As a seasoned business owner, you may think that years of experience will give you a distinct edge when promoting your next event. And while experience certainly plays a key role in selling out your next event, it can be easy to make a rookie mistake that leaves you facing an auditorium full of empty seats. Below are five reasons you may find yourself struggling to sell tickets to your live events along with some simple solutions to help you sell out your next event.
REASON #1: YOU WAIT TOO LONG TO BEGIN PROMOTING YOUR EVENT
Procrastination, delays, and last-minute planning are recipes for a disastrous turnout. Your prospects lead busy lives and you need to give them plenty of time to plan to attend your event. Waiting until the last minute to start selling tickets is a surefire path to a room full of empty seats.
SOLUTION: BEGIN YOUR PROMOTIONS DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR'S EVENT.
The path to a sold out event begins with an early start. And the single best way to get an early start is to begin generating excitement among those who are most likely to attend your event. In most cases, this means targeting the individuals who attend your event on a regular basis. By planting the seeds of success during the previous year's event, you also build a network of "mini ambassadors" who help spread the word about your event.
REASON #2: YOUR PRICING IS TOO HIGH
Greed is just as harmful as procrastination in the world of ticket sales. You could have the most promising event in the world but if you overcharge for your tickets, you run the risk of completely turning off your target audience. And this could have a harmful long-term effect on your reputation.
SOLUTION: DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE SETTING YOUR TICKET PRICE.
There are three things that you should do before you finalize your ticket price. First, calculate your break-even point, or the amount of money you need to generate through ticket sales to cover your expenses. Second, do your best to predict how many tickets you will sell. And third, do some background research on similar events.
With this information in hand, you can assess the relative value of your event. Then, you can set a ticket price that covers your expenses, delivers value to your audience, and (hopefully!) generates a respectable profit margin for your organization.
REASON #3: YOU RELY TOO HEAVILY ON MAILED MATERIALS
There is nothing wrong with tangible, mailed invitations IF you use them as part of your overall event marketing strategy. But if you skimp on your social media advertising, you run the risk of missing out on thousands of prospective attendees.
SOLUTION: BUILD ENTHUSIASM ABOUT YOUR EVENT THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING.
"Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they've made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer." - Twitter
Times are changing. If your goal is to sell out your next event, then you need to promote your event on social media. Even better, reach out to a well-known, influential person who is set to attend your event and ask them to tweet about your event or reference your event on Facebook. With the help of one or two social influencers, you'll be well on your way to increased ticket sales.
REASON #4: YOUR PREVIOUS EVENT WAS A FLOP
Of the four reasons covered thus far, this one presents the greatest challenge. Unless you resolve to learn from your mistakes, failed events can remain at the forefront of your mind and consume the energy that you should devote to your upcoming event.
SOLUTION: LEARN FROM YOUR FAILURES AND USE THEM AS OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH.
"Not every event is going to be an amazing experience...Some events exist to act as valuable lessons, and the events you learn the most from, are the ones that don't go as well as you'd like. Problems and failures represent opportunities for innovation and growth. If you learn to look at your events in this way, you're more likely to rise to the challenge next time." - Bethany Smith, EventMB
Event failures can help you identify weaknesses in your strategic planning. While you might be tempted to stick your head in the sand and forget that your "flop" ever happened, this is the last thing you should do. Instead, dive into your last event and isolate the barriers and problems that contributed to your lackluster ticket sales. Then, be sure to refine your strategy to eliminate those barriers.
REASON #5: THE FEW ATTENDEES YOU DO ATTRACT BUY TICKETS AT THE LAST MINUTE
When the majority of your ticket sales seem to occur in the few days below your event, it becomes difficult to plan for your crowd. It is also a sign that you need to revamp your sales approach - especially the language you use.
SOLUTION: CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY.
Sometimes creating a sense of urgency is as simple as featuring a time-sensitive discount or changing a word or two within your advertisement. For instance, consider the impact of this phrase: "Buy one ticket and receive a second ticket free. VALID TODAY ONLY!!" Now imagine the impact the phrase would have if the ad did not include the words, "VALID TODAY ONLY." Here are some other examples of advertising phrases that help create a sense of urgency:
- "YEAR-END SPECIAL: Purchase one ticket now through December 31st and receive a second ticket FREE!"
- "ANNIVERSARY FLASH SALE: Purchase your event ticket on our company's anniversary (Friday June 1) and receive 50% off!"
THE BOTTOM LINE
You may think that selling out an event is easy - especially if you have a proven track record of success with past events. However, you should always take time to research your target audience and similar events so that you can develop ticket pricing and advertising initiatives that will motivate them to buy tickets to your event today. By incorporating the solutions outlined above into your marketing strategy, you will boost your odds that your next event will sell out. Book your consultation today to learn how the Flying A Way can make a huge difference in your event attendance!