They say the best things in life are free, and they might be right, particularly when it comes to generating interest in an event.  Strictly from a business standpoint, giving away your product could seem counterproductive.  But giving away your event tickets can actually increase your sales, if handled correctly.

            There are three, basic ways to look at giveaways:

·      Free event tickets on their own

·      Free event tickets paired with products

·      Free event tickets in addition to purchased event tickets

All three of these options offer challenges, but they also offer opportunities which can result in unique moments for promotion.

Confidence Sells

            In general, giving away event tickets on their own proves most beneficial if you’re planning a series of events.  The idea is that getting potential audience members to come to one event will be enough to convince them to come back again, this time at full admission price.

            Make sure you consider how you’re going to give away free event tickets.  This is a promotion, after all, so you want to reach your target demographic.  If you’re holding a celebrity softball game, then give away those event tickets at something like the local minor league baseball game.  Finding a connection between your event and the venue for your ticket giveaway allows you the greatest chance of success.

            Remember, giving away your event tickets is all about confidence.  You are tell your audience that you feel strongly enough about the quality of your product to give them the first event for free.  It’s important to tell them that.  Consider promotional slogans along the line of “you’ll love it so much, you’ll come back again!”  You need to plant the return business seed into their heads right off the bat, because that’s what event ticket giveaways is all about.

A Match Made In Heaven

There are two types of giveaways connected to products: broad and focused.  Broad giveaways involve products that regularly sell in large quantities and are readily available to the average consumer.  Focused giveaways involve specific products that relate either to your event or to the audience you’re trying to capture.

Which method to choose?  Well, that depends on your event.  If you’re planning something with broad appeal, than attaching event ticket giveaways to a high visibility product can be successful.  If your event falls into a smaller niche, then target specific products.  For example, if you’re holding a concert for a group whose audience is primarily children, attach the event ticket giveaway to products aimed at parents.

Make sure you choose your product partner carefully.  Your event is going to become synonymous with the product you choose, so make sure it’s a name you want to be associated with.

Bring a Friend

            Perhaps the most common type of event ticket giveaway is the ubiquitous “Buy one, get one free!”  Similar to the straightforward giveaway, this method is less costly and more targeted.

            With free ticket giveaways, you run the risk of giving event tickets to people who might not even use them.  But by pairing free tickets with purchased tickets, you increase the chances that the free ticket will actually get used.

            This method also gives you the added advantage of having a built in marketing person to help you: the individual who paid for a ticket.  In many cases, the free event ticket is going to someone who isn’t familiar with your event, but is going with someone who is.  This strengthens the promotion from the start, as it gives you a theoretical advocate for your potential new audience.

The Price Is Right

            Regardless of which of these different options you choose from, it’s clear that giving away tickets isn’t as counterproductive as it might seem.  Considering all the money you can invest into different marketing avenues, giving away event tickets can ultimately save you money, and generate a greater return on your investment.

            If there’s one thing that will get people’s interest, it’s the word “free!”