How far in advance should I start pushing ticket sales?

I was asked this question earlier in the week, and thought it would be interesting to ask the group.

How far in advance do you start to sell (and really push) ticket sales? For context, it would super helpful if you could reference what kind of event you run (e.g. a conference, a festival, a music gig, a yoga class etc.), how frequently you run them and average ticket prices. That should give some good context around how far out you should start the promotion.

1 Like

For conferences the big push comes as soon as the programme is published.

We do sell (blind) tickets beforehand though, particularly for more established events.

Thanks Mark. And is that usually 16, 12, 8 weeks out from the event actually taking place?

We normally put programmes for our events (tech conferences) out around 12-16 weeks before the event.

1 Like

Great question! And in terms of the marketing channels… Which one proves to be the most efficient?

1 Like

definitely digital as opposed to traditional methods but that all depends who you are talking to and where they are

Hi Mark,

It depends on event type and scale, as well as your budget. Is this event, international, local, annual, very niche, is this the first from a series etc. From my experience, in general, you can get best results if your start marketing 8-6-4 weeks before the event. But as I said it all depends. If you can start earlier you can build awareness which you can convert easily later in that 8-4 weeks period
Taking about the channels, first you should know your target audience, hopefully, combined with some more insight from your website analytics tool. As rule of thumb, you can get very good results combining AdWords search, Remarketing and Facebook. There is a lot more opportunities like Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, Bing etc

All the best

We run free business networking events all around Birmingham, and as we (myself and my team of 3 others) all do this in our spare time, we like to give ourselves some breathing room; so we tend to bung tickets (free) on ‘sale’ at least 4 -6 weeks ahead of time, just to initially gain interest.
We then find our more hardcore loyal supporters book in on the first day, then it trickles out to other members, people finding it on the EB directory, so by the time the event comes round, pretty much anyone that would have wanted a ticket, has one.

We’re always trying to plan around 2 events in advance at least (for events we run that fall outside of our regular monthly meetings - we’ve been having different events around Birmingham in a variety of venues, at varying times of day just to gauge what seems to be the most popular type/best for attendance.), just so we’re working with venue managers to see what they’re willing to do for us, and what we can do for them.

Generally for consumer exhibitions I would put tickets on sale about five months out, do a bit of activity around the launch then really push for the last three months. Typically I’d expect to see significant uplift in the last 4 weeks with the bulk of sales will come in the last two weeks. Advance sales versus on site varies greatly depending on the target audience and scarcity of the tickets.

1 Like