A December to Remember: How to Plan a Holiday Party that’s Worth People’s Time

The holidays are the perfect opportunity to tie your organization to a special celebration or tradition, but there’s a lot of competition in getting your audiences to commit their time, money and energy to your event. 

The end of the year brings on a frenzy of work parties, friend and family get-togethers, school events, holiday shopping and more. Creating an event that breaks through all the noise takes careful planning and execution, with great consideration about your audiences’ time, preferences and needs. 

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The sooner you can get on people’s calendars, the better. So, determine a date, budget and timeline for the event and planning process, and quickly.

Venues book up fast this time of year, with just a handful of Fridays and Saturdays to work with before the new year. You may need to consider other days or times that might work for your particular event and audience. And, remember to prepare for any weather or other unforeseen circumstances that might affect your plans. 

Once you’ve locked in the basics, it’s important to conduct some market research to understand the types of events you will be competing against:

When you understand what your event is up against, you can tailor your event by offering a unique differentiator to your audience, such as a theme, special activity or exclusive sale. This will be key in persuading your audience to register for your holiday event and should be emphasized in any marketing or promotions. 

Photo by Santacon, Flickr.

Holiday Event Themes and Activities

A themed event provides an anchor for planning your event and point of difference. So work with a team to brainstorm some holiday centric themes or entertainment you might offer as a way to entice your audiences and bring energy to your event.

Be mindful of how any activities or themes could impact who you may or may not attract to your event. If you’re hosting an event for a very general audience, your event may be more successful if you stray away from religious traditions. However, incorporating these elements could be beneficial if they align with your audience’s values. 

Here are some themes and activities for inspiration: 

If successful, your holiday event may provide your organization brand power year after year. Take for example the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For nearly a century, people have looked forward to the annual event and have positive associations with the brand and those tied to it. The three-hour holiday spectacle has become so successful over the years that companies will shell out $120,000-300,000 to  sponsor the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Boost Ticket Sales with Marketing and Promotions

Cross-channel marketing campaigns are a must when promoting any event. So, create a robust plan for direct invitations and email, social media promotion, digital and print advertising.

Reflect on your initial competitor’s analysis to evaluate successful ways you might market your holiday event. And remember, holidays are about cheer, giving and savings. So consider how you might incorporate these elements within your promotional messaging. 

Themed Marketing Campaigns:
Get inspired by the traditional advent calendar or the “12 days of Christmas” to create a countdown to the event. Each day, you could host a giveaway, encourage engagement, share photos from past events or teasers for the upcoming event. 

Referral Codes and Gifts:
Incentivize people to invite friends, family and contacts to your event. With Ticketbud, you can issue unique referral codes to those who’ve already registered for your event. Event organizers have the ability to track these codes. So, if the code is shared and used, the person who shared it could be entered to win a prize or receive a special gift or discount from the organizers. 

And while it’s fun to receive gifts, the holidays are a time for giving. Using ticket sales to raise money for a meaningful cause or local charity may also influence people to take part in the event as well as encourage others. Ensure you have the ability to add donation options with your ticket sales. 

Sales and Discounts:
Early bird sales are an effective way to boost ticket sales and get people to commit to your event before their calendar fills up. These sales are enticing because they offer discounted ticket rates for a limited amount of time, forcing the buyer to act fast.

To motivate a greater influx in sales ahead of your event, you might also incorporate specialty promotions in conjunction with Black Friday or Cyber Monday. For tips on holiday sales, check out “Tis the Season to Save: Hosting Holiday Sales to Sell More Tickets to Your Events.

How Ticketbud Can Help Plan Your Holiday Event

Ticketbud allows event organizers to create a free event website and host registration for free and paid events. Our site offers a suite of ticketing and communication tools to make event coordination easier before, during and after the event. 

The Ticketbud ticket editor can be used to create and sell a range of ticketing options, such as individual or group tickets, early bird or regular sale tickets, general admission or VIP tickets, and more. Organizers are also able to edit and automate sales timelines, so they can set it and forget it. 

Ticketbud also allows event organizers to communicate with attendees via email directly from the ticketing platform. Use it to send important information about venue access and check-in leading up to the event, or to issue thank you emails and gather feedback after the event. Learn more about how Ticketbud works and how we can help ease the stress of holiday event planning.

Ticketbud has Holiday Festivals All Lit Up Over Their Online Ticketing

Ticketbud has established successful partnerships with a wide range of events and festivals, from smaller pop-up events to large scale multi-day festivals. We are fast positioning ourselves to be the provider of choice for holiday festivals, food festivals and family events. 

Ticketbud’s completely customized ticketing platform has helped us create a better event experience overall, especially thanks to the fully integrated point of sale experience. We look forward to better data tracking and analysis to help us throughout our event planning and marketing.”

Dawn Robinette, Marketing Director, Old West Christmas Light Fest.

Why Holiday Festivals are Choosing Ticketbud

Ticketbud is designed to manage the needs of high-volume multi-day festivals. Our clients include festivals running over two weeks with over 500,000 attendees. We are built to handle high traffic on-sales and heavy scanning needs at check-in. Organizers are switching to Ticketbud to take advantage of service, features and tools that maximize sales and year on year growth. 

“Ticketbud’s multi-day event calendars enhance the ticket buyer experience and convert more sales. Event tags make multi-day reporting clearer with customizable data segmentation. Our unlimited ticket programming gives organizers greater flexibility, while our ongoing customer support really sets us apart.”

Kayhan Ahmadi, Ticketbud CEO.

Multi-day Event Calendar When you have an event scheduled over multiple days, calendar functionality that makes it quick an easy for ticket buyers to select the day (and potentially time) they want to attend. Ticketbud’s multi-day calendar functionality allows organizers to show events and activities clearly over a number of days. 

Event Tags – This feature allows organizers to tag events with custom labels that enables them to group their events for reporting or promotional purposes. Events can have multiple tags so they appear in different reports. Organizers can also promote specific tagged events on a promotional landing page. 

Unlimited Ticket Types – Good ticket programming helps you sell more tickets, so you don’t want to have limited ticketing options. Some competitors only allow you 1 ticket type before charging more. Ticketbud automatically includes this flexibility for everyone. You can create early bird sales and special promotions, scheduling when tickets go on sale and off. Offer adult, child and family tickets, weekend passes, whatever you need to maximize sales opportunities without having to pay more. We also have functionality for ticket access codes and discount codes.

Customizable Ticket Layouts – Customize what appears on the ticket for each ticket type, including relevant maps and directional information. You can also add your sponsor logos. 

Holiday Festival Custom Ticket
Holiday Festival Custom Ticket

High Volume Capacity – A reliable system that can handle high volume on-sales without your site crashing. We work with large festivals that have huge sales the day of their event. One of our holiday festivals sells 40,000 tickets a day leading up to Christmas.     

Fast Ticket Scanning – Our enhanced scanning and processing capacity ensures a quick and reliable check-in process, particularly valuable for high volume festivals and events. While you can download our app and scan from any mobile device, our new rentable scanning guns are ideal for fast point and shoot scanning on busy festival gates. 

Sell tickets at the door with an integrated POS – Our rentable mobile point-of sale devices make it quick and easy to sell tickets at the door. You can also log cash sales into our system to ensure full picture reporting. 

Event ProtectAn optional cost effective coverage for ticket revenue, built into the ticket price.  Important for outdoor holiday events subject to adverse weather. 

Mobile Optimized Event Pages – Sell more tickets with our mobile optimized event pages and checkout, including Apple Pay and Google Pay integrations.

Comprehensive Reporting – Quickly and easily access to all your event data and attendee information with no additional charges. 

Rentable Wifi Hardware – Boost your wi-fi with our powerful mobile routers running off multiple networks to ensure a reliable connection at your event. 

Ongoing Customer Support – When you have invested in a large event, you want to know you can get a hold of your ticketing provider when you need them. At Ticketbud you will always be able to speak to real people who can help via phone, email or online chat. This is part of our service, we don’t charge more for it. 

Inbuilt Communication tools – Send out invitations as well as communicate with attendees before and after the event, all from within our ticketing system. You can also create custom communications based on ticket type, to ensure attendees get the most relevant information to them. 

Some Key Advantages of Ticketing your Festival with Ticketbud

Related Links:

Ticketbud Tidbits Podcast Ep 32 – Holiday Festival Marketing and Customer Experience, with Dawn Robinette from Old West Light Fest.

Press Release – Event Ticketing Platform Ticketbud Has Holiday Festivals All Lit Up Over Their Online Ticketing

It’s free to sign up and get started on Ticketbud

Free events are always free. Paid events only require payment set-up when you’re ready to start selling tickets. Until then, get started building great events on Ticketbud, with access to all features and customer support. Learn more about the Ticketbud experience or request a personalized demo today.