What Event-Goers Need to Know Before They’ll Buy a Ticket [New Research]

Ticket Buying Research

At Eventbrite, we’re focused on helping organisers sell more tickets; and connecting people with events they’ll love to attend.

However one point of friction is when people arrive at an event page, and they’re not sure if it’s a good fit for them, because it’s missing some crucial information.

So we asked 500 event-goers what was the most important information they had to know before deciding on whether to buy a ticket or not.

We also asked if there were any flags they look out for, things that are most likely to stop them from buying a ticket.

If you’re keen to increase your conversion rates (i.e. have more of your event’s website visitors actually buying tickets), then read on to make sure you’re providing all the key information attendees look for.

What are the 3 most important things you need to know before you make a decision to buy a ticket?

The most important factor for event-goers when buying a ticket is the price.

Second is location and third is date.

Price 52%
Location 37%
Date 37%
Line-up 34%
Who else is going 24%
Cancellation policy 18%
Reputation 11%

(Note the % don’t add up to 100 as people were able to select multiple options, up to 3)

Those attending festivals (music, food and drink, arts, culture, consumer exhibitions etc.) were most price sensitive, while those who mostly go to spectator sports were least price sensitive.

Spectator sports attendees were most concerned about the line-up, as were music fans attending gigs, dance parties and club nights. People considering classes and workshops were least likely to rate the line-up as a top 3 consideration before booking.

Location was important for most event types, but least important to those attending professional conferences; and of course the date of the event was universally important.

There were also significant differences between the importance placed on cancellation policies by different types of event goer.

Those looking at festivals were by far the least worried about the cancellation, while those considering classes and workshops were three times more likely to see it as a critical piece of information before buying.

What 3 things are most likely to stop you buying a ticket?

By far and away the thing most likely to stop people buying a ticket to your event are hidden fees.

Second is a general lack of information on your upcoming event.

The third most off-putting reason for people not buying a ticket is poor website or mobile design that looks unprofessional (first impressions count after all).

Hidden fees 42%
Lack of information on the upcoming event 33%
Poor website / mobile design (looks unprofessional) 28%
Poor website / mobile experience (slow, difficult to use etc.) 26%
Lack on information on previous events 25%
Forced to create an account before buying 24%
Strict (or no) cancellation policy 18%

(Note the % don’t add up to 100 as people were able to select multiple options, up to 3.)

Digging a little deeper into the data, we find that workshop and class attendees were least put off by having to create an account before buying a ticket, while those going to sports events were most sensitive to this.

As indicated above, hidden fees are a huge no-no across the board, but music fans were most sensitive to the practice, while sporting event attendees were least put off by the practice.

A lack of information was least likely to deter festival fans from booking tickets (possibly due to the fact many festival tickets go on sale before the full line-up is announced), while sports event goers were most put off by a lack of information.

A poorly designed website was unpopular with most types of event goers, except for those who attend gigs, parties and club nights, where they were half as likely as most other ticket buyers to be put off by an unprofessional looking site.

How to apply these insights to sell more tickets

Do:

  1. Make the cost of your events competitive, transparent and visible to everyone (see our guide to pricing event tickets for more detail on how to do this.)
  2. Keep other critical information like the date and location well above the fold and clearly visible on the page whatever device people are using.
  3. Make your line-up compelling and show it off front-and-centre, while also showing off your previous events to help show people what a great experience you’ve created in the past.
  4. Enable visitors to your Eventbrite page to see which are their Facebook friends are going, which will help convert nearly 25% of event goers according to our survey responses.
  5. Make your cancellation policy clear, and ideally with some flexibility, which again will help almost a fifth of your audience make a decision on whether or not to buy a ticket.

Don’t:

  1. Add hidden fees or other charges to your events. It’s a major put-off for a lot of people, and could hurt your long-term reputation.
  2. Skimp on the details. If people are going to buy a ticket, they need to know what they’re buying, so add things like images, videos, quotes and other information that will help sell your event.
  3. Accept a poorly designed website that’s slow, difficult to navigate or looks unprofessional. This includes on mobile. If you can’t hire a professional web developer or designer, at least host your tickets on a trusted site like Eventbrite. We’ve also got an in-depth guide on how to create event websites that help sell more tickets.
  4. Force people to create an account before they’ve bought a ticket. It could be losing you almost a quarter of all ticket sales.
  5. Be shy about stating your cancellation policy. Adding it up front helps people clarify if they’re happy with it (or not), and almost a fifth of people visiting your website may not purchase a ticket if they don’t know what your cancellation terms are.

For even more tips and advice, check out our expert guide on How to Double Your Ticket Sales without Increasing Your Budget (an introduction to Conversion Rate Optimisation for event organisers).

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About author View all posts Author website

Mark Walker

Hi, I'm the Head of Content for Eventbrite UK and Ireland.

I love writing (and reading) about events, marketing, technology and entrepreneurship.

I'm also a recovering #eventprof, having spent the first 7 years of my career running large scale international conferences and exhibitions. (Of course I relapse all the time and enjoy running content-led events for Eventbrite too.)

Thanks for reading and get in touch with any feedback you have at ukeditor@eventbrite.com.