Every event planner dreams of selling out an event. If you’ve
performed your due diligence on examining your pricing structure and
options, if you’ve found the sweet spot for that price, if you’ve put in
place some psychological triggers to drive purchase, and you have
excellent offerings, selling out should be within your reach.
For some events, it’s easier than others. But if you’re wondering how to sell tickets for your event, we have some ideas.
Tease your audience about event tickets going on sale. Invite them to join an exclusive list to be able to be the first to buy.
Establish fear of missing out in your marketing and social media campaigns.
This goes hand-in-hand with scarcity. Never let potential attendees feel like tickets grow on trees. There are only a few tickets and if they don’t act fast, they’ll miss them.
Never extend early bird or other discounts.
Extending pricing promotions just makes people think you didn’t sell what you expected to. It’s better to offer multiple tiers of early bird (like early, early bird) than it is to extend. No one will believe scarcity if you’re extending ticket sales. Some planners will invent a “technical glitch” that allows them to extend it but you can only do this once without making it obvious that you aren’t meeting ticket sales projections.
Use the law of reciprocity
Give to get. People often feel obligated to purchase if they’ve gotten something free. If you do a favor for them, they will want to do one for you. Some events offer free tickets or general admission, knowing there are many upsell opportunities. BrightonSEO is the twice-yearly search and marketing conference we mentioned that sells out regularly. General admission tickets are free but since it sells out so quickly, many people are willing to pay for ‘Friend’ tickets to ensure they receive what they want (including an assigned seat).
Offer something no one else does.
Whether that is big-name speakers, an amazing venue, killer destination, access to VIPs, or any other special experience, the more unique your offering, the greater number of people will want to be there.
Work within the structures of supply and demand.
Limited supply increases demand. Increased demand drives higher prices.
Become known as “the” something (the best, the loudest, the most fun...).
This goes along with #4 of offering something no one else does, but if you become the preeminent whatever in your industry or niche, attendees will be “forced” to come to your event or miss out.
Vanilla events aren’t going to sell out. If you want to know how to sell tickets to a show or event, you need to have a brand and let the personality of your event show through. People want to align themselves with something. Personify your event and it will give them something to become invested in and want to be a part of.
Build up the unveil.
Make announcing the agenda, speakers, and/or entertainment a big deal. Tease your audience and build it up for a major announcement or two.
Make the mystery part of the fun.
Coachella generally sells a major portion (if not all) of its tickets before it even announces all of its acts. Provide potential attendees a reason to book early before your agenda is solidified or your acts announced.
Partner with your sponsors, speakers, and industry insiders to sell tickets.
Offer pricing incentives or discount codes to those closest to your event so that they can invite their tribe.
Play up the venue or host city.
If you have selected an amazing venue and/or host city, make sure you give it the acclaim it deserves. Create content to get people excited about being there. Video is very effective for this.
Build on the momentum.
Assuming you’ve had a great event and everyone is basking in the euphoria of where your event will be held next year (yes, you should announce it at this year’s event), sell tickets now. Offer a discount, or better yet an special experience, for those who will commit to attending next year’s event before they even leave this one. The memories of how much fun they’re having is fresh. Use it.