different sized black gift boxes with gold ribbon on a black background

Event tickets make great last-minute holiday gifts. Here’s how to set them up for your event

In Tips & Tricks by Kat RembackiLeave a Comment

With more folks working from home, and our views on consumerism shifting, this year many people are looking for out-of-the-ordinary gifts for the holiday season. This is no ordinary year; a new tie or a pair of earrings just doesn’t quite seem right. 2020 requires something special. 

If you’re an event producer, take this opportunity to help your customers give the gift of a one-of-a-kind experience this year. Here are some simple ways you can help them create unforgettable memories and be a holiday rockstar at their house when they give a loved one access to your future in-person or virtual events. 

woman hugging man while hat is flying off her head in front of a body of water
Everyone loves receiving tickets to their favorite events as a gift.

How to set up gift tickets

Gift tickets can be set up in three simple steps

  1. Step 1: Set up gift event and ticket type(s)
  2. Step 2: Create custom time slot
  3. Step 3: Set up promo codes

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up an event dedicated to gift certificates or gift cards. Creating a new event, separate from your regular tickets, will make it simple for your customers to find and purchase your gift certificates.

Your new event should include a ticket type at the same price as your regular tickets. Rather than selecting a dollar amount to put on the gift certificate, customers will use the dropdown menu to select the number of people/tickets they want to include on the gift certificate. 

Your event will need a time slot to sell the gift certificates; we recommend setting this up with an end date that is a year or more into the future to give guests more flexibility in redeeming their gift tickets. You can then use the “Custom Timeslot Text” setting to display text (such as “good for general admission to any future event”) instead of the date/time. 

Setting up the promo codes

Gift recipients will need to use a promo code to redeem their certificates.

The promo codes should be set up as a 100% discount with the Total Allowed Uses set as the number purchased by the customer. Depending how many gift certificates you expect to sell there are two options available for promo code creation and delivery:

Manual creation and delivery

If you expect to only sell a handful of gift certificates, then it can be easy to monitor and manage the codes yourself. This option takes less effort up front, but requires regular attention from your or someone on your staff. Gift certificates generally are not used until weeks after the initial purchase, so it can even be a routinely scheduled task.

The first important step here is to make sure you have the “Send Alert Email About Every Ticket Sale” setting selected on your gift certificates event, with “Attach Ticket to Alert Email” also selected. This will send all of the customer’s order information including the number of gift tickets purchased and their Ticket ID which you can use to create the promo code. When creating the promo code enter the Ticket ID as the Code and the number purchased as the Total Allowed Uses.

To provide customers with the instructions for gift certificate redemption use the Ticket Instructions; this displays on the ticket, so it will be right in front of the recipient. You can also use the Email Message (sent with receipt) to also have the information in the initial email they receive.

Automated delivery

If you expect a high volume of gift certificate sales, then you can upload the promo codes in advance and use Zapier integrations to automate their delivery to customers. This option requires more work up front, but less effort in the long run; once you set up the automation it will manage itself. 

The first step is to create a list of promo codes and upload the list onto your account (promo codes can be any combination of numbers and letters). Then, keep a copy of the spreadsheet that will be used for delivering codes as they are purchased.

Automated delivery will be handled by using our Zapier integration. Here’s how to set that up.

The Zap will trigger when a customer purchases a gift certificate ticket, move down one row in the spreadsheet, and send that next code to the email address provided by the customer.

Here are the trigger and action steps to setup the delivery Zap:

  • Trigger:  Passage Ticketing – Connect your account, and select your gift certificates event as the trigger.
  • Action:  Increment Value – Pick the app “Storage by Zapier” and leave the action event as “Increment Value”.  Then connect/choose a storage account (used for adjusting to the next value), and set the Increment Amount to “1”.
  • Action: Lookup Spreadsheet Row in Google Sheets – Pick your program (Google Sheets is recommended) and select the name of your spreadsheet and specific sheet number/name. Then, select the Increment Value option as your Lookup Value. This will navigate so the Zap is looking at the correct row and cell.
  • Action:  Setup the outbound email. This can be done with email services like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, or the internal “Email by Zapier” (note: Email by Zapier will have a monthly sending limit).  The email can be populated using the email address collected from Passage in the trigger step #1 and code from the spreadsheet row lookup from action step #3.
screenshot of Passage + Zapier setup
Creating a Zap requires a little more work up front but is easier to manage in the long run.

Now, you’re ready to sell gifts for your event! Here are a few ways you can get creative with your gift options and drive more revenue this holiday season. 

Gift Merchandise

T-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, and other merch can be a great way for guests to remember their visit to your event earlier in the year. They’re also a great accompaniment to tickets: something the recipient can enjoy while they build anticipation for the event, or possibly to even wear while they attend.

If you’re already using Passage as your ticketing partner, you can manage your merchandise inventory and track sales with the same platform you use to sell and track tickets. You could also use a drop-shipping provider or print-on-demand marketplace if you don’t have existing merchandise inventory. 

toddler hugging an older woman
This year, more people would prefer to receive experiences rather than things as a gift.

Individual Tickets

Tickets to a special virtual event or future in-person event can be great for that special someone who is hard to buy for. And it can be a great way for you as the event producer to earn additional pre-event revenue, since gift tickets are often purchased well in advance of the event itself. Plus, customers purchasing tickets as a gift may be more likely to splurge on VIP access or other upsells to really make the gift special.

sports season pass card mockup
You can even have plastic season pass cards printed through a third party to make fans feel extra special.

Season Passes

For guests looking to splurge on a truly memorable experience, season passes to their favorite sports team or theater can be the ultimate holiday gift. Schedule a call with our team for help setting up season pass gift options for your team or venue. 


Bundles offer the ultimate flexibility and convenience. They can be ticket bundles, where guests gain access to multiple events or attractions, or they can be ticket + merchandise bundles where event admission comes with a product or multiple products. You can even create Customer Choice bundles, which allow guests to choose a set number of items from a series of tickets, merchandise, or both!

Tis the season of giving…tickets to your event. Need help getting it set up? Schedule an onboarding call with our support team. We’ll do all the heavy lifting for you!