You’re planning an event.
You’re booking the venue.
You’re about to map out every detail of the day.
Now all you have left to do is sell those tickets.
Choosing the right ticket selling platform is crucial as this will be the frontline representative of your brand: are you a Primark or are you a Harrods? Keep this in mind when doing your research on ticket selling platforms.
Step One: The Homepage
The homepage of the ticket seller will say a lot about the product.
Can you easily navigate it?
Do you understand the pricing clearly?
Are you distracted by too much information and did it take you down the internet rabbit hole?
If you made your way out the other end and forgot why you came there in the first place, then chances are your potential customers will also be lost in wonderland and never make it back to buy a ticket.
As a serious event planner, it is therefore of utmost importance for you to really take the time to browse the website, see how it functions and find out if it matches your brand. Don’t get me wrong, you can make a lot of sales at Primark, but if your brand speaks Harrods, why would you choose to look cheap?
Top Tip: Sign up to the registration platform and have a poke around with a test event. Most services allow you to register for free with zero commitment, so take them up on the offer and really give their product a test drive, before you choose to sell you tickets online with them.
Step Two: The Features
If the site looks good and it’s easy to navigate, then it’s time to make your way over to the features.
Question: what do you actually need?
Seriously ask yourself what is important for you in a ticket selling platform, because they are all going to sell tickets online and they will all be mobile friendly. This is the standard and not an exception, and frankly, it is the reason why you came here in the first place, so this should be your minimum requirement at best.
Now let’s get back to the question of wha we thinkt you actually need:
Is it important for you to be able to customise your registration form because you need more than just your guest’s name and email?
Do you want to give your guests many ticket type options because you are looking to add on a dinner or a VIP photo session with their favourite artist?
Is having a logo on your sales page and tickets a crucial part of your marketing strategy?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may need a product that is a little bit more powerful than the one specialising in selling tickets to free meditation classes and food tours of the local markets.
Top Tip: Write down your product wishlist first and then start looking at services to see if they match up to your needs, rather than if you can mould your event to theirs.
Step Three: Fast Check Out
Having a fast check out process is absolutely crucial to operating a successful sales page.
Asking your guests to create an account with the ticket seller, showing them a progress line of another eight steps until they can put in their credit card details, or displaying your event in the middle of a page with ten other ‘similar’ or ‘near you’ events, is a sure way to lose them.
There’s no getting around this one; if your ticket is too hard to buy, your guests will simply move on.
Unfortunately, too many producers fail to address this issue and simply add their event to an online marketplace, without considering how time-consuming it is for their clients to purchase tickets. If the ticketing system doesn’t even capture their emails, then those customers could be lost forever as soon as they hit the ‘exit’ button.
Therefore, choosing to work with software that doesn’t require customer accounts, has the ability to autofill details via social logins and will highlight ticket types that are selling fast, will help to encourage your guests to make their purchase immediately.
Top Tip: If you have created a test event, then have a go at actually registering for the event. See if the process was intuitive and quick or if it was drawn-out to the point that you couldn’t even be bothered to complete it yourself. If you did end up opting out, see if the system was able to capture your email address, so that you, as an event producer, could see the interest generated in your event.
Step Four: The Fees
Selling your tickets online will cost you: there is no such thing as doing it for free.
Just as you wouldn’t expect a physical vendor to work without pay for you, a software cannot provide their services to you for free.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at fees and pricing tiers.
you will likely come across the following three options:
- Subscription fees
- Per ticket percentage fees
- Fixed amount of pence per ticket
Here, it is very important to do some math, as a low number in any of the categories may not necessarily translate to the best ROI when divided per ticket. Here’s an example of 100 tickets selling at ￡10 each:
￡30 per month = 0.30p fee per ticket, assuming you sell all your tickets in one month (otherwise the price will just get higher) 2% per ticket = 0.20p fee per ticket 0.50p per ticket = 0.50p fee per ticket
The best option for you will depend on the size of your event, the cost of your tickets and the time it will take for you to sell them.
You will also need to consider if payment processing fees are included and how much they will affect your bottom line.
Top Tip: Many service providers now have calculators on their websites, that will help you get a good estimate of your earnings and be able to compare products more easily. Use them!
Step Five: Customer Service
It looks good, it sounds good, it feels good, but will they actually be there for you when you need their help?
Online services are a little bit tricky as 99% of the time you will be working with software and will never see the faces or hear the voices behind the product that you are using.
This is both good and bad.
On the one hand, you can just get on with your work and not be disrupted by sales calls or people who want to talk to you about upgrades. I mean, you don’t exactly have Mark Zuckerberg on your speed dial and you are probably handling using Facebook just fine.
On the other hand, whether you are just starting out and looking for some pointers, or are a seasoned event planner with a complex set of needs, you may just want to be able to get in touch with someone.
With that in mind, have a good look at the support that is provided:
Is it only online?
- Do you have to have a certain subscription level in order to reach a human?
- Did they respond to any of your queries in a timely manner?
Top Tip: Shoot the support team an email and set up a call. Have a chat with them about their product and your event, or just do it all via email. You may never speak to them again once the event is up and running, but you will at least have the peace of mind that if you need them, they will be there to help you.
That’s it! You have just completed reading the ultimate guide to choosing your next online ticket selling platform, and all of that was in just five steps.
You should now know what to look out for when browsing the homepage, checking out the features and the check out process, knowing how to calculate fees and that it is ok to pick up the phone or email an online service provider.
With these tools you are ready start selling out your event. Go!