Event Marketing

17 Ways to Sell More Event Tickets Online

Reading time: 10 min

We know. You're already an expert on selling tickets online for free (just pass those fees along to your ticket buyers!) But now it's time to promote your event, and wouldn't you like to do that for free, too? We've compiled our 17 best tips to sell more tickets online for free (or pretty close to free).

1. Facebook is your friend

Just about everyone (as in 2.9 billion active monthly users) is on Facebook. Access to that many potential ticket buyers is enough reason to use it.

2. The early bird gets the deal

Offer ticket discounts to get people to buy more tickets and to buy early. From early bird to word of mouth deals, there are lots of options for you to try.

3. Show them what they're missing

Remind people how much fun they had (or could have had) at your last event. This means you'll need to take lots of great photos and videos during the event so you can post them to social media later. You don't need a fancy camera; your iPhone or Android will do the trick. When your next event comes, the fun you captured will be your best promotional tool.

4. #Hashtag

Create an event hashtag and share it often. Make sure it's visible on the website you're selling tickets on, and use it in your social media posts when talking about your event.

5. A picture's worth a thousand words...

When ticket buyers land on your event page, keep their attention by showing them a great image that encompasses your event. This image should make them excited for your event and confident they'll have a great time.

6. ...But words are pretty important, too

Write a detailed event description, whether you're using your own website or a third-party event page. Descriptive event information lets them know what's included with their ticket and what they should expect from the event.

7. Get people talking

No matter what social media platform you prefer, make sure to post consistently (2-4 times per week) so that your event stays visible. Use interesting or funny pictures and videos—the kind that will make people want to tag their friends in your post. Check out #17 below for tips on how to make your posts look as impressive as your event is (even if you're not a designer).

8. Alert the media

Pick a few news outlets you'd like to see your event featured in and reach out to the person who writes about events like yours—usually the Entertainment Editor. Send them an email with the who, what, where, when, why of your event to make it easy for them to write about it. Local blogs can also be a great resource if your event has a niche audience (your yoga in the park event would fit right in with a local fitness blogger's content).

9. Make sure the price is right

Set your ticket price to convey value to your event goers. People want to feel like their money and their time are well spent. While it may be tempting to price your tickets low to increase sales, a too-low price tag can signal low quality to potential buyers. Don't sell yourself (or your event) short.

10. Use influencers

Ask prominent people in your community to help spread the word and give them something in return. Ask them to send personalised email invitations to their networks, or tweet and post about the event in exchange for a comped or discounted ticket. Make it easy on them by giving them pre-written prompts or posts you'd like them to use.

11. Give 'em some swag

Work with a local restaurant or merchant to get some cool gifts for attendees. If you can't figure out enough for every attendee, create a contest—you'll want to make sure the gifts are cool and/or useful! Think about the setting of your event and how your attendees will feel when they're there. Rainy day? Hand out some ponchos with your logo (or your sponsor's logo) on them. Is your event outdoors in the middle of summer? Branded reusable water bottles! Your attendees will appreciate swag they can actually use.

12. Up your Instagram game

With over a billion users and growing, Instagram is a perfect platform for promoting your event. You'll want to make sure the image you post is good enough to make people stop scrolling and pay attention, so make sure your pictures look great. Since you can't use an active link in your Instagram captions (Instagram doesn't have this feature), include the link to your event page in your bio, and include the words “link in bio” in your caption so your followers know to look for it!

13. Let your dirty work do double duty

You work hard to make sure your event goers have a great experience, so why not double the return on your investment? Snap some pictures of the behind-the-scenes process (think blowing up balloons to create a balloon pit or hammering the last nail into your homemade replica of the throne from Game of Thrones) and post to social for added hype.

14. Give away your tickets for free

Well, some of them, anyway. Reserve a few tickets for a social media promotion where people have to share your event, use your hashtag, or somehow interact with you on social for a chance to win free tickets.

15. See my guest

Does your event have a high-profile guest? Let their recognisable image stand in for some of your regular advertising. (Don't forget: this is promotion for them, too.) Tweet out a great pic of them or use a tool like WordSwag to post a quote of theirs on Instagram. There's basically no work for you since guests like these bring their own hype.

16. A word from your sponsor

Sponsorships are a great tool for cross-promotion. Did you find an awesome local restaurant to donate food for your event? Great work! Now promote them (and your event) by reposting a tasty-looking pic of their food on your Instagram. Your potential ticket buyers will be tempted by what they could be eating if they attend. Note: this doesn't just apply to food, so be sure to share donations from your florist, that amazing local gin company, or that party rental business your neighbour owns when they let you borrow their fog machine.

17. You make this look good

Good news: you don't need to be a designer to make your social media promotional posts look great. There are plenty of free design tools out there to help you create polished, professional posts. Canva is a graphic design tool that takes all the guesswork out of creating beautiful designs, and they have lots of social media templates to choose from. Pixlr is an online photo editor with tons of effects to make your pictures look amazing. If you have something specific in mind, YouTube is your best friend, with countless tutorials for pretty much anything you can dream up.

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