When buying tickets for an event, most people purchase more than one ticket in a single transaction. They’re buying tickets for themselves as well as for friends or family members. Unfortunately, for event ticket sellers, this creates a problem. You only have access to the contact information for the buyer – not the other ticket holders.
How do you engage with those unknown ticket holders to motivate them to spread the word about your event and encourage them to buy tickets to your future events?
When someone buys multiple tickets for your event, your marketing reach is limited. If you rely on the actions of ticket buyers only, your results will be skewed because you’re missing so many people!
Think of it this way. Just because Bob bought tickets to your event for himself, Ann, and Joe doesn’t mean that Ann and Joe aren’t sources for word of mouth marketing. It also doesn’t mean that Ann and Joe won’t buy tickets for one of your events in the future.
Truth be told, many of the ticket holders you don’t know are very emotionally connected to your event. Just like ticket buyers, they’re the perfect source to spread the word about your event! Below are 10 ways you can connect with them before, during, and after your event to boost attendee satisfaction and their emotional connections to your event.
1. Ask for Social Media RSVPs
The best time to find unknown ticket holders is before your event. With this in mind, include messaging on your ticket sales page and transaction receipts that asks people to RSVP to the event through their social media profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
In addition, include the same messaging in your advertising and email marketing to ticket buyers. The goal is to make people feel like they’re part of a group when they share on their social media profiles that they’re going to the event. Human beings have a psychological need to belong, so asking for social media RSVPs plays directly into that emotional need.
2. Offer Advance Concession Discounts
Use advertising, social media marketing, and content marketing to promote special onsite concession discounts. Encourage people to sign up for your email newsletter or follow your social media accounts, so they don’t miss these special offers.
When people hear they can save money, they’re very likely to act. If the deals are good enough, many of your untapped ticket holders will take action by subscribing or following you so they don’t miss anything.
3. Hold Pre-Event Contests
Everyone loves the chance to win something. Offer prizes relevant to the event and exciting enough to motivate unknown ticket holders to enter. When they enter, you get their contact information and can send more targeted promotional messages and offers to them in the future.
To ensure only ticket holders enter your contests, require winners to pick up their prizes onsite during the event. Just make sure the people handing out the prizes represent your brand properly!
4. Create an Event Twitter Hashtag
When someone buys tickets to your event, make sure the receipt and follow up thank you email message include your special event Twitter hashtag. However, don’t just tell them what the hashtag is. Explain what it’s for and how to use it. Also, tell ticket buyers to share the hashtag with everyone they bought tickets for.
The best time to share the hashtag and tell people to start using it is immediately after they buy tickets. It’s also a great time to tell them to follow your event on one or more of your social media profiles. In the same message, encourage them to tell the people they bought tickets for to do the same, so they don’t miss important information, contests, and more!
5. Use Digital Displays
Using digital displays during your event gives you so many ways to engage with unknown ticket holders. For example, use a prominently placed digital display to show a continuously updating live Twitter feed about your event (called a Twitter Wall). During the event, tell people to post tweets using your event hashtag so they show up on the digital display.
People love seeing themselves and their Twitter profiles in the spotlight. Sporting events use this technique very successfully, and so can you!
6. Hold Photo and Post Tagging Contests
During and after your event, you can hold contests on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to continue promoting it. For example, ask ticket holders to share pictures from the event to the event’s Facebook Page. Tell them to tag themselves and anyone else they know in the photos and they’ll be entered into a contest.
You can hold this type of contest at any time, but it’s very effective during and after events when people are excited. Harness that excitement on social media, and you’ll be able to capture a lot more information about the ticket holders you don’t know.
7. Provide Onsite Email Subscription Opportunities with Incentives
Use kiosks or volunteers with iPads and invite your event attendees to subscribe to your email list during your event. Offer incentives to increase the number of sign ups your volunteers can get. Something as simple as a concession or merchandise discount is often enough to convince an event attendee to provide their email address.
Once you have email addresses from onsite subscribers, don’t spam them with promotional content. Instead, send a thank you email that makes them feel appreciated for attending the event and taking the time to subscribe.
8. Use Onsite Contest Kiosks
Onsite contest kiosks can be a lot of fun for attendees. One of the most effective uses for this type of kiosk is to ask people to scan their tickets and enter their names and email addresses to enter.
After the event, you can email the winner and promote the results on your social media profiles and blog. If the prize has to be shipped, make sure they’re also required to enter their mailing addresses into the kiosk’s contest entry form.
9. Sell Merchandise Onsite
It doesn’t matter what type of event you’re holding, there is probably an opportunity to sell some kind of merchandise. When people buy merchandise at your event, you have an opportunity to capture their contact information. Once you have that information, you can work to build a relationship with ticket holders after the event.
Don’t undervalue the importance of maintaining a relationship with ticket holders after your event through email, social media, and your blog. Many event organizers fail to do this, so with each new event, they’re starting from scratch. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you hold a new event if you maintain contact and foster a relationship with ticket holders throughout the year.
10. Use Experiential Event Technology
There are so many event tech products out there today, and attendees love them. Use digital photo booths, chatbots, and so on to enhance the experience of your events, provide help to attendees, and significantly increase overall satisfaction. It’s little things like cool technology that keep people talking!
Be sure to choose experiential event technology that enables you to capture ticket holders’ contact information. Yes, a photo booth is a lot of fun, but the return on investment on that photo booth will be a lot higher if it’s digital and attendees have to provide their email addresses in order to get their pictures.
Your Next Steps
How many of these techniques will you use for your next event to connect with the ticket holders you don’t know? Keep in mind, in addition to these tactics, you should be using an event ticketing application that offers integrated email marketing as well as a built-in email opt-in for people who don’t buy tickets. Being able to create and track everything in one place makes a huge difference in terms of the time and money you’ll need to invest toward tapping into the marketing power of your unknown ticket holders.