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Bizzabo Ticket Boost: Social Referral [Review]

By Becki Cross

Ticket Boost is the new social referral feature launched within the Bizzabo Event Management platform. Here is our review.

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Bizzabo is a comprehensive all in one platform for event management, incorporating management, marketing, engagement and analytics. See here to read our earlier review of the overall Bizzabo platform. Ticket Boost is their newly launched offering, which is now available automatically with all subscriptions to the platform. This review concentrates specifically on this new feature.

Bizzabo Ticket Boost: What Is It?

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Ticket Boost encourages your attendees to actively market your event for you via their social networks, with the incentive for them to get money back for their event ticket as a reward if someone signs up on their recommendation.

When an attendee registers they receive a dedicated, shareable and unique discount code to share with their friends and colleagues. A registered attendee sharing the code then receives money back for every successful referral, up to a full refund on their ticket price. The money back starts processing as soon as a sale from a referral is made and a ticket is purchased via Paypal or Stripe, there is no waiting weeks or until after the event is over for the refund.

You can have a single sided incentive or there is the potential for this to be a twofold ticket discount – not only does your registered attendee benefit from money back, those newly referred are offered a booking discount too so the offer has a good chance of conversion.

This model for social brand advocacy and dual incentive has been a powerful tool in the growth of Uber, DropBox and AirBnB. There is no denying it can be a successful way to spread the word and increase ticket sales for those in the event space. Although social sharing is often encouraged by event planners it generally relies on the goodwill of their participants and has minimal reach. Other platforms offer a single sided affiliation style scheme but we understand Ticket Boost is the first to benefit both the referrer and person referred. Ticket Boost is different as it gives something back and offers a reason for repeated and active sharing and targeting, rather than a one off automated “I’ve just registered to attend this event…” type message, which is easy to ignore and hard to measure.

The Main Categories of Features Are:

Marketing. Empower your attendees to help spread the word about your event to their networks and to help event planners and marketers do their job better.

Incentivise and Reward. Give something back to your attendees and influencers by offering real money back from their ticket price and the opportunity to share a special rate with their networks.

Analytics. See who is actively sharing the event and how these are converting into action and sales.

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Review

Ticket Boost offers the opportunity to turn attendees into promoters and brand advocates for your event using the power of social sharing and networks. Any tool which helps event planners to sell tickets without causing extra work is likely to be well received by many planners!

The organiser can set a suggested message for sharing, which attendees can adapt as they wish before sharing via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These are the only platforms available currently so you need to ensure that these networks are the places your attendees are most active and connected for it to have maximum effect.

The tool enables you to reward your biggest influencers and sharers by giving something back in the form of a partial refund. Your participants are encouraged to become your brand advocates. If they are particularly well connected and their referrals convert they could potentially earn back the full cost of their event ticket.

It is also an opportunity to enable a tantalising discount for new registrations to sign up by offering a percentage discount or a set amount off the ticket price. You can monitor who has shown interest in the event by clicking through the event link and see which sales have converted.

This tool turns the power of word of mouth recommendations into real, trackable event revenue. The feature is integrated into the event analytics dashboard so organisers can track the success of attendee shares, as well as the amount of revenue earned via Ticket Boost.

Event organisers can start, stop or edit the discount as required. This must however be done manually, it is not possible to schedule an offer for a set time period or until a certain amount of conversions are made so #eventprofs will need to monitor this regularly if they have specific goals or limits in mind.

Organisers will need to advise and educate their attendees about the feature to encourage them to take advantage and benefit from it. Not all participants will choose to share but it could potentially bring out the competitive side to other participants looking to be rewarded and earn a free event pass.

Discounted tickets will impact on your overall event revenue if your budget is based on full priced ticketing. If you are already confident that you can sell out your event without this feature (lucky you!) then you may not want the impact on your bottom line.

Ticket Boost can only be accessed by those that subscribe to the Bizzabo platform as it does not integrate with other event management and registration systems. This element cannot be purchased as a standalone product. Potentially the additional ticket sales generated could justify the cost of the Bizzabo platform for some events.

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Features

Marketing
- Social sharing via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
- The organiser can set a suggested message for sharing.
- The attendee can adapt the message before sharing with their networks.

Incentivise and Reward
- Reward your biggest influencers by giving something back in the form of a refund.
- Enable a tantalising discount for new registrations to sign up.
- Offer a percentage discount or a set amount.
- Start, stop or edit the discount as required.

Analytics
- Identify your biggest influencers.
- Monitor interest. Who has shown interest in the event by clicking the event link?
- See which sales have converted.

Who Is It For?

Ticket Boost is for anyone who wants to harness the power of their attendees and increase marketing, sharing and ticket sales for their event. If your event is well established and always a sell-out, this feature may not be applicable to you but for most event planners boosting ticket sales is top priority.

The earlier review identified that the Bizzabo event management platform as a whole is particularly geared towards mid-range event planners who may plan a few conferences and events each year but do not fit into the enterprise category.

Pros and Cons

Pros
- Organisers have complete control over the availability of Ticket Boost and the discount amount offered.
- Potentially the additional ticket sales generated could justify the cost of the Bizzabo platform.
- Embrace social brand advocacy, as used so successfully by brands such as Uber.
- Use the features to identify your event ambassadors and reward them.

Cons
- Organisers have to edit and start and stop Ticket Boost manually, you cannot schedule start and end dates or changing offers.
- Social sharing is limited to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
- Organisers will need to advise their attendees about the feature to encourage them to take advantage and benefit from it.
- Discounted tickets will impact on your overall event revenue. If you can sell out without this feature you may not want the impact on your bottom line.

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Prices and Plans

The feature is available on all of Bizzabo’s packages at no extra charge.

In Conclusion

Ticket sales and revenue generated are constantly on the minds of event planners. Ticket Boost enables a proactive marketing strategy which draws on the power of social sharing via your attendee’s social networks.

Instead of relying simply on the goodwill of your participants it offers the chance to reward them for acting as a positive brand ambassador for your event, while allowing them to share a discount with their network.

To access the Ticket Boost feature you need to subscribe to the Bizzabo platform which is designed to be a comprehensive offering and therefore not compatible for integration with other systems. This new feature will however be an appealing reason to consider Bizzabo if you are not already signed up.

Disclosure: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any question please use the contact us section.

about the author

Becki Cross
Becki Cross is Managing Director of Events Northern Ltd, a UK event and conference management company established in 2004. Becki set up the business in her early twenties and is particularly passionate about conferences, innovation, entrepreneurship and the legacy of events. Becki is also the Deputy Editor, Community Manager and Contributor to EventMB, her dream job alongside event planning! Follow Becki via @beckitrain.
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