Looking to drive more attendance at your next event? Welcome to the most comprehensive guide to increasing event ticket sales on the web.
"Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting." No where is that more evident than when it comes to trying to sell out an event.
The stage is set, the speakers are prepped, your staff is ready—but if you can't get enough bodies to your event, it's all for naught.
We're all too aware of this challenge that event marketers and professionals face. That's why we pored over our archives of interviews with seasoned event marketers and scoured through our most popular resources in order to compile tips for increasing event ticket sales and registrations through a variety of channels.
No, we don't think any one of these channels can help you achieve "the thing". But our hope is that you'll discover the right combination of tactics for making your full-house wish a reality.
Table of Contents (click to jump to a section)
- Event Technology Tips
- Pricing Tips
- Social Media Tips
- Email Marketing Tips
- Content Marketing Tips
- SEO Tips
- Video Marketing Tips
- Paid Advertising Tips
10 Event Technology Tips for Increasing Event Ticket Sales and Registrations
Technology has the power to propel the way we do business — events are no exception. Here are 10 event technology tips that are sure to increase ticket sales for your next event.
"There are now great opportunities to track the attendee journey to provide better customer service on an individual and collective basis. Every touch can be trackable on a mobile event app. My advice is to seek out technology providers that focus on analytics and use these data to improve current and future events."
—Corbin Ball, Event Thought Leader
Why You Should Invest in Event Technology
Event tech is so powerful that it can increase attendance at your event by 20% while lowering costs by up to 30%. But, what is event technology and why should you care about it?
Event technology is any use of technology at an event — from a registration website and event app to event analytics.More than ever before, live events reign the marketing world—37% of overperforming marketers consider it the most effective marketing channel for meeting key business objectives.
Perhaps most importantly, these overperforming organizations invest more in event technology than their underperforming counterparts, with 80% planning to increase their technology event budget in the next year.
Overperforming organizations will increase their Event Technology budget by $4,500 more than underperforming organizations. Source: Bizzabo
1) Create Event Goals for Your Event Technology
Event technology is can be extremely effective for achieving event goals...if you know the specific goals that you’re trying to achieve. An event goal be as simple as helping you process ticket sales, or as complex as building a website and event app that attendees use to register and interact with your event.
The key is to clarify what you want your event technology to do for you and your event. If you’re reading this blog, it’s likely the case that your primary event goal is to generate ticket revenue and sales. Before implementing any event technology, establish achievable goals and KPIs that you can measure against, from doubling a previous event ticket sales to increasing ticket sales revenue by X%.
- What are your event goals? What is the minimum event registration that you need to achieve?
- What KPIs are you using to measure the success of your event?
- What would the ideal event technology do for your event?
2) Run an Event Technology Assessment
With the abundance of event technology tools that exist, it may be hard to evaluate what event technology you actually need. When evaluating your event technology stack—the mix of tools that you rely on to power your events—you have to consider the four lifecycle stages of a successful event:
- Event Awareness: Is your target audience familiar with your event? The goal at this stage is to generate demand.
- Event Management: Once you’ve piqued interest, you will need to sell tickets while collecting and managing registrants’ information.
- Event Experience: Create a 10x experience that your attendees will rave about, even after your event has ended.
- Event Success Measurement: Reporting is crucial to your event success, at this point you’ll have to compare event KPIs to see if you reached the established goals.
With so much resting on the event technology tools you choose, it is important to see how these tools are, or should be, working towards your event’s success. If you’re curious about how your current event stack is contributing to your event success and want an in-depth analysis of actionable steps, take the Event Technology Assessment. (See a preview below.)
The Event Technology Assessment helps you understand where your event technology stack is lacking. Source: Bizzabo
3) Choose the Right Event Management Software for Your Needs
Event management software should ring a bell when considering event technology. In fact, $50 million was invested in modern event management solutions in 2016 alone, and as of 2018, 80% of professional organizers planning B2B events currently use some sort of event management software (source).
The best event management software provides a holistic event planning platform, from creating an on-brand digital experience to event registrations to networking communities for attendees. Choose the best event management software for your event by consulting software peer review sites, like Capterra and G2Crowd, making sure to look for verified and recent reviews.
How can an event management software bring together your siloed event technology tools? Do you need multiple solutions, or will one, robust software satisfy your event needs? Below's a glimpse of event management software in action. Click the image to learn more.
4) Engage Attendees with Event Networking Tools
One of the top reasons event-goers attend events is for networking opportunities. Providing networking value will, in turn, likely increase ticket sales. Here’s how:
Event technology, perhaps even your event management software, can facilitate customer and community engagement by creating an online community of registered event-goers. This community includes a searchable list of attendees, private one-on-one messaging, social media integrations and more.
South Summit 2018’s event app features both attendee messaging and a Community feature to help facilitate networking at their event. Source: South Summit
5) Manage Event Registrations
If your aim is to increase ticket sales and drive event registrations, managing these should be at the top of your to-do list (or at least somewhat near it). The right event registration software can help you increase ticket sales by incentivizing new registrants to share the event and potentially promo codes with their social networks (more on this in a second).
It should also help you cover the basics.
Moreover, this technology collects valuable information on your attendees, while providing you valuable time to improve the attendee experience, rather than trying to decipher who will be attending your next event.
- What additional information will your event registration software provide? Think geographic insights and referral analytics.
- What capabilities does it offer you as an event organizer? From upgrading a regular ticket to a VIP ticket to canceling and refunding a sale, being able to manage your event registrations is key.
- Can you customize the registration flow to capture the information you need and visually align with your event brand?
6) Building an Event Website that Drives Ticket Sales
Often times, your event website is the first interaction attendees will have with your event. A successful event website should facilitate a user experience that ultimately serves to drive potential attendees to purchase a ticket and register for your event.
For HubSpot’s INBOUND 2018 conference, the event organizers implemented a video graphic that highlighted the high-profile speakers and creative nature of the event, while communicating a clear value proposition for each of their three ticket types.
With the right tools, your event technology can help you transform this process into a seamless and branded experience, ensuring that no potential attendees are left on the table.
- What if you already created your ideal event website? Ask if you can embed other event website features, like a trackable registration widget, into your current site.
- Running multiple events? Check if your event software allows you to duplicate your event website for your many events.
HubSpot’s INBOUND 2018 created an effective UX with their event registration website. Source: INBOUND
7. Event Software Integrations
As an event professional, it’s likely you have an event technology stack. Take Salesforce for instance. With 83% of Fortune 500 companies as Salesforce (SFDC) customers, it’s likely that you already use, or have heard of the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software tool.
Salesforce can be a critical aspect of your event technology stack because it allows event organizers like yourself to streamline the event planning process—from campaigns and sales qualification to lead generation and calculating the value behind each opportunity that attends your event.
However, Salesforce’s true value for event organizers relies on your event data being directly accessible. Make sure your event marketing software integrates with Salesforce to provide an updated, dependable database of your event’s performance.
Find what integrations your event software provides. Is this a native integration, iPaaS, or open API? The integration capabilities for any event software you are considering will have implications on the success of your event and the amount of work you will have to do later.
A native Salesforce integration with your event software will help you visualize and categorize your attendees.
8) Event Promotion
Event promotion is key, but how do you target the right audiences? How do you expand your reach to new potential ticket buyers?
A simple way to promote your event is to enlist existing registrants. Use your event technology to integrate with social platforms that allow your attendees, speakers, and organizers alike to share content and awareness about your event.
Try further incentivizing new attendees to share your event by employing a double-sided referral promotion through your event management software. The discount will drive ticket sales through your platform, with little added work on your end. In 2017, the Culture Summit team increased first month ticket sales by 600% by using this referral system.
9) Event Analytics and Reporting
No event or event technology tool is successful until you can visualize and prove the value it provides. This is where event analytics and reporting comes into play. Again, the most important step here is to have established goals and KPIs to compare these goals against. You need a baseline to understand where your event may be under or over performing.
For instance, you may want to see if you’ve reached or surpassed your revenue targets, how close you are to selling out ticket registrations, and how this event is performing compared to a previous event.
Having this information from the get-go will help you foresee where more work needs to be done to help drive ticket sales. When considering new event technology tools, make sure that they can provide these types of updated event and cross event analytics.
Cross-event analytics allows you to see how event registration differs per event in real-time. Source: Bizzabo
10) Event Polling and Feedback
Perhaps one of the most useful ways to gauge if your event was a success is to ask the attendees themselves, ideally while the event is still taking place. Dedicated event-goers, particularly recurring ones, will be quick to provide feedback. As an event organizer, ensure that you have the tools to capture this feedback in real time—from the check-in process to session ratings to event swag—you’ll be recording every detail.
Conclusion: Using Event Technology to Increase Ticket Sales and Event Registration
Event technology is a wide umbrella, but implementing certain event technology tools will provide useful in your efforts to increase ticket sales and event registrations. Here are a few key takeaways to keep in mind,
- Before deep-diving into a sea of event technology, consider what is the best channel and approach for you to achieve your ticket sales goal. Will your attendees see more value in a mobile app that maximizes networking at your event, or will they be further incentivized by social sharing ticket discounts? Prioritize your goals to find the event technology that works for your event.
- Cover the essentials. You will have to guide prospecting attendees to your event. Use event technology to ensure that your registration flow is seamless and accurately reflects your event brand.
- Measure the success of your event, always. Any great event technology should allow you to have clear results of the success of your event. Whether it’s through attendee polls or event analytics, only choose measurable event technology that will help you reach and prove event ROI.
Regardless of the event technology stack you choose to implement, these tips provide helpful considerations in an ever technological event space. Event technology is no longer a choice, but an expectation for events that will, in turn, help you as an organizer time and time again.
15 Pricing Tips for Increasing Increasing Event Ticket Sales and Registrations
Event pricing strategies are at the forefront of ticket sales and are often the determining factor for whether or not an attendee will register for your event. In this section, we’ll look at how you can harness the power of ticket pricing to increase ticket sales and registrations.
"If the big goal for the month of May is early bird registrations, we want to make sure that people know about the early bird discount."
—Cathy McPhillips, VP of Marketing, Content Marketing Institute
Here are 15 straightforward and actionable pricing tips to increase ticket sales and boost event registration.
Understand your Event and Audience
- What is the minimum ticket price you need to break even?
Event pricing strategies are great, but you need to have an understanding of what is the minimum price you absolutely need to sell your tickets for in order to avoid losses and a negative event ROI. In your assumptions, take into consideration that ticket sales are a balance between the pricing of the tickets and the number of tickets you sell. If this is a standing event, use historical data to guide you. By crunching these numbers early on, you avoid making pricing mistakes that can have a serious impact on your event success.
In its simplest form, the minimum ticket price can be defined as:
Minimum Ticket Price = Sum of all event costs / Expected Total Ticket Sales or Number of Attendees
- Competitive Pricing
Are other brands running similar events? Is your event taking at the same time and location? As an event organizer, understanding your market is crucial in determining ticket pricing. If your competing event has significantly lower pricing, don’t be quick to lower your ticket price to match. According to a Stanford University study, people don’t necessarily prefer the cheaper option. Rather than matching the lower price, consider positioning your event as a premium experience that justifies the higher price tag. Similarly, consider what is the perceived value of attending your event? These points help clarify attendee-facing considerations that will undoubtedly affect your event’s ticket sales.
Tiered Tickets and Market Segmentation
All attendees are not the same. Offering multiple ticket types allows potential attendees the ability to self-segment and purchase a ticket that fits their needs and budget.
- Early-Bird Tickets
Early-bird tickets have become an industry ticket pricing stable. Why? Because it works: at 51.3% of event organizers consider early-bird discounts to be the most effective ticket sales strategy by event planners. Despite the fact that most ticket sales occur in the last two weeks before an event, 44% of organizers open ticket registration three months before their event.
Early-bird discounts are a great way to incentivize attendees to register beforehand—the limited supply of these tickets creates a sense of urgency, resulting in more ticket sales as soon as your registration is live.
Pro tip: Consider adding a countdown to highlight the urgency of this early-bird discount.
Social Media Marketing World makes use of early-bird discounts to incentivize ticket sales. Source: Social Media Marketing World
- VIP tickets
Including a higher-tier ticket type cements your event as a premium experience for attendees, while driving ticket sale revenue for your event without having to increase prices across the board. Give serious thought to the VIP experience you will provide—from an all-access pass to exclusive keynote speaker meet and greets—the added value should justify the higher price.
- Discounted tickets and Bundle Deals
While it’s great to offer a higher-tier ticket type, use a lower-tier ticket price to convince potential attendees that might be on the fence about attending your event. Make sure to give them the option to upgrade their tickets at any point before and during the event. The goal is to maximize ticket revenue by the end of the event, not to do it before the event has started. By this same logic, consider offering discounts for registrants that purchase multiple event tickets.
One Ticket Does Not Fit All
- Add-on Tickets
If you’re running a large event with multiple breakout events, consider offering ticket sale add-ons. For instance, if you run a session that is particularly in high demand or that has continually filled-up in the past, consider charging extra for attending that session within your larger event. This can be a ticket add-on attendees can purchase once they have already registered for your event.
- Variable Pricing
Variable pricing, or the variation of price in response to differences in demand, is particularly effective if you are running multi-city or multi-day events. The key behind this pricing strategy is that you understand that demand or attractiveness for a certain city or a certain day will be different. Weekend events, for instance, are arguably more attractive for attendees because they do not interfere with their work schedule. Being aware of, and taking this demand into account allows you to alter pricing in response to how attractive different event locations and dates are.
- Last Minute Ticket Offers
It’s crunch-time—your event is fast-approaching and you haven’t met your ticket sales goal? Consider implementing a time-based or quantity-based promotion to help drive event registrations. Think three-day social competitions or one-on-one meeting giveaways for attendees that purchase tickets within those times as well as same-day ticket sales for these offers. This frequently-used tip will help generate ticket sales and event awareness in no time.
For ASEAN Marketing Summit, organizers created a Twitter contest to increase event awareness and engage potential attendees. Source: ASEAN
Understanding the Psychology of Pricing
Whether intuitive or not, the way we think shapes the decisions we make. Event ticket sales are no exception. Understanding how psychological principles can increase ticket sales is important when considering ticket pricing options. Here are a few tips regarding these principles.
- Pricing To the Nines
In general pricing theory, the use of the number 9 proves particularly effective. According to an MIT and University of Chicago study, prices ending in a “9” result in increased demand for these products due to a perceived discount. In turn, prices ending with even numbers are perceived as high-quality. Consider testing these effects when determining the price for your next event tickets.
- Rule of 3s
In line with tip #9, research has shown that having three over two options for purchases result in increased sales. This is particularly true when one of the offerings is expected to provide less value to the buyer and is the same price or a similar price as another option, making the third option appear more attractive. For the purpose of your event, this can be used when providing multi-day ticket sales or when offering a virtual alternative to your live event.
Blockchain Expo North America 2018 uses this pricing strategy to generate ticket sales. Source: Blockchain Expo
While scarcity does not necessarily reflect ticket pricing, it does affect how attendees are willing to spend their money. Showing potential registrants how many tickets remain, especially as your event approaches, will create a sense of urgency. The lower the quantity remaining is, the higher the incentive to purchase now rather than later. If your event management software does not include this feature, consider adding a message that says: “Hurry! Ticket sales are ending soon."
South Summit 2018 uses a time calculator with the message “Last Tickets” and “Ticket prices will rise in” as a scarcity motivator. Source: South Summit
- Partitioned Pricing
If fees are necessary, don’t include fees in the ticket price.
Ideally, as an event planner, you wouldn’t have to charge additional fees to keep the lights on. If you can avoid charging an additional fee, it is likely that ticket sales will increase — especially if you explicitly waive the fee. If waiving the extra charge isn’t realistic for your event, make sure to partition prices to show only the baseline price and include the fee at check out. The incremental price increase will appear less daunting once someone has already committed to attend your event.
The Event Registration Process
- Simplify the Registration Process
Your event registration process should provide a great user experience for your attendees. If your attendees likely contain the 36% of those purchasing event tickets on mobile devices, make sure that the ticket registration experience is seamless and pleasant. People on making purchases on mobile devices are more likely to be easily distracted than those on a desktop. Limit your event registration friction to avoid losing missing these ticket sale opportunities.
Promo Code Pricing
- Loyalist Promo Codes
If your event has a loyal following, consider providing a promo code that incentivizes them to continue attending your events. With 30% of ticket buyers looking up future events of the events they have previously attended, don’t miss the opportunity to generate ticket sales while cementing these individuals as loyalist for your event and brand.
- Partnership Event Promo Codes
Consider partnering with other event brands in related industries to promote ticket sales. If you can create a profitable promotion between two events, your attendees will be incentivized to register for your next conference or summit. This strategy is particularly useful if you’re working on increasing your audience and network. Talk about a win-win.
HoshoCon 2018 and World Crypto Con partnered up to offer a joint promo code for their attendees. Source: HoshoCon
Conclusion: Optimizing Your Ticket Pricing Strategy
In considering these 15 pricing tips for your event, try implementing a few of these strategies to help reach your event ticket sales and revenue goals. Remember:
- Keep your event goals and ROI in mind. Have a minimum price established that is based on historical data and/or market research. With pricing strategies, it’s easy to go overboard, avoid this by having an estimated minimum ticket price that you should not go below.
- Different people buy differently. From tiered tickets to pricing psychology, there are a range of factors that could affect your attendees' buying process. You know your attendees best, so take each strategy with a grain of salt and have fun experimenting.
- Nurture valued relationships. From loyal attendees to valuable sponsorships and partnerships, use this opportunity to nurture these relationships that will help your event succeed in the long-run.
Attendees and organizers will always be sensitive to prices, use the tips outlined here to help your event-goers see the value behind your event while ensuring you meet your event revenue and ticket sale goals.
20 Social Media Tips for Increasing Ticket Sales and Registrations
In this section, you’ll learn how organic and paid social media can accelerate your ticket sales strategy.
"Leaning on your community to play a meaningful role in dictating the trajectory and programming of your experience brings a level of authenticity that you can’t replicate with four people sitting around a table."
—Liz Paquette, Head of Marketing, HUBWeek
Why You Should Invest in Social Media
Social media tends to live at the top of the funnel, where it creates initial awareness of an event. While organic social media may not be a conversion-heavy channel for driving registrations, it still can be strongly augmented with a paid approach.
Plus, social media “social” approach makes it easy for attendees, speakers, sponsors and other key stakeholders to help you promote.
1) Write Out a Plan for Promotion
First and foremost: Define your goal. If you’re reading this blog post, let’s assume that goal is tickets sales and registration. Next up: Determine your target audience. This will help you focus on the best social channels to connect with that target audience. Also worth writing down: your budget and ultimate objectives for the event beyond registration.
Noting all this will keep you on track as you execute your social media promotion.
2) Develop Teaser Content
Don’t just push your event point-blank. Look for different angles. Test-run a gadget or boomerang employees taste-testing hors-d'oeuvres for the event. You want to build interest because interest encourages attendance.
3) Create Banners and Graphics Specific to the Event
Go all out with branded online graphics for your big event and post them cross-platform. This will help you in various ways: It creates identifiable branding for your event before it even begins; it’s eye-catching on social media; and it provides image options when social media doesn’t pull in an image, which has been known to happen on registration pages, in particular.
Don’t forget: The largest graphics space on a social page is typically the header or cover image. Use it.
4) Create a Social Media Kit for Event Stakeholders
If someone is speaking at or sponsoring your event, that’s a built-in advocate. Create social material for them so they don’t have to think if they don’t want to—they can simply copy, paste and publish.
This means providing event graphics sized to suit different channels, like in the previous example, and social text they can use verbatim if they so choose.
5) Feature VIPs in Roundup Content
Ask for quotes from speakers and create a roundup post that doubles as both speaker shout-outs and event promotion. Be sure to @mention your speakers when you post the roundup to social media to increase the likelihood they share the post too.
In the below example, we interviewed Morgan Santapaola from ZoomInfo.
6) Leverage Co-marketing
Does one of your speakers have a blog? If so, ask if you can write a blog post for them. They’ll likely love the idea because it’s content that’s free, easy and helpful to them.
Plus, it’s great for you because it gives you diversified social media fodder while putting your event in touch with your speakers’ email list.
Interesting stat: B2B marketers who write blog content receive 67% more leads than those that don’t. That means making use of as many blogs as possible.
7) Write LinkedIn Articles
It makes sense that LinkedIn algorithms favor their own content, right? If your target audience is on LinkedIn, write a long-form post. It will likely land in LinkedIn newsfeeds and call attention to you and your event.
Interesting stat: Upper-level employees (i.e. managers, vice presidents, directors and c-level executives) comprise roughly 45% of LinkedIn article readers. Depending on the industry you’re targeting, that’s can be quite an audience to have.
8) Integrate Social Media into Your Email Strategy
Email lists are valuable because they include people who have actively decided they wanted to see more from you. Integrate social buttons into your newsletter to increase the chances readers will share.
Interesting stat: Forty percent of event marketers believe email marketing is the most effective channel for promoting an event.
9) Create Speaker Cards
Speaker cards are a visual way to highlight your speakers. All they take is a headshot and some light design work. The result: You make your speakers look good and show them some love all at once. Make sure you @mention them in your posts so they know it.
You’ll be building goodwill as you promote your event. And goodwill is great for sales. Plus, you can include the speaker cards in the social media speaker kits that we mentioned above.
In the below example, TechsyTalk features Bizzabo Co-founder Alon Alroy.
10) Leverage All the Hashtags
Well, maybe not all the hashtags, but all that are relevant certainly.
Basically: Avoid tunnel vision by only using your own hashtag. Include related trending hashtags or hashtags that your partners use. You’ll be rewarded with far wider reach.
For example, to promote an Oscar Awards season Twitter chat, Pure Matter tweeted content with trending hashtags, such as, "You think #StarWars #RogueOne will take home the statue?" The approach put them in more movie fans’ feeds.
11) @Mention Everyone Involved
When we say @mention everyone, we’re talking about your speakers, your venue, your caterers and anyone on social media who would benefit from you mentioning them and are likely to re-share your post.
In the tweet below, TED Fellow Kaitlyn Sadtler mentioned the TED Fellow organization itself, fellow TED fellows (ahem) and the venue to uber-optimize her tweet.
12) Create a Facebook Event
Unlike Facebook posts—and nearly all other posts for that matter—Facebook Events aren’t automatically pushed down the page every time you post new content. The event closest on the horizon will always be at the top of your event page, remaining visible in a way traditional posts do not.
This creates a space where potential attendees can see whatever events you have on tap. As a bonus. Any event updates that you post will show up for those that RSVP for an event.
In the below example, The Paper + Craft Company does a great job of keeping their Facebook Events up-to-date.
13) Tap Into Facebook Groups
Facebook groups span all niches. So find the niche that corresponds with your demographic and join it.
That said, don’t just push your event on a Facebook group and little else. Be a true member of that community, and the interest in your event will follow.
Interesting stat: More than 100 million+ Facebook users belong to groups. If they’ve sought out a group and followed it, that means they feel a strong connection to that groups’ purpose. That’s a valuable target audience.
14) Tap LinkedIn groups while you’re at it
It’s the same concept of leveraging Facebook groups but with a professional spin: Become part of a professional LinkedIn group with members that would naturally be interested in your events.
This can be an especially good approach for B2B events.
Interesting stat: B2C companies have also used LinkedIn to good effect, with 51% of B2C companies acquiring customers through the platform.
15) Get Creative with Instagram Stories
While traditional Instagram posts may or may not appear in your followers’ feeds because of Instagram’s algorithm, Instagram stories have far more visibility because they don’t go through that algorithm filter. They’ll appear at the very top of your followers’ feeds, no matter what.
Plus, Instagram Stories are fun, so let loose and catch some potential attendees’ attention.
The University of California Los Angeles builds excitement for their games by getting behind the scenes at practices and before games.
16) Create a YouTube Playlist
YouTube allows you to group videos in playlists, so use this to your advantage. Gather all content related to an event in one playlist so related content autoplays one after the other.
Remember: You can include content from other channels in a playlist, so curate relevant YouTube content from others participating in your event too.
Example: Salesforce already has a YouTube channel devoted to their Dreamforce conference. They further categorize videos with playlist, like you see above where they’ve grouped videos about the 2018 conference together in one list.
17) Build buzz with Live Video
It’s no secret that live video is all the rage, but there’s another more compelling reason to leverage it: Most social algorithms favor live video content. If you create live videos promoting your event, it’s more likely to be seen than linked or photo content. (For more video tips, check out the video section of this guide).
Interesting stat: People spend three times the time watching live video over recorded video.
18) Promote Early-bird Offers
Offering early-bird tickets at a lower price—and promising prices will only go up from there—creates built-in urgency to purchase tickets. Plus, early-bird specials give you a different angle for promoting your event on social media.
It’s especially smart to promote early-bird tickets in Facebook and LinkedIn groups. If one person in the group jumps on the bandwagon, others from that group may follow.
Example: The Special Event below encourages potential attendees to buy their tickets sooner rather than later.
19) Harness Other Tools
If you need an extra lift for your event, consider bringing in social media tools built to help. One option: Event Bee, which prompts attendees to share event attendance on social media. This piques the interest of their friends and followers, encouraging them to sign up themselves.
Bizzabo offers TicketBoost, a tool that leverages the power of social media to boost attendee ticket sales.
20) Track Leads and Conversions.
By monitoring your event website analytics you can learn a lot about how your event marketing strategy is doing. For example, if Twitter gives you next to no registrants but a LinkedIn group yields an unusually high number of conversions, focus your efforts more on LinkedIn groups and less on Twitter.
How you view this information will be dependent on how your website analytics setup. You may have the ability to learn where traffic is coming through your event marketing software, Google Analytics or another analytics tool.
Conclusion: How to Use Social Media to Increase Ticket Sales and Event Registration
Social media can be a veritable treasure chest of opportunity for your ticket sales strategy. The right channel, the right message and the right means of amplifying that message can make all the difference.
20 Email Marketing Tips for Increasing Ticket Sales and Registrations
Looking for ways to improve your email marketing? What about increasing event ticket sales and registrations? This list of tips and strategies thoroughly lays out exactly what you need to make the most out of your next campaign.
“By having a consistent brand that runs through your event strategy, people become more familiar with the brand over time. Each small event, whether that be a roadshow or webinar, becomes a different touchpoint through which attendees understand the overarching event brand.”
—Lauren Sommers, Director of Corporate Events, Gainsight
Why You Should Care About Email Marketing
Latest research shows that email marketing will remain one of the best and most effective marketing practices for event planners now and in the future. In fact, 40% of marketers consider email marketing to be the single most important channel for event promotion.
Considering this information, this list should serve as a source of inspiration for your next email campaign. Given the variety of samples, you’ll surely find something to take away from each suggestion.
1) Have One Clear CTA Per message
Did you know that emails with a single call-to-action increased their click-through rate (CTR) by 371% and subsequent sales by 1617%? With only one goal or objective per message, readers can quickly find, evaluate, and follow through on their next steps within minutes. Keeping it simple also makes your message easier to remember later on.
2) Be Transparent About Cost
MozCon is an excellent example of transparency paying off. Here they’ve laid out exactly what a reader can expect to receive once they’ve invested in their event ticket. This helpful tool is also great for forwarding to their boss to further justify their purchase.
3) Include Video
It should come as no surprise that video also plays a huge role in email marketing conversion rates. Look for inspiration from videos included in other event invitation email examples like the one found in WistiaFest’s campaign. They used their video content to tell a story and kept all other information to a minimum so viewers would be intrigued enough to click through and learn more.
4) Emphasize Graphics, Images, and Dynamic Content over text
Studies show that people only remember about 10% of the information they’ve read three days after reviewing the material. But when that same material is paired with a relevant image, viewers 65% more information than they had previously. Whether you use an infographic, a funny GIF, or a photo from last year’s event, keeping the focus on visual components will make your email more memorable.
5) Maintain a Consistent Brand
Use your event email marketing campaign to further promote an event brand that is consistent with your other established branding. Consistent color schemes like the one seen here in Percolate’s custom GIF help viewers associate your company with the event. Creating a message with branding that is both unique and simple was the key to their success.
6) Be Mindful of Tone
Using the right tone is another great way to maintain consistent branding. With marketing copy, less is more. If the tone of your email is a bit more on the serious side like this GDPR Webinar, keeping things uniform will ensure credibility and professionalism.
7) Provide Relevant and Valuable Resources
Yet another great reason to check out more event email marketing examples. Resources that provide real value to readers, as Zoomtopia did with this uber helpful breakdown of event expenses that prospects could send to be approved by their supervisors.
8) Focus on Your Best Selling Points
We now know that 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when or when not to approach them. Meaning, you should take a second look over your next email blast to make sure it’s exactly the right content at the right time. By only focusing on your best selling points you can cut to the chase faster, saving your readers time and energy with every new email.
9) Streamline Design
Email design is mission critical to any event marketing campaign. Choose a design that’s easy on the eyes, is fully skimmable, and has intriguing images. Notice how this Dreamforce campaign is simple and clean (not to mention, beautifully illustrated).
10) Be Bold
Email campaigns can easily start to look similar after a while. Take a smart risk using bold and memorable design like the one created by AdAge.
11) Use rich text
According to Hubspot, 64% of people prefer rich text emails. Rich text can mean anything that is bold, italicized or varied in size. Be sure not to overwhelm the reader. Instead, use rich text to help effectively get your point across.
12) Offer a Pre-sale Discount
One of the best email marketing tips for event marketers is knowing how to target and sell to attendees who are the most interested in their event. If someone attended your event in the past, there’s a good chance that they may be interested in returning. Offering a pre-sale discount to previous attendees or email subscribers is a great way to encourage them to re-engage with your events. Ticketfly suggests you may even see a conversion rate of higher than 100%.
13) Create Urgency
As discussed earlier in this guide, there are a number of ways to create urgency: limited-time offers, words that hint at expiration (like “until” or “last chance”) and a reminder of an approaching date are some way of doing so. Web Summit created a great example of how to instill urgency in event prospects with this clever countdown timer.
Source: Web Summit
14) Segment Your Email List
Email segmentation is key to getting better open and click rates. Just ask MailChimp - based on a pool of over 9 million recipients around the world, their study showed that segmented emails were 14.31% more likely to be opened than non-segmented messages. Even more amazing, click through rates from segmented emails were 100.95% higher.
15) Make It Personal
Rather than send your email campaign from your company, why not try sending it from an actual person? Take a page out of the Orbit Media Conference’s book and be sure to put a real face and bio in the email signature so viewers can get an added personal touch to every message.
Source: Orbit Media
16) Leverage the Email Signature
Using your email signature to sell more tickets is one of our favorite email hacks for increasing event ticket sales. Improve passive registrations with a link like the one provided by Social Media Marketing World:
Source: Social Media Marketing World
17) Engage Attendees During the Event
There’s no rule that says you can’t email attendees while they’re attending your event! Take advantage of their immediate interests with emails that provide direct value to what they’re experiencing. In this example, Pulse gave attendees a helpful overview of how the day went and what they can expect to see tomorrow.
18) Get a Jumpstart on Your Next Event
You can even use email marketing during your event to share your next big shindig! Build on the enthusiasm of current attendees by letting them in on some pre-registration goodness to keep the vibe high all week long.
19) Choose a Subject Line that Is Proven to Work
Your chosen subject line will greatly affect your open rate. These three examples have proven to be highly effective for email marketing:
- According to FastCompany, subject lines that directly engage the recipient by referring to them by name shows a respect for the time of readers.
- Hubspot found that language hinting at special offers is more likely to see higher open rates.
- And finally, the subject line, “Quick Question”, proved to specifically garner a whopping 50% open rate in this cold email test study.
20) Showcase Testimonials
Embedded testimonials like the one seen in this example from Amy Porterfield provide readers with social proof that will help them feel confident about their ticket purchase.
Source: Amy Porterfield
Conclusion: How to Use Email Marketing to Increase Ticket Sales and Event Registration
Email marketing is a great tool for any marketer to use, but in order to engage a modern audience, there are certain key building blocks you must have in place.
- Visually organize your content with bold imagery, video, and streamlined text.
- Consider adding testimonials or valuable content that can be viewed and enjoyed by email recipients.
- You can even help promote future events by adding the link to your email signature and emailing current attendees about another event they could attend later on.
Whatever tips you follow, email marketing will be sure to remain a foundation of good event promotion strategy in the long-term, so learning how to improve this skill will benefit you in the long run.
10 Content Marketing Tips for Increasing Ticket Sales and Registrations
Pre-event content marketing is a great way to promote ticket sales and registrations. In this section, you’ll learn how to develop a content strategy for events that can bring value to your customers.
“In order to have a successful and efficiently scaled event approach, you need to first have a clear strategy. What business goals are you trying to achieve? After that, you need to make sure your event content brings true value to your audience. Lastly, it is important to identify where you can drive synergies - when holding similar events, you can usually create templates for both content and structure to save time.”
—Dan Landa, Head of B2B Marketing Israel, Google
Why You Should Invest in Content Marketing
In brief: It’s cheap, passive and powerful.
In fact, you might have even started your content marketing strategy without knowing it. Your event website and blog are excellent platforms for your work. If your company has already shared content in the past, they’ve actually done a lot of the legwork you’ll need for SEO success.
With event content marketing you can increase organic traffic to your event website at little cost. From there, your content can further influence visitor conversions. This leads to more registrations and more attendees.
Whether it’s you have one event or ten, your first step should be to create a proper roadmap. Gather the right people and tools. Determine how your event adds the most value to your audience and reflect that benefit in your content. Then all you have to do is write the posts, record the audio, or design the graphics to share.
By creating killer content marketing for your event, you’ll further promote your brand as a leader within the industry. No matter where you are in the content creating process, here are some important tips to help increase ticket sales and registrations.
1) Build a Content Plan
Content marketing works. Just ask the 93% of B2B marketers who answered this survey saying they use it for their company. Here are some ways to structure your blueprint:
- Plan 12 months ahead. You’ll have the big picture in mind before you even sit down to create content. There are a lot of moving parts in content marketing. Keep your head above water with this long-term strategy.
- Choose 3-5 core messages. These should make up the bulk of your content topics and keywords for SEO. Focus on what makes your event different from similar ones.
- Make a list of CTAs. Every piece of shared content should have a goal. Decide on what your primary objectives now so you can refer back to it as you build your library of resources.
2) Choose the Right Content Tools
You need to determine which platforms to focus on, how you’ll measure results, and what programs you need to use before getting started. Some helpful tools for keeping track of content engagement include:
- Google Analytics
- Event Marketing Software
- Marketing Automation Software (like Hubspot or Marketo)
- SEO Tools (like Moz and SEMRush)
Heatmaps provided from event marketing tools like Hotjar allow you to see how visitors are clicking on your web page.
3) Assemble Your Team
Did you know that 64% of marketers outsource their content writing? There’s a reason for that. Even if you’ve been a terrific one-man band in the past, content marketing can be fairly demanding and time-consuming. This is especially true for newbies.
Even if your resources don’t allow for outsourcing, you can seek help within your organization. Interviews from subject matter experts, live video chats with company figureheads, and recorded audio from informational meetings are all excellent resources for content creation within a few feet of your desk!
4) Create a Productive Workflow
The quantity of content you need to create when promoting an event can feel overwhelming at times. Having a custom workflow in place before you begin can cut down on any confusion. Here’s a great example of a blog post process that you can take inspiration from. Notice how this can be applied to any article they write, regardless of the topic.
5) Consistently Share Bite-Size Content
Short snippets of content shared on a regular basis over time have a greater likelihood of being both seen and remembered. As the amount of content on the internet grows, the average attention span of web users has been decreasing. In fact, the average amount of time a potential customer spends reviewing content has fallen below 8.25 seconds. It’s also been proven that viewers disproportionately spend more time viewing the top 20% of a page.
Although this initially seems daunting, breakneck skimming and lazy scrolling can be used to your advantage. Create content that works with users, not against them. Combine one of your predetermined core messages with a single CTA from your preparation above to capture their fleeting attention.
(Note: If your main goal with your content strategy is to improve the SEO discoverability of your event website, you may want to try longer-form content. The average Google result that’s on the first page contains 1,890 words).
6) Be Honest
Customers are wising up to outdated event marketing tactics like false hype and scarcity. Being authentic in your messaging will help keep customers engaged in the long-term. Reviews from real attendees like the one below have the most impact. Check out how this conference turned some honest reviews into a variety of content.
Source: Digital Dealer
7) Answer Real Questions Direct From Your Audience
Attendees already have their go-to hangouts online where they like to post questions about their common pain points. There are probably a few industry-specific websites you can try, but Reddit and Quora are a great place to start. Keep a list of these ideas and use them to inspire future content.
Tools like BuzzSumo, Moz and Answer The Public can also help you figure out what kinds of questions your audience has.
An example of a Questions search in Moz.
8) Measure Results Effectively
52% of content marketers find tracking their ROI to be one of their most difficult challenges. If you don’t track your progress, content marketing for your event will eventually feel like a huge time suck with little to no reward. The truth is it’s a long-term process with many benefits that might not be immediately apparent if you’re not paying attention to the right factors. To stave off content fatigue, choose a KPI that aligns with your goals, decide how you’ll monitor it, and start tracking it as soon as possible.
9) Double Down on What Works
This is a simple yet powerful mantra often employed by famed content marketing expert Neil Patel. Once you begin effectively measuring your content engagement, patterns will emerge. Take stock of what is really popular with your audience both in terms of content type and topics. Patel believes in this method so strongly that he has actually committed to investing $144,000 just in video marketing, which he largely attributes to his success so far based on real data from his audience. (More on video marketing below!)
10) Think Long Term
As we’ve already mentioned, content marketing for your event is a terrific long-term strategy. Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic from content marketing is 7.8x higher for websites that use it when compared to websites with marketing that doesn’t. When getting started with content marketing, remember that all the effort you put in now will pay off for future events as well!
Conclusion: How to Successfully Promote Your Event with Content Marketing
As you can see, there are lots of methods for enhancing your event marketing through content. To summarize these tips, here are some key takeaways you can use today, no matter how much time you have to invest in content marketing:
- A little planning goes a long way. Like any great accomplishment, having your goals, tools, and process in place before you begin is vital to success. Start with the fundamentals - they’ll majorly pay off in the long run.
- Stay calm, the hard part has been figured out for you. As we’ve pointed out, your audience has already told you what they want. Give them consumable and sincere content on a regular basis and you’ll see massive results.
- Learn as you go. There’s no rule that says you have to hit it out of the park every time, especially starting out. The most effective content marketing strategy makes space for trial and error. Properly assess your data to make decisions based on your unique audience and adjust your content plan when necessary.
Remember these use case studies and examples when creating your next big event content marketing strategy. By taking these steps now, you’ll ensure success for your next event along with everyone that comes after.
How to Leverage SEO to Increase Event Ticket Sales and Registrations
SEO. Search engine optimization. It’s a buzzy topic in the world of marketing, and as we’ll see, for good reason. Here’s what you need to know about it SEO to get an extra bump in your ticket sales and registrations.
"Identify specific companies that you want as clients, identify the key stakeholders, map out the organization, and market to those people in those organizations that have relevant content at different levels of influence."
—Lloyed Lobo, Co-Founder, Traction Conf
Why You Should Invest in Event Website SEO
It’s hard to believe that there was a time before search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. When confronted with an argument about whether a tomato was a fruit or a vegetable, we had nothing to do but agree to disagree. Now, in the age of the search engine, the knowledge that a tomato is actually both (fruit if you want to split hairs) is at our fingertips, and much more.
This has big implications for event marketers.
Consider the following:
- The average traffic share generated by sites listed on the first Google search results page is 91.5%. (Chitika)
- 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search, 10 percent from paid search (BrightEdge)
- Over 40 percent of revenue is captured by organic traffic. (BrightEdge)
The bottom line: If you want prospective attendees, speakers and partners to find your website and purchase a ticket, you need to make sure that it is optimized for search. In many cases, if you want to increase ticket sales, you need good SEO.
1) Know Your On-Page Factors
The first and most important area to focus on are what are called your on-page factors. When people think of SEO, they typically think of optimizing on-page factors. These are things that you can do on your event website to improve SEO.
Some of the most important on-page optimization factors include:
- Keyword selection
- Semantic search
- Search intent
- Title tag and other HTML tags
- Meta description
- Alt text
- Keyword density
- Dwell time
- Mobile optimization
- Load speed
We’ll dive into some of these on-page factors in the rest of this section. For now, just know that these factors are out there (and important).
2) Find the Right Keyword
In many ways, the foundation of successful on-page optimization is the keyword. The keyword is the word or series of words that someone is looking for answers about in their search engine.
For event marketers, the main keyword should be the name of your event. If you’re just launching an event, it may be helpful to think of either a medium tail keyword or a unique keyword.
A medium tail keyword (like “growth marketing conference”) is more specific than a short tail keyword (like “growth marketing”). Often shorter keywords are more competitive and therefore are harder to rank for when your site is just starting out.
A unique keyword is something that no one else is likely to rank for. Something like… “GopherCon”. GopherCon is an event produced by Gopher Academy, an educational organization dedicated to the programming language community.
Rather than naming their event and event website something like “programming conference” (which, by the way, is already taken), Gopher Academy decided to create a unique brand from the ground-up. Now when potential event attendees search for GopherCon in a search engine, they can easily find it.
The right keyword for your event website should of course stem from your event brand, but if you are planning on receiving organic website traffic, you should consider a keyword that your website can rank for.
3) Incorporate Your Keyword into Your Website
Having the right keyword is a start, but how you incorporate that keyword into your website is ultimately what will move the needle when trying rank in search results and sell those tickets.
One term that gets tossed around a lot is keyword density—basically, how frequently you place the keyword throughout your blog post. While there is value in making sure that your target keyword is used throughout your event website, you don’t want to stuff your website with keywords. While some software may be able to provide suggestions of how frequently a keyword should appear, a rule of thumb it to make it appear organically.
More importantly, Google has been increasingly evaluating websites based on semantic search (related to search intent)—that is, understanding search accuracy by looking at whether or not it answers the searcher’s question (again, why bounce rate on a site is bad) and the use of contextual keywords.
For instance, if I had an event website for Taco Conference, I’d want to make sure that the website also contained language that spoke to salsa, tortilla, guacamole, tomatoes, cilantro, and black beans.
Aside from keyword density and semantic search, there are several other ways to incorporate your event keyword listed below.
4) Optimize Your Site for Page Load Speed, Mobile and Security
Aside from content that is optimized for a keyword, one of the biggest on-page factors is how well your content is optimized for performance. If your page takes too long to load or is difficult to access on mobile, two things will happen:
- Your website visitor will have a bad experience, which may deter them from learning more or at least dampen their experience with your brand
- Google will penalize how your website ranks in search results
Again, Google’s goal is to provide users with accurate and helpful information. If a visitor is clicking on a link to your website only to leave out of frustration moments after, it looks unhelpful in Google’s eyes and will be penalized accordingly.
Fortunately, event marketing software like Bizzabo automatically generates a mobile-friendly site. It’s also optimized by default to load quickly.
An example of an event website builder with mobile optimization built-in. (Source: Bizzabo)
5) Invest in Paid Search
Paid search can help you get your event website in front of attendees who otherwise might not know about your event. As opposed to organic search (detailed above) which relies on SEO optimization in order to rank on a page, the position of a paid search ad is simply based on how much money you are willing to put in.
This is the general process for launching a paid search campaign on Google Ads:
- You choose a page to direct people to (your event website).
- You choose the keywords that you would like to target (“taco events, taco conferences, etc.”).
- You place a budget for how much you are willing to spend when someone types in the relevant word.
- Google Ads (or whatever ad network you are serving on) takes care of the rest.
For a non-competitive word, you may be able to pay relatively little. For competitive keywords, this price goes up.
Some of the best advantages of paid search are that it’s comparatively low effort and fast. Sure, you need someone on your team who knows how to work Google Ads, but beyond that, you can get a quick return for relatively little investment.
5) Invest in Other Channels Outside of Search
As valuable as SEO can be for driving website ticket sales, there are plenty of other channels to invest in. Email marketing, social media, paid social media, and events (yes, events to market events) are all great ways to drive visitors to your event website. In fact, most event marketers agree that email marketing is the best way to promote an event.
SEO takes time. It can be very valuable if you plan on building a long-lasting event brand or are planning an event far into the future. However, if you are planning an event that is small or a one-off, then organic search may not be the best option for you. Though paid search still can prove fruitful.
Conclusion: Boosting Your Event Registrations with SEO
As the data shows, it pays to have a strong SEO strategy. In pursuing your own
- Choose medium tail or unique keywords for your event site.
- Incorporate your target keyword into your website based on SEO best practices.
- Optimize your event website so that it’s in line with keyword-agnostic best practices.
- Experiment with paid and organic search strategies to see what works best for your audience.
- Supplement your SEO efforts with a well-rounded marketing mix.
10 Video Marketing Tips for Increasing Event Ticket Sales and Registrations
How can you get the most out of your event video marketing strategy? Check out these tips for YouTube, Facebook Live, and more.
"We do a lot of parties at the event, and there's a lot of sessions and networking. To really get somebody who's never been to PLAY to come, you need to give them a little bit of what the experience is like."
—Britta Schellenberg, VP of Marketing, Brightcove
Why You Should Invest in Video Marketing
Your future attendees are already watching videos on various social media platforms.
- 82 % of Twitter users engage in video content
- Video posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts.
- Video in an email leads to 200-300% increase in click-through rates
But if you think that simply posting a video will get their attention there’s a good chance you’ll need to step up your game in order to really grab their attention. Let’s face it - there’s a lot of great content out there but not all of it inspires action. So how do you make content that gets noticed, increases event ticket sales, and boosts registrations?
We’ve outlined some ideas below that will help you woo your future attendees through the power of video marketing.
A good thing to keep in mind as you look over these suggestions is that each item serves its own purpose. Make sure you’re spending your time wisely by focusing on the strategies that best serve your goals and audience.
1) Social Media
Sites like Facebook and YouTube offer lots of great tools for marketers looking to add video to their arsenal. In the example below, INBOUND uses playlists to showcase both information about the event itself and bonus content their attendees can really sink their teeth into. Make sure to write out people’s full names, job titles, companies, and a link to your event registration page in each video description.
Source: INBOUND Facebook Page
The last part is especially important because it allows future viewers to buy tickets directly after viewing the video. Viewers won’t have to around to find the information, eliminating as many obstacles as possible between them and the purchase.
Video marketing in email just plain works. Surveys of event professionals have shown that putting a video in email campaigns can lead to a 250% increase in click-through rate.
You can even go a step further and create videos that speak to the different segments of your event database. For example, try including video trailers of past events in with early-bird discounts to past attendees to capitalize on their nostalgia.
You can also maximize its traction by turning on social share settings. Readers can then post the video directly to their social feeds, multiplying the number of eyeballs on it in just a few clicks.
3) Facebook Live
Facebook Live offers one very important aspect that other video sharing options on the site don’t have: notifications. When you start a Facebook Live video, an alert will be sent to the news feeds of all your followers. Facebook also prioritizes live videos over replayed ones.
BuzzFeed was an early adopter of the streaming medium. Source: BuzzFeed Facebook Page
Having more visibility means having more opportunity for additional sales. The Facebook landscape is competitive already, but Live can help you turn any video-worthy moment into the Facebook version of headline news for your followers. Use it to give some behind-the-scenes sneak peaks of your event preparation and stir up excitement over ongoing ticket sales.
4) Instagram/Facebook Stories
If you’ve ever doubted the power of these bite-size shares, have we got a statistic for you. One out of every five Instagram Stories shared by businesses results in a direct message from a prospect. And with the help of stickers and face filters, the platforms lend themselves well to event brands that value a good sense of humor.
Videos shared on Stories should have a more personal feel to them, almost like you’re interacting with another friend’s profile. For this reason, it’s a good idea to nominate one or two people from your team to be consistently featured in them. Building personal connections will further drive registrations.
(We talk about this more in the social media chapter.)
5) Clickable CTAs in Videos
Including a direct call to action in everything you share is a basic principle of successful content marketing. And it’s especially true for videos. Many video marketers neglect to include clickable CTAs simply because they don’t know how. As a result, invitations to register, package upgrade opportunities, and last minute pricing specials written in the comments section or descriptions often get overlooked.
Video software like the kind offered by Wistia (pictured below) and Brightcove can help keep your CTAs immediate and actionable for all your video marketing content, no matter where it’s shared.
6) Just Start Filming
One of the biggest roadblocks event planners experience when trying to implement video marketing is the content creation part itself. The good news is videos that showcase personality over polish do well across all social media sites.
For event marketers, this means all you have to do to make great videos is to just start shooting them. You don’t need many resources to start, but there are tools (like Animoto, featured below) that can guide you through the process of video creation using simple and intuitive features.
7) Different Types of Videos (speaker series, sizzle reel, testimonials)
Based on the psychology behind four different types of learners and their preferences for presentations, this study found 79% of consumers would rather watch a video to learn about a product than reading text on a page. This leaves a lot of opportunity for content inspiration.
Anything you’d normally feature on a traditional event blog can now be recorded, uploaded, and shared, all while knowing that increased engagement is almost guaranteed. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Speaker Series: An interview with a speaker at your event, before the event or after the event happens.
- Sizzle Reel: A sizzle reel gives attendees an idea of what an event will be like. While this is often a cut of event footage, it can also be more abstract.
- Testimonial: Your attendees are your most powerful advocates. Giving the platform to speak about their event experience can push prospective attendees to register.
Each of these examples is easy to create and can help build anticipation for your upcoming event.
8) 360 Video
A recent 360 degree video case study conducted by Magnifyre showed that 360 video has truly cracked the code on storytelling through marketing. They compared boosted engagement from a flat video and a 360 video showcasing the exact same content (in this case it was a ballet performance). The number of viewers on the 360 video was double that of the flat video. The length of time each viewer watched the 360 video was also 28.8% higher than the flat one.
What does this mean for event marketing? 360 video could bring that extra wow factor into your ticket sale buzz and get extra mileage out of any content you’re already planning to produce. You can also recycle your unused 360 content as b-roll in other related videos showcasing things like your event venue or the launch party later on.
9) Video E-Course
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Especially one that provides a ton of value. Offer up your event registration website as an educational hub by creating relevant free classes for site visitors.
The example above showcases two very important sections: Who’s It For and What You’ll Get. You don’t have to use this particular wording, but including copy that clearly defines its audience and their key takeaways proves you understand your attendees and are interested in helping them achieve their goals, regardless of whether or not you sell them a ticket this time around.
10) Personal Invitations from Speakers
Your keynote speakers are the best resources for creating video content. Ask willing participants to create messages to be sent over email, social media, or in a blog post. In this example (shown below) you can see how Unbounce provided readers with a value-packed teaser for what’s to come at their Call To Action Conference.
Conclusion: Video Marketing Event Promotion in Practice
Now that you’ve added some more tools to your belt, the next step is to try them out. If you remember nothing else from this guide, keep these key points in mind:
- Going the extra mile is easier than you think. Marketers tend to shy away from shooting 360 videos or adding clickable CTAs because they are intimidated by the process. The good news is these are all totally manageable if you have the right tools. And since most marketers don’t typically make it past this hump, you’re already ahead of the game!
- Don’t overthink it. This might be the most difficult step of them all but it’s important to start creating videos even if you haven’t finely tuned your process yet. As we’ve explained, videos that feel organic get more traction and don’t require any fancy equipment to get started.
- Use resources you already have. From speakers to past attendee reviews to subject matter experts within your own company, you already have more than enough content for your event marketing videos. Since you’re surrounded by so much exciting material, the video marketing process could be as simple as point and shoot!
10 Paid Advertising Tips for Increasing Event Ticket Sales and Registrations
Learn how paid SEO, retargeting ads and other paid advertising channels can help you boost your event’s ticket sales.
"After working with thousands of event planners, I can say that the most successful ones make sure to identify the right KPIs for a successful event. Then, they make sure that they integrate their different systems to access those KPIs in a timely and efficient manner."
—Alon Alroy, Co-founder & CMO, Bizzabo
Why You Should Invest in Paid Advertising
With paid advertising, it doesn’t matter how large your email database is or how many followers you have on social media. With a shrewd paid strategy you can get your event in front of a large right audience that is ready to buy.
1) Tackle Event Website Optimization First
We address this elsewhere in this post, but it bears repeating here.
Before you even consider promoting your upcoming event, make sure that your event registration and ticketing landing page are optimized to capture ticket sales. This strategy is two-fold:
First, your event website, including your event registration landing page, should be interactive and straightforward. As soon as a potential attendee reaches your event site, the purpose of your event and how to register for it should be clear. You may have heard that the e-commerce giant Amazon aims to have customers complete a purchase in two clicks or less. Reducing purchasing friction is key.
Before you consider paying for ads, ensure you have an organic search strategy in place by employing event website search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. This includes keyword targeting, link partnerships, and a consistent online message around your event. If you can get attendees to find your event organically, without having to pay for that click, you’re doing it right.
ClearCompany’s Talent Success Conference has a clear CTA for ticket registration. Source: ClearCompany
2) Set Actionable Goals
Your paid ad budget is limited and paid channels usually rely on a cost-per-click (CPC) business model. Ensuring you have a concrete goal—be it increasing the number of tickets sold by X% or increasing ticket revenue sales by Y%—will help to keep your goals in check and optimize spending across multiple ad networks.
CPC varies across multiple ad channels, and while CPC pricing is the most popular choice, it is rarely the only revenue method these platforms offer. For reference, these are the average cost across some popular channels (source):
- Google Adwords search network $2.32 per click
- Google Adwords display network $0.58 per click
- Facebook $1.72 per click
When creating search ads, consider that placement is everything. In fact, 98% of all people searching for purchases will choose a brand that is on the first page of a search engine results page (SERP). Moreover, the top three spots on Google’s SERP get 41.1% of all clicks on that page.
3) Understand Your Audience and Buyer Journey
Are these new leads or have these contacts already shown interest? In other words, will you be creating prospecting ads, retargeting ads, or both?
Retargeting ads—ads that target people who have already expressed interest in your event often by visiting your event website—become crucial when attempting to understand an attendee’s buyer journey. Few people will purchase an event ticket the first time they learn of your event (if they do, go ahead and pat yourself on the back). Retargeting ads for events aim to recapture this audience.
DigitalMarketer retargets past attendees through their retargeting ads. Source: DigitalMarketer
Retargeting ads results in 70% to 80% more conversions and can reduce acquisition costs by 44%. In other words, it’s the most effective and economical ad strategy to capture high intent leads. These may be people who visited your event website or even added ticket(s) to their carts and didn’t complete the purchase.
If your aim is to expand the volume of registrations, expand your ad reach to target new, potential attendees that are perhaps unfamiliar with your event right now but would be interested in attending if they were made aware of it.
4) Get to Know Your Paid Ads Stack
Make sure the chosen paid advertisement channel aligns with your event and brand. When deciding which ad network to place your ads on, and more importantly to invest your money on, consider the benefits and limitations of each.
Google Adwords vs. Facebook: A guide to different ad formats. Source: AdEspresso
Consider the type of content you have to work with to get your message across and ultimately increase conversions, be it plain text, rich text, images, videos, and GIFs. For Google Search Ads, you’re paid ad is limited to text and links.
While customizable, the standard is two headlines with a 30-character limit and a description with an 80 character limit. Facebook Ads allows for more flexibility, allowing event organizers to add graphics and button CTAs through standalone visuals or carousel ads.
Additionally, each channel is composed of different audiences, meaning that a Facebook user is intrinsically different than the average Google user, and these are both different than the average Twitter or LinkedIn user. With over 100 million monthly users and 74% of B2B buyers resorting to LinkedIn for purchasing decisions—if your event caters to B2B professionals, LinkedIn ads should consistently be a part of your paid ad stack. Whether or not you can afford a paid ad on all platforms, aim to have an updated, on-brand profile presence 100% of the time.
5) Type of Content Variety and Testing: Design Above All
Once you’ve successfully decided who to target and on what platform, give serious consideration when designing the ad you intend to show. While it may be intuitive to show the same images being featured on your event website, consider creating custom images that speak to potential registrants and to the ad channel audience. As per usual, A/B testing is crucial to understanding what text, images, and times perform best for your target attendees.
Brightcove used Facebook to promote Content Marketing World 2018 using video and promotional discounts.
Note: While the above is an organic post, the same tips apply. Be sure to optimize your video ad by including the date of your event in large text and relevant CTA buttons that link directly to your event registration page.
In designing your ads, consider what type of content will be most effective. Video content, for instance, will drive 50x more search results than plain text and are 50% more effective at converting ticket sales than a static image.
If you’re organizing an annual event, consider including recap video content from previous years that will serve to excite and intrigue potential attendees. While videos are great at garnering interest, be mindful of load times—especially if you notice that most users complete purchases on mobile devices. That brings us to our next tip...
6) Where and How You Show Your Ads Matter
Are attendees more likely to purchase a ticket through mobile or a desktop device? In 2016, 36% of event tickets were purchased on mobile versus 64% on desktop. Unsurprisingly, this spending trend is directly correlated with the price and accessibility of your event ticket—the higher the price, the more considerations for a potential attendee, thus increasing the likelihood of completing a ticket purchase on desktop.
Spending trends vary across devices and platforms as well. On average, Apple users spend three times as much as Android users on mobile purchases. These differences may seem small but are an important consideration in deciding how to spend your valuable ad budget.
7) Capitalize on Special Offers
You’ve created a great ad, invested time, money and effort to ensure your event registration explodes...but you aren’t seeing the results.
We mentioned it previously, but each attendee has a unique buyer journey that is affected by multiple factors. As an event marketer, you can’t throw ads at a prospective audience and expect them to convert immediately.
If you notice that even when your paid ads are being received, ticket sales are not yet increasing, consider providing an additional incentive to contacts that continue to receive your retargeting ads.
For INBOUND 2018, organizers incentivized ticket discounts on their INBOUND Twitter feed, making sure to link directly to the registration page on their event website.
Promo codes are perfect for retargeting, but in terms of expanding your attendee lead base, also consider offering attendees who share the event on their social networks a referral incentive. This can be communicated as a shareable link on your ad.
8) Use Sponsors to Promote Ads
You’ve likely secured great speakers and sponsors for your next event—don’t miss the opportunity to use these to leverage your paid ad strategy. Perhaps most intuitively, make sure that your keynote speakers are sharing your event across their own social channels. However, this tip is particularly effective if you can add audience and interests segmentation to your paid ads.
For instance, consider targeting your speaker’s social media followers and those that are interested in the brands that sponsor your event. While these individuals may not necessarily be aware of your event, they will be intrigued by the content, speakers, and opportunities your event provides. If your chosen ad network does not allow for this kind of ad segmentation, try out next two tips.
Once your ads are live, attempt to engage directly with potential attendees and your event speaker’s social media followers across all ad channels. While getting speakers to share on their channels is great, people appreciate the extra effort and personalized touch. Go through your speaker’s social followers, send personal invites and if you can, even offer special promotions for these individuals. Plus, this tip requires no ad spend, only a patient and dedicated event team.
Below you can see an example of the CMWorld Twitter Chat. The organizers behind Content Marketing World engage in weekly Twitter chats to engage attendees and followers alike with conference-related questions and answer hourly sessions. Plus, it’s a great way to improve your event’s social media presence.
As event organizers, you know well that the job is never done. Once your event website has been optimized, your paid ads designed and live, make sure to constantly monitor paid ad performance across all channels.
Check that all live ads are converting and are well underway in helping you achieve, or even surpass, your original goals. You don’t want to incur ad costs if certain ad designs, ad copy, or ad channel aren’t working—pause these and test new versions until you hit your event ad jackpot.
Conclusion: Putting Paid Advertising Into Action
As an event organizer trying to increase ticket sales, paid advertising should increasingly become a part of your event strategy. Remember:
- Leverage SEO and website optimizations to help you get the most out of every visitor who comes to your site.
- Set concrete goals for your paid ad campaigns. You might not come out ROI-positive at first, but continue optimization will help you get there.
- Promote special offers and promo codes to nudge attendees to convert.
- Retarget visitors to your site with social ads.
- Monitor to see which channel works best for you.
Regardless of your ad budget, make sure that your ads deliver and help surpass your registration goals.
Wrapping Up: Your Strategy for Increasing Event Ticket Sales
There is no one tactic that is guaranteed to sell out your next event, but there are many. Experiment, measure, optimize. See which channels work best for your event strategy. The first step is trying something new.
It helps to have an award-winning event software on your side. Try Bizzabo to see if it's a good fit for you.