Okay, so your event is published and ready to go for attendees to purchase tickets. Work smart, be strategic and use these six ticketing strategies below to sell out tickets to your event.
1. Early Bird Sale
Products typically sell better when they’re released to a select few several weeks before the official release to the rest of the public. You can do the same for your event. Surly, you have customers who are members of your loyalty program, or at the very least repeat consumers or service subscribers. Reward these people by giving them the chance to secure their tickets early and at a discount price. Emphasize that this is a thank you gift for their loyalty. Early bird tickets can also be offered to those who attended your previous event.
The offer should be included in an email newsletter sent ONLY to those who you’re extending the offer to. There should be a link where they can RSVP and pay for their discounted ticket.
2. Convey Urgency
The language you use in your event page and ads can influence sales. While you should be careful not to be too promotional, you should make it known that tickets can be sold out at any moment. This is known as the scarcity tactic and is a common strategy in a marketer’s playbook. Basically, your ads and event page should include language like:
- Reserve your ticket before they’re all gone
- Act now before they’re all sold out
- Act now because ticket availability is not guaranteed
- Tickets are selling fast, so don’t procrastinate and secure your spot right now
Your event page can also include a widget with a counter displaying the number of tickets remaining. The number will automatically lower in real time every time a ticket is sold.
3. Sell Tickets at the Door
Provided that tickets haven’t sold out by event day, allow stragglers the opportunity to purchase tickets at the door. The day before the event, announce that X number of tickets remain and will be up for sale at the door. Also make it known that the tickets will be sold at a higher price. The higher fee isn’t to penalize last minute attendees but rather to encourage people to buy their tickets as soon as possible.
By selling remaining tickets at the door and at a higher price, this should help you earn some additional revenue and part with tickets that otherwise would not be used.
4. Include Promotional Offers
Once the regular sales open to the general public, provide some form of limited-time only incentive. Whatever the incentive is, it should not be equal or greater than the discount provided to your early bird customers.
You don’t want your VIP customers feeling like general members are getting the same benefit that was only supposed to be exclusive to them. In other words, if early bird members got a 30% discount, then the promotional offer can be something like 20% off the ticket price for ticket purchases made the first week or two when sales open to the general audience.
You can also include second-chance promotional offers. Perhaps the first promotional offer was good for the first week and offered a 20% discount. The second week of sales can provide a 10% discount. By the third week and beyond, tickets will be the normal price.
5. Provide Discounts for Bulk Ticket Purchases
Hardly anyone attend events by themselves. Events are so much more fun when you bring along a posse of friends and relatives. In fact, you should encourage attendees to do just that by offering incentives for tickets purchased by the quantity. Perhaps attendees can get a discount if they buy at least three tickets and an even bigger savings if they purchase five or more.
Make it known that the event is family-friendly to encourage group attendance. If your event caters to a B2B audience, then encourage attendees to invite fellow staff members. There can even be exclusive offers for companies you have done business with in the past. Send a personal message to the company’s head member with the offer if they attend and bring their faculty members along.
6. Give Tickets Away as Incentives for Other Purchases
Instead of including incentives for buying a ticket, the ticket itself can be the incentive. Perhaps you can give tickets away for customers who make an X amount of purchase of a company product or service. As with promotional and bulk purchase offers, provide different tiers of incentives. Perhaps customers can get a 10% discount for select purchases of $50, and 20% for purchases of $75.
Giving tickets away as an incentive is a good tactic if you are getting closer to the event and you still have more unsold tickets than anticipated. If you can’t sell these last minute tickets, then use them as bonus offerings to fuel other company purchases.
Be Open to New Sales Approaches
Your tickets may not exactly be a hot commodity in the beginning. However, if you employ the right sales technique, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get the sales numbers up. When you give people a reason to buy a ticket, then you’ll acquire a few favorable responses from people here and there.
This is a guest post by Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has five years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.