Top Affordable Ticketing Solutions For Small Businesses
As an event business owner, you need a balance between providing your ticket buyers with the best possible experience and boosting your bottom line by keeping your costs low. Here are the ticketing solutions that’ll help you achieve that goal.
Think about it: Your buyers get to purchase their tickets from the comfort of their homes, using their preferred devices, instead of standing in long queues.
Plus, as an event organizer, working with an online ticketing platform makes managing ticket sales a whole lot easier for you.
It streamlines sales, automates processes, helps you reach wider audiences, provides real-time data, and simplifies attendee check-ins, enhancing event management efficiency.
But these benefits come at a cost—hefty fees that most popular and established ticketing solutions would charge you for their services.
And obviously, you’d pass on this cost to your buyers, making ticket prices less attractive or, alternatively, take a massive dent in your profit margins. Either way, your bottom line would suffer a lot.
But it doesn’t have to be that way—in this article, we’ll list down the best online ticketing platforms for small businesses that are affordable yet have features that rival the best in the market. So, read on.
The Features You Should Look For In An Affordable Online Ticketing Service
Although partnering up with an affordable ticketing platform is a smart move, that doesn’t mean you should compromise on features and functionality.
The ticketing solution you choose will represent your business to your customer at such a sensitive stage of their journey—when they are ready to buy tickets to your event.
As an organizer, you can’t afford to have them drop the ball, especially when the reputation that you’ve worked so hard to build is involved.
Also, think about it this way: The ticketing service you choose to work with is literally your virtual ticketing booth. They are one of your customer’s first contact with your business regarding their experience.
And as the old saying goes, ‘the first impression is the last impression. Having a bad experience at the booth will ruin their impression of your whole event. They’ll perceive it through the lens of their initial experience.
Work with a ticketing platform that shares your values and doesn’t skimp on essential features and functions to make the customer experience seamless.
Here are some features that a top-tier online ticketing solution must have:
Ease of Use
First things first, you need to make sure that the online ticketing platform you choose has a low learning curve.
From setting up your first event to tracking ticket sales, the user interface (UI) should be clean and easy to use. You can’t have the platform making your job as an event organizer harder and more confusing when you chose it to make it easier in the first place.
Also, the event page you set up with the ticketing solution and even their ticketing widget (which you can deploy on your own website) should be super easy for your buyers to use.
A well-designed website can boost your visit-to-buy conversion rate by up to 200%, a massive improvement compared to a poorly designed site.
Sites with a great user experience might even see visit-to-lead conversion rates shoot up by more than 400%.
So, considering these numbers, it’s a no-brainer to go for a platform that really nails the usability in its design so you can rack up your ticket sales.
The ticketing solution should also have a seamless onboarding process, so you won’t have a hard time learning the ropes of a whole new platform.
They should have the resources available to help you wrap your head around the tools you’ll use to manage ticketing.
As an event organizer, you have a story to share with your potential ticket buyers to help them build an emotional bond with your event.
After all, relatability helps you share your brand values with buyers who are on your wavelength. And you can’t really do that without customization.
Also, you must keep your branding consistent throughout your buyers’ journey to make it more memorable, as consistent branding results in 10 to 20% revenue growth.
So, if you are looking for an online ticketing service that offers a highly customizable event page, you are on the right track.
Depending on your chosen platform, the customization options may include themes, ticket types, promo codes, social media integration, logo, etc.
Ticketing platforms have tons of experience in marketing events through their social media pages, running ads, email marketing, etc. And having them by your side when selling tickets to your event can be a huge plus for your business.
Some platforms give you access to a hyper-targeted audience that might be highly susceptible to your message and would happily say yes to buying your tickets.
These platforms have built the holy grail of marketing—a high-quality email list—to which they’d be happy to promote your event if you choose them as your ticketing solution.
Plus, they know the ins and outs of optimizing ad campaigns for the best possible return on ad spend (ROAS), helping you get the most out of your ad budget.
So, look for a ticketing solution that will offer you these marketing services in addition to being affordable. At the bare minimum, they should give you the supporting tools to market your event on your own—think social media integrations, analytics, etc.
For seamless ticketing and tackling any technical glitches you might come across, dependable customer support is the way to go, especially when you’re venturing into a whole new platform.
Before you jump on board, do a bit of digging into the platform’s customer service. Check if they offer phone support, email assistance, or live chat. Knowing how to get in touch with them when you need a fair go is crucial.
Look at some reviews or reach out to other event organizers for their two cents. See if the platform’s customer support is responsive and always ready to help you when needed.
You also need to think about your ticket buyers. They might face issues using the event page to buy tickets or even the ticketing widget on your website. The ticketing platform you choose must have 24/7 support, so your buyers from any time zone can contact them when needed.
To rake in high-profit margins, you have to be savvy about the fee structure of an online ticketing solution.
The ticket platform fee covers the costs of developers, customer support, and marketing. Prices can start from free (precisely what TicketsCandy offers) to as high as 10% or even 50%.
Here are a few pricing structures you might come across in the online ticketing platform market:
- Flat fee per ticket: The platform charges you a set amount for every ticket, no matter how much it costs. That means you should partner up with the platform with this pricing structure if you have high ticket prices.
- Percentage per ticket: You pay a certain percentage of the ticket price as a fee. If your ticket prices are on the lower side, look for a platform with this type of pricing. That way, you’ll only have to cough up a small amount per ticket to the platform.
- Flat fee plus percentage: It’s a mix of both pricing structures mentioned above, like what Eventbrite does with their US 3.7% + $1.59 deal. Plus, there’s a 2.9% payment processing fee that’ll come out of your pocket, as you can’t pass it on to your ticket buyers. Unfortunately, this pricing structure benefits the ticketing platform more than it does you.
The Best Affordable Online Ticketing Solutions For Small Businesses
Remember: affordability shouldn’t trump functionality when choosing a ticketing solution—your long-term success depends on how seamless of an experience you provide to your customers. Choose one that best suits your budget, brand values, and ticket prices and puts the customer experience first during ticket sales.
That said, here are the best affordable ticketing solutions based on the factors mentioned in this article:
|Free to use|
|User-friendly ticketing widget|
|Hassle-free checkout flow|
|Multi-channel event promotion|
|Versatile ticket sales options|
|Instant event setup|
|Multiple merchant providers|
TicketsCandy is the best and the most affordable online ticketing platform with all the great features you need. Even though it’s relatively new in the market, it’s known for having excellent customer support—better than most of its competitors (even the big names).
TicketsCandy offers excellent tools to support your marketing efforts. Even better, it helps you sell more tickets by connecting you with a targeted audience genuinely interested in your event. They also run ads and send email newsletters to promote your event effectively.
The best part? It won’t cost you a single cent to use. Unlike its competitors, TicketsCandy doesn’t take a hefty cut from your ticket sales revenue.
While other ticketing platforms are free to use for free events, TicketsCandy takes the top spot on this list because it’s the only platform that’s truly free—even for events with paid tickets. So, it’s a win-win situation for event organizers.
Working with TicketsCandy, you don’t have to worry about any upfront or hidden costs. As an event organizer, you get to enjoy the benefits without costing your business a penny.
|Free to use|
|No charges for free events|
|Exclusive ticketing options|
TicketTailor has built up a solid reputation among event pros across the event market. They’ve got it sorted, from password-protected tickets and recurring events to custom URLs for better brand recall. It covers all bases with unlimited ticket types, various event categories, and options for private and public listings.
And the user-friendly interface makes it super easy to use. TicketTailor’s pricing is unique because you only pay when tickets are sold. With TicketTailor, you get rich online ticketing features to create a personalized ticket-selling experience for your attendees.
The platform also integrates with other event ticket software apps, making your job (managing ticket sales) a whole lot easier.
Its pricing structure (a flat fee per ticket sold) is super easy to understand, so you can easily calculate the projected cost of working with them. But simplicity isn’t just limited to their pricing—it carries through to the user experience as well.
Many of its positive reviews explain how easy it is to create your first event, go live, and sell tickets.
While there have been a few reports of issues with the mobile app, if you’re after an affordable ticketing solution, TicketTailor could be a reliable choice for you.
They charge from $0.26 to $0.65 per ticket sold, depending on your chosen plan.
|Free to use|
|Flexible ticket management|
|Unlimited control over event|
Eventbrite is one of the OGs in the online ticketing platform market. It’s a complete package as far as online ticketing platforms go. It’s got loads of features, an easy-to-use interface, and can handle all sorts of events.
Creating events, giving out tickets, and keeping track of attendees is as easy as it gets with its straightforward UI, so even newcomers can get the hang of it pretty quickly.
The best part is that the free version of Eventbrite packs a punch with its capabilities. If your event is free, then using Eventbrite won’t cost you a cent. It’s great for non-profit organizations, community events, or any time you don’t charge attendees.
And the cherry on top is that it still lets you set up a custom event page with your branding, manage guest registrations, and list your event in the Eventbrite directory.
But that’s all that Eventbrite will help you with in terms of marketing. Besides that, you are on your own to create an email list, run optimized ads, and use social media marketing.
The free plan also gives you access to core management and promotional tools. You can handle guest lists, check attendees in using the Eventbrite Organizer mobile app, send out custom email invites, and get basic data and reports to see how your event is performing.
The paid plans offer extra features like reserved seating, priority support, and fancy custom-designed tickets, but the free version does a decent job.
There have been mostly good reviews for Eventbrite, but most organizers think that the prices are a bit steep, and there have been a few technical hiccups with customer lists.
If you’re hosting a free event, you won’t get charged any fees. But if you’re charging for tickets, you must pay some fees. Eventbrite takes a 3.7% cut of the ticket price, plus an extra $1.79 service fee per ticket in the U.S.
On top of that, there’s a 2.9% payment processing fee for each transaction, which you can’t pass on to your buyer.
Prices vary for other regions, e.g., for the paid events in Spain, you’ll incur 9% of the ticket price+ €0.19 per sold ticket as the platform fees. You can check out the fees for your region here.
|Free to use|
|Various event types|
|Flat fee structure|
As discussed earlier, if your ticket prices are high, you should be working with a platform with a flat fee structure or a totally free platform (TicketsCandy, for example).
Eventbee is one of the best platforms that offer a flat fee structure with comprehensive features. With just $1 per ticket (their basic plan), you can start selling your tickets with basic features.
Eventbee has a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate. It keeps things clean and straightforward so you won’t get bogged down in complexity.
With Eventbee, you can create tickets for various events, promote them, and handle your attendees.
Plus, they support multiple payment processors like PayPal and Stripe.
No worries if you’re hosting an event with pricey tickets because their flat fee makes it just right And it’s not just for one type of event; they’re versatile and support multiple event types.
And you can make your event page look great in line with your branding, too, with a custom URL.
If you’re setting up a huge event, you can bring in some event sub-managers to help you out.
They charge a flat fee per ticket based on your choice.
- Basic: $1 per ticket, max price $100, 3 ticket types.
- Pro: $1.50 per ticket, max price $500, 10 ticket types.
- Advanced: $2.50 per ticket, max price $1,000, 20 ticket types.
- Business: $3.50 per ticket, no price limit, unlimited ticket types.
The real deal is the Business plan, with no limits, but the others have capped ticket pricing, so keep that in mind when choosing them as your ticketing solution.
The Final Verdict
Choosing a ticketing platform with low fees is vital to boost your bottom line. But it’s equally important to consider other factors like features, functionality, and customer experience.
Remember: A Happy attendee is a returning attendee. So finding a platform that offers a seamless and enjoyable ticketing process can make a big difference.
Despite being a genuinely free ticketing platform, TicketsCandy offers the most comprehensive features of all its competitors. So why not give it a try and let it boost your ticket sales by 30%? Sign up with TicketsCandy today.
Key features to consider include ease of use, customization options, marketing tools, customer support, and the pricing structure of the platform.
The top recommendation for small business event organizers is TicketsCandy due to its affordability, comprehensive features, and excellent customer support.
TicketsCandy is unique in that it’s completely free to use, making it a cost-effective option for small businesses, even for events with paid tickets.
TicketsCandy stands out for being truly free, offering a user-friendly ticketing widget, excellent marketing support, and a two-step checkout process for a seamless user experience.
Yes, TicketsCandy offers customization options for your event page, including themes, ticket types, promo codes, social media integration, and logos, helping you maintain a consistent brand image.