Since being founded in Amsterdam in 2013, ticketing platform Eventix has strived to maximize ticket sales for event organizers globally, offering partners a flexible ticketing solution while providing them with the valuable data they need to make their events a success.
As such, CCO Jos Huisman is the perfect person to talk to about the best ways to maximize ticket conversions, why it’s so important to track the customer through the entire ticket buying process, the benefits of “late personalization”, and more…
What are the successful promoters and venues getting right when it comes to marketing and selling tickets?
There are multiple things. I think it really starts with knowing your target audience, that is absolutely key.
Then tracking the audience through your purchasing process. A lot of what happens is that you track your traffic from an ad to your website, but the moment [the customer] enters your ticket shop, it's a black box, and that's something you really need to avoid.
So, you need to track your visitors through the purchasing of the ticket, because that's where the final conversion happens. And you can also gather data when visitors or customers don't convert.
"You need to track your visitors through the purchasing of the ticket, because that's where the final conversion happens."
Because let's say if you're organizing a weekend festival, you sold out a Saturday, you sold out a Sunday, but you didn't sell out your Friday yet. If you properly track your ticket shop, you can start a remarketing campaign on people that had a Friday ticket in their baskets but didn't buy, and didn't buy a Saturday or Sunday Ticket.
And these kinds of things give you so many opportunities to really target the right people instead of just blatantly doing some general marketing. Tracking remains key.
And then in the events industry, branding remains key. You really need to create a brand, a crowd around your brand, so you need to own the data of your customers. So when they buy tickets, you actually need to ask the right questions from these visitors and own the data, use that data for email marketing or for approaches later on.
But in the end, one of the key things that shouldn't be missed out is, ultimately it's all about creating a good event with great customer experience. And that's not only the lineup or how you staged the event, it's also how you organized the little things, like entrance, how the bar is organized, the toilets – all those kinds of things really matter.
You mentioned asking the right questions of your audience. What are the key questions you think festival or event organizers should be asking?
The basic things: age, gender, all these kinds of things.
We see more and more promoters actually playing with what kind of information to ask. So you could also ask, what kind of music do you like? Or what is the one DJ or artist that is driving the most amounts [of sales]? You could also ask these kinds of things.
[The answers might] influence your decision making for the next event, or for perhaps some last minute changes to the event to ensure that the headliner that most visitors are coming for has a primary spot on stage.
So I think the basics to create an all-round customer profile remain important. But you can get much further with what you ask in a ticket shop.
What insights do you have into minimizing checkout friction?
That's at the heart of what we do. Conversion is key.
Don't think that a ticket shop converts 90-95%. It doesn’t. It also doesn't happen in e-commerce.
So you really need to convert somebody in the shortest time span. And so you have to weigh [up], what kind of data do you need, what kind of data do you ask? The more you ask upfront before conversion, the lower the conversion will be.
So realize what kind of data you can get from Cookies and that you might not need to ask. We still see some promoters asking full address details, and we always advise, is it needed? Do you want to send a physical letter? If not, why are you asking?
One thing that is really used by our promoters a lot is late personalization.
You can ask certain details of a person buying a ticket before conversion, but with Eventix you can also ask details after conversion, before [they] can actually download the ticket. If you ask [a question] before conversion, you typically only have the data of the person ordering the tickets. And if [they] order four or five tickets, you [only] have that data of the person ordering the tickets.
With late personalization after the conversion, you can ask details of each and every visitor for which a ticket has been bought. And because the conversion already took place, you have a lot more room to ask more questions of your visitors.
How impactful is email marketing for selling tickets, and what are the keys to using it correctly?
Oh yes, I think email marketing is still really key. The return on investment of email marketing is still very good. But it's all about segmentation.
Your message needs to deal with a lot of noise in the social media landscape, or with a lot of other promoters or advertisers trying to reach the same customers. So segmenting and approaching customers at the right time with the right content is key.
And that's what you can do with a good database and segmenting it properly.
Are you seeing any particular social media channels proving really effective for ticket conversions?
It very much depends on the type of events. But if you're talking about festivals, clubbing, the younger age groups are definitely more on TikTok. Knowing your customer also means knowing what social media channel they are mostly on.
What are the key ways of really encouraging preregistrations and presales?
First off, it's key to provide some kind of incentive. So that could be ticket price, it could be early access, it could be free drinks or merchandise.
But I think one of the key things is to make use of the momentum of your event. So straight after you had a great event, straight after the after movie, there's a lot of momentum around the event. And you can leverage that to drive pre-registrations for your next event, even though you might not know the exact time or lineup or anything like that.
Are you seeing any trends in customer behavior this year?
In general we do see the expectations from customers is increasing. So how you manage the entrance, how you manage the bar, all these kinds of things. That’s definitely a trend we see – all round customer experience should be good.
What are the key things an event organizer should look for in a ticketing partner?
The importance of creating a brand and creating a crowd around this brand is so key if you're organizing multiple events, and owning the [audience] data is the starting point, it’s really critical. And so that is something that you should definitely demand from your ticketing provider.
As well I think more and more it becomes important that your ticketing partner is flexible enough to adjust the ticket shop exactly to your needs. If you're organizing club nights it’s completely different from organizing a festival, [as are] the things you ask from your customers as well as the products that you sell in the ticket shop.
For a festival, they might be tokens that you want to upsell, bus tickets, transportation, these kind of things, maybe camping, overnight stays around your multi-day festival. While a club night, it might be VIP tables, these kinds of things. If you really want to take the event to the next level, having that flexibility in your ticket shop can greatly improve and enhance the data gathering, but as well what you sell.
After owning the data, you [should] be able to connect your ticket shop to tools that you like, your favorite CRM system, your favorite email marketing, because leveraging all these tools will allow you to do performance marketing, keeping your customer base engaged. I think that is also key – that you don't lock yourself in too much so you can connect all these tools with each other to do your marketing the best you can.
"The importance of creating a brand and creating a crowd around this brand is so key if you're organizing multiple events..."
What’s the most effective way to manage upsells in the checkout flow?
What we often do is include these upsells in the ticket shop, and also allow for visitors or customers to come back at a later stage and purchase some of these additional products.
I think this could also be one of the next things that we see, that buying a ticket for a festival becomes almost like an e-commerce experience, where you not only buy your entrance, but you buy many more products alongside – could be merchandise, could be your transportation.
It's still really on the cusp of getting there. It's not done by the majority of promoters, but it is something that we’ve slowly started to see. So more and more products are being added in the presale, and it almost becomes like an e-commerce experience.
Do you think a festival or an event needs to have their add-ons and upgrades available from the day tickets are on sale? Or can they introduce them a little bit further down the track?
You could introduce it further down the track. If you're gathering your data, you could use email marketing leading up to the event to upsell or promote certain kinds of add-ons. If you're able to put these add-ons up straightaway when the ticket shop goes live, that's great. But if you're at a very early access, you know, from your preregistrations, then these add-ons might not yet be available.
So I wouldn't say it's a must to have these add-ons straight away in the ticket shop. Actually using the data of your customers to generate additional demands for these add-ons leading up to the event is a great practice.
Where do you think ticketing is going in the next 12-24 months?
So what we talked about, e-commerce – seeing your ticket shop more as an e-commerce platform is definitely one [trend].
One of the things we see is that promoters are starting to more and more combine data – data that you generate in a ticket shop with data on the bar, for instance – to really create a full personal profile.
Also, you still see some markets moving from not doing online ticketing to online ticketing. And you see markets moving from platform-based ticketing to embedded ticketing. Embedded ticket shops are ticket shops where you as a promoter have the flexibility to adjust the ticket shop to your needs as well as completely own the data that you can generate. So that is key, and more promoters are realizing that it is important to not become reliant on platform-based ticketing.
I think an additional thing we see is more influencer marketing or micro influencer marketing. So, partnering up with your lineup. Let's say you're a small event with one or two DJs. Typically, these DJs are influencers or micro influencers, so they could actually contribute to your ticket sales.
So we slowly see promoters smartly connecting with these influencers to help drive sales.
Visit Eventix here, and follow Jos on LinkedIn.