10 worst ways to sell out your event

Cristina Peralta

Jan. 12, 2018

Written by Katie Sawyer and originally published on the Eventbrite Blog

You’ve spent months carefully crafting the perfect event. You’ve got the hottest food and drink menu lineup, your entertainment is on point, and you’ve created a unique event app so your attendees can personalize their experience.

But as soon as your tickets go on sale…crickets. You know your event should be a hot commodity, but why aren’t people buying tickets?

You might have succumbed to one of these common mistakes when creating your event. Here are the 10 worst ways to sell out your event.

1. Mass marketing

Blasting your entire email list is tempting — but won’t perform as well at targeted promotions using your event data.

With information from feedback surveys, you can learn what attendees do or don’t like about your event. And with data about website traffic, conversion rates, and content engagement, you can adjust your promotional tactics to make sure the right people are getting the right information at the right time.

And more, your attendee data can help you understand why people are buying — or not buying — tickets.

2. Going it alone

One of the best ways to make sure your event sells out is to partner with big name brands. These brands already have a following, and you can tap into their loyal fanbase. With the right partnerships, you can ensure these fans turn into ticket buyers — and come back year after year.

Unfortunately, securing sponsors isn’t always easy. Check out this cheat sheet for getting the right sponsors to your event.

3. Leaving your venue to chance

Most clubs book out their venue 3-6 months in advance, and larger venues (that might support your beer festival) reserve their space a year out. If you don’t start the process early enough, your first-choice venue (and maybe even your second and third choice) will be booked.

If you want to draw a crowd, use your venue to your advantage. Whether an exclusive venue or a large arena, your venue can create a sense of excitement for your attendees. Read this blog post for tips to find and secure a unique venue for your event.

4. Counting on people coming to your website

If you’re not selling tickets on sites where your target audience already spends time online, you’re surely not going to sell out your event. Distribution — the selling of your event’s tickets on sites across the web — is one of the most overlooked ways to boost ticket sales.

It’s also one of the most effect ways to ensure you nail your onsale. Your event should be on the sites event-goers rely on to make plans. That way you can engage likely buyers on their favorite sites and apps.

5. Posting once a week on social

Social media is a powerful touch point. In fact, up to a quarter of traffic to Eventbrite’s ticketing and registration pages comes from social channels. But if you’re only using social media once a week — or worse, you’re not even on the right platforms — you’re missing out on your key audience.

So if you’re selling tickets but no one knows about it, will your event sell out? Unlikely.

By mastering your marketing strategy on social, you can increase traffic to your ticketing or registration page, and turn more of those views into sales. Not sure what social media best for you? Check out Eventbrite’s Event Marketing Course and Certification — you’ll learn everything you need to know about social media for events.

6. Counting on organic Facebook reach

With 2 billion active users, Facebook is a powerful marketing tool. But with that many users, it’s hard to know if your event is reaching the right audience. If you want to sell more tickets or registrations, targeting the right audience with Facebook ads is key. In fact, good targeting increases your number of conversions and reduces the amount you spend.

If you’re not using retargeting tactics, you’re losing out on a lot of potential tickets sold. Retargeting people who are already interested in your event are 70% more likely to register or buy tickets to your event.

7. Building your website for desktop

mobile-friendly website isn’t optional anymore — it’s critical. comScore, one of the most trusted sources for marketing data and analytics, reported that mobile-only users surpassed desktop users in March of 2015.

If it’s not easy to use your event website on mobile, people might come to your page, but leave before they buy tickets. That’s a huge segment of people who otherwise might have attended your event.

Make your webpage mobile-friendly so visitors can easily access it, and buy tickets, from any device.

8. Only sending a ticket launch email

In an ideal world, an initial launch email would organically build excitement for your event. Unfortunately, that’s not reality. You need to be repeatedly generating content about your event — and getting it in front of potential attendees. Create blog posts and send them to your audience through weekly newsletters.

If you don’t value your event enough to promote it, you can bet people won’t value it enough to buy tickets. Don’t make the rookie mistake of not creating buzz about your own event. In this case, it’s OK to toot your own horn — as long as you can deliver what you advertise.

9. Approaching press the week before the event

In addition to generating your own content, you can’t ignore other press. To get the most out of your advertising and sell out your event, you should also have a comprehensive PR strategy.

With the right approach, your PR will drive interest and attendance at your event. Done incorrectly, you won’t get any press coverage — and you’ll have a tough time selling out your tickets.

If you need a little help, use these 10 steps to build your PR strategy to sell out your next event.

10. Asking buyers to login

If you really want to sell out your event, you need to make it easy — very easy — for attendees to buy tickets. One in four online buyers won’t complete a purchase that requires them to make an account, and one in ten buyers drops off for every extra field in the purchase form.

Look at your ticketing process. Are there more than five steps? Do ticket buyers have to create an account? Are extra fees revealed at the end of the purchase process? If you say yes to these questions, you can say goodbye to selling out your event.

These are 10 common mistakes event creators make when promoting their event. But if you’re looking to increase traffic to your ticketing page and turn more of those views into sales, read this guide for The 10 Best Ways to Sell Out Your Event.

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