Printed Event Tickets vs. Digital Tickets – Which Is Right for You?

October 25, 2021

Whether you’re planning a concert, theatre production, craft beer tasting, or a haunted history tour, you’re going to need to sell event tickets. Printed event tickets bought in person have long been the standard, but the advent of the internet and digital ticketing changed the landscape. Today, almost 71% of event tickets are sold online. In addition to printed tickets, many are mobile tickets (never printed and used only on a mobile device) and digital tickets (the kind you can print out at home).

The takeaway here is that to be successful, you’ll need to sell tickets on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and through an event site. But what about the remaining 29% of tickets not sold online? We’ll get into that below, break down the pros and cons of all the ticket types, and offer tips on deciding what’s suitable for your event. 

Pros and Cons of Printed Event Tickets

Printed Event Ticket Pros:
  • Holding a ticket printed on sturdy, smooth finish card stock is deeply satisfying. After admission, ticket stubs live on as mementos.
  • Advertising  (and revenue) opportunities. Printed tickets can pay for themselves when you sell the ad space on the backs of your tickets!
  • Not everyone has access to or is comfortable using a smartphone or the internet.
  • Great security features including sequential numbering, barcodes, and QR codes for easy, secure check-in.
  • Technology isn’t always failsafe. Dimmed phones, no Wi-Fi, and more can contribute to a jammed-up entry gate. On the other hand, a printed event ticket will always work.
  • Using ticket templates and print-on-demand, you can have custom tickets ready to sell fast. At Eventgroove, we have all kinds of pre-designed, themed ticket templates. Plus, our ticket-printing prices are low, we process orders within one business day, and we offer several speedy shipping options. Plus, every order comes with a satisfaction guarantee!
Printed Event Ticket Cons:
  • Even with fast turnaround and tools that make it easy to create tickets, printing them takes time and has an associated cost.
  • Your audience may find printed event tickets a relic of the past, which could reflect on your event.
  • Without an event management software platform, managing and tracking ticket sales may be tricky.
  • Physical tickets have a way of getting misplaced by buyers before the event has begun.
  • If they get wet or dropped, event tickets can get damaged and rendered unusable.
  • Guests may lose their stubs, making reentry a problem.

Pros and Cons of Mobile + Digital Event Tickets

Mobile + Digital Ticket Pros:
  • Paperless, thus good for the environment.
  • Tracking and distributing digital and mobile tickets is easy.
  • Guests can add mobile tickets to their digital wallets for quick access, helpful for speedy check-in and reentry.
  • They’re nearly impossible to lose.
  • Digital and mobile tickets provide lots of valuable data. With Eventgroove’s event organizer dashboard, you’ll be able to monitor  ticket-selling trends in real time—you can also add in-person ticket sale numbers for a complete picture of your customers. At the event, you’ll be able to monitor how many have checked in, helping you to better plan when and where you need staffing.
Mobile + Digital Ticket Cons:
  • Some attendees may prefer physical event tickets and would rather not have to find a printer.
  • Excludes potential attendees without computers, mobile devices, or access to a printer.
  • Check-in for mobile ticketing requires a mobile device, while digital tickets need to be printed or at least readily available on a device.
  • Technology does sometimes fail, so fast WiFi is a must!

Which Ticketing Choice Is Best for Me?

We’d posit that deploying all ticket types is the best route to take for most events. Through an event platform like Eventgroove, you’ll be able to sell more event tickets no matter the medium by making them available for purchase online. Someone can buy printed tickets through your Eventgroove event page, and you’ll just have to worry about fulfillment! On the other hand, digital and mobile ticket fulfillment through our platform is instant, and all transactions are right there on your organizer dashboard. As far as guests without access to the internet, many of our event organizers, such as the Livingston Classic PBR, sell tickets through local businesses. Additionally, through Eventgroove, you can sell tickets from your mobile device. So, ticket transactions are effortless whether you’re home, at your entry gate, or anywhere else.

But Really, Ticketing Type Is All About Your Event’s Audience.

For instance, according to Pew Research, one-third of adults ages 65 and older say they never use the internet, and roughly half say they do not have home broadband services.  So, if your event caters to that age group or if broadband is not readily available in your area, printed tickets sold at various outlets might be the best option.

On the flip side, millennial and Gen Z attendees will be more comfortable and interested in an event that offers digital and mobile tickets.

 No matter what form of ticketing you choose, we’ve got the tools to make your event a success! Through Eventgroove, you can create an on-brand event site with printed and digital tickets that match—no tech or graphic design skills necessary! Our event platform is free for organizers, and whether you offer printed or digital tickets (or both), it puts promoting and running your event in the palm of your hand

P.S. If you’re interested in only our ticket-printing services, we can help with that, too! Browse our event ticket templates or engage our team to create a custom design

Want to see Eventgroove in action?

We’d love to show you! Schedule a one-on-one demo with our expert sales team.

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