Ultimate Guide: How To Sell Event Tickets Online (2021 Update)

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Looking for the best ways to sell event tickets online? You have come to the right place. From ticket resellers to organisation wanting to sell tickets across multiple events, this guide has you covered. We look at the best event ticketing platforms the web has to offer. Let's get started...

We'll let you in on a little secret. Promoting an event is one of the most difficult but satisfying jobs there is. A real labour of love, whether you're involved in grassroots music or major industry expos; virtual, hybrid, or IRL.

Without being reductive, there's an awful lot to think about, and not least how you intend to process, issue and manage ticket sales. The best ways to sell tickets online will be at the forefront of your mind, so we've created this ultimate guide for how to do just that. Let's dive in.

Have you ever been so excited for an upcoming event that it was on your calendar, and you are counting down for days until it's finally happening?

That's how you want your attendees to feel about your events, right? We want them smiling from ear to ear from excitement, eager for the event day.

Imagine if you could sell your event tickets to such an involved audience looking to enjoy themselves. Well, the first touch point and attendee will have with your event is purchasing tickets. You need to make a good first impression, which is why selling your tickets online the right way - is so important.  

With the global online event ticketing market size expected to reach USD 67.99 billion by 2025, and hundreds of event ticketing providers - the possibilities are endless.

So, the real question is, what is the best way to sell event tickets online? The way that will make a great first impression and provide a seamless experience for your attendees?

Luckily, today, many tools are available to help you get your tickets on sale with as little pain and effort as possible. But before we dive into those options, let's cover five major ways to sell tickets for an event.

How to sell tickets for an event if you're a reseller

Most event organisers want to ensure that only genuine fans get access to the tickets. Some organisers take measures to prevent buyers from reselling their tickets, and they may also cancel them if offered for sale.

This means event organisers often go to great lengths to ensure that the tickets they sell are going to genuine fans. Such measures may seem excessive or pointless, but several rules apply when event tickets are entirely resold online. Here's how to sell tickets online if you're a reseller.

1. Event ticket resale sites

Surely, you've heard of such sites where people can sell tickets easily. These are ticket resale platforms that act as marketplaces for resellers and buyers who want to purchase or trade in advance, all from a simple website.

So there's no need to print off dozens of more pages just because your favourite artists are coming to town. StubHub is one example of a ticket reseller. The site lets you bookmark an event page, and fans can wait when everything goes on sale again. Such secondary ticket marketplace sites are a great way to find buyers interested in specific events. 

For resellers, choosing the best way to sell event tickets online is all about ROI. These sites also help you manage payment processing, which can be an extra headache when selling the tickets yourself online. Additionally, most such sites offer buyers and sellers security by using their site, so all transactions are guaranteed!

We recommend picking a site that's right for your needs. Remember that most interested buyers will usually search through various offers when buying an event ticket they want. Many so-called aggregators crawl through several ticket resale sites (like a search engine) to help buyers find a ticket.

So you shouldn't have to worry about your tickets staying invisible. Keep in mind that there may be specific local regulations regarding the resale of certain event tickets (like a football match).

Remain cautious. Sometimes official resale platforms can end up costing more than the face value of your ticket. However, at other times you could find yourself getting tickets for less than they're worth, too—so it just depends on every single situation and event.

2. Traditional (DIY) ways to sell tickets

Alright, so maybe you're not too keen on the resale sites. Is there an even better option?

Yes, there are more than a few. In fact, the idea of selling your tickets from the comfort of your own home is becoming more popular.

But it can be a bit overwhelming. There may be sites of all sorts that will let people bid on auctions. eBay is one such site. But again, it's important to know the laws in your state regarding ticket resale. Plus, you should also be aware of how each marketplace operates.

DIY works well, at times

You can always find buyers within your circle of contacts or on relevant event forums and even sell directly through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

You can also find dedicated FB groups for ticket sales of specific events. Search "event forums" online, or try looking in communities on Reddit (some have more than 2 million subscribers who love buying goods from other members.)

If the members are enthusiastic enough about your event, they will want to spread the word themselves too. You can jump right in. You'll have access right away and won't need any account information or personal details!  If your network has a lot of active members, then chances are someone will buy from you, and promoting your event online becomes relatively easy.

Plus, it gives them the option of how much they want to pay for their product with no strings attached. Just be careful that you are not scammed out of your money. It isn't easy to have the peace of mind which an official resale site can offer.

How to sell tickets for an event if you're the organiser

Ok. Let's change the track. If you're the one organising the event, you need to make a few decisions.

First, decide the price per ticket. You want people coming in at different prices so they can afford their tickets, VIP packages, early-bird deals e.g.

Then you'll need a way to process payments, manage ticket sales, and find a consistent way to connect with the buyers. This means more work but potentially greater control too.

Here are three ways to sell tickets successfully if you're the event organiser.

1. Traditional ticketing agents

Larger ticketing agents can take the majority of your event's promotion, ticket sales, and distribution. These firms specialize in high-volume transactions for large brands.

These big-ticket agents are great for major events hosting celebrities but not necessarily for the average event. You might be paying an arm and a leg. So for small(ish) events, the traditional ticketing agents may not be an option.

Prominent ticketing agents also require assurances. You'd likely need to provide forecasts of your expected sales and venue capacity, among many other things. It most probably would be overkill.

STAR (the society of ticket agents & retailers) in the UK is a great place to get advice on large scale events and find a ticketing agent. 

2. Your profile, social media channels, and forums

This is the famed DIY route—probably the most basic way to find people interested in your event. You could create a Facebook event page and include payment instructions for tickets, or paste the link on various forums with friends and family who might want to attend. You can sell tickets online—no fees, no registration forms, no hassle.

The DIY route is the most basic and straightforward way to find people who might be interested. You could create a message and include payment instructions on how they should purchase their ticket. Then post this message link across your network and other lucrative forums. You'll still be responsible for handling most aspects of administration like processing payments/claims, eg.

Or you can use your own online presence

For those who are creative and tech-savvy enough, an even more effective approach is establishing your online presence. Use either a personal website or social media channels like Facebook Event pages to sell tickets from home. WordPress has many more than a few plugins to assist you here.

Of course, you're on your own. The responsibility of promoting the event lies with you, and it can definitely be challenging work!

3. Self-service event ticketing platforms

Last but not least, here's how to sell tickets online and make it stress-free. Event ticketing sites are so simple to use, and the best thing is...you can sell tickets in your sleep.

Event ticketing platforms can help you with: 

  • Building a landing page for your event where you can sell tickets directly to the public
  • Accepting payments from a wide range of providers 
  • Creating a branded ticket selling experience 
  • Bolt on features like virtual event tools 
  • Ticket scanning systems and security features 
  • Customer data and insights on your audience
  • Event promotion tools
  • Controlling resellers 
  • Creating different ticket types

There are a large number of platforms online that make it super easy to register, create a landing page for your event with a ticket store, accept payments and start selling! The whole process takes minutes, and everything about it can be done from the comfort of your own home.

The self-service ticketing platforms can also accept payments, issue event tickets, and keep track of sales. The possibilities are endless!

The small and medium-size event organisers can manage their events efficiently. You can easily combine a self-service ticketing site with whatever event promotion you're already doing. Plus, you get to turn many tedious, repetitive tasks into automated processes with a few clicks.

To sum it up, there are several ways to sell tickets for an event, but the most important thing is that you're able to do it in a way which will make people interested. So choosing a suitable method and a platform goes a long way in making your event successful.

We think self-service ticketing websites are a great way to handle your online event from inception through to conclusion. These sites give you maximum control and freedom whilst providing a simple interface that makes things easy. You get to plan, execute and conclude an event successfully.

There are abundant choices when it comes to online ticketing platforms, making this process our best way to sell your tickets online. Sadly, though, it's often a case of choice paralysis as with some many options - it’s hard to choose the right platform.

With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to compile the only guide to selling tickets online you'll ever need. From deciding which online ticketing platform to use to make sure you get paid, you'll never need to read (about selling tickets online) again.

What to look for in an online ticketing platform

So, how do you separate fit-for-purpose from not-for-you? We'll never be able to list everything an event promoter or organiser needs to get the tickets they want sold. 

Every event is as unique as the team behind it chooses to make it, and the options, not least in a hybrid world are fast becoming endless. An ideal platform should allow you to create an event, sell your tickets online, register attendees and measure performance.

If that sounds like a cop-out fear not. Here are some of the key functions we think everyone needs to look for when choosing to use an online ticketing platform.

World 3.0

You don't want an online ticketing platform that's firmly rooted in the idea that one thing should do just one thing. In the 2020s, you want flexibility and adaptability in every platform, and that means opting for a system that can do multiple things and do them all well. 

For example, sell your tickets, run a virtual event, and control gates at a real world gathering. Hosting a ticketed virtual event online is an easy task these days.

Flexible ticketing options

Promoters and organisers don't want to be restricted when it comes to ticket types, or indeed event ideas. Nor do audiences. Giving attendees the option to buy as a group to receive discounts or pay in instalments can make a huge difference in terms of numbers on the day. Choosing the best way to sell event tickets online through a platform is all about convenience.

Revenue management

Let's face it, labour of love or not this is business and therefore this might be the most important bit of getting you paid. You do not want an online ticketing platform that dictates when funds can be banked, how much can be withdrawn at once, or how that withdrawal happens.

Choose a platform that allows you to sell tickets online free so you reach the right people, can run across multiple payment providers, and better yet allows you to dig deep into those numbers, reports and projections.

Online Ticketing Platforms - The Big Four


1. Eventcube.io

Not that we're biased, in the slightest, but our online ticketing and event management platform sets the bar (very) high. We opened our London office well over a decade ago, and have been providing ticketing and live streaming services to conferences, major and boutique festivals, non-profit exhibitions and more across the world since, which translates as 100,000s of events, all of which understand what we offer. We have processed over £50m+ of ticket sales and hosted 150k+ events, so you know you are in safe hands.  

Pros

  • Cost effective 2% transaction fee (for pro accounts)
  • Bespoke pricing for advanced services makes one-off events feasible
  • In-depth data capture and reporting
  • Full white label service to create a bespoke, branded ticket and event marketplaces
  • Built-in live streaming platform for virtual and hybrid events
  • No waiting until after the event for payment 

Cons:

  • PayPal support is still to come

2. Eventbrite.co.uk

One of the biggest in the business for good reason, Eventbrite was founded in 2006 making it a veteran to say the least. The company has bases in 12 global locations, and is known for being extremely SEO friendly and made for social media, helping get you noticed. Pros and cons:

Pros:

  • No monthly fee on basic package
  • Free use for free events
  • Email marketing
  • Embeddable checkouts to integrate with your website

Cons:

  • Payments only issued after the event


3. Ticketbud.com

Ticketbud began life in Austin, Texas, circa 2009, and within three years had impressed enough to draw additional investment of $1.2million. The secret? Keeping everything simple with one price for all, with those fees significantly lower than many competitors with comparable products. The customer service is also renowned.

Pros:

  • Daily payment structure with flat tariff
  • Free, dedicated smartphone app for scanning tickets and checking guests in at events
  • Built-in advance revenue calculator

Cons:

  • 2.0% fee per ticket and 2.9% processing charge can restrict smaller organisations


4. CVent.com

Widely considered to be a market leader in the cloud-based event management arena, if CVent can help you do anything it's sell tickets. But there's much more besides:

Pros:

  • Bespoke pricing system to suit individual requirements
  • Email marketing and surveys
  • In-built accounting software
  • Drag and drop event website builder

Cons:

  • Account setup takes time and favours enterprise users


How to setup a store and sell tickets on Eventcube

Congratulations, if you're reading this chances are you've made a decision on which online ticketing platform to use. Better yet, you've gone for the best: Eventcube.

Now it's time to get started. We have a full guide to setting up your Eventcube Store, which is where you sell virtual, hybrid and real world tickets to your events. Nevertheless, you can also follow these quick instructions:

  1. Head for the Eventcube homepage
  2. Sign up for an account, creating a Username and Password. Now sign in.
  3. You now have a Store, so it's time to brand and customise it.


In the back-end, hit Store Settings and Customise Store. Here you can explore a number of options to make the Store your own.

Read or full guide to customising here.

Many of these options include front-end changes that will be visible to customers you can add logos, alter colour schemes and upload images to be displayed. We recommend reading our deep-dive guide to Store customisation to avoid any errors.

We also recommend adding your social media accounts to take at least some legwork out of promotion.

Step 2 - Add tickets to your store

You'll never start selling tickets if you don't create them, or so a wise event organiser once said. With Eventcube, this process is incredibly easy.

  1. First of all, you need to create the Event. Do this by clicking Events in the Store Dashboard.
  2. Next, go for Add A New Event.
  3. Make sure Standard is selected if your event is running IRL only, go for Broadcast if you want to live stream your event with options such as Chat Room, or Virtual Venue if you are looking at more complex digital formats.
  4. Name your event, setting the location, start and end date and time.
  5. Now you need to upload an image which will act as a flyer or poster for your event. We have an in-depth guide to help ensure you achieve the best results.
  6. Add a Description and Tags to help people find your event easier and understand what it is faster.
  7. Click the tab to confirm you have read and agreed to Eventcube Terms & Conditions.
  8. Click Save & Add a ticket.


Now it's time to add your first ticket type. We have a full guide to ticket types here, and you should carefully consider the type of tickets you want to sell, the quantity of each type and the price to suit audience and budget.

  1. Choose between E-Tickets and Physical Tickets physical will require postage costs to be added to the face value, and you are responsible for fulfilment.
  2. Select when you want the ticket type to go on sale you can choose immediate sale (Now), sale after another ticket type has sold out (After a Ticket), or sale at a specific time in the future (Date & Time).


You can add a variety of options to make tickets more flexible and affordable. For example giving attendees the option to Pay In Instalments, or you automatically recommending ticket types to people buying another product festivals frequently do this by prompting customers to add a coach ticket to a General Admission purchase. If you have existing Barcode pools you can add these to the system.

  1. Click Save if you are finished, or Save & add another ticket if you need to add another ticket type.

Step 3 - Connect a payment gateway to get paid as your tickets sell

  1. Head to the 'Store settings' section in the Eventcube dashboard and choose a payment provider, you can choose from Stripe (our official partner and recommended payment gateway), Worldpay and Sage Pay.
  2. Next, click 'Connect with Stripe'. If you don't already have a Stripe account, you will need to create one. Following this guide on how to create a Stripe account should help.


You are now ready to start selling tickets online! Share the link for your store around and you're good to go.

Examples of ticket stores built with Eventcube

With so many options built-in, it stands to reason we're incredibly proud of what can be achieved with Eventcube's online ticketing platform. But don't just take our word for it. Here are some stand-out Eventcube Stores that we think give a good idea of just how powerful our system is.

Crack Magazine

We helped Crack Magazine, a cultural print and digital publication, carve out its own online marketplace resplendent in on-point design details and simple navigation through back issues, merchandise and more.

Middlesex Cricket

One of the most prestigious teams in cricket looks to Eventcube's platform for all membership, outground match ticket and merchandise sales, integrating our system with its own domain.

KTX

Phillipine event promotion giant KTX created a huge, completely bespoke ticketing and marketing platform using Eventcube's fully customisable environment.

London Gardens Trust

Switching its annual summer fundraiser from IRL to live virtual event for 2021, and changing the name to London Open Gardens, London Gardens Trust is using our ticketing system to manage ticket sales.

Payment systems

There are different pricing for determining how much you should charge for tickets, but the easiest is to work backwards from your break-even point.

Simply put your total costs to run the event, divided by the total number of tickets you can sell.

When you've confirmed your ticket plan, you need to think of ways to process the payments.

A recommended and easy-to-use, out-the-box provider is Stripe. This fast and reliable payment gateway is so easy to use anyone can get to grips with it in just a few seconds. You also get paid for any sales you have made seven days after the sale, rather than waiting around for the sales to completely end.

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Promotion

Time to promote and share, because without this bit chances are ticket sales will struggle, and once your event is sold out you can concentrate on production details, safe in the knowledge break even and profit points are in the bag. Thankfully, promoting events online is a cakewalk these days.

This is where our built-in social sharing and promotion offering comes in allowing you to share event and ticket details in just a few clicks once you have connected your accounts, which is done in the Store Dashboard by following the Set Up instructions.

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A guide to marketing events using social media would take a full guide in itself, but we would recommend incentivising your customers to share your Eventcube store and event details, because people are 43% more likely to buy tickets when they are recommended by someone they know.

Why not offer exclusive checkout discounts in exchange for a share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media? Another great way to drive ticket sales is through a network of reps who can each share to their own followers, substantially increasing your reach. These people distribute and sell your tickets through their social networks using a trackable link, in exchange for free entry, a cash payment or other monetary agreement.

Measuring your events data

Monitoring your ticket sales and advertisements is essential and helps you keep customers, identify weak sales areas and work to target new demographics. Data really is everything. Since you've chosen the best way to sell tickets online, tracking progress is easy as well.

Breaking down ticket sales and visualising is the best way to understand the direction your events are heading in. We recommend using a combination of Eventcube's own reporting system for data points from within your ticketing marketplace, and the powerful analytical tools that come free with Google and Facebook accounts, and any other social network you are using in the marketing mix.

Now take everything you are learning from this, and fine-tune plans for the future.

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