Written by Gilad Horev, VP of Product, Platform at Eventbrite
Whether events are your business speciality or you’re hosting one to build your brand, standing out from the crowd can seem like a tricky task. With so much choice and many other businesses pulling off cool ideas, how can you get the right people to your own event and make sure they enjoy themselves?
The most important thing for time-strapped small businesses is to make the whole experience as easy as possible for attendees. With more people feeling like they have less time, your event shouldn’t be “just something else” to attend. It should be effortless for these attendees to buy tickets and savour the experience once they arrive.
Attendees can now buy coffee with their phone, split a payment with friends within an app and close their bar tab remotely. In The Future of Event Spending from Eventbrite, we can see that as expectations change, event creators need to provide the same level of access and convenience.
Here are three ways that event attendees’ expectations are evolving — and how you can make sure your event rises to the challenge:
1. Event-goers expect to buy tickets on their favourite sites and apps
Don’t expect event-goers to visit your store or box office to buy tickets in today’s mobile world. In fact, don’t even expect them to find your ticketing page to do it. They now expect your event to find them, not the other way around. That means ensuring your event is showing up on their favourite sites and apps, like Facebook, Google and Instagram.
It also means making it easy for event-goers to buy tickets on that same site without being redirected to your ticketing page. Though it sounds minor, the few extra seconds that redirect takes can affect your bottom line. According to our data for example, events that sell tickets directly on Facebook drive an average of two times more sales and free registrations than events that redirect to a ticketing page.
2. Event-goers won’t bring cash — or even wallets — to your event.
Cashless payments are on the rise. In our 2018 Eventbrite survey of 1,000 US event professionals, two-thirds said they were planning to use cashless payments in 2018. And the UK is now the third most cashless society in the world according to The Telegraph.
If you haven’t embraced cashless payments at your events yet, your attendees have probably noticed — maybe they’ve even complained publicly on social media. But your brand isn’t the only thing at risk, you’re also losing money. Our data shows that attendees who use cashless payments spend twice as much as attendees who don’t. As a business owner, you want a payments partner that you trust to keep up with technology and demand, so that when paying with a wristband or a phone at an event is the norm you’re not left behind.
3. Event-goers will expect you to know their spending preferences.
Today, you can identify event-goers by what ticket type they buy — and that’s about it. But soon, attendees will expect you to know their specific spending habits so you can craft an experience that’s customised for them.
Here’s just one example of what this might mean in action:
Today. A customer receives an email about your event and buys the cheapest general admission early-bird ticket. While you appreciate every one of your ticket buyers, you associate this attendee with less value in the context of revenue.
Tomorrow. Although this customer bought the least expensive ticket, you now know that once they were at the event, they also bought a branded T-shirt and several rounds of drinks for their friends. With full visibility into these payments, you realise this attendee has more value than some of your VIP attendees do.
Once you recognise which event-goers are your most valuable customers, you can develop a strategy to both reward them and attract more of them. In fact, they’ll expect you to.
Stay on the cutting edge of event spending
By understanding the examples above and responding by introducing new, user-friendly payment technology, you can increase the number of people who attend your event and keep them coming back. There’s plenty more you can do to future-proof your event payments strategy, so for more insight into how event spending will evolve over the next few years, read Square and Eventbrite’s free report: The Future of Event Spending: The Event Executive’s 5-Year Plan.
Eventbrite is the world’s largest ticketing and event technology platform. The company, which has processed $10 billion in gross ticket sales since its inception, powered millions of events in 180 countries and territories in 2017. The Eventbrite platform enabled hundreds of thousands of event creators to bring a variety of live experiences to life for more than 50 million fans in 2017 — with cost-effective, impactful tools, technology and services.