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How to sell out tickets for your event?

A sold-out event is every event planner’s dream, right?  If all the tickets are gone, you're likely in for a successful event, and not less importantly, you have covered your costs. But, sell-outs come with their own challenges, which we'll discuss here. As it is the case in every other industry, you can hire event organizing professionals to do all the heavy lifting for you. But this may prove to be very expensive. Chances are if you have a specific event in mind, you most likely know your target audience and what your event should have, so you should be able to pull this out with a little effort. So, let's dive in and see what you should cover to sell out all the tickets for your event.

 

Know your audience

The essential requirement for a successful event is, indeed, knowing whom this event is mainly aimed towards. Every aspect of the event, from ticket sales dynamic, and over advertising all the way to things like time and date of the event is tightly related to the age group, location, general interests and habits of your event's eventual attendees. This directly affects the way you will be communicating with your audience and efficiently advertise your event. Yes, this requires a bit of research on your end but it is very likely that you, as event organizer, already know many of these parameters.

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Start early

There's nothing worse than being pressured by deadlines. This always, without exception, creates a chaos which is fertile ground for making mistakes and oversight of important and sometimes vital things. So, when planning the event, make sure you give yourself enough time to plan and execute everything without time pressure. It will inevitably get hectic when the event date comes near but if you start early enough, you can reduce this to a manageable amount of chaos.

 

Make your event visible

So, you have set a date for your event and booked all of your speakers/performers. It is now time to tell everybody about it. This is where knowing your audience kicks in full effect. The way you will advertise your event depends directly on this.

 

The power of social media

Social media is a powerful tool but if just push your event on a Facebook group and little else, it won't do much. Generating a true buzz about your event will require more... much more. Be a true member of that community, identify with your attendees and let them know you're one of them and that the whole reason why you're doing this is because you want the same event as they do. Do this with frequent social media posts, and your event's interest will quickly follow. People will start commenting on these posts and you shouldn't neglect this but instead listen closely to their comments. This is the voice of your attendees and success of your event will depend on whether you can follow their expectations. Be open for their ideas and communicate with them about this.

Sometimes, a single five word comment might be a treasure trove of ides that can make your event much better.

Also, address negative comments as well... at least the ones that make sense. All this will paint the picture of you as event organizer that is all-in and cares deeply about this event. Needless to say, this hands-on approach (or absence thereof) can make a difference between sold out and event with too many empty chairs.

 

Website

Making WordPress website is easy enough that anybody can do it in minutes. However, this should be done with certain considerations. Based on some research you only have about eight seconds to grab someone's attention. This is why interactive features, such as videos, are very effective when added to your event's website landing page.

The research shows that 21% of landing page visitors who have the option to view a sixty second video were basically guaranteed to make a purchase.

Whether it is a highlights reel from last year's event, interviews from brand reps, or a detailed explanation of ticketing packages, featuring video content on your landing page could increase sales anywhere from 20% to 86%. Also, don't cram too much information on the landing page. If your event comes with many bells and whistles, focus on a few most important ones that you know for a fact will grab the attention of your potential attendees and use ever present Read more buttons to lead them to other pages where they can read all the details.

 

Content dripping

To generate a real hype about your event, don't go all-in right from the start. Announce first one big thing and let this generate a buzz for a few days. At this point you should pay close attention on the mood of your audience as this may help you shaping your campaign as it goes. Based on their feedback but also on the deadline (a.k.a. the date of your event), determine a dynamic of your campaign but make sure to always have that "one more thing" up your sleeve and save it for the last part of campaign, right before you start offering tickets for sale.

 

Ticket selling dynamics

If you done your homework and ticked all the previous boxes, ticket selling shouldn't be the problem at all. By then, your audience should already be itchy and overwhelmed with FOMO. Yet, you can boost this up a notch by creating a limited batch of Early Bird tickets with discounted price. This should be the offer they simply cannot resist and the one that will, by itself, create another buzz for your event. If this proves to be a good move (and it's likely that it will be), you can milk this a bit a create another, smaller batch of discounted tickets to extend the buzz. But don't overdo this. If you do, it can easily prove to be counterproductive.

So, next up are "Standard" tickets or tickets offered at regular price. If the advertising campaign before the event was successful, you shouldn't have issues with selling these easily. Still, keep in mind that there are people out there who always want to feel special and different from the rest of the crowd. These people will actually pay your bills most efficiently. Create a VIP ticket, offered at a higher price and include some additional perks to this package. Depending on your event scenario, this can include meet & greet with performers, seats closest to the stage, etc. Basically, things that you can get for either free or very cheap, yet the tickets for this will be much more expensive.

Last but certainly not least, there are Last Minute tickets. You should make sure that you leave a batch of tickets for the last few days before the event and offer these as Last Minute tickets at a bit higher price than standard tickets. This also can help you earn a bit more from your event.

 

Conclusion

We believe these advices might help you sell out your event. However, we have merely scratched a surface here and offered insights on just a few key things that affect ticket sales positively. It is important to know that each event is different so there are no "one size fits all" approach. Two things are, in fact, the same for every event organizer: start early and do your research. Keep this in mind for your next event and, as always, happy ticketing!

 

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