Creating a sold out event, year after year

By in Our Work, September 12th, 2018

Here at MyNext we use our a combination of our digital skills to help event organisers sell tickets and sell out real world events via digital channels. Here is a review of our process that we use when working with Mosman Rugby, to sell out their Ladies Day event year after year.

Create promotional assets for the event
Whether you are starting a new event or running a recurring event, there are a few items that are required that will help make your get a great attendance and even sell out. First of all you will need to decide on the branding and if it will be an event run in partnership with a known company or is it your own brand that you are trying to push. Once you have decided on the events branding, you can then work on the invites, email marketing, social media and landing page. By taking the time to plan these assets before you launch will ensure you have consistency across all platforms to enhance the user experience and build trust with potential attendees.

Here at MyNext, we work with Mosman Rugby Club to sell tickets to their annual Ladies Day, which is promoted and run to support the Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation. The branding is positioned as Mosman Rugby supporting the Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation, with the colours from the charities logo featuring as part of the branding for the event before and on the day of the event.

The invite is then used via email marketing, social media and features on the landing page, where you can buy tickets for the event. The landing page for the event was originally built on a free platform called TryBooking, where they make their money by taking a cut of each ticket sale. As we recommend for everyone that we work with you should start with free off the shelf options, so that you can learn what you like and dislike about the process before you spend too much money, potentially building the wrong thing. We have since developed our own landing page that captures the attendee details and allows them to update attendee details right up until the event starts (which was one of the limitations we identified on the free platform).

By building our own landing page we are able to save a few dollars per ticket, and as we sell over 300 tickets per event, that adds up to nearly a $1,000 saving on the booking process each year, that can be given directly to the charity as part of the money raised.

Building an audience
As we have been running this event for a number of years, we have already built up quite an audience of previous attendees. What we have focused on is collect attendees emails when they are coming to an event so that we can send them updates of the event and ultimately send them invites via email for the next event. As long as the event has been run successfully and the attendees have enjoyed the previous event, they are more likely to book again when you reach out to them.

If we did not have the luxury of being able to reach out to our previous attendees, we would focus our attention on building an audience via social media. Platforms like Facebook have an amazing ability to target specific people that may be interested in your event. Some of the targeting parameters we would use would be location, interests and time spent on the landing page and as we build more of an audience, it becomes easier to identify the audience that is interested and continue to market to them.

Drive traffic
As you start to build an audience and track how they are converting to ticket sales, you can estimate the costs to sell your all of your tickets if using advertising or if you have an audience already, the effort required to convert them in repeat attendees.

Our usual approach to driving traffic for Mosman Rugby is as follows:

  1. Send an exclusive invite to previous attendees letting them know they have a week head start to book tickets
  2. Send another email that the event is now open to the public and start adding it to social media and other platforms
  3. A week later we notify everyone via email and social media that tickets are selling well and the event will sell out again
  4. Update everyone again when there are only 100 tickets left
  5. Send a final update that the event has sold out and if they have missed out they can join a wait list for tickets

By using this approach and sending regular updates, we are letting the attendees know they may miss out on being at the event, we usually see a spike of ticket sales after each stage of the process.

Of course the event has to be run well on the day but that is another thing, if you are the event organiser and are looking for help to sell out your next event, allowing you to focus on the actually running of the event, we are the team to work with you, as our focus is to get your event in front of the right audience from day one.

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About the Author

Josh Tucker

Josh Tucker

I am a software engineer and digital engagement strategist, focusing on automation and boutique builds for clients that no longer need off the shelf solutions. Having spent more than 15 years developing numerous websites/platforms, integrations and audiences for a range of clients in the local and international markets, I can combine development skills with extensive digital marketing and engagement experience, providing an overall digital strategy that can be executed efficiently and cost effectively.
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