Learn (and Conquer!) the Event Ticketing Lifecycle

On average, data we’ve collected at Eventbrite shows that there are naturally two spikes in the ticketing lifecycle. If an event goes on sale 6 weeks ahead of time, it’s common to see a spike when tickets first go on sale, and then again the week that the event takes place. If you’ve ever hosted an event before, you know this is true because well…people loooove to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to make their purchase.

Knowing that there is a natural lull in between the time that tickets go on sale and the week of the event, there are a few steps you can take to beat (and conquer) the natural dip in the ticketing lifecycle.

Ticket Sales

1. Identify your allies. While you might feel like a one-person army, it can make a world of difference to divvy up promoting the event between a larger audience. If you are planning a larger event (like a gala or conference), consider creating a host committee. Ask each committee member to commit to selling a certain number of tickets — or turn it into a race, see who can sell x number of tickets the fastest. If you’re planning a smaller event (like a class, a networking event, or a smaller social event), consider reaching out to community partners. Community partners are people or organizations who have a similar, but not identical reach. A popular arrangement with community partners is offering a discount for members of a group in exchange for plugging your event in an email or social media post. Be sure to set up tracking links (see Step 2!) if you’re utilizing a host committee or community partners.

2. Use tracking links. Tracking links are by and large, the most efficient (and easiest) way to track your marketing efforts. You can set up tracking links for each channel that you’re using to promote your event in a matter of seconds. This link will walk you through how to set up tracking links. Once you’ve created your links, be sure to provide all partners or host committee members with their appropriate link that they can use when getting the word out about your event. At any point in time, you can log into your Eventbrite account and see which link is generating the most amount of clicks and if any of the clicks have converted into sales.

3. Carefully time your social media & email promotions. We’ve noticed that quite often, organizers send out an email right when tickets go on sale, and again the week before the event takes place. Same thing with social media promotions — we see a spike in tweets and posts right when tickets first go on sale, and again when sales are coming to a close. Now that you know weeks 2-5 are a often pretty quiet, time your email and social media efforts to take place during that time. Planning a contest or promotion? Thinking about offering a flash sale or discount? Time your heaviest pushes during the time you know ticket sales are the slowest.

4. Incentivize early purchasers. Consider offering tiered ticketing prices in order to convince attendees to commit earlier. By offering ticketing at different price levels based on the time of purchase, people who might be on the fence about attending can be motivated to purchase if they know they’ll be saving money. For example, by pricing Early Bird tickets at $50, General Admission at $60 and tickets purchased the day of the event at $75, people are more likely to purchase a ticket when the cost is lower. By selling more tickets in advance, you won’t be in such a panic the week of the event or worry that you won’t sell enough tickets!

Have you successfully outsmarted the ticketing lifecycle? Tell us your tips in the comments below!