Is your event free or ticketed?
If your event is neither open to the general public nor free to attend, then you will need to issue tickets- particularly if you are charging an entry fee or if the event is by invitation only.
There are many websites that will handle advance ticket sales or online registration for your event, although most will charge a fee for doing so. Eventbrite is very popular amongst people who use social media, with registration forms that can be embedded into your event website or blog. It also incorporates facebook and twitter into its website to help generate more ticket registrations or sales. Cambridgeshire based Eventility offers a free online service that will allow you to sell tickets and collect payments using paypal and produce ticket reports, which can be found at www.eventility.co.uk.
Of course tickets can be sold on the day or at the ‘door’ too, but this often relies on people bringing cash rather than cards to pay. When selling tickets for your event you will need to make sure that your price is fair and that it provides value for money. If your ticket is overpriced, your event is unlikely to be a success, resulting in poor attendance and a lack of support for any repeat event. You may consider charging an ‘early bird’ reduce price or concessionary rate tickets to encourage advance sales, this also gives you an idea as to how many people you might expect to attend your event. Low ticket sales may mean that you need to increase your marketing or rethink how best to communicate with your potential audience.
If your event is cancelled, or if someone has bought a ticket and decides they would like to cancel; you need to consider what your ticket policy or terms and conditions are. For example, if you cancel your event you are legally obliged to offer a full refund but you could make your tickets non-refundable if the buyer simply wants their money back. If you are producing your own tickets, you need to think about the cheapest form of ticket production that does not allow it to be easily duplicated.
Idea: Cambridge Corn Exchange has a box office service where you can register to sell tickets to your event (a charge applies). These can then be purchased online, by phone or in person at the box office, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.