Whether you run a regular music night, pub quiz, workshop, class or another kind of event, the gut-wrenching feeling of not selling enough tickets is universal. The fact is, sometimes recurring events just slip off people’s radar, which (while frustrating) is something most event planners will have to contend with at one point or another.
A million factors can contribute to sluggish sales, from the economic climate through to the actual climate ☔… and pretty much everything else in-between. So this definitely isn’t anything to beat yourself up about.
Sometimes the marketing efforts that usually see your tickets selling like hotcakes simply fail to hit the mark. And that’s ok! It just means it’s time to shake things up a bit, and employ some last-minute promo tactics to get the ticket sales a-rolling in.
Find new places to advertise
Time to think outside the box. If you’re experiencing a particularly slow period for selling tickets, it can be a good idea to land your event in front of fresh eyes. That could be through leaving flyers in different shops, or even posting them around the next town along. Or it might be through posting in different Facebook groups, as well as using a different social media platform than you usually do.
Through broadening your reach, you might just find you get an influx of interest from eager newbies, who are raring to give your event a go.
Tip: Find out how to seamlessly manage your recurring events with the Ticket Tailor event registration platform >
Incentivise previous attendees
While it’s good to try to reach new audiences☝️, statistics show that customer retention costs less than customer acquisition. So it’s definitely worth paying some special attention to your previous attendees. Now could be a good time, for example, to send out an email to your mailing list offering a gift or incentive of some kind for the next time they attend one of your events. That could be some free drinks or VIP access if you run something in the entertainment or music sector. Or, it could be access to free resources, or some even one-on-one time with you if you teach classes or run workshops.
Rewarding loyalty is a proven marketing tactic that can help with word-of-mouth promo, too. In fact, 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that has a good customer loyalty programme.
Tip: Why not turn your last-minute marketing activity into a longer term strategy? By designing an exciting loyalty programme for your attendees, you could put yourself in a much better position to sell out your events long into the future.
Ramp up your social media activity
Sometimes event registrations drop because your recurring event has simply failed to stay at the forefront of people’s minds. That’s why, in the last few weeks or days before your event, it’s wise to do a big social media push.
Aim to post several times a week, utilising lots of relevant hashtags and replying to comments as much as possible, too. Be wary of sales-talk overkill, though. The trick is to post a mix of content – some promoting your event, and some general content that’s not directly promotional. Even making an effort to curate relevant content through reposting fun or interesting stuff can help give people the reminder they need to book their tickets to your next event.
Tip: Check out the marketing trends all event planners should know for 2023 >
Motivate people with memories
Nostalgia has a powerful place in marketing – in fact, there’s even an official term to describe this which is (you guessed it) ‘Nostalgia Marketing’. The idea is that when a consumer is triggered into a state of nostalgia by a brand, they experience warm feelings towards that brand which can help increase sales.
You don’t need to be a marketing whizz to put this theory to the test. Simply posting old photos of some of your successful events on social media could stir ex-attendees into ticket-buying action. Or another option could be to send out a marketing email with photos or videos of your previous events. Even a simple write up of how brilliant a particular event was could be effective.
A great example of this in action is when music festivals release amazing video footage of the previous year’s event. This not only whips up nostalgia in previous attendees, but generates envy in those who’ve not yet taken part! Win-win!
Run a social media competition
A social media competition can be super quick and easy to set up, while being a really effective way to spread the word about your event. As you’re running against the clock, keep things simple with a low-maintenance like and share competition. All you need to do is prompt people to like to share a post on your social media platform of choice for the chance to win a prize.
The prize should be enticing enough to catch people’s interest, and in keeping with the theme of your events. If you’re in the food and drinks sector, for example, you could offer a meal for two in a great restaurant. Or if you run something larger-scale like a music festival, offering two free tickets to your event could do the trick.
Statistics show that social media contests are a fantastic way to quickly boost awareness of your brand. In fact, Instagram accounts that run competitions and contests grow their followers 70% faster on average than accounts that don’t. Impressive!
We hope these last-minute marketing tactics have been helpful. Here’s to getting the promo wheels turning, and seeing your next event sell out with time to boot! Don’t forget, with Ticket Tailor our recurring event reporting quickly highlights which events are selling out fast, and which are falling short – helping you to prioritise all of the above marketing efforts.
Looking for a brilliant event registration platform that doesn’t eat too much into your profits? To find out why Ticket Tailor is the leading Eventbrite alternative, head here >