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The aim of the game for any event organiser is to sell out their event. It’s a no brainer. In order to make this a reality you need to ensure your utilising your most effective promotional tools. Well guess what? Your audience might just be your best ticket to pushing more tickets.
Once upon a time we lived in a world where newspaper print ads, commercial radio spots, expensive television advertising, and downtown billboards seemed like the only real way to penetrate the market with your marketing messages. Of course, word of mouth amongst friends was still a prominent thing but it has it’s own limitations; namely the reach without assistance of instant messaging and a wide spread of ‘followers’.
Enter 2016, the year that witnesses global social media penetration of 31% (2.34bn users) with predictions for 2020 sitting at 2.95bn users. That will result in a 205% increase in social media users since 2010. The point being, if you’re not utilising these channels to maximise ticket sales, now is the time to start.
Let’s take a look at 4 tactics that utilise one of your biggest promotional tools - your audience.
Social Sharing During the Purchase Journey
It’s no lie that people are influenced by their peers. The term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is often used and describes that internal pressure we put on ourselves to never miss out on the fun things in life, particularly events. So as an event organiser, you should capitalise on this modern day buzzword and provide your attendees with the tools to reach their network of friends easily across social platforms.
Does your current ticketing platform allow your attendees to celebrate their ticket purchase with one simple click? Facebook and Twitter are the two obvious choices here and it should be mandatory. Do not settle for less! Although a wider friend circle (i.e audience) can be reached on Facebook and Twitter, sometimes the message can be diluted due to abundance of content streaming through the platforms. Step in, WhatsApp! This direct messaging service allows groups of friends, not acquaintances, to communicate directly with each other, which will have a much bigger impact on influencing a purchase. Is this an option from your current ticketing service? If not maybe it’s time to look around.
Provide the Content to Make their Job Easy
As mentioned above, there is an abundance of content available on social media so the only way to cut through is by providing something that is actually worth sharing. You need to strike the ‘nostalgic bone’ with your current attendees so that there is an organic reaction to share this content with their friends and followers. After-movies are a great way to achieve this as they instantly strike a chord with the attendee who desperately wishes they were back in their happy place, your event! The next action that takes place is the need for this attendee to let their friends know what they missed out on! Take this example from Gingerline, an immersive dining event which is hugely popular in London. Tickets never last long once they announce new dates and this video really teases the potential attendee with what they’re missing out on.
In the lead up to your event, beautiful imagery is still king. Ensure you are investing in professional photography that provides you with a gallery of images you can test on your audience. Use analytics to determine which images gain the most interaction with your audience so you can focus on turning these interactions into ticket sales. If you can do your part in providing unique, interesting content, you can sit back (a little) and let your attendees spread the word.
Limited ‘Fire’ Sale
Nothing gets social media communities excited quite like a limited time sale. Use twitter as a platform to announce a 1 hour only sale where a limited number of tickets will be available at a heavily discounted price and provide a hashtag for the consumer to repost and get friends and followers onboard. Tease your followers with a series of tweets, building up to the limited ‘fire’ sale so that excitement starts to bubble amongst your direct followers, before seeding it’s way to their followers when they can’t help but retweet and tag friends in this exclusive offering. When the time comes, post your hidden URL ticket link and watch the sales roll in. Only create a ‘fire’ sale around a particular event or holiday as to not devalue your event (e.g “Exclusive Christmas Sale”). Keep the tickets limited so you don’t damage your bottom line and think about the marketing budget you just saved by opting for a simple (and FREE) tweet over a traditional (potentially expensive) marketing campaign.
Turn Attendees into Reps
Why not incentivise your audience by providing the opportunity for individuals to become reps for your event. You can easily provide the rep with a tracked link which they can then share across their social networks to gain interest from friends and family. As long as the new ticket buyer uses this tracked link to go on to purchase a ticket, the rep will be recognised as successfully selling a ticket and you can then proceed in rewarding one of your new brand ambassadors. An incentive could be a free ticket if they can sell five tickets through their social network, or even an exclusive experiential reward such as back stage access at your event, or meet & greets with the talent.
It’s important to remember that you have one of your strongest, most influential promotional tools through attendees and their vast social networks. You can easily gain help from those who are already loyal to your brand and are willing to spread your sales messages with a simple click. Ensure you do your part by providing the content and incentives to make their job as easy as possible to sell more tickets.