Did you know that the ticketing platform you use could have a significant impact on ticket sales for your nonprofit events? That’s because not all ticketing platforms are equal. In fact, many of the big brands provide tools that are inadequate for nonprofit events that typically have limited budgets and need to not only sell tickets but also attract sponsors and donations.
When you’re planning a nonprofit event, do your research and make sure you choose a ticketing platform that helps your event be as successful as possible. An effective registration and ticketing system is key for both in-person and online virtual nonprofit events.
Look for the five critical features discussed below to identify the best one for your next event.
1. Multiple Ticket Types
When you offer different types of tickets to your nonprofit events, you’ll sell more. That’s because people want different things from your event, and they’ll actively look for tickets that match their needs.
Being able to offer “tiers” of tickets with different benefits and price points is essential, but that’s not all. Your ticketing software should also make it easy to offer group tickets with discounts for bulk orders and tickets with specific add-ons like a free drink coupon, a free T-shirt, backstage access, and so on.
Online events can also incorporate these different tiers. For instance, a virtual fundraising concert may offer a “meet and greet” with the band post-show at a higher tiered ticket price.
For nonprofits, ticket types can be tied to different donation levels or associated with different donation raffles. Choose a ticketing platform with flexible ticket options so you can be creative in your efforts to sell more tickets and generate more donations.
2. Advertising and Marketing Integrations
Does your online ticketing platform integrate with other advertising and marketing applications to improve the response rates to your promotional investments? It should because these integrations can save you time and money while improving your ticket sales, donations, and sponsorships.
For example, your ticketing platform should integrate with Facebook and Google AdWords so you can track visitors’ behaviors who visit your ticket sales page and retarget them with Facebook and Google ads. You can also use the data from the Facebook integration to automatically create custom audiences and lookalike audiences in Facebook from the people who visit your ticket sales page. Who better to show your Facebook ads to than the people who already visited your sales page or are similar to them?
Additional integrations that can help you advertise and promote your nonprofit event are email marketing tools like MailChimp and ActiveCampaign, third-party ad tools like AdRoll, and Google Analytics.
3. Built-in Promotional Tools
The best ticketing platform for your nonprofit event ticket sales won’t just integrate with other promotional tools. It will go a step further and have promotional tools built into the ticketing software.
As an example, AttendStar has two built-in features that directly help nonprofit event managers promote their events and sell more tickets as well as attract more donations and sponsors: Remind Me and Ticket Buyer Buzz.
Remind Me from AttendStar is an automated email marketing feature that makes it easy to keep your event top-of-mind among people who aren’t sure if they want to buy tickets. The reality is that very few people buy event tickets the first time they hear about an event or stumble on the ticket sales page. They usually have to hear about an event multiple times before they buy. With Remind Me, you can automatically communicate via email with people who visit your ticket sales page every 10 days leading up to your event, which should motivate them to buy tickets.
Ticket Buyer Buzz from AttendStar provides an easy, automated way to feed interesting, relevant content to your ticket buyers via email that they’ll want to share with people they know. When they share the content, they’ll also be talking about your event, which leads to powerful word-of-mouth marketing and more ticket sales, donations, and sponsors.
4. Payment Processing
Always read the fine print before you start using a ticketing platform to make sure you’re comfortable with the fees and payout schedules that affect how much your costs (and earnings) will be. Look at the fees you pay per ticket as well as any add-on fees that some ticketing platforms require you to pay for additional features and options. Ideally, you want to work with a ticketing platform that charges a flat fee per ticket with no hidden costs.
Also, determine how often the ticketing platform transfers your money to you. It’s important that you receive the money you earn on ticket sales as quickly as possible, but some platforms have high payout thresholds and timeframes.
What happens if people have questions or problems when they’re buying tickets? What if you have questions about setting up your account, creating your ticket sales page, configuring integrations, and promoting your event? Does the ticketing platform offer the support you need leading up to and during your event? Make sure it does!
Importantly, make sure the ticketing platform offers support how and when you want it. Choose a platform that offers email and phone support seven days per week because you never know when you or ticket buyers could have a problem or question.
Be sure you have online support as well. In increasingly virtual times, having the ability to call, email, or chat the appropriate person right away can help solve technical ticketing problems quickly and efficiently.
Key Takeaways to Find the Best Nonprofit Event Ticketing Platform
The success of your nonprofit events (and virtual events!) depends on ticket sales, sponsors, and donations. Don’t put them at risk by using a ticketing application that doesn’t offer the right features. Instead, look for a platform that offers multiple ticket types, advertising and marketing integrations, built-in promotional tools, payment processing, and support.
About the Author
A 30-year event industry veteran, Gary Bradshaw is President of AttendStar, a full-service ticketing software provider offering offline and online event ticketing, event management, event marketing, event logistics, and more. Gary founded AttendStar in 2010 where his team specializes in ticketing air shows, Christian concerts, music festivals, renaissance fairs, and large outdoor events, but the company’s high-service business model that enables event organizers to pay nothing out of pocket makes it a leading ticketing solution for event professionals, performers, and venues of all sizes.