From Zero to Sold Out: How to Sell Tickets to Your Show
- Create a one-of-a-kind show name.
- Make posters that’ll turn heads.
- Work every marketing channel you can find.
- Sell tickets in advance
- Run a few contests.
- Get the local media and influencers in on it.
- Tap into an online ticketing platform for a smooth experience and extra marketing muscle.
Organizing a great show takes a lot of hard work and willpower. You need to have the right amount of enthusiasm, arrange a venue, find sponsors, promote it, and the list goes on.
But the effort is worth it, as concerts and other types of shows are seeing an upward trend in growth—the industry revenue is up by 9.1 % compared to 2018 and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
However, if you can’t sell out your show (or at least turn a profit), all your hard work and investment might go down the drain, making it tough to stay afloat.
And even if you make a profit, unless you work with an online ticketing platform that’s free (TicketsCandy, for example), you’ll also have to surrender it to the expensive ticketing solution you chose.
So, the major factor that’ll decide your business’s future is whether you can move enough tickets to your show or not. That’s what we’ll help you with.
In this article, you’ll learn how to sell tickets to your show without paying any fees. We’ll share the steps, tools, and strategies you need to sell tickets to shows.
Effective Strategies to Sell Tickets to Your Show
There’s no use in putting on a gig if there’s no crowd to cheer you on. Merely posting your gig on your Facebook Page won’t draw a crowd.
Sometimes, show organizers mistakenly believe that hitting the road and getting their gigs listed on the venue’s website will automatically attract an audience just because they’re a “touring band” from far away.
Venues don’t actively advertise their gigs; they can’t, as there are just too many of them. That’s why venues team up with promoters or expect organizers to attract all of the crowd.
The show’s outcome and ticket sales pretty much come down to how well the artist sells the gig. Below, we’ll share some tried-and-tested tactics to pump up ticket sales so you can keep your show going.
Space Out Your Shows
Even if your all-time favorite band was playing in your town every week, you might not show up to every one of their shows. So, why assume your casual fans will want to catch your act every other weekend at different venues around town?
They might just say, “Meh, I’ll catch the next one. They’re playing all the time!” So, don’t overdo it. Here’s what we suggest: arrange a major local gig every 8-12 weeks and a national one every 4-6 months.
Create a Video for Your Show
To make a show a real standout, you need to create a punchy 1-2 minute video that’s all about it. This video should include clips from your past performances (and don’t forget to add YouTube annotations to link back to full videos), along with some live footage. Make sure it’s all high-quality.
Once you’ve created this short video, upload it to YouTube and Facebook for that extended reach, and trim a snappy 1-minute version for Instagram Reels and TikTok. Also, post that 1-minute clip to YouTube Shorts. YouTube’s algorithm has been pushing Shorts really hard to compete with TikTok and Instagram. So take benefit of that while you can.
If your band doesn’t have fancy videos, run a photo stream of the band’s music to keep things groovy.
When you put together a show-specific video, it gives the show some serious attention and turns it into a full-blown must-see event.
Create a Title for Your Show
The reason why people will choose your show over just any Tuesday night gig with four bands is because yours really stands out. When you give it a unique title, it automatically becomes the talk of the town. “Hey, are you planning to attend the ‘Velvet Concord’ gig?”
Sounds a lot more exciting than “Black Sabbath is playing at Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge on Thursday. Want to check it out?”
Design & Promote Your Posters
Get a talented graphic artist to whip up a unique poster for your show, complete with the show title. Depending on your budget, you could even do a limited run of screen-printed posters and get all the bands to sign them. Then, you can give them away as prizes to the lucky ticket holders.
This show poster should be plastered everywhere: on the Facebook Event, Instagram, posters all over town, flyers, T-shirts, and even in your Facebook ads.
Speaking of Facebook ads, if you are working with the right online ticketing platform like TicketsCandy, they’ll run it for you. They have tons of experience doing just that and know how to optimize the ad for the maximum return on ad spend (ROAS).
The more people see this eye-catching image, the more they’ll chat about it, and the more likely they’ll show up to the show.
Offer Advance Ticket Sales
Whenever you can, aim to sell tickets to shows in advance. When people snap up tickets beforehand, it’s like a rock-solid guarantee they’ll show up.
Plus, it gets them all fired up to rope in their friends so they can show up to the gig as a group. Having advance tickets on hand also adds a positive reputation to the show and makes attendees feel dead set on coming out.
People who’ve already paid for their tickets are more likely to stay the course, rain, hail, or shine.
But those without a financial commitment might opt for a cozy night in if the weather isn’t nice. So, selling tickets in advance guarantees attendance and helps keep the show running no matter what nature throws your way.
The best way to sell tickets in advance is to sell online. And for that, you’ll need to work with an online ticketing solution (more on that later in the article).
Running a bunch of contests is an excellent way to drum up some promo and get those advance ticket sales rolling. For instance, how about rewarding advance ticket holders with goodie bags full of posters, stickers, and other cool merch from each band?
Just make sure to dish them out as people head home so they’re not lugging the bag around all night.
And on socials, you can run contests on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to get people buzzing about the show video and poster.
On the Facebook Event, you can lay it out like this: “Share this Event (or Video) on your Timeline, round up your friends for this Event, and then post ‘We’ll be there!’ on the Event’s wall.”
Everyone who participates will get a shot at scoring a T-shirt and poster at the show. Then, when you’re up on stage, announce the lucky winner.
Reach Out to Local Media & Famous Influencers
As your show is also an event, you’ve got some serious firepower to catch the attention of the local media.
Even if none of the bands could score more than a passing mention in your local newspaper before, pulling them together for this buzz-worthy event will make the paper sit up and take notice.
Also, if you can reach out to social media influencers and convince them to promote and cover your show, they can be more impactful than any local channel could be.
Today, over 4.59 billion people use social media. You can’t get that kind of potential reach using any conventional marketing tactic.
It might take some effort, but it would be worth it if you could find an influencer with a decent number of followers and convince them to work with you.
Leveraging an Online Ticketing Platform for Selling Tickets to Your Show
When mastering how to sell tickets to your show, you can’t afford to overlook the perks that online ticketing solutions bring to the table. These platforms streamline ticket selling, freeing up your time for crucial promotional efforts and other key aspects of your show.
Plus, they’re a cost-effective option, cutting down on expenses like printing and the need for on-site staff. And the convenience factor can’t be ignored—with so many people spending most of their time online, it’s super convenient for them to snag tickets.
You also get some handy marketing insights and can zero in on repeat customers. Plus, online ticketing is available around the clock, making it easy for a wider audience to score their tickets.
And if you team up with an online ticketing pro like TicketsCandy, you get to tap into their marketing expertise and resources (like their email list, for instance).
Now that we’ve covered the why, we’ll discuss how to use such a platform to sell tickets to the show more effectively.
Step 1: Signing Up With TicketsCandy
The first step to start selling tickets to your show is registering yourself with TicketsCandy. You won’t even need to take your credit card out of your wallet—it’s completely free to use.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Go to our sign-up page.
- Fill in the necessary details (we’ll just need your name, email address, password, and country).
- Hit that sign-up button.
Don’t forget to confirm your email address, and you’ll be all set to sell tickets to your show.
Step 2: Creating Your First Event
Once your email address is confirmed, you’ll be whisked over to the dashboard, where you can get started by creating your first event. Just give one of those two buttons a click, as the image below highlights.
Once you hit “Create Event,” you’ll see a pop-up asking for extra information about your show—the event’s name, start and finish dates and times, timezone, venue name, address, and your organization’s name.
Step 3: Create Your Virtual Tickets
When setting up your tickets on TicketsCandy, you have some choices to make. Here’s the rundown:
- Ticket Type: Decide whether to create a regular “Ticket” or an “Addon Item.” You can’t switch the type once you’ve created it, so choose wisely. A “Ticket” gets someone entry to your show, while an “Addon Item” lets you include extra things in your customers’ experience.
- Ticket Price: This is how much your customers will pay for a ticket. If you’re offering a discount, put the discounted price under “Discount Price”; otherwise, leave it blank.
- Quantity Available: If you have limited tickets, fill in the available number. If you’re selling an unlimited number, leave it blank.
- Tickets Per Order (Min-Max): To restrict how many tickets people can buy in one go, choose the minimum and maximum number of tickets per order.
- Ticket Icon: This is the little icon customers will see next to the ticket name on your widget.
- Ticket Description: Use this field to describe the ticket under your widget. You can say something like, “Admits one adult 18 and over.”
- Start Sale On and End Sale On: Use these to specify when you want to start and stop selling tickets. “Start Sale On” determines when the ticket will become available.
If you want it to be available right away, just leave it blank. “End Sale On” is the date you want to stop selling tickets. If you don’t want to set an end date, tickets will be available indefinitely.
- Calendar: Choose the calendar to attach the tickets to. The calendar controls available time slots and their capacity. For your first event, the “Default Calendar” will do.
- Cannot Be Sold Individually: Select this option if your tickets need to be purchased with other tickets. It’s often used for situations like buying kid’s tickets with adult tickets.
- Hide This Ticket: If you’re not ready for the ticket to appear on your widget for customers, you can select “Hide This Ticket.”
Step 4: Create a Landing Page or Deploy the Ticketing Widget
You’ll want to slap the ticketing widget onto your website (if you have one, and we highly recommend that you should) to make it easy for your buyers to grab tickets. Here’s how you can do that:
- Find Your Widget Code: Go on over to “Your First Event,” then shoot through to “Event Settings,” and give the “Website Widget” tab a click. You’ll see your widget code right there.
- Copy and Paste: Once you’ve got that code, copy it. Then, paste it into the section of your website where you think the widget should pop up. Just make sure you paste the whole code.
- Using Website Builders: If you have a website builder, you can usually paste the widget code in there with a “custom code” or “HTML code” module.
If you don’t really have your own website, you can always use our event page builder to create a landing page for your show. Here’s how you can’t do that:Head to the menu just above the “Ticketing Widget.” Click “Event Page” to land on the event customization page with the following sections:
- Basic Info: Update event name, location, and organizer, and add website and social links.
- Details: Add the event logo, main image, short summary, and a detailed description to align with your branding.
- Media Gallery: Include more images and a YouTube video link.
Step 5: Promote, Promote, and Promote!
Now that you have a landing page ready to promote, we’ll share some top tips for you. Show marketing can be a bit of a headache, but with the right strategies, you can make it super easy and watch your event flourish. Here are some proven promotional ideas to make your shows a hit:
- Offer Early Bird Show Registration: One of the classics in show promotion is to offer early bird discounts. It’s a quick way to get people to sign up and creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Plus, it helps you understand potential objections and gather insights.
- Build a Show Community: Engage with your audience and create a community around your show. Platforms like your social pages and Reddit forums can help attendees interact before, during, and after the show. This interaction can lead to meaningful connections and word-of-mouth promotion.
- Leverage Email Marketing: Email marketing is a powerful tool. Personalize your emails and offer exclusive discounts to subscribers. You can even use AI to simplify the process. If you already have an email list, there’s no other asset better than that. After all, these potential attendees are your super fans and subscribed to you for a reason.
And if you don’t have an email list, don’t worry. Working with TicketsCandy, you get to promote your show using email marketing to a hyper-targeted audience that’s already looking to attend shows like yours.
- Host Pre-event Podcasts: Podcasts are a captivating way to generate excitement. Create episodes specifically designed to get people buzzing about your shows. Collaborate with other podcasters to reach a wider audience.
- Take Full Advantage of Social Media: Use show hashtags and collaborate with influencers to get the word out. Social media is a goldmine for promotion.
- Offer Freebies: Giveaways are popular, but make them relevant to your audience. Offer something memorable and valuable to enrich their show experience.
Wrapping Up: How to Sell Tickets to Your Show
To successfully sell tickets to your show, implement strategies mentioned in this article—that’ll get your message out there to a bigger crowd (especially by working with the right ticketing platform).
Using the right sales moves will help you turn all those potential buyers you’ve reached through your marketing into actual ticket-holding attendees.
And once you’ve packed out a venue in your hometown and earned your stripes, you’ll be on everyone’s radar. That’s when it’s time to hit the road and take your show on tour!
The key to successfully selling tickets to a show involves creating a one-of-a-kind show name, making eye-catching posters, utilizing multiple marketing channels, selling tickets in advance, running contests, involving local media and influencers, and leveraging an online ticketing platform for a seamless experience.
Spacing out shows is essential because it prevents oversaturation in the market and ensures that fans don’t become complacent. It’s recommended to arrange major local gigs every 8-12 weeks and national ones every 4-6 months to maintain audience interest.
Creating a compelling 1-2 minute video for the show, featuring clips from past performances, can generate excitement and make the show a must-see event. Sharing this video on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts can expand its reach and attract more attendees.
Giving your show a unique and memorable title sets it apart from other events and generates excitement. It makes your show more appealing and easier to promote through word of mouth.
Designing eye-catching posters that include the show title and distributing them on various platforms, including social media, can create buzz and generate interest in the event. Posters can be used in Facebook ads to further enhance visibility.
Selling tickets in advance provides a sense of commitment from attendees, increasing the likelihood that they will attend the show. It also encourages them to bring friends, adds to the show’s reputation, and ensures a consistent audience regardless of weather conditions.
Contests, such as rewarding advance ticket holders with merchandise, can generate excitement and encourage attendees to share the event on social media. Running contests on platforms like Facebook and Twitter can also boost engagement and awareness.
Local media coverage and influencer endorsements can significantly boost the visibility of your show. Media attention lends credibility, while influencers can reach a broad online audience, increasing the chances of attracting attendees.
Online ticketing platforms streamline ticket sales, reduce expenses, provide marketing insights, and offer convenience for attendees. They also allow for 24/7 ticket availability and can provide marketing support and expertise.
To get started with an online ticketing platform like TicketsCandy, you can follow these steps:
- Register for free on TicketsCandy’s website by providing your name, email address, password, and country.
- Confirm your email address to complete the registration process.
- Create your first event by providing details such as event name, date, time, venue, and organization name.
- Customize your virtual tickets by setting ticket types, prices, quantities, and other relevant details.
- Add the ticketing widget to your website or create a landing page for your event using TicketsCandy’s event page builder.
- Promote your event through various marketing strategies, including early bird discounts, community engagement, email marketing, podcasts, and social media.