The Side Room - Selling event tickets online

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There are a fair number of members clubs in London. Many charge expensive fees, most focus on in-house events, and nearly all of them are aimed at both sexes or cater to men exclusively. The Side Room does none of these things. tsr

An innovative and modern club for women, The Side Room designs every event from the ground up, then selects the perfect venue to host each occasion. As a social club, activities run the gamut from wine tasting and bespoke museum visits to lively debates with experts in various fields. The creation of entrepreneur Robin Kendall, The Side Room is one of only a few members clubs in London that caters specifically to women, though men may attend many events as the guests of members.

somerset house wine tasting7th Oct - book a wine tasting at Somerset House

Membership to The Side Room is free and events are well subsidised, occurring several times a month and always somewhere different. Highly advantageous for members with busy schedules, the varied timing of events and Robin’s desire to keep prices affordable made Ticket Tailor the perfect fit for ticketing services.

Why Ticket Tailor?

With an attractive website designed in WordPress, The Side Room needed ticketing that would integrate seamlessly without special tools or the need to move web elements around. Ticket Tailor plays nice with WordPress and comes with easily configurable event pages if clients prefer not to use our widget. The result is a crystal clear and user-friendly way to sell event tickets online.

side rooms selling tickets20th Oct - book an After Hours visit to the Old Operating Theatre

Unlike many other services, Ticket Tailor also works with PayPal and Stripe. Payments are transferred quickly and efficiently from multiple active events, giving Robin the flexibility she needs to set up new ones as they become available. With no per-ticket fees or hidden costs, members of The Side Room can continue to meet, listen, learn, taste and explore London, for a price that can't be found anywhere else.

If you think Ticket Tailor would be a good fit for you and your business, why not get in touch at hi@tickettailor.com? Or if you’d simply prefer to sample a few varieties of tequila among friends, you know where to go.

robin kendall c"Ticket Tailor really works for our business. It allows us total control over all aspects of our ticket sales, including setting and collecting booking fees - which is ideal when running so many events.  

It's quick and easy to use and payments are forwarded as and when they are received, so we benefit by having the money in our account immediately.  We've also been impressed with their customer service response times."

Robin Kendall - Director of The Side Room

8 benchmark WordPress themes for ticketed events

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How important is event presentation?

Very. Until your attendees actually arrive, the only information they have to go on - aside from word of mouth - is the information you provide. Presentation is key, but not all themes are suitable for every kind of event. That’s why we’ve put together a showcase of the best 'standards' in each category.

All of these are responsive, mobile-ready designs that work well with the Ticket Tailor WordPress plugin

Khore - Conference & Exhibition

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Khore is an advanced conference and exhibition theme that's designed to look fantastic on mobiles. It's clean, clear and attractive, and comes with a host of features including schedule and session management, online ticket sales, maps, a countdown clock and 8 different language translations.  If you're looking for a flexible and responsive event theme that caters to mobile users, you're unlikely to do better than Khore.

Event Builder - Directory

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Event Builder is a customisable events directory that lets other users add their events to your own choice of categories. It supports maps and forms, pricing plan creation, custom filters, and a vast array of templates, colours and pages. It's compatible with Mailchimp, and users can seamlessly sell tickets to their events from the site itself, using the Ticket Tailor WordPress plugin. Backed by expert designers, Event Builder is intended to be the most universal directory theme around.

Soundboard - Bands & Artists

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Soundboard looks brilliant and works like its namesake, effortlessly amplifying your music, brand and aspirations to reach a wider audience. It's easy to get running and simple to use, but offers a wide range of customisation options and display features. This theme includes support for upcoming tour dates, tour management, pictures and videos. It is also JW Player ready, and has some of the fastest and most helpful support around.

Biosphere - Charity & Environment

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Biosphere is a fresh, honest and colourful theme that works well for any number of charitable causes. The homepage is modular and contains a variety of event management and social media options. Donations can also be taken through the site and the theme is  BuddyPress ready, with support for other language translations.

Universe - Schools & Education

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Universe is an ideal theme for scholastic institutes, from universities and schools to educational workshops and events. Like other featured themes, this one is fully responsive, but its also especially easy to customise thanks to its very clear presentation and widgetised homepage. With googlemaps and Mailchimp integration, several predefined skins and detailed documentation, educators can't go wrong with this theme.

Gameplan - Gym & Sports

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Gameplan has won several awards, and for good reason. It has a drag and drop page builder, excellent event calendar and tons of customisation options. Elements can also be quickly and easily added to the theme via more than 44 shortcodes, and it looks great on mobile and Retina displays.

LEARN - Courses & Workshops

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LEARN is for anyone who wants to arrange, market and sell courses or workshops online. Aside from several homepages, an event calendar and teacher profiles, it also includes a login and registration system for attendees. There are plenty of customisation options to play with, lots of extra content pages and at $16, this theme is extremely affordable.

Mercurial - Festivals & Events

mercurialMercurial is a great one page theme for any kind of recurring event or festival. Seamless parallax scrolling, 17 shortcodes and plenty of customisation options make it quick and easy to set up your webpage. Ideal for festivals and image-heavy events, this theme's presentation style is persuasive and bold, making it excellent for online ticket sales.

How to Sell Event Tickets Online with WordPress (and our widgets!)

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WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world: it's easy to use, quick to set up, and hugely customisable. It also happens to be a great way to advertise events and sell tickets online. Our philosophy at Ticket Tailor is to stand with (rather than between) you and your customers. That's why we offer an alternative to the eventbrite payment model: you can white-label our customisable ticketing service with no commitment to contracts and no commission fees.

We also offer plugins that let you sell tickets online directly from your own website. We figured it might be worth showcasing one of them here: the WordPress plugin. It supports recurring events, has calendar functionality, and takes customer payment via credit/debit card through Stripe or PayPal. How easy is it to set up? All you need to do is copy and paste, but we also have instructions on our documentation pages!

We've got a quick mock-up of basic plugin customisation and embedding in action below. In addition to the WordPress plugin, we also supply a similar widget that works on a host of other sites, including Squarespace. If you take a look further down you'll see examples of what a few of our clients have done with this widget.

[tt-event url='https://www.tickettailor.com/new-order/29329/78e8/ref/website_widget/' minimal='false' bg_fill='true' show_logo='true' ]

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5 Essential WordPress Plugins for Your Event Websites

With over 60 million users, WordPress is the most popular website content management system on the Internet. Many event websites are built using the platform, and it isn't hard to see why: With WordPress, you can install plugins for your website, giving it a level of functionality way beyond your own programming capabilities.

This is one of the major for WordPress's popularity.

If you've built your event website using WordPress, here are five fantastic plugins to consider.

Ticket Sales Plugin: Ticket Tailor

Sell Tickets Wordpress

Our brand new Ticket Tailor plugin makes selling tickets directly from your WordPress website incredibly easy. Visitors are able to buy tickets by completing a simple booking form, and payment is then collected via PayPal or Stripe, the two most popular payment processors in the world.

Unlike many ticketing solutions, Ticket Tailor does not charge you per ticket sold -- instead you're charged a flat monthly fee, starting from as little as £15 / $25 per month.

The plugin allows you to add a booking form on any page of your website, or even in the sidebar. All you have to do is place a simple shortcode where you want your bookings to appear.

You can set up multi-level pricing, as well as adding multiple discount codes, giving you a lot of flexibility to price your tickets as you want. After purchase an e-ticket -- complete with unique barcode -- is automatically sent to the attendee; the complete list can be exported, giving you a ready-made door list -- one less thing to worry about.

Schedule Plugin: Timetable Responsive Schedule

If your event spans more than a few hours, you most likely have a number of different 'acts' scheduled. Displaying the complete roster is a great way to show potential attendees what to expect, which is a great way to boost attendance.

My favourite timetable plugin is the Responsive Schedule plugin, available from CodeCanyon for $18.

It allows you to create an hour-by-hour, day-by-day timetable for your event, which is then presented beautifully in clean, coloured blocks -- sure, free plugins exist, but none offer the same flexibility or look even half as good.

The plugin is completely responsive, meaning it displays correctly whatever device your visitor is using. By setting the colour of each block, you can create a timetable in-keeping with your website's existing colour scheme, as well as creating a colour coding system. This is especially useful for events such as a musical festival, where event managers can assign a colour for acts on a particular stage. Users can filter the timetable down, letting them view all acts on a given stage.

Social Media Plugin: Flare

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If you want excited attendees to spread word of your event, a social media plugin is a must.

In my opinion, Flare is one of the best social media plugins available to WordPress users. Best of all, it's completely free.

Flare supports eight different social media platforms -- all the major ones are supported, as you'd expect. You get a clean set of icons, which can be positioned at the top and/or bottom of each page, and you can also float them on either side of the page.

If people see your event is being shared frequently, they will be more likely to share it themselves -- such is the power of social proof. Flare takes advantage of this by including a small counter under each icon, displaying the number of shares on that particular platform. It also includes a larger total shares counter at the top.

Of course, social proof works both ways, and Flare gives you the option to not display share counts below a specified level.

As well as offering sharing functions, you can also create a widget where visitors can choose to follow you on their specified platform.

Countdown Plugin: T(-) Countdown

T(-) Countdown

If you want to build a sense of tension and excitement to the build up to your event, consider using a countdown clock on your website. As the clock ticks closer to zero, it creates a sense of urgency in the visitors and is a proven way to boost ticket sales.

My recommendation is the free T(-) Coundown clock.

There are a number of customisation options with this plugin, allowing you to create a countdown clock in-keeping with the design of your WordPress website. When you're happy with your clock you'll be given a shortcode which you can directly insert into a post, or place in a sidebar widget.

Wrapping Up

Are there any plugins you think is essential for any event website? Let us know in the comments space below!

How to Sell Tickets Online

Whether you're hosting a one-off music festival or a weekly club night, offering ticket sales via your website is a proven way to boost attendence. In fact, in this day and age, online ticket sales is something that your customers will expect and demand -- from their point of view, buying online is far more convenient than having to track down a brick-and-mortar box office.

If you're looking to sell tickets online, Ticket Tailor is one of the premier ticketing solutions, with thousands of event organisers already using our easy-to-use service. A quick snapshot of benefits of using Ticket Tailor include:

  • No per-ticket fees -- we charge monthly, making it more affordable for you
  • Customisable tickets and ticket page
  • Integrate either PayPal or Stripe to receive your funds
  • Exclusive access to your customer data

Ready to jump in? Good!

Today, we take a detailed look at how to set up and start selling tickets from your website, using Ticket Tailor.

Getting Started

To start, you'll need to sign up for the Ticket Tailor service. It's completely free to do so, and this gives you complete access to everything on the back-end before you commit to becoming a paid member. This is great as it allows you to play around with the different options to get a feel for the service before spending a penny -- of course, to actually sell tickets, you will have to become a paid-up member.

Creating Your First Event

After signing up, you'll be taken to the dashboard. The first thing we need to do is to create an event. To do this, click on the Events tab at the top, then click Add a new event.

1 Set up Event

This will open up a new page, where you can begin to start adding details of your event.

Start by adding the name, location and time of the event. If you click on Advanced options you'll be able to add a start and end time and date for your event. You can also add some extra information about your event in the Description field. I've created an example event, which you can see in the screenshot below.

When you've done this, you can add a new type of ticket to be sold on your website. Click Add a new ticket type. This will open a lightbox, where you can begin to set up details of your tickets. Add a name for your ticket, and if you want, a description.

2 Event Details

Use the Face value field to set a price for this ticket type. You can add a booking fee -- note, this is for you, not for us -- which can cover your associated administrative costs.

You can also set the number of tickets available in the Quantity field, as well as the maximum tickets per order, if you want to prevent one customer buying up all the tickets.

When you're happy, click Save ticket.

3 Set Up Ticket

You can add as many types of tickets as you want -- for example VIP tickets -- so repeat this step as you please.

When you're happy, it's time to move on to the next part of the adding an event process. You can set your default currency, as well as a transaction fee -- if you'd prefer customers incur a fee on a transaction basis, rather than a per-ticket basis.

You can also add an image for your event, set your order confirmation -- the message a customer receives after a successful ticket purchase -- and click the check box under Send SMS tickets if you want your customers to be texted their ticket. Note: you will require SMS credits to do this.

When you're happy, click to Save event.

4 Save Event

From here, you'll be taken to an event summary, providing details for your event, a graph showing the number of each ticket type sold, and the URL of your event box office.

Click on the icon next to the URL and you can see what your box office looks like, with everything in the default settings.

5 Event Summary

Here's what mine looks like:

6 Default Box Office 2

It looks good, but probably doesn't match your website's colour scheme. Let's make some changes.

Customisation

The good news is, there are a number of customisation options, so you can get your box office just right.

Click on the Box office setup tab at the top. You'll be presented with a number of options, but let's start by hitting the Customisation button at the top.

From here, you can adjust the colours for your background and text, as well as adjusting your font. You can even add a logo for your event.

When you've made adjustments and want to see what your new box office looks like, hit Save.

7 Customise Box Office

This will bring a new gold box up, which you can click to preview the changes you made.

Now, I'm not very creative at all! I'm sure you can do a much better job at customising your box office, but the screenshot below shows you how different you can make your box office look, in just a few minutes.

8 Customised Box Office 2

Payment Integration

When you're happy with your event details and box office design, the next step to sell tickets online is to add a payment processor. With Ticket Tailor, you're given a choice between Stripe and PayPal. These are the two big players in the industry, and both are a great payment solution, so whichever one you choose will be fine. You can read more about them here: Collecting ticket payments with Stripe or PayPal.

When you've decided which payment processor to use, click on the Box office setup tab again, then go to Payment options. You'll be greeted with the choice between Stripe and PayPal, so click to connect your Ticket Tailor account up to your chosen processor.

9 Stripe or PayPal

Let's branch off here, so I can show you how to integrate each service.

Stripe

If you want to use Stripe as your payment processor, click to Connect a Stripe account.

You'll see the Stripe signup form. If you're new to Stripe, it's time to fill it in. Work your way through the questions, giving as much detail as possible. If you're yet to officially register your business, don't worry: the company number and VAT fields are optional.

10 Stripe

If you already have a Stripe account, this process is much quicker. Simply click to sign in from the top right-hand corner of the page. You'll be asked to log in, and then taken to an authorisation page. Click the big blue button to connect your Stripe account with Ticket Tailor.

11 Stripe Confirmation 2

If done successfully, you'll then see a lightbox, confirming you've connected your Stripe account, and giving you some options for future events. Click Save payment system and you're done!

PayPal

To use PayPal, click to Connect a PayPal account. A lightbox will pop up, asking for your PayPal email address. If you don't have a PayPal account, click the link to register with PayPal. If you do have one, simply input the email address your account is registered under and click Save payment system.

12 PayPal

That's it with PayPal! Easy, right?

Integrate with Your Website

An optional step to sell tickets online is to integrate your box office with your website. To do this, click the Box office setup tab, then hit Website integration.

13 Website Integration 2

From here, Ticket Tailor will automatically generate some code that can be directly inserted into your website to embed your ticket checkout.

To get the HTML code, simply click on the blue text, then copy and paste the code. You can paste this directly onto the page you want to display your box office, or, if you want it displayed on every page, into your sidebar.

If you use WordPress, creating a sidebar widget is simple. From your WordPress dashboard, simply go to Appearance > Widgets and use the drag and drop interface to drag a Text widget from your available widgets into your sidebar box. Simply paste your HTML code into the text widget, and hit save.

For those of you preferring a WordPress plugin for the job, Ticket Tailor has recently released its own dedicated plugin. Go to Plugins > Add New and search for 'Ticket Tailor'. You should find it at the top of the search results, then click Install Now.

14 Ticket Tailor Widget

Finally, click to Get the WordPress code, and paste the shortcode anywhere on your site. The plugin will then use the shortcode to create your box office.

Wrapping Up

And that's it! You can now sell your event tickets online, right from your website -- expect a nice increase in ticket sales!

This tutorial has been quite thorough to allow us to help people of all skill levels, but in reality it shouldn't take you very long at all to integrate your box office into your site. For most people, your online ticket checkout will be up and running in minutes.

Not bad at all!

If you have any questions or need help with anything, let us know in the comments section below and we'll do our best to help as quickly as possible! Thanks.

How Starting a Blog Can Sell Tickets

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Content rules the Internet -- it's powerful stuff. If you're looking to sell more tickets from your website, producing great content is a great place to start. This is why so many successful event websites run a dedicated blog.

Now, the number of tickets you sell from your website will be a function of the amount of traffic you send to it, and your conversion rate.

Some activities target one or the other, but the best thing about a blog: it boosts both.

This means your blog can sell substantially more tickets -- and remember, your event will live or die by the number of tickets sold.

Want to know why a blog is so effective? Read on!

Note: Most event websites would benefit from a blog, but the nature of a business conference makes a dedicated blog particularly effective.

More Content, More Search Engine Traffic

At its most basic, a regularly updated blog will attract more search engine traffic.

Each post you write targets a different keyword (or set of keywords), increasing the probability of someone stumbling across your event's website. The more you write, the more longtail keywords you'll begin to rank for, too, as a consequence of all the different words and combinations now appearing on your website.

Google loves a site with lots of content, especially recently published, up-to-date content -- the more you publish, the more credible you are as a source of information in Google's eyes. This can give you a small boost in the SERPs.

The result? More traffic to your website.

In my opinion, attracting more search traffic should never be the only goal of your blog -- we'll get to that later -- but it's definitely a nice by-product of publishing lots of useful material on your website.

Great Posts Boost User Engagement

If you decide to start a blog for your website -- and I hope this post will encourage you to do so! -- you should only ever be looking to publish top quality information.

A great blog increases user engagement, and this will boost your conversion rate. Put another way, a great blog sells tickets.

This is especially true for educational events, such as a business conference.

Ask yourself the following: Why should a person attend your conference over the hundreds of others out there? What makes you qualified to give advice? Where's your business acumen?

Don't just tell people why you're qualified, show them through the insights on your blog. When done well, this is more effective than any sales pitch.

If you can blow people away with the depth of information available for free on your blog, they will be desperate to hear the information you're charging for. Your tickets will practically sell themselves!

If you want to convert more of the traffic that stumble across your site into paying customers, a high quality, well-written blog is almost unbeatable.

Social Signals Galore

Of course, the search engines aren't the only way you can draw traffic to your website. You can also attract social traffic, and a high quality blog is a magnet for this.

Unsurprisingly, there is a positive correlation between the quality of material you publish and the number of social shares you get. When your articles are shared on social media, you expand the reach of your event, and each click potentially brings a new audience member to the party.

Bringing more traffic to your website is just one way to sell more tickets for your event.

Better still, social traffic comes with a gold plated seal of approval from a trusted source. If a close friend recommends something to me, I'm far more likely to listen -- this is social proof at work.

With visitors more receptive to your message, there's a good chance this traffic will convert better.

And remember, Google's ranking algorithm takes social signals into consideration. All those extra social shares your website gets from your blog can potentially help you rank higher, bringing even more traffic your way.

Paid Traffic More Viable

Let's look at an indirect benefit from having a blog for your event.

If your blog provides visitors with bucketloads of great information, conversions take care of themselves. This makes other traffic sources a more realistic proposition.

I'm talking paid traffic sources.

If your blog converts more visitors into paying attendees, the more cost-effective paid advertising becomes.

Remember, you're going to pay the same amount regardless, you'll attract the same number of new visitors, but now you're converting more of them. You're getting a bigger return from your initial outlay -- a better ROI.

Your estimated ROI can make or break the viability of a particular paid traffic source. The better your site converts -- and we've already discussed how a blog can help with this -- the more you can invest in attracting more traffic from paid sources, safe in the knowledge you'll recoup your expenses.

You could even offset the cost of your paid traffic by letting a sponsor pay for the privilege of a sponsored blog post. This is a form of native advertising, advertising in the context of what a user wants and expects. The user still gets top quality content, but the sponsor gets to push their brand by showing off their expertise. Everyone is happy.

Wrapping Up

This post is just an introduction to how powerful a properly ran event blog can be, in the context of improving attendance figures. If you have any thoughts on how an event blog can help promote an event, share your thoughts in the comment section below!