When you plan an event, it can be tough to choose the best site to sell tickets on: There are lots of competing event ticketing sites out there.
In this post, we’ve outlined a few of the top choices and why they might be most suitable for you.
Primary vs. secondary ticketing
There are two main types of ticketing sites.
“Secondary ticketing” refers to people selling tickets they’ve previously bought for another person’s event. Some people buy tickets specifically to sell later at a profit. Others do genuinely just need to sell their tickets on. But this is still a murky area.
A few secondary ticketing sites let you sell tickets for in-demand events at way over face value. Ticket touts have certainly given this a bad name. Fortunately, the practice is dying. Secondary ticketing is not meant to be done for profit, and a crackdown on this market is well underway.
These types of ticket resale sites are not something we’re covering in this article.
“Primary ticketing” refers to a promoter or event organiser selling tickets directly, often listing hundreds of tickets for an event they’ve created.
In general, primary ticketing sites don’t allow you to list just a couple of tickets for a gig you can no longer make it to. They are often designed for people who need to manage capacity and ticketing logistics. Such sites help event promoters, artists, and managers sell their event tickets.
So, which features should you look for in a top primary ticketing service?
What to look for in the best event ticketing software
How do you choose? What features are important? Can I just pick one at random? Here are a few considerations for ticketing software and ticket websites.
Ticket automation and capacity management
The whole point of using a ticket selling website is usually to make life easier for you.
To what extent does the website manage your ticketing automatically? There are sites that will allow for capacity or “inventory” management so you don’t oversell your gig. Some of them offer digital “print-at-home” tickets or will send you a reminder to post tickets. Either way, consider what is most suitable for your event.
Ticketing isn’t typically something a website will let you do for free. Each site has its own pricing structure. This can take the shape of:
- Percentage of the overall ticket price
- Flat fee per ticket
- Percentage of ticket price + a flat fee
- Monthly fee
Many sites have a cap on the maximum fee they will charge. Frequently, these sites also let you sell tickets where the customer pays the fees, so this is one less cost for you to swallow. Consider which site has the best pricing structure for your type of event.
If a site is selling tickets on your behalf, you don’t want them keeping hold of your money for ages. Cash flow is king. Quick payment processing and payouts are something to look out for when choosing a ticketing service.
Ticketing sites can be a good way to promote your event. People may already be visiting these sites’ event listings looking for suitable events to attend. This can provide you with an additional marketing platform, on top of helping with the logistics of managing tickets.
You should also think about event vs. site fit. If you choose to sell tickets to your metal concert on a site which mainly focuses on Zumba classes, you won’t get as many marketing and other benefits.
There are many sites trying to handle ticketing, so there’s quite a lot of variety in the mix of features they offer. Some of these include:
- Support for recurring events
- Seated tickets
- Multiple ticket options (such as e.g. “VIP” tickets)
- Discount code options
- Built-in marketing tools
- Data collection and insights tools
- …and much more
Tip: Have a look at this overview of key features of ticketing sites you should be on the lookout for.
Best sites to sell tickets on
The following are our picks for the five best sites to sell tickets on. All have slightly different features but do a similar job. They can help you both market your event as well as handle ticketing.
See Tickets have been facilitating online ticketing since 2004. They famously managed to sell 150,000 Glastonbury tickets in under half an hour.
See Tickets can be a good choice for big events. Plenty of music, comedy, and lifestyle event fans regularly check the site. Other positives include the reporting and data they provide about event listing pages and sales.
The brand is choosy about who they work with, and the rates vary by promoter and event. You need to contact them to see if you will be able to list your event.
Fee level: Typically 10% of the selling price. Listing your first, smaller events on See Tickets may not be the best option.
Billetto is a fairly priced and intelligent ticketing service. They don’t charge any fees for free events. They also provide a variety of event promotion tools. One of these is the intelligent use of AI to recommend relevant events to their users. (This works in a similar way to when Netflix recommends a show based on previous shows you’ve watched.)
Billetto’s “go live in five” slogan is true: You really can list an event in just five minutes. (Simply go to their “create event” page and enter the details.)
Fee level: 3.5% + £0.40, with a maximum charge of £10 per ticket. They also allow event organisers to pass the fees on to attendees.
WeGotTickets describe their service as “simple, honest ticketing”. We’d go along with that. They offer “print-at-home” tickets rather than physical delivery. Once someone buys a ticket for an event, it is automatically emailed to them.
The company started almost 20 years ago. They offer good customer support for promoters and venues, as well as being ethically sound and environmentally friendly.
Fee level: Typically a flat 10% of the ticket price.
Ticketlight is a great platform for promoters. They let you design and automate your own eTickets. They also offer detailed 24/7 reporting on ticket sales and embedding a “box office” in your own website.
Ticketlight integrates with ticket marketplace Ticketline, which can help you raise the visibility of your event.
Fee level: Pricing is done on a sliding scale: The fee varies depending on who pays it and the price of the ticket.
If you want to sell on a site with excellent gig listings and social media integration, Skiddle could be a good choice. They have built a Facebook ticket shop. If you have a big following on social media, this can come in handy.
The site allows you to provide physical tickets, eTickets, or barcoded RapidScan tickets.
Fee level: 10% of the face value + 25p. (But if you plan to sell a lot of tickets, they encourage calling them to discuss this.)
Other ticketing sites
These are far from the only options out there. Depending on the event type you are working on, some sites might be more appropriate than others.
This long list of event management software and ticketing sites gives you better overview of the options available.