It’s simply a smaller event held days before the main event. This can be a get-together to get people excited about the event that’s just days away. This could just be the deciding factor for those who are still on the fence about attending.

So what do you provide at a pre-event event? For the most part, it could consist of what the main event will include, just at a much smaller scale. Guests can be served light refreshments and have the opportunity to hear from a speaker who will be at the event. Essentially, this miniature event, for the lack of a better term, provides a snippet of what’s to come, and people will have to attend the big event if they want to reap the whole benefit.

Ideally, the pre-event event should be scheduled a week or two before the big one. If you don’t anticipate a big turnout or if it’s just not feasible, then you may elect to have the small event online through a live stream. In this case, it will just be a speaker or two providing a sneak peek.

7. Use the Scarcity Tactic

The scarcity trick is a great way to sell last minute tickets. About a week or two before the event, evoke a sense of urgency that NOW is the time to lock in your ticket if you haven’t already. Only a few left remain!

You can even install a widget on the event’s main home page with a ticker that displays the remaining number of tickets left. Naturally, The number drops whenever a ticket is sold. A widget displaying a timer can also be added when providing a limited-time special offer.

The ticker will show the time remaining before the offer ends and the tickets return to normal price. What this does, is that it creates a sense of urgency, thus propelling customers to act now before they miss their chance.

Where to buy tickets

There are two ways to buy tickets to events. Online and offline.

Online. The new era`s option of choice.

The vast majority of people prefer to buy event tickets online. It’s a small wonder 🙂 Everyone is eager to manage their time effectively. We always feel as annoyed like a wet cat standing in lines or getting stuck in heavy traffic. The same with driving those extra miles. Why should I spend my precious time for the things that I can do in a couple of clicks and a few minutes? The question is rhetorical.

Thus, it`s time to sell event tickets online.

Protip: Use event ticket websites to sell tickets on your website and deliver them to your buyers digitally. Seriously, online event ticketing has never been easier.

Offline. The old school one? You mean the dead one, yes?

It depends. The combination of offline and online channels is an event ticket`s selling royal flush. It’s always necessary to provide multiple options for attendees to purchase tickets. You can do it from a local grocery store, your office, some kid’s lemonade stand, or other online promotional outlets.

Conclusion: Think About it, but Don’t Over Think

Yes, selling tickets require a wicked smart approach, but the implementation is really quite simple. There’s no need to think too deeply. Just put the ideas into practice and let the results take care of themselves.

Hopefully, this blog post helped you figure out either, how to make tickets for an event or how to sell tickets online.

Good luck with online ticket sales! Do you have something to add to this? Share your thoughts!

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