Online Event Ticketing: A Complete Guide
No matter how well you’ve planned your online event: booked the top speakers, top performers for entertainment, the best virtual platform, and so on.
But it’s a failure if you fail to send enough tickets.
This is why marketing your event should be a crucial aspect of event planning, and in marketing an event, we have a sub-field we call event ticketing.
Event ticketing refers to the strategies in pricing and marketing your event tickets.
If you’ve purchased an event ticket in the past, you’ve probably heard of the term “early bird.” Early bird is a common strategy of selling event tickets to early buyers at a discounted price, and it is one of the most common types of event ticketing strategies, but it’s not the only one.
Below, we will discuss some of the most popular (and effective) online event ticketing strategies, and how to leverage these strategies to sell more tickets.
1. Early Bird (Time-Based Discounts)
We have briefly discussed how selling early-bird tickets is a very popular strategy in selling event tickets. It’s popular because of two reasons: it’s easy to implement, and well, it’s effective.
The basic idea is simple: we decide different ticket prices based on the time frame. The nearer the ticket purchase is to the actual day of the event, the more expensive it will be. So, essentially we offer time-based discounts to those that book their tickets earlier.
A major advantage of this event ticketing strategy is that it can provide your event with the much-needed cash flow so you can take care of the event’s expenses.
The second advantage is that this strategy triggers our natural FOMO (fear of missing out). When done effectively, early-bird campaigns should create the feeling that “if I don’t purchase this now, It’s going to be more expensive!”, and at the same time you’ll generate more buzz for your events.
A key to this event ticketing strategy is not to extend any deadline for the time-based discounts, this will give the impression that your tickets are not selling well, which may drive potential attendees away.
2. Group Discounts/Referral
This tactic is designed to encourage advocacy: encouraging your attendees to bring their friends, peers, and family members to also attend your online event.
You can, for example, offer a 20% discount on both tickets when they can bring a friend to register together. You can also offer even higher discounts for a higher number of bulk registrants: 1 ticket for $100, but 10 tickets for $800, and so on.
Alternatively, while this is not an event ticketing tactic, per se, you can also run a referral /affiliate campaign by offering commissions for those who are willing to promote your event to their peers. This can come in the form of promo codes: when people register with a promo code/affiliate link, the owner of this affiliate link can get a percentage of the ticket’s price.
You can also make promo codes available to your speakers/talents, sponsors, and team members to encourage them to promote your event.
Everyone likes to be given the chance of getting something exclusive before everybody else can, so you can offer a special pre-sale discount for your social media followers or attendees of previous events. If you have memberships of any form, then you can also offer a lower price ticket for members.
You can also be more creative when using this tactic, for example, offering discounts for your sponsors’ social media followers (which can also help you in securing sponsorships).
4. Flash Sales
Pretty self-explanatory. This is a popular strategy in retail and e-commerce, like Black Friday flash sales.
You can offer a time-limited special offer (with generous discounts) to create a sense of scarcity, encouraging people to register immediately. Make sure this flash sale is well publicized so you can also generate more buzz for your event along the way.
It’s also crucial to address those who are willing to spend more to attend your event. They might love your event so much or simply have the means to pay more. However, it’s crucial to provide a reason for them to spend more.
For an offline/in-person event, you can offer extras like better VIP seatings and unlimited food/beverage access. However, for online events, you’ll need to be more creative. You can, for example, offer backstage access, private Zoom sessions with your keynote speakers/talents, send special merchandise to their homes, and more.
Create your premium packages carefully as they can potentially be a huge boost for your event’s revenue.
6. Lower Pricing Tier
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you should also offer a more affordable pricing tier(s) for your ticket to accommodate those who don’t want (or can’t) spend more.
You can, for example, offer a half-day ticket that is much cheaper than your normal ticket, or you can restrict access to specific keynote sessions for a lower price. You can even sell separate tickets for different sessions if necessary.
By offering your tickets at a lower price, you can potentially attract new markets with a lower budget, and this may also help in convincing those who are not sure yet about registering for your event. If there’s a cheaper ticket, they might be willing to pay due to the lower commitment needed.
Having a comprehensive online event ticketing strategy will significantly help you sell more tickets, bring more attendees to your event, and in the end, ensure your event’s success.
Manage your online event ticketing efforts with Eventtia, your all-in-one solution for event management not only for selling your event tickets with various different event ticketing tactics, but also in planning, managing, and organizing the execution of your online event.
A strong event ticketing strategy is indeed important, and the foundation should be a thorough understanding of your target audience: their needs, behaviors, pain points, and how your event can be a valuable solution for them.