Thursday, December 21, 2017

Momentum: Why are ticket sales like a Freight Train?

Have you ever seen a Freight Train that seems to extend for miles of cars?  I have and I’ve thought “How in the world do you get this thing up and moving?”  Can you imagine the weight of not only all the cars but the contents as well? 

Slowly the engine at the front will start pulling, the tension builds as each car gets pulled and finally, they as a group, become one and start to move slowly.   But the longer the engine pulls, the faster the entire train becomes until they are running at full tilt – speeding like a freight train and nearly unstoppable.

So what does this have to do with fundraising?  Well, sit back and let me explain.  The slow Freight Train analogy is the same as your ticket sales engine.  I always tell my clients to focus on their “Ticket Sales Engine” first and foremost, getting it up and running at full tilt.  The reason why is, if you do the appropriate things to get it up and running, it will run by itself while you and your team focus on something else.

It’s a scientific fact that people must see something “7 TIMES” before they react to it.  
Can you imagine in the old days of marketing, having to do a mailer that many times to grab people’s attention, it would have cost a fortune. 

But today, what is the biggest tool charities or fundraising event planners have at their disposal?  WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!  You got it right, yup…the Social Networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

I advise my clients to “Post Post Post” their event flyer…over and over and over again.  What else?  “Tag Tag Tag” all their friends no matter where they live.  Also, to invite their entire friends list to their facebook event page.

Now – here is a little secret about Facebook event pages – Don’t be fooled by people either saying they are coming or not joining whatsoever.  The reality is, a Facebook Event page is yet another way of marketing your event.  You have to constantly tell people about your event, over and over and over again. 

Ok, I can hear your thoughts “But George, people are going to get sick of seeing it and will complain” – You’re right…the people who don’t support you or aren’t coming may complain, but WHO CARES!!!  That’s the way you find out “Whose in and whose out.” 

So back to the freight train story – you have to build positive momentum around your ticket sales and here are a few tricks that you will find helpful:

#1 – Post your event flyer:  But post it with a “WOW this event is going to be absolutely incredible” type of description.  Nobody, absolutely no one likes boring!!!  Tell them how awesome it’s going to be and why – the food, the music, the venue, the stuff…whatever.  But DO NOT focus on your charity.  Why should you focus on your charity?  Because the EVENT will sell the tickets in mass.

#2 – Selfie Ticket Sales pictures:  Every single time someone buys a table, take a picture of them handing you the money or the check and post it saying “Johnny Rottencrotch just purchased his table of 10.”  That tells other people that tickets are selling and they want to be in the limelight too…they want you to post a picture of them.

#3 – Don’t give early deals:  This is just confusing – Keep it simple stupid.

#4 – Tickets will not be sold at the door:  Not only is a horrible practice to offer tickets at the door but if you’re hosting it at a great venue, they will want to know your guest count.   Telling people you will not sell tickets at the door while giving them a deadline, will spur them on to buy tickets.

#5 – DON’T COMPLAIN:  Never – EVER – Never Ever complain about low ticket sales.  Do you know why?  Because that will just tell the world your event is a failure.  Don’t scream at people, cuss at them, yell or blame them for not supporting you.  Just don’t do it.

#6 – On-Line Ticket Sales:  I’m neither for nor against online ticket sales platforms.  Buuuuuut…it’s not the “Cure All” to ticket sales.  In fact, it’s most ineffective.  People are lazy.  If someone says “Hey John, I’d like tickets to that awesome event you’re hosting” – DON’T tell to go online, go to this facebook or website, then over there, then click whatever and buy their tickets.  After the first two (2) sentences, you lost them.  They are lazy – Have tickets with you at all times.  When someone asks or the opportunity arises…SELL THEM TICKETS!!!

If you follow the steps above – your Ticket Engine will be up and rolling like a freight train.  But, if you think otherwise or the classic “I just don’t want to bother people” – you will be sitting in an empty room come event day.

If you would like to learn more about how to build “Ticket Sales Momentum”, contact BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, we would love to help you.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a convenient “One Stop Shop” setting.  Contact us at

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