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6-Step Guide to Picking the Best Online Ticketing Platform

The online event ticketing market size is expected to reach $82 billion by 2029 from $56 billion in 2021. The industry is growing at a CAGR of 4.8%. If you want to be part of the event market, you need to move at the same pace and this will only happen when you have the right tools to automate your event business.

Selling event tickets online gets easier when you are using the right apps. The right online ticketing platform helps you create, sell, and manage event tickets effortlessly. You can focus on the event instead of spending time promoting and selling tickets.

Selecting the right online ticketing service for your event business gets easier if you know how to systematically evaluate different tools. This article covers the step-by-step guide to choosing the best online event ticketing app for your business.

If you’re looking to cut to the chase and don’t have the time or inclination to read through the whole guide, we can save you the trouble. After considering a multitude of factors such as functionality, user-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness, we’ve concluded that the best ticketing platform that ticks all the boxes is TicketsCandy. But if you’re interested in understanding the process and the factors that led us to this conclusion, please read on.

What is an Online Ticketing Platform?

An event ticketing platform lets you create, sell, and manage event tickets via software. You can manage attendees, create event pages, promote your event, and manage payments through an online ticketing service app.

The features of an event ticketing selling tool vary greatly.

For example, some event ticketing platforms offer an all-in-one solution that offers sales, marketing, management, and other features while others focus more on selling tickets online.

Generally, an event ticketing platform helps you sell tickets for an event and manage your event and its tickets. You will find additional features that help you in different ways to improve event ticket sales, improve customer experience, market your event, create event landing pages, process payments, manage attendees, and more.

Online Event Ticketing Service Benefits

Here are the major benefits of using an event ticketing service:

  • You can reach a global audience and people can register from any part of the world
  • Ease of use with no technicalities
  • Sell tickets 24/7 with no limitations
  • You can sell and market event tickets through your website or a dedicated event landing page
  • Automate ticket selling with payment processing
  • Attendee management with data analytics
  • Event performance tracking with ROI.

How to Choose the Right Online Ticketing Platform

Selecting the right ticketing platform for your business is essential. Whether you want to create a single event or you have a need to create recurring events, your platform is the backbone of the event’s success.

Here is a systematic, step-by-step guide to finding and selecting the right online event ticketing platform for your business:

1. Set Objectives

Assess your needs and identify your objectives as to why you need an online event ticketing platform and what you want to achieve from it.

Setting objectives help you clarify your needs and what features you need in the ticketing software.

Answer the following questions:

  • What is the primary purpose of creating an event? Is it lead generation, revenue generation, brand awareness, networking, or something else?
  • What type of event do you want to create (networking event, social event, fundraising event, hiring event, etc.)?
  • How often do you want to sell event tickets online?
  • What is the event frequency and size of the event and venue?

Event management agencies have different goals than businesses that only create events to connect with their target audience.

The best way to set clear objectives for your event is to use SMART goals. It focuses on creating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals:

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Here is an example of a SMART goal for your ticketing event: Create a social virtual event to acquire 100 new customers in 30 days from the date of the event.

An extremely specific goal like this makes it easy to assess your need which makes selecting the right event ticketing platform.

2. Identify and Prioritize Features

Once you have finalized the objective, you will be in a better position to identify the features you want in an event ticketing platform.

Event-selling apps offer a wide range of features. Not all apps offer similar features which means you have to choose the right app with the right features to achieve your event goals.

Here is a list of the primary online event ticketing platform features:

  1. Multiple event types
  2. Ease of use of the platform
  3. User registration process ease
  4. Multiple languages
  5. Event page builder
  6. Attendee management
  7. Quick checkout process
  8. Payment processing
  9. Platform fee
  10. Marketing tools
  11. Customer support
  12. Integration

You can add more features based on your specific requirements but generally, these features cover everything.

The features have relative importance. So, you need to prioritize features based on your requirements. You need to do two things:

  1. Identify the features you need in the software based on the SMART goal
  2. Prioritize the chosen features in terms of their importance from high to low.

A simple rule to prioritize features is by giving each feature a number from 1 to 5 where 1 is the least important while 5 represents the most important feature.

Here is an example:

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You can change the scale if you want but make sure all the features are prioritized quantitatively – not qualitatively. Take feedback from team members and related departments to get a more realistic prioritization of the features.

For example, the need for marketing tools can only be determined by your marketing team. Similarly, what payment processor you need with the ticketing platform is something your finance team needs to determine.

It requires intensive collaboration by taking everyone on board.

3. Set Budget

After you have developed a prioritized list of features you expect to see in the online ticketing service, you need to set a budget for the ticketing platform – not for the entire event which is an altogether different task.

Budgeting should be linked to the event objectives.

If you are creating a single event, you need to allocate a small budget for the software as opposed to when you need to create recurring events.

The cost of a ticketing platform depends on multiple factors:

  1. The features event ticketing app offers. More features mean higher cost
  2. The pricing model of the ticketing service
  3. Learning curve. If it has a learning curve, you will need to spend money on training and resource development for your employees
  4. Platform integration. If it integrates with your existing tech stack, it won’t cost you a lot of money. Else, you have to use additional apps to integrate the ticketing software with your CRM tool and other tools.

The most important factor to consider during budgeting is the pricing model of the event ticketing tool. Does it charge you a flat fee per transaction or does it charge a percentage of ticket sales, are there any withdrawal charges, does the platform charge a subscription fee on top of the transaction fee, does it charge a fee to the attendees, are there any additional charges for credit card processing, etc.

Having considered all the points above, we’d like to present you with an alternative that breaks the mold when it comes to pricing – TicketsCandy. This platform, providing an abundance of beneficial features, is completely free to use. That’s right, you get to leverage all its robust functionalities without having to spend a dime on subscription or transaction fees. This makes TicketsCandy not just the most budget-friendly choice, but arguably the best choice overall when it comes to selecting an online ticketing service.

You need to consider and evaluate all the factors at this stage.

For example, if the ticket price is high, you should consider a ticketing platform that charges a flat fee per transaction or one that doesn’t charge any transaction fee.

For low-priced tickets, you should prefer a ticketing service that is free or charges a percentage fee of the ticket price as it will significantly lower your cost.

You need to finalize your ticket price and set the budget for the event ticketing platform by deciding its pricing model and how much it will cost you to run an event.

4. Evaluate Alternatives

Now that you have the list of features and budget, you should proceed with finding and evaluating different event ticketing platforms.

The first step is finding the event ticketing services. There are multiple ways to find the best ticketing platforms:

  • Use Google to find ticketing platforms
  • Use marketplace vendors to find the list of event ticketing software
  • Get recommendations from business partners and friends.

Add all the online event ticket selling platforms in an Excel sheet and prepare a list.

The next step is evaluating the platforms based on the list of features and budget. It is a time-consuming and complicated process as you have to filter and sort software based on how they fit your requirements.

Start with a screening process to filter unnecessary platforms. Follow these steps for screening event ticketing platforms:

  • Visit the official website of the platform and see what features it offers and what pricing model it uses
  • Read third party reviews on Reddit, Trustpilot, and social media platforms
  • Check ratings and reviews on Capterra, G2, and other similar sites
  • Use live chat or email to get in touch with the support to ask queries. This will help you evaluate the performance and response time of customer support.

Once you have a list of the best alternatives, you need to begin the evaluation process. Here is how to do it:

  1. Create a rating scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 3 to rate ticketing platforms for each criterion defined in steps #2 and #3
  2. Narrow the list of the ticketing services to 3 to 5 by removing platforms that don’t meet the criterion
  3. Rate each tool for the core features that you need.

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Normally, you might not reach a conclusion right away as quantifying qualitative features outright isn’t always possible.

For example, you can’t rate a platform for ease of use without using it. Similarly, it is hard to rate a ticketing platform for its checkout process, page builder, and other features without using it.

However, you will be able to get a decent idea of what event ticketing apps fit your criterion and are a good match.

5. Test and Analyze Platforms

You can’t rate an event ticketing tool for everything without using it. This is a reason you should try the highest rated apps before making a final decision.

Not all ticketing services offer a free trial. If you don’t get a free trial, you can use your judgment or you can skip all the ticketing apps that don’t offer free trial. It is your choice.

Sign up and create a free account with the top ticketing apps and explore them. Here are the critical things you should check:

  • Ease of use. Is the platform easy to navigate? Can you create an event campaign without seeking help?
  • Registration process. How smooth and clean is the event registration process? This requires creating a test event and evaluating the registration process for the end users.
  • Event page builder. Does it offer a drag-and-drop landing page builder? Can you customize the event page?
  • Attendee management. Do you get access to all the attendee data? Can you easily manage attendees? Is the dashboard easy to use?
  • Checkout process. Is the checkout process simple and quick? Does it offer a guest checkout feature? Is there a one-click checkout option?
  • Integration. Can you integrate the app with your website and other apps you are using?

Again, it isn’t possible to test all these features for all the apps. Some of them might not give full access to all the features during the free trial while others might ask you to upgrade to a premium plan to test certain features.

It is acceptable.

You need to test whatever you can with the free trial. If you fail to test something, use your judgment to rate the ticketing platform for it.

Importantly, you need to make sure that the same person uses all the apps for testing. And this should be someone who will use the platform afterward. When a single person uses and rates the apps, it makes more sense and the rating will be more accurate.

After testing the event ticketing tools, the rating might shuffle and that’s OK.

6. Make Decision

It is time to make the final decision.

You have the list of the ticketing software with their rating. Take the time to brainstorm and consult different teams before making the final choice. All the internal stakeholders should agree to the final decision.

Implement and integrate the ticketing platform and get to work. Share details with the staff and provide training if needed. Integration of the ticketing app with your CRM, sales, and marketing tools is essential. So, make sure it is implemented accurately before you create your first event.

Recommendation: The Best Online Ticketing Platform

Selecting an online ticketing platform to run and manage events is a daunting task. You need to evaluate, analyze, test, and monitor a lot of features across multiple event ticketing apps. And in the end, you might end up picking a less effective tool.

Switching between ticketing tools isn’t easy as you have to go through all these steps again along with moving lots of data. You need to make the right choice in the first go.

If you need a feature-rich, all-in-one event ticketing service, try TicketsCandy. It is free and offers all the features you need to run and manage an event. It supports multiple event types in multiple languages, simple user registration process, 2-step checkout, event page builder, and other great features.

Try it free of cost and see how it goes for you.

FAQs

What is the projected growth rate of the online event ticketing market?
The online event ticketing market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8%, reaching $82 billion by 2029 from $56 billion in 2021.

What are the benefits of using an online event ticketing service?
Some benefits include reaching a global audience, easy usability, 24/7 ticket sales, automation of ticket selling and payment processing, data analytics, and event performance tracking with ROI.

What should one consider when choosing an online ticketing platform?
Key considerations include defining objectives, identifying and prioritizing features, setting a budget, evaluating alternatives, testing and analyzing platforms, and making a decision.

What are the general features of an online ticketing platform?
Common features can include support for multiple event types, ease of use, event page builders, attendee management, quick checkout process, payment processing, marketing tools, and customer support.

What is the recommended online ticketing platform according to the article?
The article recommends TicketsCandy as the best online ticketing platform due to its comprehensive feature set and cost-effectiveness.

How does the budget affect the choice of an online ticketing platform?
The budget for an online ticketing platform depends on the features offered, pricing model, learning curve, and the level of integration with existing tech stack. The pricing model, in particular, can significantly influence the cost of running an event.

What is a SMART goal and why is it important in choosing an online ticketing platform?
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. They help to clarify needs and define what features are necessary in a ticketing software, aiding in the selection of the right platform.

What are some methods to evaluate different online ticketing platforms?
Methods for evaluation can include visiting the official website of the platform, reading third-party reviews, checking ratings and reviews on software comparison sites, and getting in touch with customer support to assess their performance and response time.

How can the user test an online ticketing platform?
Users can test a platform by signing up for a free account if available, evaluating its ease of use, registration process, event page builder, attendee management, checkout process, and level of integration.

What is TicketsCandy and why is it recommended?
TicketsCandy is an online event ticketing platform that offers a range of features such as support for multiple event types, easy user registration, 2-step checkout, event page builder, and more. It’s recommended due to its robust functionality and being completely free to use.

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