For event planners, ticket sales are a basic measure of a successful event, making it all too easy to get wrapped up in watching your sales numbers. But while ticket sales are important, your event could end up feeling sparsely attended and unexciting if a lot of those buyers turn into no-shows.
So if you’re focusing on how to make an event successful, your marketing effort shouldn’t just revolve around sales, but also getting people through your doors. Increasing actual attendance helps your event feel vibrant and stimulating and can even inspire additional ticket sales to passers-by on the day of your event. Lively and popular events also build brand loyalty, boosting the likelihood that your future events will be hits too.
Wondering how to not just sell tickets, but get people through the door too? We’ve got a few ideas.
1. Build excitement and anticipation
When you sell tickets, be sure to obtain ticket buyers’ email addresses and encourage them to follow your social media pages. Then send periodic communications to your ticket holders reminding them of the event and offering teasers about what’s in store, such as guests, topics, perks, or presentations. Use a mix of different media, from emails to social media posts, to make your communications feel fresh. Fun and engaging social posts, in particular, can become shareable content that spreads your message far beyond your immediate circle.
These promotional efforts are especially crucial for online events, which sometimes need a little help to stand out on your guests’ crowded calendars. One show biz basic that can also help your virtual attendance is to always promote your headline attraction first, but unveil more surprises as the event nears. It’s an effective, time-tested way to build interest and anticipation.
2. Make FOMO your friend
Stoke your ticket buyers’ fear of missing out on exclusive experiences, whether that’s an up-close-and-personal Q&A with a high-profile speaker or exclusive merchandise that’s only available in-person. Include a photo booth to inspire everyone to share the good vibes with as many people as possible. Consider organizing a raffle or other opportunity to win a prize — and make sure to spread the word ahead of time so ticket-buyers know what they might miss.
Show attendees that your event will be an experience beyond what’s on the schedule. Highlight possible networking opportunities, live music, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, or other in-person-only treats. By showcasing what ticket buyers will miss if they don’t attend, you can motivate them to get up and get out. This can be even more important if you aren’t charging a fee for admission. If guests have spent money on a ticket, they’re more likely to attend because they’ve made an investment, which means you need a new way to motivate them.
3. Be flexible
No matter how amazing an event you have put together, there will always be last-minute conflicts for some ticket buyers. So, if they can’t come to you, come to them by including a hybrid or online component alongside your live event. Or make a recording of your event and put it online — which is also a great way to generate buzz for your brand’s future events.
If your event is part of a series, offer busy ticket buyers a way to transfer tickets to a new date if needed. Accommodating customer needs goes a long way toward generating goodwill.
4. Keep the (promotion) party going
The end of your event is only the start of your promotion efforts. Post photos and videos on social media or blog as a way to promote future events. Images of people having fun or enjoying thoughtful programming are one of the best kinds of advertising. A candid look at your event can also feel less like advertising and more like the latest buzz from a friend — so it’s easy for your audience to share your post with their own social circles too. These efforts can also encourage people who may have heard about prior events but never pulled the trigger on a ticket purchase.
Knowing how to increase attendance is something that comes with experience, and learning how to cut back on no-shows is a good first step. Reach — and build — your audience by sending reminders, teasers, and promotions both pre- and post-event. Count on Eventbrite to help you sell more tickets and give you the tools you need to market and promote your event.