How to make the most out of your pre-event ticket sales
Typical event ticket sales pattern
For a typical event, most ticket sales will take place at two points pre-event – when tickets go on sale and “last minute”, during the two weeks leading up to the event.
There’s nothing worse than the uneasiness of waiting for that last minute ticket rush which will put your event “in the black”, or, worse yet, banking on walk ups on the night to make your event a success.
Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can encourage a steady flow of sales from the point you hit publish to the night of your event.
Keep the peak
Kicking things off with a discounted early bird ticket type is a great way to start. Early birds reward your fast-acting fans and establish initial sales traction.
Depending on how much lead time you have until your event, using tiered tickets can give you added boosts along the way. Increasing the price incrementally will lead to multiple “last chance” messaging opportunities, while once again rewarding customers who book well ahead of time.
People like to share their live experiences, so why not try selling a group ticket option that discounts for tickets bought in groups. Not only does the discount nudge customers to buy, but it also encourages them to invite friends and organically spread the word about your event.
Ticket & token bundle
Be creative about your offerings pre-event; with the ability to add custom ticket types, access codes and more, the world is your oyster. Use bundle packages, drink vouchers and merchandise ticket types to encourage upsells and help fans plan ahead. Selling merchandise ahead of your event can also help you determine stocks needed on the day.
Pretty quickly you'll end up with a sales flow showing regular peaks, and a faster accumulation of ticket sales ahead of your event.
These are just a few ideas – the best fit depends on a lot of factors, like the size of your event, how far ahead of time you set up your event page and ticket price. For example, it may not make sense to set up tiered pricing schemes for a weekly £5 indie show, but for an annual 10,000 capacity festival coming in at £100+ per ticket it’s a great solution.
If a tree falls in the woods...
Every new on-sale or creative offer launched is an opportunity to engage fans, reach new audiences and (most importantly) sell tickets ahead of your event. Whether it’s on social media, via your newsletters or some other channel, make sure you make some noise about your event news!
The Price is Right
Determining the price of your tickets should take some careful consideration. The perfect price should not scare off potential ticket buyers, but at the same time shed light on what they can expect of the event.
Firstly, it’s important to consider your position and following in the world of events. As a newcomer you may not have the pull of established brands, and customers are unlikely to know what to expect on the day. Aim for a low-to-average ticket price to have a wider appeal.
For first time promoters and branded events, it’s tempting to make tickets free – because who doesn’t like a free event? However, research has shown that charging at least £5 per ticket dramatically boosts the likelihood of attendees following through with their RSVP. Consider the aim of your event – and your target audience – before going the free route. Industry meet-ups, for example, should generally be free.
Landing on the perfect price for your tickets can be tricky, of course. Be aware of competition and market averages before you settle on a standard price. Are you hiring a venue? Serving drinks? Providing complimentary snacks? Have a high profile speaker or artist on the bill? Make sure you account for these factors in your price and shape a realistic expectation for customers parting with their hard-earned cash.
What factors helped you find your perfect price? Are there any tips we missed out that you've found boosted your event's pre-sales? Drop us a line on Twitter and let us know!