As vaccine rates continue to increase, restrictions on in-person events are easing. This is great news for many event producers who struggled during the pandemic.
Many event producers feel like this summer is a make-or-break, do-or-die situation: after more than a year without any major events, this is the test of who will survive. Making up for the lost year is critical and events need every last ticket sale they can get.
It’s time to get creative! Follow these 11 simple ways to promote your event and increase ticket sales in a flash.
1. Check the right boxes
This one is so simple it’s really a no-brainer. When setting up your event on Passage, be sure to check the little “Event Category” box(es) that apply to your event. This will automatically list your event on Passage with other similar events. Why is this important for ticket sales?
We’re constantly running ad campaigns to drive traffic to our site, targeting event seekers for specific categories like sports, music, comedy, food festivals, etc. Last year we had more than five million visitors searching for events on our platform, and that led to a significant boost in ticket sales for events we work with. Events in some categories saw 14.8% more tickets sales just by taking advantage of this trick. If you’re listed on our site, you’ll be able to take advantage of the additional traffic, too.
2. Turn your guests into advocates
Want to tap into the social networks of your customers? Offer them a discounted ticket for sharing it!
For example, on your checkout page, offer $1 off the ticket price for sharing your event with their friends or followers on Facebook and Twitter. You might be surprised how many customers will happy blast a post that says, “I’m going to MusicFest this Saturday. Who’s coming with me?” with a link to your event, in exchange for a small discount. And you’ll get hundreds more eyeballs on your event.
Passage is one of the only ticketing platforms that offers real-time discounts for social media sharing. Customers are much more likely to share something if it gives them instant gratification: an immediate discount on THIS PURCHASE, not a future sale.
3. Offer a hybrid option
Even as restrictions loosen, there are going to be some guests who choose not to attend large in-person gatherings. Consider including live-stream access to your event, so that guests who are immunocompromised, live far away, or feel uncomfortable attending in person can still get in on the fun.
The virtual/in-person hybrid also allows you to boost your ticket sales by reaching fans who might otherwise skip your event this year. The cost increase is relatively low but you can sell unlimited virtual access.
4. Partner with a nonprofit
Partner with local organizations, like a cub scout troop or junior league, to do a virtual ticket fundraiser. Clubs and nonprofits always need new ways to raise money, and their membership body is filled with potential new customers for you.
Offer to donate a portion of each virtual ticket sale to their organization, or for each ticket sold by one of their members. You can setup a unique promo code just for them (learn how to setup your first promo code here) to track the number of tickets their members sell.
You could even provide them with a unique link to share online, and track sales made through that link on your Passage admin dashboard.
5. Activate your entertainment
Make it simple for any speakers, artists, musicians, or other featured entertainers to help you get the word out by arming them with sample social media posts, graphics, and even promo codes to share with their audiences. By reaching out to their networks and fans, you may be able to boost ticket sales for this event AND you’ll have the contact info for those guests so you can remarket to them for all your future events.
6. Create a limited time offer
Early bird discounts can be a great way to encourage guests to purchase tickets now rather than at the last minute. Create an enticing offer and set a clear deadline – and be sure to clearly communicate them. It will give guests a sense of urgency and the extra nudge they need to pull out their credit card and checkout.
7. Promote on social media (the right way)
A lot of event producers consider social media to be the holy grail of free promotions, but over the years it has become increasingly difficult to reach your audience organically.
The key is to start small and start early. Create a few campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; you can set any budget you like and test different variables, like the audience or ad copy. Once you figure out the right combination, you can increase your budget and reach more fans with a positive return on investment. This will help prevent you from having to scramble with a huge advertising push right before your event.
8. Create shareable content
When it comes to organic content, there are two things you need to focus on right now: stories and videos.
Your fans want to be engaged in your story. Create authentic content to engage them in the preparations and behind-the-scenes work happening for your event. And use the “Stories” feature on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to tell it.
Video content is king. Use platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels in addition to more traditional social media to share video content that helps fans feel connected to your story. A lot of event producers think videos need to be highly produced or make the mistake of only sharing video from the event itself. But what fans actually want to see are impromptu, authentic stories that give them a behind-the-scenes peek. Whatever you’re working on today, talk with your fans about it. Share your struggles and wins with them. Be real. Be yourself.
9. Build partnerships
Fellow event producers, local businesses, and sponsors can give your event a huge boost if you engage them properly. These can be mutually beneficial relationships: ask if you can post some promotional materials in their shop or invite them to split the costs on a cross-promotional ad campaign.
Where do you start? Think about the places you frequent yourself, or businesses in close proximity to your event. The restaurant across the street might be the perfect sponsor: if guests see their information on your tickets or signage at the event, they could stop by for dinner before or after their visit. Your city may have a chamber of commerce or another resource designed to connect local business owners, and this can be a good place to network as well.
10. Re-target your visitors
Have you ever looked something up online and suddenly, days later, you’re seeing ads for it on social media? That’s re-targeting: using paid ads to target audiences who have visited your website or social media profiles. This can be a highly effective strategy for reaching visitors who weren’t ready to make a ticket purchase the first time they landed on your event. They can be a useful reminder to guests who want to attend but for whatever reason never completed their checkout.
11. Boost your social game
Boosted posts on social media can be a cost-efficient way to increase the reach of your social content without committing to an entire campaign. Unlike ads, boosted posts take one of your existing Facebook posts and push them out to a wider audience. You can boost any post you want and choose how much to spend and how long you want the “boost” to run.
But which post should you boost? Go for ones that introduce your event with an eye-catching graphic and compelling call to action. Keep in mind that a boosted post may reach outside your existing audience, so users who see it may not already know who you are or what your event is about. Keep it simple but enticing, so they’ll want to click through and learn more.
Ready to start selling tickets for your event? Schedule an onboarding call with our support team. We’ll set everything up for you!