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The basics of boosting ticket sales – 6 key tactics to know

When you’ve poured your heart and soul into an event, to say it’s disappointing when ticket sales flop is an understatement.

a crowd of people at a concert

When you’ve poured your heart and soul into an event, to say it’s disappointing when ticket sales flop is an understatement. But this is an eventuality many event planners face at some point in their careers – one that often has nothing to do with their event itself, but more with the fact it’s simply not landing in front of the right eyes, or in the right way. 

It’s important not to let poor ticket sales dishearten you too much though. In fact, statistics show you need a pretty thick skin for any kind of sales work, which more often than not requires a determination and doggedness perhaps not found in other areas of event planning. All of this to say that sales can be a tough nut to crack, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things you can do to drastically improve your chances of seeing those tickets fly off the shelves. 

Let’s take a look.

How to increase ticket sales to your event

a group of people with their arms raised

1. Get good at creating FOMO

According to a recent study, 60% of people make purchases because of the now well-known phenomenon ‘FOMO’ – or, fear of missing out. Add to that the fact that 78% of millennials say they prefer to spend money on experiences over stuff, and you’ve got a pretty compelling case for employing some FOMO marketing tactics when it comes to ticket sales.

To do so, make sure to maximise on any great content you’ve got from previous events – like videos of energised audiences, or cool shots of performers. Giving people a glimpse of your event in action is far more likely to result in people worrying about getting FOMO than just sharing programs or line-ups. 

2. Create a sense of urgency through talking about ticket scarcity

Part of playing the FOMO game is about creating a sense of urgency – if people feel tickets might sell out, they’re more likely to go ahead and buy them. This is called scarcity marketing, and statistics show that it’s definitely got legs as a sales strategy. Of course, you do need to be honest with your claims – so you shouldn’t be saying that there are only 20 tickets left to your event when in fact there are far more than that. 

But there are certain tactics you can use to create that feeling of scarcity. Like, for example, putting a countdown timer on your event website. When people see that they have a finite amount of time to make a decision, they’re more likely to buy. You can also use the countdown method on early bird tickets, so people feel more pressed to buy tickets while they’re still cheaper.

When tickets do start to sell thick and fast, that’s when you can really amp things up by pushing out regular messages about only having X number left.

3. Make sure people can buy your tickets easily on smartphones

Today it’s pretty much inevitable that a large percentage of your potential customers will interact with your event on their smartphones – in fact, a lot of them will only interact with it on their smartphone. So it follows that if your ticket registration site isn’t actually smartphone-friendly, you’re inadvertently putting a pretty big barrier between a customer thinking about buying a ticket for your event, and actually closing the sale.  

The take-home from this? Whether you’re ticketing nightlife events, comedy gigs, workshops or something else, you must have a smartphone-ready website or use a smartphone-ready event registration platform. The good news is, pretty much any website platform worth its salt makes it easy these days to create responsive sites (where the site changes according to the size of screen it’s being viewed on). And decent ticket registration platforms (like Ticket Tailor!) do the same.

4. Hone your social media marketing and advertising skills

Social media has immense promotion and advertising capabilities – you just need to know how to use it for optimal results. We have a few guides to social media promotion for events, which are definitely worth a read if you’re keen to boost those ticket sales:

5. Run a customer referral program

Implementing a customer referral program is another great way to help give your ticket sales a bit of extra ammunition. This marketing technique involves incentivizing customers to spread the word of your event for you. So, it might be that you offer customers discounted tickets if they refer a friend to your event. Or that a customer and their referral friend both get VIP tickets. 

This kind of program is a great way to get the word-of-mouth wheels turning in your favour, and also comes with the added bonus of incentivising the original customer to close the sale because of the incentive you’re offering. Bingo.

6. Encourage performers to be a part of your promotion efforts

Last but definitely not least, be sure to make the absolute most of all audiences within your reach by encouraging your key performers to promote your event to their own followers. It’s likely that they’ll be doing a bit of this anyway, but you can definitely push this strategic move even further by giving direct instructions to your performers, or even providing them with content to schedule across their social media channels. 

A little bit of gentle encouragement and direction from you can go a long way towards getting eyes on your event from previously untapped audiences. 

We hope these tips and tricks help you get over any dreaded periods of sluggish ticket sales. Here’s to the tables turning, and that next event being the sell-out it deserves to be.

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