How to Raise More Money at Your Next Event by Selling Tickets Online
Guest Post by Zach Hagopian
Many non-profit fundraising event hosts have transitioned away from selling physical tickets to their event, and are now fully immersed in online registration and event ticketing. thefundrWhile these event hosts have certainly taken advantage of the amazing benefits of online ticketing (which we briefly cover below), many events still fail to fully optimize their online registration and ticketing strategy in a way that leads to the highest number of ticket sales and proceeds, as well as the best experience for their audience.
In today’s post, we will cover some of the benefits of online registration and event ticketing while also providing guidance on how you can optimize your ticketing strategy to enhance your fundraising event as a whole.
But first, let’s quickly recap the benefits of online registration and ticketing:
Easier Purchase Process
The most obvious benefit of using online registration and event ticketing is that it will make the process of purchasing tickets to your fundraising event MUCH easier. Rather than buying physical tickets at a specific time and location, your audience can purchase tickets from anywhere, whenever they’d like. While this is an obvious benefit, it’s also extremely valuable to the success of your ticket sales. Creating convenience wherever possible will lead to a better experience for your supporters – and higher proceeds!
Online registration and event ticketing also allow event hosts to collect information on their attendees and keep it all organized in an efficient manner. When using an effective online ticketing platform, you will even be able to ask for custom information from your donors, beyond the basics of name and email address. Collecting data on your audience will be extremely valuable for two major reasons, each of which we will discuss further in this post:
- Communication Tactics
- Event Integration (check-in and fundraising systems)
As we just mentioned, the data that you collect from your ticket purchasers will become extremely valuable, both leading up to your event and throughout the year. Using online registration and ticketing will give you access to email addresses for all of your attendees. These emails will allow you to communicate updates and promote your event as it approaches, driving additional buzz.
When your event is over, you will be able to regularly message your supporters, providing them updates on how much you raised, acknowledging donors, and even sharing information on how funds are being used. This consistent communication will help you build long-term relationships with your donors.
Early Access to Revenue
Those of you who have organized large fundraising events may know the value of collecting funds as soon as possible when planning your event. Certain vendors require up-front payment of their services – this is especially true when trying to confirm a venue for your event.
By selling event tickets online, you will have almost immediate access to funds that you can use to actively execute event plans. This added flexibility saves a ton of stress as you prepare for your fundraiser.
Shorter Check-In Lines
Finally, using online registration and event ticketing means that you will have all of your guests’ information on hand ahead of time. That means you will not create a registration bottleneck at the entrance of your event. Instead, you will have a streamlined and fast-moving check-in process that will result in fewer and shorter lines, happier guests, and more time enjoying your event!
How to Optimize Your Fundraising Event Using Online Registration and Event Ticketing
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of online ticketing and event registration, it’s time to discuss strategies that you and your team can employ in order to optimize and enhance your fundraising event to its fullest potential. These strategies span different areas of your fundraiser, but can all be tied back to online registration and ticketing.
Strategy #1: Start Selling Tickets Early
One of the best strategies you can use to sell more tickets at your fundraising event is to start selling tickets early. Not only will this strategy give your potential audience more time to buy their tickets, but it will also allow you and your team to leverage an effective event promotion strategy.
Strategy #2: Use Your Network & Start with People You Know
Along with our strategy of selling early, we recommend starting by inviting / selling tickets to those in your inner circle, such as friends and family. This method also applies to the networks of your committee members / volunteers. By first focusing on those you know, you will be able sell tickets early, build momentum, and start generating chatter about the event. People will see and hear about your event through these early ticket purchasers, and the “FOMO” (fear of missing out) effect will snowball until your tickets are flying off the “digital” shelf.
Strategy #3: Communicate Early
Building an effective communication plan can help you sell a lot more tickets for your event. Because you will have the contact information for all of your current ticket purchasers through your use of online registration, we suggest sending emails to your guest list with updates on the event. These emails are also the perfect place for you to encourage your guests to promote your event and have their friends and family purchase tickets, effectively increasing your ticket sales.
Pro Tip: If you run an annual event, you can send emails out to your past guest lists leading up to your ticket sales date. This will prepare the masses to buy tickets and will lead to even more early sales.
Strategy #4: Improve Event Check-In
While we already mentioned shorter check-in lines as a benefit of online registration and event ticketing, it is also worth noting the opportunity you have to further optimize check-in in order to remove any lines at the entrance of your event.
Our favorite ticketing platforms allow volunteers to check in guests either by scanning a QR code or simply looking up guests by name. Both options will greatly speed up check-in. Because you will already have collected guest information, your registration table will be nonexistent!
Strategy #5: Integrate with Fundraising Tools
Our final suggestion involves integrating your event ticketing platform with a mobile or online fundraising tool. This strategy is especially relevant if your event typically includes a raffle, silent auction, or fund-a-need program. A few areas where the combination of ticketing and mobile fundraising can create efficiencies and lead to increased proceeds include:
– Participation at point of ticket purchase – If you use a mobile fundraising platform for your silent auction, raffle, fund-a-need, or donation page, you will be able to collect donations from your guests at the same time that they purchase their tickets. Because everything will reside on the same online page, your guests can purchase their tickets, submit a bid on one of your silent auction items, or just submit a donation. The combination of ticketing with online fundraising will reduce barriers to donation, and make it even more convenient for your guests to support your cause
– Skip registration – As we mentioned earlier, using online ticketing means you will have your guests’ information on hand already – this includes payment information, too. Because this information is on hand, your guests will not need to register again to participate in your mobile silent auction, raffle, or fund-a-need, saving them even more time and convenience!
– Increase participation – Integration will also help you increase participation in your fundraiser. With most mobile ticketing and fundraising providers, guests will receive a push notification linking to your online fundraising the second they check in to your event. This will lead to increased engagement and participation in your fundraiser – and increased proceeds
I hope that you find these benefits and strategies useful to your next event, and that they help you have your most successful event yet!
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About the Author
Zach Hagopian is the co-founder and COO of Accelevents, a mobile fundraising platform that enhances silent auctions and raffles through online and text-message bidding. An active member in the Boston fundraising scene, Zach focuses on improving traditional fundraising methods and increasing fundraiser proceeds.
Photo Credit: ITU Pictures