You’ve planned your perfect event: booked the best venue, prepared the best virtual event platform (if it’s a virtual event), booked the top world-class speakers for your conference, and so on.
Yet, if you can’t get enough people to buy your event tickets and register for your event, then it’s doomed as a failure.
Ticketing should be an important concern for any event planning efforts: designing your perfect event ticket, deciding on pricing strategy, and ensuring a seamless registration process for all your important attendees. All of them should be core aspects of your event marketing strategy.
For an event, a ticket has a very important purpose: verification of the ticket holder’s identity as a legitimate attendee. In turn, we can permit a ticket holder to enter the venue (or the virtual event platform for a virtual event) and vice versa.
In this guide, we will discuss all you need to know about event ticketing, and by the end of this guide you’d have learned about:
- The three core pillars of event ticketing
- Effective ticket pricing strategy for your event
- How to optimize your registration/ticket sale process
- How to make attractive and effective event tickets
Without further ado, let us begin right away.
Event Ticketing Strategy: Three Core Pillars
When considering event ticketing, there are actually three different concerns we have to pay attention to:
- Ticket pricing strategy: strategically planning how you are going to price your ticket, including offering multi-tiered ticket prices (i.e. VIP vs general admission) and time-based discounts (i.e. presale price, early bird price, etc.)
- Ticket design: your ticket can be a powerful branding tool for both your event and your company, and can be a source of information for attendees. It’s crucial to design your ticket well both in terms of functionality and aesthetics.
- Registration: ensuring a registration/ticket purchase process that is both seamless and secure. It should be as easy as possible for target attendees to purchase your tickets, while at the same time we should also ensure the security and integrity of customer’s confidential data
Below, we will discuss them one by one.
Effective Ticket Pricing Strategy
Ticket pricing is a crucial aspect of any event marketing strategy, and there are many different tactics and approaches we can use to market our events:
1. Time-based discounts
Most of you might be familiar with early bird tickets, which are a popular example of time-based discounts in event ticket pricing.
The time-based discount strategy is popular for its reasons: it’s fairly easy (and cost-effective) to implement, and it encourages potential attendees to purchase your tickets as soon as possible.
The basic idea of this strategy is simple: you offer different ticket prices based on how near the ticket purchase is to the D-day of the event. The nearer the purchase is to the actual day of the event, the more expensive the ticket will be. So, essentially you're offering discounts to those that purchase their tickets early, hence, “time-based discounts”.
This strategy has two main benefits:
- It’s effective because you trigger the potential attendees’ sense of scarcity and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Potential attendees will get the feeling that if they don’t purchase the ticket now, they’ll need to pay more. The early bird campaign will also help to generate more awareness for your events.
- You are encouraging people to purchase your ticket early which will provide you with the much-needed cash flow. You can use the generated cash to take care of your event’s expenses.
When using this strategy, it’s important not to extend any deadline of your discounts (i.e. extending the early-bird period for a week). This can be counterproductive since it will give off the feeling that you don’t get any ticket sales at the moment.
2. Premium tickets
If you are sure that there is a group of your attendees that are willing to spend more, then you should take advantage of this opportunity by offering premium-priced tickets (i.e. VIP tickets).
The key of this strategy is to design a reason for them to spend more: better seatings, better/unlimited foods, backstage access, and so on. For virtual events, you can offer private sessions with your talents, send special swag bags to their homes, and more.
3. More affordable tickets
On the other hand, you’d also want to offer more affordable pricing tiers to accommodate potential attendees who can’t, or simply don’t want to spend more.
Depending on the types and content of your event, there are many ways to do this.
If it’s a multi-day event, for example, you can offer a 1-day ticket or even a half-day ticket at a lower price.
More affordable tickets may also help to convince those who are not sure yet whether to commit to your event.
4. Exclusive tickets
You can also offer exclusive tickets to certain groups of your potential attendees, for example offering a special discount to your community members (i.e. social media followers) or those who have attended your previous events. You can also offer discounts for sponsors’ social media followers as a part of your sponsorship package, which may help in securing sponsors.
Offering different ticket prices should be a crucial part of your ticketing strategy. Manage your online event ticketing efforts with Eventtia, your all-in-one platform for event management not only for selling your event tickets at multiple prices but also for managing your whole registration process.
Ticket Design: How To Make Attractive and Effective Tickets
The second pillar of your event ticketing strategy is designing your tickets.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having a well-designed ticket. If your ticket is attractive and memorable, attendees might remember it, which may increase their likelihood of attending your future events.
When designing event tickets, you should pay attention to these three main principles:
Focus on strong branding
This might seem like a pretty obvious thing to follow, but you’ll be surprised at how many event planners make the same mistake of not making their brands and the event’s brand recognizable enough on the ticket.
Make sure your event’s and company’s brands are featured strongly on the ticket design: a recognizable logo with prominent placement, recognizable social media handles, easy-to-find website URL, usage of brand color schemes, etc.
If you already have established past event brands and/or future events planned, you can also feature them on the ticket.
2. The balance between informative and attractive
The limited ticket space is the main dilemma of ticket design. So, it’s essentially about how to include all important information without making the tickets too cluttered.
Positioning is also very important. As a general rule of thumb, important information should be placed in areas that are easier to spot (i.e. at the very top and center).
3. Focus on readability
Very important, make sure your texts are easily readable while considering font type, size, and color, as well as the colors of the background and other elements of your ticket. On the other hand, your fonts should represent the overall theme/feel of the event.
A common strategy is to use blank/white spaces and contrasting colors to enhance readability and also to help emphasize important information.
Ticket Design Tips and Tricks
By following the three main principles above, you can use the following tips on how to design an attractive and effective event ticket:
1. Decide the information to include as early as possible
Before you even begin designing the event ticket, plan beforehand the information you’d need to include on the event ticket.
For an in-person event, your ticket should at least include the following information:
- Venue address: the complete and accurate address of the venue where the event is taking place
- Directions: you can include a map (or QR code to Google Map) and other useful information like public transportation available
- Schedule: you should at least provide a general outline of the important events
- Venue map: not mandatory, but recommended for a big physical venue
- Contact information: make it easy for ticket holders to contact you.
For a virtual event, make sure to include links, QR codes, and/or instructions on how to join the event easily.
If you have sponsors, also consider what kind of information about them that should be included on the ticket (logos, images, etc.)
2. Portrait vs landscape
Based on the amount of information you have decided on the previous step, you should be able to decide on which orientation to use on your ticket.
Here are some further tips:
- Portrait orientation will give your ticket a more “compact” feeling.
- Check the number of images and logos that must be included on the ticket. The more images/logos to include, the more likely you should use the landscape orientation.
- If you want to include more information, the landscape orientation is typically a better choice to avoid clutter. If you want to include maps, for example, landscape orientation will give you more versatility.
- Vice versa, if you don’t have too much text-based information to include, portrait orientation will help to avoid your tickets looking too empty.
- The foldable design is also an option, providing you the best of both worlds so you can include more information when needed while maintaining compactness.
2. The right size
What’s the ideal ticket size?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this, but the general rule of thumb is to make sure the ticket is compact/small enough so it’s easy to bring around, but not too small that they might lose the ticket.
The ticket should also include the required information without making it too cluttered.
With that being said:
- The average size of event tickets with stubs is 1.97" x 5.63", the common stub size for an event ticket is 1.875”.
- For stubless tickets, the average size is 2.125" x 5.5"
Optimizing the Event Registration Process
The final aspect of any event ticketing strategy is making sure it’s as easy as possible for potential attendees to purchase your tickets, but on the other hand, the registration process must be secure.
Here are a few considerations:
Optimizing your registration page
Your registration page should be a part of your website’s domain, even if you use a third-party event registration platform. This is important because potential registrants might feel that the registration and/or payment process is not safe if they have to move to another URL.
Also, make sure your registration page is mobile-friendly and loads fast to maximize user experience.
2. Streamlining registration form
A general rule of thumb is to only ask for the information you absolutely need in your registration form.
If you are using an event registration tool/platform, the platform might offer a set of form templates that you can use, but check whether you can customize these templates to subtract or add more fields.
When your forms ask for too much information, it can prolong your attendees’ registration time, which in turn, can hurt the user experience and may cause them to cancel the ticket purchase process.
3. Maintain branding consistency
Remember that the registration and ticketing process is and should be a part of your event marketing strategy.
Make sure to maintain branding consistency throughout the whole registration process by ensuring correct brand elements (logo, colors) usage. Again, make sure that your registration page is a part of your website’s domain.
4. Payment security and versatility
It’s crucial to provide enough payment options for potential attendees. They might have different payment preferences and financial situations, so you should offer at least popular payment options like bank transfer, credit card, and PayPal.
However, it’s also crucial to ensure security and integrity. Ensure your event registration platform is PCI compliant to ensure the security and integrity of your attendees’ confidential information.
Having a holistic event ticketing strategy is crucial to maximize attendance and also to optimize the whole attendee experience.
Your event ticketing strategy should focus on three different aspects:
- An optimal and streamlined registration process while ensuring secure payments
- Optimal ticket pricing and promotion strategy
- Attractive and effective ticket designs
By following the best practices we’ve shared above, you can start optimizing your event ticketing strategy for your next event.