8 Pro Tips to Boost Early Event Ticket Sales

When planning a big event there’s a lot to consider and prepare for. One major concern for many event planners is having the capital to cover the event’s expenses. While there are some fees that can get paid after the event, many major expenses require payment upfront or deposits. To cover some of those costs and get an early gauge on event interest, it’s best to encourage ticket sales as early as possible. Keep reading for eight ticket promotion strategies to jumpstart ticket sales for your event.

1. Select The Right Platform To Sell Tickets

Before you begin marketing your event comes the basic task of selecting the system you will use to actually sell your tickets. When encouraging early sales, it’s typically best to have an online process as opposed to managing cash or checks. In addition to being convenient for buyers, most online event platforms also come with a number of features that can help with planning your event such as the ability to send email reminders or easily check guests in to your event. A few features to consider that may help with collecting those early ticket sales include having the ability to:

  • Receive funds quickly (some platforms don’t distribute funds until after the event)
  • Add coupon codes
  • Dynamically change ticket prices
  • Send reminder emails to your invite list 

2. Spend Time on Creative

Put simply, design is important. Conveying a professional-looking event starts with your creative. If you are fortunate enough to have a graphic design team you can utilize, awesome! Even if you’re on your own and aren’t a design pro, spend some time (and maybe some cash) investing in your event’s creative. There are tons of great free or low-cost design tools, or you can hire someone to create a simple logo, flyer, and/or social media images for you within your budget. The investment will definitely pay off when you have an eye-catching design that attracts people to your event!

iPhone displaying ticket purchase for golf fundraiser event with early bird coupon code applied3. Utilize Coupon Codes

Coupon codes are used across industries to encourage sales. Why? Because they work! People love getting discounts and get a huge sense of satisfaction from seeing the price go down after applying their code. Set a clear deadline for when the coupon code will expire to give potential purchasers a deadline to get their tickets at this special rate.

Coupon codes also provide an additional way to track attendees and where they are coming from. By creating and sharing unique coupon codes and distributing them through your different marketing channels, you can get valuable insight into where your guests are finding out about your event.

4. Limited Available: Get. It. Now.

Another great ticket strategy promotion is to give a special offer to the first handful of guests who purchase tickets. While it is common to provide a discounted ticket, there are a number of other ‘perks’ that you can offer for early buyers that don’t involve reducing the ticket price. A few ideas may include free drink tickets, raffle tickets, or merchandise. Announcing and marketing a limited availability offer is a great way to drive traffic to your event page and create a sense of urgency for potential buyers.

5. Multi-Channel Marketing

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to just create an event page to sell tickets and then patiently wait for traffic to come. To ensure maximum attendance at your event, a marketing plan is crucial. You’ll want to use every channel at your disposal to get the word out about your awesome event: email lists, social media, influencers, news outlets, you name it! Make sure your audience knows what they’ll be missing out on if they don’t get their tickets ASAP.

When it comes to social media, use your channels to post not only coupon codes or limited-time offers, but behind the scenes content and photos from past events to generate excitement. And don’t forget to create a Facebook event! Even if you have an event website, a Facebook event is a great way to spread the word. 

6. Leverage Event Sponsors and Vendors

Event sponsors are not only important for bringing in cash but can help really expand your marketing efforts. Including some comped tickets in your sponsor packages is a great starting point, but think about how you can further maximize these partnerships! Don’t be afraid to ask partners to share the event on their socials and with their networks. Make sure to provide them with targeted creative and copy to make it as easy as possible for them! Of course, highlight the sponsors on your own channels as well, and make sure to tag them to make it easy for them to share.

In addition to sponsors, think about the networks of your vendors as well! Your vendors likely have a presence of their own on social media and will be proud to showcase that they’ve been hired for your event. Think photographers, caterers, florists/decorators, entertainment, etc.

7. Consider Influencer Partnerships

If you’re not working for a big-name company or organization you might not think influencer marketing will work for you, but you may want to reconsider! The term influencer has really expanded to include a wide range of individuals, and not all of them have millions of followers or charge major cash for a post. Research influencers in your local area. Look for individuals who have smaller but dedicated followings that share content that relates to your event, or cater to the type of folks you’re trying to attract. Offer a compensation package (free ticket and transportation to and from the event, for example) in exchange for some reach with that influencer’s network.

8. Offer Multiple Ticket Tiers

When it comes to setting your ticket offering, consider offering various ticket tiers. Providing the opportunity for potential buyers to select a package that fits their interests and budget may help sway their purchasing decision more quickly! For example, you may want to offer a budget-friendly general admission option and a VIP ticket that includes extra perks!

Responsive iPad and iPhone display ticket tiers for annual gala

When it comes to event promotion strategies, what do you find works best to encourage ticket purchases early? Let us know in the comments!


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