The key to a successful event is ticket sales, yet many event organizers continue to make five common mistakes that hurt ticket sales. These are the top reasons why events fail. The good news is you can avoid making these mistakes!
The first step to ensuring your event doesn’t fail is to set your event goals. Only then will you know if you’re on track to meeting those goals or not. Next, read on to learn not only what the most common reasons why events fail are but also how to keep from falling into traps that lead to failure.
1. Asking for Help Too Late
When the event organizer waits to ask for help until it’s too late for anyone or anything to have a big impact on ticket sales, the event will fail. The truth is organizing an event takes a lot of work. Simply putting tickets up for sale is just a very tiny part of the overall process that goes into selling enough tickets to call an event a success. There are so many pieces to the puzzle that you truly do need help to get everything done. In fact, you need experts to help you with many parts of that puzzle.
Your ticket pricing strategy should ensure you’re charging enough for tickets to your event. It should allow you to offer tickets at a variety of price points to increase revenue. Even if your event’s goal isn’t to generate a profit from ticket sales, you still need to break even, so developing the right pricing strategy is critical. Think of it this way. If you don’t have a plan to sell tickets early so you can recoup expenses as soon as possible, then your pricing strategy might already be setting your event up for failure.
Bottom-line, don’t wait until the week before the event to ask for help. Your ticketing provider, artist, booking agents, venue managers, and more can all help you, but you need to reach out to them at least three weeks prior to the event or more. Only then can others have a significant effect on your ticket sales and your event’s success.
The AttendStar team has been ticketing events for a long time and works closely with its clients to help them put together the most successful events possible. For example, pricing is just one problem area that the AttendStar team can help you with, but if the call for help comes too late, there might not be enough time to save the event.
2. Believing It’s a Last Minute Market
No market is a last minute market. Your goal should always be to sell as many tickets as you can as early as possible to put your event in the black quickly. To that end, you should have pricing and marketing strategies in place to boost early ticket sales, and you should be tracking all of the buzz about your event long before the event date rolls around.
Based on AttendStar’s data, ticket sales typically peak when tickets for an event first go on sale and again just before the event date. The main reason for this is because most event organizers concentrate a significant portion of their marketing budgets during those two time periods.
To ensure your event is successful, don’t rely on heavy promotion when tickets first go on sale and again just before your event to sell the majority of tickets. Instead, spread your marketing budget out a bit, so you can promote the event continually as the event date approaches.
Yes, you can bump up your spending during the two peak periods, but don’t disappear between those two periods. You want to keep your event top of mind and continually get people excited about it. Evoke their fear of missing out, and you’ll see ticket sales increase beyond the time periods right after tickets go on sale and just before the event.
3. Thinking Everyone Likes the Artist because You Do
Here’s a problem AttendStar sees often. An event organizer puts together an event with an artist they like. Since the event organizer likes the artist, they assume lots of other people do, too. While that may be the case, the event organizer might not consider the artist’s fee and other costs related to having the artist perform at the event. The event organizer might not consider how many people in the local area will actually be willing and able to attend the event, and they don’t think about whether or not the artist is the right performer for the event.
If you don’t match the artist to your event, your event has a good chance of failing. Never book an artist just because you like them. That should be your last reason for picking a performer for your events!
Furthermore, when choosing an artist, always consider your competition. What other events are happening on the same day as your event? What other things might people in the local area do on that day instead of coming to your event? How does the price of those other activities compare to the price of tickets to your event? Be sure to consider activities like “doing nothing” as well.
Finally, once you do select the right artist based on your audience, competition, and event goals, invest time and money into actually selling your event. Many event organizers think a big name performer is enough to sell tickets, but that’s a recipe for event failure. It’s highly likely that you’ll need to offer more than a big name, so take the time to write a great event description on your ticket sales page and promote your event heavily.
4. Missing Essential Marketing Opportunities
Your event will fail if you don’t promote it effectively. Sit down and write a comprehensive event marketing plan that includes email marketing, email remarketing, paid search advertising, Facebook advertising, retargeting advertising, social media marketing, offline advertising (such as radio and print), and more.
Your goal for your event marketing should be to spread the word far and wide so a broad audience hears about it. From there, you can focus on connecting with niche audiences who are most likely to purchase tickets. Do your research, find out who your ideal ticket buyers would be, and find out where they spend time online and offline. Those are the media where you need to be promoting your event.
To get started, be sure to read about the 10 event marketing opportunities you’re missing that cost you ticket sales.
5. Not Coordinating Logistics
Your event logistics include coordinating parking, traffic, gate or door entry, ticket scanning, crowd control, and more. Efficiently moving people into and out of an event can be challenging, and you need to have everything worked out in advance, including plans if any disasters occur. What if the venue cancels at the last minute? You need to have plans and contingency plans.
It’s a great idea to have a complete communications plan in place for your ticket buyers. This could include an event mobile app, email, and text messages. AttendStar uses all three to communicate with ticket buyers leading up to and on the day of the event. For example, if there is an accident on the main highway leading to your event, AttendStar can send a text message to ticket buyers warning them of the accident and suggesting an alternate route. You need to have a similar communications process in place in advance.
AttendStar also helps clients with parking, communications with local and state police related to traffic, providing technology for smooth gate or door entries, and more. The larger your event, the more difficult event logistics can get. Large outdoor events are even more challenging logistically. Don’t make mistake #1 above and fail to ask for help early enough!
Your Next Steps to Avoid the Reasons Why Events Fail
Unfortunately, your event has a much higher likelihood of failing if you make any of the five mistakes discussed above. Don’t be one of them. Instead, get the help you need early, promote continually, choose the right artist for the audience and your event goals, and manage logistics closely. The result will be a successful event with ticket sales that help you break even (if that’s your goal) or generate a profit (if that’s your goal) early and with a lot less stress.