Best system for allocating tickets via a lottery?

Hi all!

I’m Andy — I recently (2 months ago) started work for a US university’s study abroad campus based in London. We have several hundred new students every semester and I coordinate small team to organise a multi-day orientation, a range of cultural programming events and volunteering opportunities. Basically, anything that’s non-academics, be it mobile phone recommendations, healthcare signposting, social media posts and lots more! We are definitely a jack-of-all-trades type of workplace.

While I’ve worked in Higher Education Student Life for over 3 years, it’s never really been on this sort of scale and I’ve never been the one in charge which is an exciting prospect. I’m looking to develop myself and my team so that we can help create the best possible experience for students.

One of the challenges we’re facing at the moment is our sign-up process for our cultural programming events. It’s laborious and done by a mixture of email, survey monkey and excel spreadsheets. It’s not pretty and it’s not an efficient use of our time. We organise many free evening and weekend day trips which are extremely popular and are always oversubscribed.

We don’t use EventBrite yet, but I want to introduce it as it has many of the features we require: time-saving, invite-only, free for free events, automatic email reminders, easy check-in process etc.

Ideally though, I would love for there to be a system in place where students can apply for a ticket for a particular event during a certain timeframe (e.g. two days) and then tickets are randomly allocated at the end of this period, like a lottery, but with a much higher chance of winning (50%). It would be more fair than a mad first-come first-serve rush! Is there an event management programme which would allow this? Or what would your advice be?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m always up for a chat and really keen to learn from you all.

Best wishes,


Hi Andy, welcome to The Tribe. Sounds like you have your hands full! Maybe you’d be better off using competition software like this?:

(I’m moving this to a new thread so other people can offer advice too)

Hi Belinda,

Thanks for the advice and for creating a new thread.

I’ll test these out and let you know how I get on!


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