10 Tips To Help You Sell Out Tickets For Your Gala Dinner

By Rebecca Gardner

There is a huge amount of time and effort that goes into organising a glamorous Gala Dinner. There’s finding the perfect venue, hiring a great band that will get people up and dancing, organising the sponsors, oh.. and we haven’t started on choosing the perfect 3-course dinner menu…

But whatever you do, don’t get so caught up in the finer event details that you run out of time to execute the critical marketing & promotions plan. Here are 10 ideas to boost awareness of your Dinner, to help you sell more tickets, and maximise the potential for a sellout result.


1. Make sure your tickets are available online

Selling tickets to your Gala Dinner online has a number of benefits:

- Save time: using an online booking system means that you can minimize the admin time spent distributing and managing traditional tickets. Once you have registered and set up your event webpage you are ready to go!

- Save money: Online ticketing services are often free for event organisers, and enable you to save on the printing costs of producing hard copy traditional tickets.

- Not only does it save you time and money but it also benefits your audience as they can now buy tickets to your event from the comfort of their own home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

- Many online ticketing services provide an attractive webpage for your event, which you can then use as a focal point for your event marketing to help raise awareness & sell more tickets!

TIP: Don’t forget to ask all the important questions you need from the customer at the moment when they buying their tickets: such as seating preferences, dietary requirements, and the names of individual guests. Knowing this info will save you a lot of time and angst as you organise the final details of the event, such as the seating plan.


2. Get active on Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media. It is a powerful tool at your disposal that can be used to promote your Gala Dinner.

FACT: Over 35% of the traffic to all Ticketebo event webpages today comes directly from our Event Organsiers' social media channels.

Social media is an easy way to create buzz amongst large groups of people, so use it to your advantage. A key way to drive ticket sales is to use your social media channels to promote the direct link to the webpage where people can buy your tickets.

Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to create an event page on Facebook and make sure you link this up to your online ticketing page in the ‘About’ section.


3. Make the most of your contacts and network

Think about all the people and companies who are involved in your event, the caterers, bands, DJ’s, the venue, charities and sponsors.

It is likely that all these groups will have their own social media channels. In the run up to your event don’t forget to reach out and ask them to promote your event through their social media channels.

Don’t forget to return the favour by mentioning and thanking your suppliers and sponsors on your own social channels.


4. Utilise databases to promote your event to

Are there any existing databases of prospective attendees you can utilise e.g last year's attendees? (It is always easier to promote to someone who has come before, than finding a brand new customer to convince to come along.)

Ask the beneficiary of your event if they have an existing database you can utilise to promote the event to, or better still ask if they can send out promotions to their database specifically for your event (after all their database contains people who are already passionate about the cause you are supporting).


5. Make a great first impression visually

Make sure that any promotional material you create to help promote the gala dinner reflects the nature of the event (nothing cheapens an event more than “home made” promotional material). Investigate crowd sourced professional designers online through websites such as 99designs.com or fiverr.com – which will enable you to create a stunning and professional event design for a fraction of the price.


6. Create eye-catching online invites

Sending your event invitations via email will not only save you a stack of cash but it will also compliment your online ticketing platform (as customers will be able to just hit the buy now button in your email and complete their purchase while your event is top of mind).

If you are creating online invitations why not use an online invitation service like paperlesspost.com to create an eye catching visual design that can be emailed to anyone on your database.


7. Make donations easy

More often than not hosting a Gala Dinner is about raising money for a charity or beneficiary. Choose a ticketing partner (like Ticketebo) who has the capability to also allow your guests to donate at the same time they are buying their tickets - after all raising as much money as possible is the key reason your are running the event.


8. Offer early bird ticket specials online

Early bird ticket deals are a great way of generating more online ticket sales. One of the main benefits is that those people who buy tickets early will naturally become your word of mouth marketers for your event, as they are committed to going and in turn are likely invite their friends to come along too.

Putting a time frame on your early bird deal can also encourage people to buy their gala dinner tickets there and then, as they won’t want to forget about it and miss out on an opportunity to save money.

For a more detailed look at Early Bird ticketing see the more extensive article about Early Bird strategies here.

9. Incentivise people to buy a whole table

Gala dinners are great for getting together groups of friends, family or colleagues, so encourage people to buy a whole table at your gala dinner by incentivising them. Consider promoting ticket offers such as buy 10 tickets for the price of 9, or book a table and receive 2 free bottles of wine for the table.


10. Run a competition online

Consider running a competition in the run up to the event to help promote the Gala Dinner. Think about running a special raffle, or offering entry into a prize draw for anyone who buys a ticket online before the event.

Promote the competition on your social media channels and make sure to use any databases you have, including the competition details and ticket link on any newsletters or emails you send out.


If you are looking to boost online ticket sales for your event and would like to find out how an online ticketing system could help you, then speak to the team at Ticketebo today.  Ticketebo delivers pain free ticketing and event registration solutions for event organisers across Australia.


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