Most people expect to be able to buy tickets to events online in this digital day and age. But if you’re new to the world of events, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to making those all-important ticket sales. In this article, we break down how to go about selling tickets online, and look at how to choose the best ticketing platform for doing so.
How to sell tickets online
To sell tickets online, you’ll need:
A budget – how much are you able to spend on the ticket selling process?
A ticket-selling platform that suits your needs (more on this below)
A great description of your event to sit on your online box office page
Branded graphics or imagery to use on your event box office page
An idea of what your digital marketing strategy might be
A ticket price that you’re happy with – or multiple ticket prices for events with different ticket types (e.g. ‘Standard’ and ‘VIP’)
A list of ‘must-haves’ for your ticket selling site (again, we’ll look more closely at this below)
The next step will be to sign up to your chosen ticket-selling platform, and then to list your event. Check out our piece on event registration hacks for more information on how to create a killer event listing and increase ticket sales.
Finally, you’ll need to promote your event online and share your ticket selling page far and wide. You might find the below articles useful for this:
Where is the best place to sell tickets online?
There are so many options out there for selling tickets online, trying to find one that’s right for your event can be overwhelming.
A quick Google search of ‘Where is the best place to sell tickets online?’ throws up an array of sites – all of which look very similar to one another at first glance. There are, naturally, the big players who everyone’s heard of. And then there are the more niche event ticketing platforms, which may be better for your specific type of event.
So, which do you pick? Below, we aim to clear up some of the confusion and provide a clear path to making an informed choice that works for you and your event. Starting with:
Key features to look out for when deciding where to sell tickets online
Before you start researching which site might provide the best online box office for your event, write a list of non-negotiable features.
Key features to consider include:
The platform’s pricing structure
Ticketing sites have different ways of charging you for their services. The main ones are:
They’ll charge you a percentage of your ticket price.
They’ll charge you a flat fee per ticket, for example 50p per ticket.
They’ll charge you a percentage of your ticket price and a flat fee per ticket.
They’ll charge you a set monthly membership fee, for which you’ll get to sell a set amount of tickets per month for.
It’s worth noting that most platforms give you the option to pass some of these costs onto your customer via a booking fee. Also, some platforms may say they offer free ticketing but they are actually just charging your ticket buyer, and not you.
To decide which pricing structure is best for you, think about the scale of your event and the capacity of your event. For smaller one-off events, for example, you may be better off going for a site that charges a simple flat fee per ticket. For regularly recurring events, a monthly fee would probably make more sense.
How the platform pays you
This is a factor that often gets overlooked when choosing a ticketing platform, especially by those new to planning events. In a nutshell – not all sites pay in the same way/to the same timescales.
For example, some sites wait until after your event to pass on your earnings to you in a lump sum. But others (like Ticket Tailor) pay with each and every ticket sale as they happen. Deciding on which system will work for you will depend on how important cash flow is to your operation.
The platform’s marketing and data gathering capabilities
Different ticketing platforms have different marketing capabilities. Many offer robust promotional features, while others don’t. So if using your ticketing platform as another way to promote your event is important, be sure to pick one that can support you in this. Look out for social media integration and analytics (so you can figure out when your ticket sales do well, and when they don’t, for example).
The platform’s ease of use
Most ticketing platforms these days are pretty user-friendly. But to make sure you don’t lose time trying to figure out an overly complicated interface, check out some reviews of your chosen platform to make sure it’s as easy to use as it says it is.
The platform’s accepted payment methods (for customers)
These days, people expect an array of payment options when buying things online – by limiting this, you could lose out on sales. With this in mind, make sure to choose a platform that accepts a number of payment methods, like credit/debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Stripe.
Useful features, like a check-in app and seated tickets
Other useful features to look out for are whether or not the platform has an app, which can come in handy for checking people in seamlessly at your event. Plus whether or not they offer seat booking – or even socially distanced seat booking in light of Covid-19.
Can you sell tickets online for free?
In short – no. Ticket sites have to make money somehow – we have an article covering this topic in more detail.
Selling tickets online is the easiest and most fruitful way to reach your intended audience. The possibilities for marketing are vast, and your admin can be kept to a minimum with all the great features most platforms offer. Happy selling!