Learn How to Sell Event Tickets Online in 2 Simple Steps
Let’s face it, learning how to sell tickets online isn’t as easy as it used to be. The sheer number of ticketing platforms and pricing options out there can be overwhelming to a newcomer and frustrating to a seasoned event organizer alike. What’s more, it’s hard to tell nowadays whether you’re choosing the ticketing system that’s right for your event and business.
While selling paper tickets at the event is still an option, it fails to match the convenience and earning potential you gain when you sell event tickets online. Furthermore, managing and tracking online ticket sales is critical to ensuring you stay on budget and allocate funds appropriately.
Okay, so you may be feeling a little anxious now about selling tickets online and about event ticketing in general. Luckily, we have created an easy to follow, step-by-step guide on how to not only sell tickets online for your event, but also how to properly promote and engage with your target audience. By following our simple guide, you’ll have all the tools you need to start selling tickets online for your event, stress free.
You can start selling event tickets online with these simple guidelines:
- Sign up to a ticketing platform
- Choose a merchant account to process payments
- Build a website for your event
- Promote your event online
- Create ticket deals through Groupon
The Technical Side of Selling Tickets Online
Maybe this year’s event for your company is coming up, or maybe you just have this great event idea and it’s time to put it into action. Whatever the case may be, you’ve spent weeks planning your event and now you’re ready to start selling tickets for it. But before you do, you need to create the online box office where the tickets will be sold. In the next steps, you’ll find all the tools you need to set up the ticketing system, handle ticketing fees, and create your event’s landing page; we also offer a few tips of our own on how to improve online ticket sales in a cost-effective manner.
Ticketing Platforms to Create Online Tickets
Ticketing platforms are your one-stop-shop for generating and managing your online event tickets. It’s where you will set your ticket prices, track the number of event tickets sold, and determine how many tickets are available. Through the online ticketing system, each event ticket is created with a unique scannable QR code — so only legitimate ticket purchasers will be able to attend.
The ticketing platform will also be where you govern the type of online event tickets you sell, depending on whether you create multiple ticket types or not, as well as where you handle any special offers or group discounts. This guide will focus on tickets for sale, but you may also sell free tickets here too.
In exchange for using their systems, ticketing platforms charge you a fee. Depending on which ticketing system you select, this fee will either be charged on a per-event ticket sale basis or as a total flat fee. Keep in mind too, many ticketing systems only advertise the fees for the basic plan. Additional fees may be charged for more advanced event ticketing requirements.
There’s a plethora of ticketing platforms out there, each with its own set of features and prices, so you’ll have to do a little research to decide which is best for you. Some ticketing platforms, such as Eventbrite and Ticketmaster, use the per-ticket sale percentage fee: charging between 3-5% for their basic ticketing features. That’s 3-5% taken out of each ticket price!
This could be fine is you need to sell only a few event tickets online, however, if you’re selling hundreds or thousands tickets online, these per-ticket percentage fees can easily eat into your earnings. And even then, you may not get an unlimited number of tickets. Some services charge a higher fee for selling more tickets.
As you can imagine, these fees begin to add up rather quickly, penalizing you for higher event ticket sales. What’s worse, depending on your event’s budget, you may have to partially pass these higher fees on to your ticket purchasers, potentially impacting your event’s attendance.
Use TicketsCandy to Sell Event Tickets Online
In contrast, TicketsCandy doesn’t mess around with the per-ticket sale fee. For the complete use of its services, and for an unlimited number of tickets, TicketsCandy only charges a one-time, flat fee of 0.9%. For context, let’s say you were selling 200 tickets online a month for $25 each. At TicketsCandy, the entire service fee would be $45, whereas at Eventbrite, you’d be charged $493 for the same number of tickets. That’s over $400 in savings just for using TicketsCandy. You can visit TicketsCandy’s website for an interactive visual that displays how much you could save by using its online ticketing system.
To get started selling tickets on TicketsCandy, you’ll first need to create an account. This process is quick and easy, requiring you to only provide a few essential facts about your event such as:
- Event details
- Ticket types and prices
- Time slots and capacities
Click submit and you’ll be assigned one of the amazing project managers who will help set up your box office for you. After that, you are all set to start selling tickets online.
In addition, TicketsCandy handles all the necessary maintenance for you, meaning you spend less time worrying about the technical aspect of event ticket sales and more time on promotion. As you’ll see below, this extra time spent on event management is critical to increasing event attendance.
Choose a Merchant Account to Process Payments
In order to start selling tickets online, you’ll need to create what’s called a merchant account. Basically, merchant accounts are a type of bank account that allow ticket purchasers to buy tickets through a variety of methods, such as credit and debit cards. The largest merchant accounts are Square, Stripe, and Paypal.
Keep in mind that merchants have their own fees for use of their services, so plan accordingly when gauging the prices. If possible, we recommend selecting merchant accounts that have partnered with the ticketing platform. These partnerships may come with reduced fees, leading to significant savings on your end.
To streamline the process even more, TicketsCandy has partnered with Square to bring you the best features at an affordable price. Due to this partnership, you’ll have an account created for you through TicketsCandy with personalized onboarding with Square.
Just like at TicketsCandy, Square is dedicated to bringing you high quality functionality, but at a price you can afford. As the largest available merchant service, Square provides customized merchant processing with 24/7 priority support. Issues can arise at any time, and Square’s support is there to assist you no matter the time of day.
Build a Website for Your Event
Now that you’ve chosen your ticketing platform and merchant account, it’s time to actually create the website where customers can visit your ticket shop. Your event website will serve as the hub where people come to purchase tickets, learn about updates for the event, and interact with the community. It’s also a great place to promote your business and to offer sneak-previews of upcoming events that you may be planning.
Below are some of the most common options when it comes to building a website:
Use Atavion to Build a Premium Event Website
To help you start selling tickets fast, TicketsCandy has partnered with the premium website builder, Atavion. Unlike most website builders, which offer templates you can alter, Atavion will build you a custom-made website for your specific event. All you have to do is provide some basic information regarding your event, branding, requirements, etc., and the skilled web developers at Atavion will build you something unique and eye-catching that your competitors can only dream of.
Through TicketsCandy’s partnership with Atavion, you will receive a 35% discount on their website development plans, further making it easier to start selling your tickets and promote your event. What’s more, by having a custom-made event website, you’re in control of how and what about your event and branding you promote.
Utilize Marketing to Sell Event Tickets Online
So you’ve chosen your ticketing platform, selected a merchant account, and created a gorgeous bespoke website with Atavion for your event, what’s next? Well, the next step is to get the word out about it and start increasing ticket sales.
Next to the technical aspects of online ticketing we’ve covered above, promotion of your event is the most important way to actually get people to attend. Too many events receive poor attendance because the organizers didn’t know how to properly promote their tickets online. The days of in-person ticket vending are over. Fewer people are going out and even fewer want to deal with handling a physical ticket.
Below, we go through the top four ways to promote your online event and increase ticket sales.
Promote Your Event Online with Social Media
The easiest way to spread the word about your event is through social media marketing.
If you or your company already have social media accounts, then you’re all set to start promoting. If you don’t, or if you’d like to create new ones for this specific event, now is the time to create them. It’s critical to start promoting for the event well in advance of the actual day of it. Otherwise, not enough people will have had the chance to see your promotion and purchase tickets.
Choose a Platform Based on Your Audience
Each social media platform is different, and thus caters to different demographics. You should take this into consideration when selecting which social media platform you’ll be promoting the most on.
The top social media platforms you should be promoting on are:
Keep in mind that posting on social media isn’t a one-time thing. There’s so much content being created every second that it’s easy for your drop in the ocean to get lost. Instead, we recommend posting often and regularly about your event — every day if possible. Post at the time every day when the most people are likely to see it; 10PM on Sunday probably isn’t the right time to kick-off your social media campaign.
In addition, we recommend using creative and eye-catching visuals to grab people’s attention. Remember that yours isn’t the only post vying for their attention. You’re competing with potentially thousands of other events, companies, campaigns, etc., so the more your posts stand out, the better. Use the appropriate hashtags for your posts as well. This helps get your posts into the feeds of people who best fit your event’s demographics, lowering the chance that it’ll be missed by those most likely to attend.
Partner with Influencers to Boost Audience Engagement
Influencers are people with a perceived high-level of knowledge and visibility in their field who promote and endorse events, products, brands, etc., through social media. They usually have large followings and the capacity to sway a large group of people in their buying habits.
Getting them to promote your event is an excellent way to reach a broad audience of people who may be interested in attending. Remember: you don’t have to be the only one promoting your event.
Employ Paid Advertising to Sell More Tickets Online
While cost-effective, social media marketing may only get you so far in selling your tickets. People may be aware of your event, but they may not feel the urge to follow through with purchasing tickets. That’s where paid advertising comes in.
Paid advertising, especially through platforms like Google, are a highly-effective way to start selling tickets fast. Unlike social media campaigns, where you’re often shooting blind and hoping the promotions find the target audience, Google ads can be tailored to the exact demographics and locations you are looking for. In contrast to traditional marketing campaigns like commercials or billboards, you won’t be wasting your money sending your ads to people who aren’t interested in attending the event.
Advertise Your Event through Groupon
Another excellent way to promote your event and increase ticket sales is through Groupon. By handily connecting locals with merchants, Groupon is the perfect way to reach an even broader audience with little cost to you. Have leftover tickets that you don’t know what to do with? Instead of turning them into free tickets, why not create a package deal on Groupon? Not only will you boost event attendance, you’ll be connecting with a larger demographic – some of who may be interested in attending your future events as well.
Learning how to sell event tickets online doesn’t have to be a total hassle. Nevertheless, it does require forethought and proper event management. In our guide above, we’ve provided you with all the tools you need to quickly start selling tickets online for your event. It all starts with picking a high-quality and trustworthy ticketing platform like TicketsCandy. After that, you need to choose a merchant account like Square to process transactions.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to build a beautiful, custom-made website for your event, like the ones offered by Atavion. Finally, it’s time to promote your event by posting regularly on social media, partnering with influencers, employing paid advertising, and creating Groupon deals to stimulate ticket sales and direct traffic to your website.
Focus on these steps, and you’ll be ready to start selling tickets for your event in no time.