How to sell event tickets online: ultimate guide

How to sell event tickets online: ultimate guide

by Sarah McCunnPublished on Jul 10, 2024
How to sell event tickets online: ultimate guide

Every event planner wants to feel the thrill of a sold-out event—but between your initial spark of inspiration and that celebratory moment sits the challenge of converting potential attendees into ticket-holders.

One thing is for sure—there is no shortage of platforms, solutions and marketing advice out there. While options are great, they can also leave us feeling dazed and confused about what’s going to work best for us.

This guide cuts through the noise and equips you with the building blocks for getting set up to sell tickets successfully.

Members of an audience have their hands in the air and a disco hall casts light around the room

We're going to cover:

  • Crafting an event checkout page that minimizes buyer frustration
  • Creating a webpage to showcase your event
  • Using social media platforms to entice your target audience
  • Setting up compelling confirmation emails that go beyond ‘receipts’
  • Building anticipation and providing valuable information
  • Knowing what to look out for in terms of platform fees
  • Using Checkout Page to accelerate your sales…

…and tips, tricks and signposts to further resources so you can dive deeper in the areas most valuable to you.Let's get started!

How to sell event tickets online in six steps

Let’s break down the key components needed to successfully sell event tickets online, promote your event and use communication channels like a pro in order to build trust with your potential customers.

1. Set up an event ticketing/checkout page

A clear, streamlined event checkout page which lays out key information clearly and does not demand your customers jump through unnecessary hoops to purchase a ticket is a vital ingredient in a successful ticket sales strategy.

A well crafted page with minimal steps for the customer will reduce checkout abandonment and ensure your customer relationships get off to a flying start.

😸Event checkout done right

Checkout Page customer Loving Cats Worldwide started out with their own ticketing system built into their website. It became hard and costly to maintain without in-house expertise and the customer experience was confusing.

They turned to Eventbrite as an alternative but ran into their notoriously high fees!

Screenshot of a Checkout Page client event, Catstraveganza

🥇By opting for our budget friendly, customizable no-code solution which gave them the tools to create customer friendly event checkout without any tech expertise, they have sold over 1000 tickets for their event CATstravaganza™ in under one month!


Let’s take a look at the key components of an effective event checkout page:

🗓️ Be clear & organized:

  • Utilize attractive visuals
  • Show key details upfront (date, time, location, ticket tiers)
  • Provide easy navigation for a smooth user experience

🎫 Highlight ticket options:

  • Clearly display distinct tiers with clear names, descriptions, and benefits
  • Show transparent pricing including any fees
  • Use visual differentiation between tiers

📢 Promote add-ons:

  • Showcase promotions clearly with redemption instructions
  • Highlight limited-time offers to drive urgency
  • Offer relevant add-ons (VIP upgrades, merchandise, food/drink vouchers) with visuals and easy selection during checkout

🪪 Offer secure & streamlined checkout:

  • Offer secure and trusted payment options such as Stripe
  • Ensure a smooth mobile-friendly experience (77% of global sales retail transactions happened on smartphones in the first quarter of 2024, according to Statistica)
  • Provide a transparent order summary with costs before confirmation
  • Generate a confirmation email with details, tickets, and contact information

🔎 Diver deeper: Want to take a closer look and find out which event booking platforms are suited to your event type and budget? Check out our articles:

2. Create an event website

While an event website isn't absolutely necessary for every single event, having one does offer a host of benefits that can significantly boost your online event ticket sales.

A womans hands hover over her laptop keyboard. A selection of images are on screen.


Setting up a basic website to showcase your event is easier than ever with user-friendly platforms that don’t require coding knowledge—such as Wix or Squarespace.

Here are four reasons we think you should create an event website:

1. It’s a central hub for information

  • Single source of truth: The website becomes the go-to place for all event details, eliminating confusion from scattered information where there is a margin for error.
  • Accessibility: Attendees can access information 24/7, at their convenience.
  • Easy updates: You can update content and information on the fly, keeping everything current.

2. It offers enhanced marketing and promotion opportunities

  • Showcase your event: Create a visually appealing website that captures the essence of your event and attracts potential attendees.
  • Boost SEO: Optimize your website content to improve search engine ranking and reach a wider audience.
  • Integrate social media: Link your website to social media platforms for cross-promotion and increased visibility.
Three sets of hands with colourful nail polish join fingers together.

3. It can Improve registration numbers and sales

  • Simplified registration: Allow attendees to register and purchase tickets directly through the website, streamlining the process.
  • Secure payment options: Integrate secure payment gateways for a smooth and trustworthy transaction experience.
  • Track registrations and sales: Gain valuable insights into attendee demographics and ticket sales trends.

4. It will increased engagement

  • Build anticipation: Share teasers, speaker profiles, or sneak peeks of the venue to keep attendees excited.
  • Facilitate communication: Offer a platform for attendees to connect with each other or ask questions through forums or chat features.
  • Livestream or post updates: Live stream event highlights or post updates during the event to keep remote attendees engaged.
Stage lights sit ahead of a sound and light technicians desk

🔍 Diver deeper: If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of having a dedicated event landing page on your website, and walk through ten high converting landing page examples, checkout our article 10 high-converting event landing page examples (& why they convert)

3. Utilize social media accounts

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for spreading the word about your event, building trust and engaging with potential attendees. Each platform has its strengths and audience variation, so for greater reach it’s recommended to promote your event on at least two platforms.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of the top platforms:

Instagram
Instagram thrives on captivating imagery and is ideal for showcasing the vibe, location, speakers, or activities at your event. Hashtags help target the right audience, Stories allow you to share behind the scenes glimpses, and partnering with relevant influencers can significantly boost your reach and attract a wider audience to your event.

Screenshot of an Instragram grid for Noisily festival

Facebook
Facebook is still a strong contender in the social media sphere, and particularly for its event page features. Create and promote your events to friends, groups and communities, utilize targeted ads, share updates and take advantage of the social proof effect of your audience being able to see other people who are going or interested.

Screenshot of a Facebook event pages for a moonlight swim in Saltdean.

TikTok
TikTok thrives on short, engaging videos, enabling you to put together creative content that captures the essence of your event. Utilize trending sounds and hashtags to reach a wider audience and showcase visuals of your venue, speakers, or activities. You can also consider collaborating with relevant TikTok influencers to amplify your message and tap into their established audience.

Screenshot of a video on Hinterland Festival's TikTok page.


Pro tip: Don’t forget to add a link to your event ticketing page to your social media bio and in every post you create to promote your event.

🔍 Dive deeper: Creating attention grabbing, visually pleasing social media posts and knowing how to utilize the power of these platforms will supercharge your sales!

Design platform Canva offer an array of promotion ideas and templates in 20 simple ways to promote your event using social media

4. Create effective booking confirmation emails

Booking confirmation emails serve a far greater purpose than simply verifying a ticket purchase. They can also be powerful tools to build rapport with attendees and generate excitement for the event!

Here's how to make them work for you and your customers:

🧒🏻 Make life easy for customers
Ensure your email includes:

  • Clear and concise information: Include all essential details like date, time, location, and what's included in the booking.
  • Easy access: Attach tickets (PDF or QR code) or provide clear instructions on accessing them.
  • Contact information: Include clear contact details for any questions or concerns.
  • A clear cancellation policy: Briefly outline your cancellation policy for reference.
A woman sits at her laptop on a sofa drinking a hot drink and smiling to herself.

🎉Promoting & building excitementTake your confirmation emails to the next level with these tips:

  • Use an impactful subject line: Craft a catchy subject line that piques interest.
    • Ex: "You're in! Get ready for [Event Name]" or "[Event name] Awaits: Your booking is confirmed!"
  • Highlight key features: Reiterate the event's highlights or unique selling points.
    • "Get ready for inspiring talks, delicious food trucks, and live music at [Event Name]!"
  • Include a "What to expect" section: Briefly outline what attendees can expect at the event (e.g., workshops, activities, refreshments, drinks).
  • Use social proof and testimonials: Include positive quotes from past attendees or showcase logos of sponsors to build trust and credibility.
  • Use an "Add to calendar" option: Make it easy for guests to add the event to their calendars with a simple button or link.
  • Add a "Share with friends" option: Encourage guests to spread the word with a "Share" button or social media link.

5. Establish customer communication channels

In the fast-paced world of events, clear and accurate communication will set you apart. It's not just about sending updates; it's about building a relationship with your ticket-buyers. Here's how to keep the conversation flowing:

  • Clearly signpost support channels: There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than not being able to get in touch with anyone for support around a purchase. Be crystal clear about how people can get in touch with you and ensure these channels are monitored and swift, friendly responses provided.
  • Monitor social media comments: When customers cannot get in touch with you, they will often turn in frustration to social media comments to get your attention- and this can have a negative impact on your event and your reputation. By monitoring your communication channels closely you can avoid this, and ensure a comments section filled with excitement and curiosity about the event.
A person holds a smartphone and responds to comments on a post
  • Price changes: If your event has run previously and prices have gone up this time, be upfront! Explain the "why" behind a price increase. Are you securing a bigger venue, top-notch sound equipment, or a sought after guest speaker? Let your audience know how their extra investment translates to a better experience.
  • Transparency is key: Unfortunate circumstances such as cancellations are a reality in the events world. Be honest and empathetic in communicating this to customers. Inform attendees directly, explain the situation (unexpected logistical issues, health concerns, etc.), and apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Don't shy away from reviews: Negative reviews sting, but they're a chance to show your professionalism and empathy. Thank the reviewer for their feedback, acknowledge their concerns, and show a willingness to improve. Defensiveness never reflects well!
Scrabble pieces in a rack spell out the word 'FEEDBACK'

By following these communication tips, you can build trust and strengthen customer relationships.

6. Send reminder emails before the event

Reminder emails are important for multiple reasons. With so many demands on our attention and schedules, it’s not uncommon to forget something you’ve booked, especially if you booked way ahead of time.

Simply reminding people in the lead up is an important measure.

A woman looks alarmed and clutches the sides of her head


Additionally, reminder emails help you build anticipation before the big day. To make the most of this communication with your attendees, remember the following factors:

🧱 The basics: First and foremost reminder emails ensure attendees have the right date, time and location etched in their calendars.

✨ Create a spark: Create a buzz around your event by highlighting captivating speakers, create teasers of exclusive content, or showcase stunning visuals of the venue.

🅿️ Practicalities: Provide essential information attendees might need at their fingertips. Include parking instructions, a link to the event schedule, or even a downloadable map of the venue.

🤝 Boost engagement: Encourage interaction by incorporating social media buttons or including a "share with a friend" option. This not only creates excitement but helps to boost last-minute ticket sales with people who are more inclined to spontaneous bookings.

A well-crafted reminder email should be more than just a nudge. It's a chance to re-engage your audience and ensure a smooth and successful event for everyone involved.

Platform fees and payouts

Event ticketing platforms offer a convenient way to sell event tickets, but understanding their fee structures and payout policies is crucial for your financial planning. Here's a breakdown of key factors to consider:

Fees: Look beyond the headline service fee. Many platforms tack on additional charges, such as per-ticket fees, processing fees for credit card payments, and even chargebacks for refunded tickets. Carefully analyze the fee structure and estimate the total cost per ticket before choosing a platform.

Payout Frequency: Knowing when you receive your ticket sales revenue is essential. Platforms vary in how often they pay out, with some offering daily settlements and others holding your funds for weeks or even months. For events with tight cash flow, frequent payouts may be non-negotiable!

Coins sit on top of a dollar bill

Hidden costs: Beware of hidden fees that might not be readily apparent. Some platforms charge additional fees for features like advanced marketing tools or custom reporting. It’s dull, but read the fine print 👀

Payment processor fees: Most platforms use third-party payment processors, which typically charge a separate transaction fee. These fees can vary from 1.5% to 3.5% or (and in some cases up to 6% per sale) depending on the processor and the type of payment. Understanding these additional costs allows for accurate budgeting and pricing of your tickets.

💸 At Checkout Page we believe in providing crystal clear pricing and ensuring there are no barriers between you and your money. There are no transaction fees, no hidden costs, and you can get daily payouts if that’s what works for you!

🔎 Dive deeper: To look at a detailed breakdown of pricing structures and fees across platforms, check out our article 12 Best event registration platforms [2024]

Tips for boosting ticket sales

Now that we’ve looked at the infrastructure you’ll need to have in place to maximize your chances of a sell out event, let’s look at some tips that aim to get you even closer to thatgoal.

Timing is everything

Deciding on the optimal time to sell your events plays a pivotal role in maximizing your sales. Here are some key things to consider about timing when selling tickets for an event:

Early-bird discounts:

  • Benefits: Offer a discount to encourage early purchases. This helps with cash flow and creates a sense of urgency for potential attendees.
  • Timing: Start early! 2-3 months before the event is a typical timeframe. If the event is annual, consider starting your super early-bird sales for the next year right after this year’s event when enthusiasm is at its peak!
  • Duration: The duration of the early bird discount can vary, but 2-4 weeks is common.

Last-minute sales:

  • Benefits: Fill any remaining seats and generate last-minute revenue.
  • Timing: Offer last-minute deals within a few days or even hours of the event (but do be cautious not to devalue your tickets!).
An alarm clock sits against a turquoise and pink background

Create a sense of urgency

📣 “Tickets selling out fast”
📣“Limited spots available”
📣“Last chance to grab an early bird ticket”

We’re all familiar with these sorts of ‘nudges’ from event organizers, but creating a sense of urgency or time pressure to get the best price can really motivate people to bite the bullet and buy.

⏰ Use your promotional tools to announce deadlines for early bird discounts and price increases well in advance!

Pricing strategy

Getting your pricing right can make or break your ability to sell tickets. There are two main ways to price event tickets: value-based and competitive.

🪙 Value-based pricing focuses on the perceived worth of your event, considering factors like speakers, content, and venue.
🪙 Competitive pricing looks at what similar events charge, aiming to be in line with market expectations.

Choose value-based pricing for unique events with high perceived value such as retreats, and competitive pricing for broader audience events like exhibitions.

Selling event tickets with Checkout Page

With its dedicated event page features such as ticket tier options and fully customizable confirmation emails, Checkout Page is a great option for anyone committed to offering their customers a seamless, friction free ticket purchasing experience.

Let’s take a look at how simple it is to create an impactful event page that you can share from anywhere you promote your event, and embed on your landing page with ease.

Step 1. Create your event checkout page

Select an event page type, give your event a title, add a date range, location, and currency:

Checkout Page form enabling you to create an event page

Step 2. Add your ticket types

Add as many ticket types as your event requires, assigning them a price and quantity to ensure you don’t over book your venues capacity:

Checkout Page form enabling you to add ticket types

Step 3. Choose your page type

Select different page layouts, as well as either a hosted page option or embed code for a website:

Checkout Page form enabling choose a page layout

Step 4. Add a description to your page

Add a description for your event that will grab peoples attention and give them a flavor of what to expect if they buy a ticket for your event.

Checkout Page form enabling you to add a description for your event

Step 5. Add images to your page

Add an captivating image that represents your branding and does justice to your event!

Checkout Page form enabling you to add an image for your event

Step 6. Adjust the page colors to suit your branding

Checkout Page allows you to customize various elements of your page, so that you can tailor it to your brand and set the right tone for your event!

Checkout Page form enabling you to adjust the colours of your page to suit your branding

Step 7. Preview your page

Checkout Page shows a preview panel the whole way through the creation process. When you are happy with the feel and setup of your event page, you are ready to share it with your audience!

Checkout Page form enabling you to preview your full page

Step 8. Set up your confirmation & emails

Checkout Page enables you to customize the confirmation page after your customer has purchased a ticket, and the confirmation email that they receive:

Checkout Page form enabling you to customize your confirmation emails

Step 9: Share your event checkout page

Finally, when you are ready to share your event with the world, you can select from a hosted payment link, embed code for your website and a QR code option too for posters, flyers and more.

Checkout Page form enabling you to share and embed your event checkout page

Conclusion

This guide has equipped you with the essential building blocks for a successful ticket sales strategy.

We've covered the importance of a streamlined checkout process, the benefits of creating a user-friendly event website, and the power of using social media platforms to reach your target audience with well crafted and visually enticing posts.

Additionally, we've looked at the importance of crafting compelling confirmation emails that go beyond receipts, fostering trust with clear communication channels, and sending well-timed reminder emails to keep attendees informed and to maintain a buzz around your event.

By following these steps and tailoring them to your specific event, you will greatly increase your chances of achieving your goals!

If you are an organizer of large or multi-day events such as retreats or conferences, check out our ultimate guides to support you in all aspects of your event planning journey:
The ultimate conference planning checklist
The ultimate retreat planning checklist


Whatever the event, we’d love to be a part of your ticket sales journey, so why not sign-up for our 7-day free trial and get an event ticket page setup in minutes with our event template.

Ready to start selling? Start your free Checkout Page trial—no credit card required.

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Sarah McCunn

Sarah McCunn

Sarah is a content writer with a passion for helping businesses grow. She enjoys creating content that helps businesses succeed and grow.


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