4 Ways to Sell Tickets and Drive Event Ticket Sales
Selling event tickets isn’t just about filling seats; it’s a crucial step in the event management process that can make or break your event. In this blog article, we’ll look at the most common ways to sell tickets to your event. From generating revenue to validating event viability and fostering audience engagement, the significance of ticket sales is huge.
According to Statista, most event ticket revenue is generated in the United States (2023), while the number of users is set to grow to 119.04 million in 2027. Whether you’re organizing a concert, conference, gig, or any other type of event, understanding your options will set you on the path to a successful event experience.
No matter the size or type of event, ticket sales are the lifeblood of any event.
Thanks to digital platforms, the event ticket market is growing. They offer a simple and accessible way for customers to buy tickets, whether they’re on the move or from the comfort of their home, using their mobile devices.
To successfully sell event tickets, one of the key first steps is creating an event page that you can share and promote.
What is an event page?
An event page is a standalone, specific page on a website that provides detailed information about a particular event. The primary purpose of an event page is to inform potential attendees about the event and persuade them to purchase tickets or register.
This page acts as a centralized location for important information, including the date, time, location, ticket prices, and event description. It typically also includes a way for visitors to purchase tickets or sign up for the event directly from the page.
With an event page, you can use it to:
create buzz around your event by sharing it on social media
embed a checkout for ticket sales and add-ons
send the link to potential attendees so they can buy tickets online
use email marketing to drive ticket sales (especially for seasonal or recurring events)
provide updates before and after the event
upsell, cross-sell, or sell merchandise
Ticket selling options for organizers
We list four practical ways that event planners and organizers can use to maximize sales success. You can use one or more of these strategies, creating multiple touchpoints for potential attendees to interact with.
1. Sell tickets from your website
Selling event tickets directly from your website involves setting up an event page. This page should include all relevant event details and also incorporate features for ticket sales, online payment, or attendee registration.
These are the benefits of selling on your site:
Increase traffic to your own website
Give you full ownership over analytics and customer data
Allow you to sell tickets on landing pages and sales funnels
Let you customize the customer experience
Save you and attendees from paying high ticketing fees
Pro tip: you can sell event tickets from both your website and on ticketing platforms! (see FAQ below)
1.1 Create an event landing page
As mentioned earlier, an event page is the source of truth for potential attendees to get to know about your event and buy tickets. While ticketing platforms will auto-generate an event page for you on their site, this section refers to event landing pages created on your own website, Content Management System (CMS) or landing page builder.
Checkout Page supports: Wordpress, Webflow, Framer, Squarespace, Wix, Unbounce, ActiveCampaign, ClickFunnels, Instapage and more
Standard ticketing platform event page:
- Limited design and customization flexibility
Event landing page on your website:
Full design customization
No platform branding
Related article: Learn how to sell tickets on your website using a checkout and registration form
1.2 Accepting payments online
You’ll need a way to collect payments from ticket sales. Since we're selling on your site, you'll use an embeddable checkout and position it exactly where you want (it doesn't always have to be at the bottom of an event page!). This step is covered in detail in ‘How to sell event tickets online from your website’.
Checkout Page uses Stripe as a payment processor
It’s free to sign up for a Stripe account
By selling on your website, you’re effectively cutting out the middle-man, so you save on ticketing fees
Receive payouts within 48-72 hours from Stripe
2. Online ticketing platforms
Sites like Eventbrite are online ticketing platforms that allow event organizers to plan, promote, and sell tickets to events. They’re essentially a one-stop shop for managing and selling tickets for all sorts of events, from small workshops to large concerts or conferences.
2.1 Pros and cons of ticketing software
Seamlessly manage the whole ticketing process
Advanced ticketing features like seat selection, on-site check-in
Some offer event promotion and marketing features
Integrations are available
Platforms charge per-ticket or revenue-based fees
Unable to remove platform branding
You pay for all features, used or unused
Payout schedules vary, often taking a week or longer
2.2 How to decide which ticketing platform is right for you
Choosing the right ticketing platform for your event requires careful consideration of several factors. There are over 300+ online ticketing platforms to choose from, and there are new ones popping up each year, making it difficult to keep track of which ticketing website is best suited for your event.
Some points to remember when evaluating ticketing platforms:
Features that you need
Fees and commissions
Marketing and promotion features
Integrations with other software
Drawbacks and downsides
3. Social media (Facebook)
Social media is a great way to reach distinctive market segments and specific audience groups. There are groups for interests, hobbies, localities (cities, towns), and brands, where people bond over a common topic or purpose. We’ll briefly mention the most popular ways to sell tickets on Facebook. Other social media platforms require you to have a sizable number of existing followers in order to be effective, but selling event tickets on Facebook Events is a bit of a shortcut even if you don’t have lots of followers yet.
3.1 Sell tickets with a Facebook Events page
Facebook Events is a feature within Facebook that’s made just for individuals and event planners to create, share and promote events. It’s a popular feature used by 700+ million people each month to market their events (source: Facebook internal data). While it is free, it has limited customization options and you’ll still need a way to collect payments if it’s a paid event.
These are the types of events you can host:
Virtual or online
Video chat room events
Facebook Live (video streaming)
How to create an event on Facebook for individuals:
Create a new event with your personal Facebook account
Fill in details
Upload event cover image
If your event is virtual/online, you can choose to add an external link to direct attendees to when the event starts (e.g. a Zoom link)
Share and promote the link with your friends and family!
How to create an event on Facebook for businesses:
Create a new event with a Business Facebook account
Fill in event details
Upload event cover image
Add a link to purchase tickets (or integrate with selected ticketing platforms)
Optional: buy Facebook ads to promote your event
Do note that if you use a third-party ticketing platform to sell paid tickets, you will be charged the respective platform and payment processing fees.
3.2 Sell tickets on Facebook Marketplace
Another option for sharing events on social media is using Facebook Marketplace. It’s completely free to use, and while it has similarities to Craigslist, these are the key differences:
Facebook has over 2.989 billion monthly active users (April 2023, DataReportal)
More rules and less anonymity compared to Craigslist
User profiles are viewable by organizers
Messenger provides a convenient communication channel
The downsides of using Facebook Marketplace to promote events are:
It’s mainly for individuals to buy-and-sell items
The categories are not for events
Difficult to stand out from other posts
The high volume of new posts created each day
While it is possible to list your event on Facebook Marketplace, we recommend individuals and businesses stick to using Facebook Events as the main way of selling tickets on Facebook.
4. Advertising & Partnerships
To maximize ticket sales, it’s essential to leverage advertising and partnerships. We’ve listed this as the final featured strategy as you need to have an event page, some social media presence, or a way for customers to view and make ticket purchases first. Despite having these fundamentals in place, your event’s success may not be guaranteed - you need to actively promote and market to new people in order to get ticket sales going.
4.1 Advertising your event
If you have a clear idea of who your target audience is, then it will be easier to figure out where to find them. Online advertising can be cheap and broadly targets a wide range of people, or it can be extremely expensive and highly targeted towards the people most likely to want to attend your event. Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or community advertising (buying ads on interest or hobby groups and forums) are commonly used by event organizers as a way to find the right audience. A few points to ensure that you spend your ad money wisely:
Use high-quality, compelling images and copy
Know who you want to target (by demographics, interests, online behaviors, etc)
Set an ad budget to avoid overspending
Use advertisements alongside other promotional tactics for the best results
4.2 Partnerships & Sponsorships
Collaborating with local businesses will make lots of sense for certain types of events - for example, events that use equipment or supplies (e.g. yoga mats), are localized (needs a venue), are a hobby, interest, or sport, requires a physical location (in-person events). Approaching these related businesses to be partners for your event to help cross-promote, sell tickets, or lend their brand name will help with ticket sales efforts.
Sponsorship requires more commitment and involvement from sponsors and can be mutually beneficial for both parties. Similar to partnerships, when seeking sponsors, consider companies or organizations that align with your event’s theme or target audience. Sponsorship can be simple (monetary) or complex (you tap into their resources and help) and anything in between (co-branded content, exclusive offers). On your part, there will be obligations to fulfill too, so make sure you are prepared to take your event to a new level of professionalism.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start selling tickets for an event?
Timing is crucial when it comes to selling tickets for an event. The decision of when to start selling tickets depends on various factors, including the popularity of the event, target audience, and marketing strategy.
Recommended lead time:
- For larger or high-demand events, it’s advisable to start planning several months in advance. For smaller-scale or niche events, a few months or even weeks of preparation could be sufficient.
Depending on the popularity of your event, the general rule is: the higher the demand, the earlier you start selling tickets (a particularly popular, 8-person surf retreat sells out tickets 6 to 8 months in advance!).
Can I list my event on multiple websites?
Yes, you have the option to list your event on multiple websites and ticketing software. You’d choose to do so if you want to leverage event discovery features offered by some platforms for increased visibility and reach. However, it’s important to manage your ticket inventory effectively across all platforms to avoid overselling and potential penalties. Events with fixed seating may not lend well to such ticket sales arrangements.
How do I sell tickets online for free?
Here are some free options:
For paid events: You can use online interest groups, forums, subreddits on Reddit, online marketplaces, Facebook Events or your own social media accounts to sell tickets online for free. If you have an email list or subscriber base, reaching out to them doesn’t cost you extra to sell any tickets.
For free events: everything above and the additional option of using certain popular ticketing platforms which do not charge fees for free events (Eventbrite)
In order to avoid paying any payment processing fee, you can consider accepting other payment methods like cash or bank transfers (which come with their own risks and hassle).
When will I receive payouts?
The timing of payouts for event ticket sales depends on the platform or ticketing service you choose. Platforms hold onto the revenue for ticket sales for a fixed amount of time for reasons like risk management, handling cancellations and refund requests. You can expect to receive payouts 3 to 8 days after each transaction, but there are a few platforms that do daily payouts too (i.e. TicketSpice).
Checkout form on your website
For transactions completed with Checkout Page’s checkout form, you will receive the funds directly from Stripe between 48 to 72 hours.
I’m not a business. Can I create a Stripe account to collect event payments online?
Absolutely! One of the options we mention in this article is using your website to sell event tickets. For that, you’ll need a way to collect and receive payments, and Checkout Page integrates with Stripe (a popular online payment processor).
Stripe allows individuals, not just businesses, to create accounts and collect event payments online. It’s a free and simple process. With a Stripe account, you can securely process online payments for your event tickets.
When it comes to selling tickets, it’s important to remember that the work doesn’t end after deciding on a ticket distribution strategy. Understanding your target audience, budgeting, pricing, and logistics are all essential factors for a successful event.
We advise you to start with a dedicated event landing page on your website that includes a checkout form. No matter what ticket systems you use, always share this link back to your site. This makes it simple and consistent for your visitors.
This way, you can direct traffic to your brand/event long after the event has ended, and continue to build relationships with visitors to your website. Don’t forget that you can collect leads, offer more freebies, upsell/cross-sell, and optimize your sales funnel for conversions - things you can’t do on the standard-issue pages you get with ticketing platforms!