We probably don’t need to tell you how important ticket sales strategies are to your event. Creating the perfect event website and marketing plan go a long way toward promoting ticket sales, but they certainly don’t do the work on their own. Superior ticket sales strategies are the heart of your event’s promotional package, and actual ticket sales are the lifeblood. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ways to use current trends in event planning to maximize ticket sales for your event. Read ahead to gain the knowledge you need to blow your ticket sales out of the park!
No matter what you have planned, there are certain elements you absolutely must include in order to provide a crowd-pleasing agenda. In other blog posts, we’ve talked extensively about personalizing your event using tech. The same goes for ticket sales- you’ll want to customize the look and feel of your event. Before you start promoting it, decide on a key message you want to convey. Ask yourself: What do I want to I want to accomplish with my event? Is your main goal about product sales, or are you making a first impression, and therefore want attendees to walk away with a feel for your brand? Are you an influencer, or working with influencers, to convey a message and propel attendees into action toward awareness and a cause? Once you set some key goals for your event, design your promotional agenda in a way that sells these goals to prospective niche audiences. That means you’ll need to consider the diverse demographics of your audience. Factor in the ages, preferences, and shared interests of different audience groups. (As we’ve discussed in other posts, it’s a good idea to set up pre-event surveys and even ask registration-oriented questions that give attendees a degree of control over the agenda).
The graphics and animations that accompany promotional packages, personalized emails, and the registration process should be pleasing to your target audience. It should also be aligned with your event branding and send a positive message about your brand as a whole. Beyond this, you can use filtered URLs to direct attendees to customized agenda pages that close once the event has sold out. In other words, customize your promotional packages and emails with URLs that link to promotional pages for your brand or event. You can also tag sessions, using advanced filtering so that users can search for items that cater to their expressed needs and interests.
Remember, follow-up is ranks just as high as ticket sales on your priority list. Post-event polls, surveys, and session ratings tell you what you need to stick with and improve to increase ticket sales for your next event. Since personalization is trending in event planning (and, of course, ticket sales), you don’t want to limit your post-event interactions to multiple choice questions or numerical ratings. What you want to do want is to start a conversation, so leave room for feedback on the agenda page. Better yet, link your follow-up efforts to a website and/or YouTube link associated with your event. This way, you increase traffic to your page and get people talking about you. Tracking visits to these URLs, viewing stats, and shares on your event platforms gives you a solid idea of where most of your traffic is going. It can’t be emphasized enough how useful this information is to ticket sales. It tells you where to target your promotions by letting you know which demographics are going where in their online travels.
Choosing the Right Software
One surefire way to increase registrations is to choose the right event marketing software. It’s not one size fits all; although all event software should perform certain basic functions to a high ability, some programs will be better suited to your needs than others. How can you ensure that the software of your choice really is right for your event? Start by asking yourself a few pertinent questions: What integrations do I need to maintain and optimize my workflow? It could be that you’re not crazy about the CRM platform you’re currently using, and want it revamped. Maybe you want to replace it altogether- if so, that’s important information to factor into your event marketing software decision. If you already love your CRM platform, maybe you want to update your automated marketing. List what’s most important by priority before you shop for new software.
Once you’ve made a prospective decision, you’ll want to learn more about it before finalizing your choice. It turns out that researching software is a fairly simple process. We suggest interviewing real users about their experience with the software program. Past or current users have real time experience with the platform, and have very little to gain or lose by evaluating it honestly. This provides more valuable insight than any online marketing associated with the program.
Before choosing software, you should have a fully formed plan in terms of how you’ll promote sponsors and exhibitors. Ideally, your software should be able to measure attendee engagement, effectively providing proof of this engagement to potential sponsors. Event apps are very useful as well, and while some software tacks on additional fees for the addition of an app, others include it in their offer.
Last but not least, when it comes to software, you want to make sure yours gives you insight into ticket sales in real time. The primary way that event software does this is to offer event registration statistics in customizable reporting.
Leveraging Partnerships to Maximize Ticket Sales
Once you’ve secured your partners or sponsors, you want to focus on leveraging them to sell tickets fast. (See some of our other detailed posts for strategic advice about choosing the best partners or sponsors for your event). Provided you’ve scored a compatible partnership, partnered events usually guarantee at least double the exposure your event would have garnered on its own. They also have increased shared knowledge on different interactive platforms, which can increase exposure for your event- and your brand- tenfold. If you’re partner has even a moderate following on social media, you’ve just exponentially increased awareness of your brand. It goes without saying that having a partner or sponsor doubles your resources as well. All of these benefits contribute substantially to ticket sales. Just be sure to diligently track your ticket sales, revenue, and real time statistical data. This gives you a clearer picture of which strategies, platforms, and partners are raking in the different demographics within your audience.
Make the Most of Content Marketing and SEO
Content marketing is integral to ticket sales in general, but it’s even more essential to online ticket sales. It also presents a great opportunity to track data related to shared interests. We want to talk about blogging and ticket sales. More and more, people are relying on company blogs to drive registration. This strategy has shown excellent success rates, but it has to be done right. For example, you don’t want to blog about the specifics of your event or encourage questions about practical details regarding location or event navigation. Instead, your blogs should offer sneak peaks and insider news flashes that tantalize your prospective audience, making them want to know more. Using this blogging style also makes viewers feel like insiders, and who doesn’t occasionally love to leak insider info?
If possible, incorporate your partners and/or sponsors into the content. Posts or links to articles written by speakers and sponsors piques audience interest while increasing brand and event exposure. And while articles are great, visuals are even more eye-catching. In this fast-based, consumer-based society, people are constantly moving on autopilot, automatically filtering out information that doesn’t pertain to them. They may be more likely to skip over written words than images or videos that bring your event, brand, or products to life on your company blog. Video interviews are more likely to hold viewers’ attention span than articles. This is not to suggest that you don’t want to include articles- you definitely do! But you can add to the flow and interest of your blog by interspersing it with videos, which aren’t hard to create if you don’t already have some at your disposal. Also, open and punctuate blog posts and articles with images that bring your words to life on screen. The key takeaway point: Don’t skimp on the visuals when it comes to content marketing. And remember- content marketing can also mean that your event pops on future attendees’ radars when your event goes live.
Very early in the promotional stage, you’ll want to head over to Google Ads, and fast. Why Google? It’s simple- almost 100 percent of all digital searches are conducted on Google! A few helpful tips: B2B marketers are advised to begin by selecting two kinds of keywords. The first keywords to look for are the most popular ones, known as fat head keywords. The second type of keyword is more specific, with a lower search volume, and these are important, too. These are often referred to as long tail keywords. Some events go with medium-range keywords, or those that are moderately popular and specific, as a rule of thumb.
Ask yourself how specifically tailored your event and brand really is. If it’s a music festival, for example, you want to go with more fat head keywords than long tail. If, however, the purpose of your event is to introduce a product that performs a relatively rare or very unique service, low tail keywords are your friend. But even in the latter case, you’ll want to include at least some tried and true fat head keywords to drive traffic. After all, your ultimate goal is to increase exposure for said product.
The good thing about Google Ads is that it will help you decide what’s right for your event in terms of SEO and other marketing strategies that maximize ticket sales. Google offers extensive customer search data that fills out marketing personas based on content. They also help you monitor the campaigns you build around keywords and content that is tailored to reach your specific niche audiences. A truly great promotional plan often requires you to track the success of you ads, and modify them based on the information you find. This is personalization in event planning, and it’s what you need to maximize ticket sales.
Now that you’ve used SEO to optimize your ads, let’s talk about your website. It goes without saying that your event website should be SEO-optimized, but we want to provide you with a few fast tracks to doing it right. The first step is to conduct research on your target audience and what keywords mean something to them. Pre-event and post-event surveys, polls, and feedback gives you a good chunk of relevant information; live data collection during your event fills in some of the blanks left by those strategies. By employing both methods, you’ll reach more attendees. Social media promotions and blogging also help you gather information about the shared interests of prospective attendees.
The real key is interaction. Now more than ever, people want to feel as if your event is personalized. As an event planner, you’ll want to give attendees the feeling that you’ve heard their feedback, and custom-tailored your event to a T in regard to their needs. Think about it. Recent advancements in tech mean that people can not only ask voice assistants to guide them through daily life, but have interactive conversations with them. If this is their expectation in daily life, just imagine what people are looking for from an event. That’s why we emphasize the use of content and social media marketing. These strategies give you a chance to interact with your attendees, and customize your events or services based on their shared needs and desires.
When it comes to SEO, it’s a good rule of thumb to distribute keywords naturally and evenly throughout your content. Keywords should be placed in the header, body, and alt-text of your content. When choosing these keywords, ask yourself what questions visitors might have, and pick the keywords and phrases accordingly.
Email Marketing: Sending the Right Message to the Right People
Segmenting your email marketing list helps ensure that you’re sending the right promotions to the right niche audiences. In other words, your promotions should address the varying needs of unique populations in your audience. The content of marketing emails should be targeted specifically toward these differing audiences. This kind of strategic marketing is known to boost ticket sales- and it yields better revenue results.
As with any marketing strategy employed to boost ticket sales, be sure to track your progress, and use this information to more readily optimize future campaigns.
Branding and Recapping
Once your channel is properly branded with logo, color scheme, and/or music, you can recap it all with videos as the countdown to your event progresses. Recap videos have a way of summing up your brand and events, bringing them to life with graphics and animations. As a new event nears, you can create a montage of photography and videography from a similar past event. (If this is an annual event, recap last year’s version with a series of fun photos and video clips). This strategy works whether you’re advertising via email, social media, YouTube, or all three. If you can, try to design your recap videos from the perspective of the attendee. This gives you the benefit of inclusion, making attendees feel as if they are already part of the experience- and giving them a taste of what’s to come if they sign up for your event. Showing teasers of trailers, speeches, or interactive experiences from previous events also works wonders.
Utilize Early Bird Registration
It’s no secret that people attending an event like to feel like VIPs- event when they’re not. Early bird promotions go a long way toward making people feel as if they’re not only privy to perks others don’t have, but also have an exclusive window into your event- that is, if they register early. Providing discounted or special offers to early bird registrars is one of the most effective ways to secure ticket sales. But these promos should incentivize attendees to act now. In other words, they should be structured by limited time constraints. Decide on the window of time that qualifies as “early bird registration” for your event. Then create a countdown that lets people know how long they have to reap the benefits of registering early in the game. This also creates an air of excitement around your event that piques interest- and gets people talking.
Unleashing the Power of the Perfect Press Release
Press releases are an invaluable asset to ticket sales. Craft your best press release by creating an eye-catching, informative summary that avoids droning on. The summary shouldn’t be more than a few lines long, and the essence of the press release should be captured in these first lines.
Your press release should then go on to include your biggest stats and percentages. But be wary of using unnecessarily sophisticated jargon that speaks only to people experienced in your industry. Of course you want to speak to people in your industry; they’re probably your biggest target audience. But people have all different levels of knowledge, and respond to different tones. It’s likely that you’re trying to reach multiple groups within your target audience, so you want your tone and language to speak to everyone.
Friendly Reminder: Don’t forget to include information about where viewers can register for your event! This information should include a link or appear prominently in the press release, catching the eye of your collective audience.
Ideally, an effect press release should precede your event by several months or even a year. But in case you haven’t sent out a press release and you’re in desperate need of last minute ticket sales, it’s never too late. Actually, press releases have proven to be a great last resort, giving ticket sales the boost you need weeks or even days prior to your event.
Utilize Tiered Ticket Pricing Models
When you offer a variety of pricing options, you’re sending a key message: By spending more or registering early at a discount, people get more value from your event. It’s a cliché in event planning and advertising industries, but it’s been around so long because it works.
Setting Up Ticket Sales and Discounts
Tickets have to go on sale at some point, and providing discounts is obviously a great way to boost sales. You can apply a discounted price to subscribers or customers who have an exclusive membership. Use early bird registration to incentivize attendees to sign up for a membership program at a discounted price. Or you can opt out of offering early bird registrars a discounted membership, and instead offer them exclusive perks and values once they join up. Whatever the method behind your ticket sales madness, announce your sales on the web page for your event and the social media sites where it appears. Set it up so that viewers can spontaneously click on a catchy, animated link to purchase their tickets at sale price.
You can also start a contest in which your staff members compete for perks. Bestow a prize upon the members whose referrals lead to the highest amount of ticket sales. If your budget can’t accommodate big time benefits, don’t sweat it. A simple gift card or product discount is often enough to do the trick.
Although the spirit of competition moves some people, it puts others off. That’s why it’s important to assess your staff before deciding on a contest incentive. Less competitive, more group-oriented staffs might enjoy a group sales goal and incentive that everyone can enjoy.
Don’t forget to promote the location of the event. By opting out of this marketing strategy, you’ll miss hundreds of prospective attendees who are already fans of the venue or area. Is your event nearby a popular music venue, or nestled into a quaint, eclectic neighborhood that caters to a millennial crowd? Are you hosting your event smack in the middle of a tourist hotspot (or hidden tourist gem)? We’re sure there’s something marketable about just about any location, so make use of this to enhance ticket sales.
Again, use visuals whenever possible. If your event is happening nearby a popular or particularly coveted bar or restaurant, snap a selfie or two at the place and post it on your social media.
Now that we’ve provided you with some serious ticket sales inspiration, get out there and use it to maximize your promo plan!