Live events promote social engagement through shared experiences among strangers, friends, and colleagues. They can even unite generations and diverse groups. Businesses use live events to increase brand awareness and deepen customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Companies that host sporting events, music and entertainment festivals, campus gatherings, museum specials, or business events rely heavily on live events to generate revenue. That is why using the best live event ticketing system is imperative. A powerful all-in-one solution that combines ticketing with marketing and fundraising is ideal. Some systems even offer extra integration tools and features like a powerful built-in CRM, custom reporting, and automated marketing campaigns not found anywhere else.
Experts believe that by 2028 live events will generate more than $2.194 trillion annually. In 2020, live events generated $887 billion in revenue during the pandemic. Live events are a powerful way to reach an audience, and they are growing in leaps and bounds.
This post will discuss the top ten event ticketing systems available and how they compare. We will cover the criteria for selecting the best software and each solution’s key features, pros, cons, and pricing.
What is Event Ticketing Software?
Event ticketing software is much more than just ticket sales. It’s a system designed to help with marketing, sales, ticket transactions, reporting, fundraising, and more. The software is online, easily accessible from anywhere, and usually combines multiple functions within a single platform to make life easier for the customer.
Hosting a live event takes a lot of work and an entire team. Event ticketing software takes a lot of the headaches out of the mix. Different departments can use the software to create and manage events, keep track of users, find and contact sponsors, raise funding, send out automated marketing campaigns using the built-in CRM, and process ticket sales, including packages and special offers. These are robust systems with dozens of features and functions.
Museums, universities, performing arts companies, music venues, and sports entertainment organizations use event ticketing software to manage events. Event ticketing software is so popular because of its many benefits.
What are the Benefits of Using an Event Ticketing System?
Companies use online software solutions for every aspect of business. Live event ticketing systems can streamline data integration between departments, making ticket sales, marketing, and fundraising more efficient.
Live event ticketing systems cater to all kinds of organizations like schools, colleges, offices, museums, performing arts companies, festivals, musical entertainers, and businesses. Some of the benefits of using an event ticketing system include:
· Customer Profile Managing and Tracking – Using disconnected programs to piece together your customer profiles and manage contacts can be a nightmare. A live event ticketing system with built-in CRM can handle all your customer tracking and profile management functions in one platform.
· White Label Solution – For consistency and customer loyalty, it’s essential to brand each of your events using familiar colors, logos, and images. It can be impossible to achieve this without a white-label solution.
· Easily Handle Tiered Pricing, Discounts, and Promo Codes – Keeping track of the tiered seat pricing and special offers may get unwieldy if you cannot see everything in one place.
· Ticket Sales and Automation – With an integrated solution, you can simultaneously manage ticket sales for multiple events and send out automated confirmation emails.
· Accessibility/Inclusivity – Some live event ticketing solutions offer accessibility and inclusivity features for patrons looking to purchase tickets allowing you to extend your brand awareness even further.
· Attendance Reports – Instead of manually tallying attendance and scrambling to figure out how many available seats are left, a ticketing system can handle this automatically, and you can print out ad hoc reports at any time.
· Targeted Marketing – A robust ticketing system will provide you with a built-in CRM to manage patron profiles and use filters for targeted marketing campaigns, making tracking specific groups and sending them personal messaging easy.
· Valuable Insights – Collecting and storing data in one place that touches marketing, sales, fundraising, and event management provides the perfect platform to see valuable insights about operations, effective campaigns, and things that need improvement.
· Measuring Event ROI – Without live event ticketing software, calculating your event ROI can be extremely challenging. With an integrated system, you can quickly see how your revenue stacks up against expenses and the profit earned.
· Cross-Browser Support – These days, it’s essential to offer your patrons the ability to find you, buy tickets, and follow up on any mobile device they want. Cross-browser support is another huge benefit of using the best event ticketing system.
· 24/7 Availability – Offer your patrons the flexibility to purchase tickets anytime, day or night. Around-the-clock customer support is also invaluable to you and your customers.
When searching for event ticketing software, be aware that there are a few different types, each of which uses a different pricing model. Consider how each one works before choosing the best option for you.
Types of Event Ticketing Software
There are five different types of event ticketing software platforms to choose from. Each offers a slightly varied pricing model.
● Subscription Model (monthly) – With this model, you pay a monthly fee, and ticket buyers are not charged anything extra. The benefit of this is a lower ticket price for your customers. It also helps with budgeting because you have a consistent monthly fee. Tickets are delivered via email or digitally upon purchase.
● Ticket Price Fee Model – With a ticket price fee model, the ticketing software adds a fee to the price of every ticket. That fee may be up to 25%. Tickets are delivered via email, printable upon purchase, or hard copy.
● Hidden Fee Model – The fee is rolled into the ticket price with this model, and the buyer never sees anything extra. Although the ticket prices may be slightly inflated, the customer will not feel like they are being charged additional fees.
● Fee Sharing Model – A fee-sharing model works differently because the ticketing company provides you with a share of the fees based on the total revenue collected. You must wait until after the show to get paid.
● Percentage-Based Model – A percentage-based model adds no fees to the ticket itself. Instead, you agree to share a percentage (e.g., 10%) of the ticket sales with the ticketing company. You pay the fees after the event, and the total is tallied.
The Best 10 Event Ticketing Software Systems
Organizing any live event is a big undertaking with many challenges. If various teams are using different platforms, sharing data may be tricky. That disconnect could cost time and money. Figuring out how to tier seat pricing can also present problems. How do you offer package deals and reserve seats for groups or donors? These are just some of the issues live event companies encounter every day.
Integrating all the tasks related to launching a live event together in one place is invaluable. Additionally, providing extra services such as custom reporting, a CRM to manage contacts, and automated marketing solves many of these pain points.
We have researched the ten best event ticketing software systems and listed them below with the pros and cons, pricing, and standout features.
AudienceView is an all-in-one solution packed with features sheathed in a user-friendly interface. Key ticketing features include seat selection, discounts, tiered pricing, donations/products, split-tender transactions, and seats on hold. The software also integrates with many third-party software solutions and offers powerful custom reporting, robust marketing automation, and targeted marketing features to measure event ROI. The platform is secure and available 24/7. Pros include a cross-browser responsive interface, membership and subscriptions, attendance reports, patron profiles, and a feature-rich built-in CRM. Some clients had issues with reaching customer support.
Pricing: Contact AudienceView directly for pricing information.
Eventbrite earns 4.4 stars out of 5 on G2. The solution is ideal for event planners of all sizes. This system’s pros include powerful tools, robust analytics, real-time event monitoring, its event marketplace where you can find other global events, and built-in marketing features. However, for smaller companies, events may get pricey. Additionally, customers have issues with support, and Eventbrite suffered a recent data breach. The solution does not offer any integrations, which is a big negative for many customers.
Pricing: Free plan (no fees for free events) 3.7% + $1.79 Service Fee, 2.9% Payment Processing Fee.
Bizzabo caters to large organizations running huge events. It’s a comprehensive system with many features and notable customer support. Its built-in registration system doubles as a marketing engine to help with conversions. The system is adaptable, including critical features like external widgets, powerful analytics (revenue, ticket count, promotions, event ROI, and UTMs), a slick registration system, and integrated marketing. The pros are that it can handle large events easily, integrates with many third-party software programs, and customer support (email) is highly rated. However, it is one of the more expensive options, and customers complain about customization issues.
Pricing: Contact Bizzabo directly for pricing information. No free option.
Ticketbud aims to provide quick and easy ticket sales combined with promotional tools. Some of its key features are seamless Facebook integration, custom URLs (to use in different marketing campaigns), and flexible payment terms to make it easy for patrons to buy tickets. The software also offers white-label options. Some pros include customization, powerful cash-flow reports, and low flat-rate fees. However, the cons include a lack of standout features and skimpy attendee registration data.
Pricing: They do offer a free plan. 2% + 0.99c per ticket service charge + 2.9% payment processing.
ThunderTix prides itself on being easy to use and quickly trainable for staff and volunteers. This all-in-one solution handles ticketing, donations, fundraising, merchandising, customer profiles, and thermal ticket printing. They cater to live performing arts events and sports. The solution scores well, with users earning 4.7/5 stars. The pros include being an excellent overall value with a dependable system that works and is easy to use. It also integrates with Zapier and Google Analytics. However, the downside is that it cannot handle large events well, and patrons complain about add-on fees.
Pricing: $1 per ticket with a $20 minimum. No free plan.
EventCube is another popular integrated system that offers ticket sales, marketing features, and ticket reps to help promote your events. The system is backed by 30 years in the event industry and handles live ticketing events, memberships, and virtual events. Some key features include complete white-label options for branding, flexible payment options, group discounts, reserved seating, and upsells. Some pros include a re-sell option for sold-out events, user-friendly design, competitive pricing, and a few integrations. Pros include no conditional workflows or group segmentation.
Pricing: Offers a free plan. Standard Plan – £0/month with 5% transaction fee; Eventcube Pro – £99/month with 3% transaction fee
TicketSpice is another contender with impressive features such as an easy-to-use interface, affordable pricing, and text message ticket delivery. The solution’s key features are “card-on-file” for event cancellations, recurring events, page builder, time slots, and limited capacity seating. The pros of this system are that it’s one of the more affordable options and is easy to use. It also integrates with a few marketing software packages. The drawbacks are that the CRM is limited (insufficient data), and reporting could be improved.
Pricing: Free plan. A flat fee of $.99 per ticket and $2.99 credit card fees.
Purplepass is one of the most flexible and easy-to-use systems. They offer options to host multi-day, recurring, and free events. The solution provides the usual ticketing features, including discounts, assigned seating, ticket transfer, and ticket status. One of its key features is its top-tier support which works well for service-oriented companies. Pros include a robust mobile app, flexible payments, group and VIP ticket packages, and a “sell at the door” option. The downside is that Purplepass doesn’t have anything that sets it apart from the competition, and the app is a bit finicky.
Pricing: 2.5% + $0.99 per ticket (for profit); 2% + $0.99 per ticket (non-profit). Free plan available.
ezEvent is a full-featured ticketing platform perfect for promoters, venues, and event hosts. Ticket sales are immediate, so event organizers don’t have to wait to get paid. Some of the key features include barcode/ticket scanning, reporting and analytics, website management, seating maps, and mobile ticketing. The solution gets high marks for customer support and ease of use. Pros include user-friendly design and good customer support. However, some customers say ezEvent lacks critical features and can be slow.
Pricing: $0.01 per ticket. They do offer a free plan and a free trial.
Tix is a robust ticketing platform with dozens of features, including email marketing, customizable seat maps, donations, merchandising, timed admissions, upselling, season tickets, website integration, and white-label support. The key features include POS, ticket reservations, kiosks, mobile, onsite ticketing, promotions, CRM, reporting, and analytics. The pros of this system include outstanding customer service and a flexible platform for unique situations. Customers sometimes complain about credit card transaction failure, and customer service hours are not 24/7.
Pricing: Flat fee of $0.25 per ticket (Box Office), $1-$1.50 per ticket (Online), $3.5 per user (Call Center).
How to Choose the Right CRM Ticketing Software
Sharing data, evaluating event ROI, and disconnected systems are some of the main pain points for live event hosts. When determining the right CRM ticketing software, decision-makers must address those issues.
Most ticketing software can handle selling tickets, but not all programs are created equal. Many offer value-added features like custom reporting, integration with other third-party tools, and powerful CRM capabilities. Some of these features, like patron profiles, may be more valuable to you than others. Therefore, the evaluation process is weighted. Finding a solution that includes all the functionality you want and the most important features that will save you time or money is essential. Some solutions are all-in-one, combining many different departmental features to share data. You can then use that data to collect valuable insights about your business.
Some questions to ask yourself when evaluating ticketing software are:
● Does the tool do everything you need it to do?
● What advanced features exist?
● How easy is the software to use?
● Does the pricing structure align with your corporate goals?
● How easily can you handle donations, fundraising, and marketing?
● Can the software handle segmentation and personalized emails?
● How easy is it to create, edit, and manage events?
● Is the system customizable?
● Can you brand events with your own logos, colors, fonts, etc.?
● Are the reports customizable?
● Can you export data to other systems?
● How secure is the platform?
What is the Easiest Event Ticketing Software to Use?
Determining the easiest event ticketing software to use will be a personal choice. Everyone has different styles and preferences. However, finding a solution that fits your company culture is imperative to your success. With employee turnover, cross-training, and subs filling in, you must select a program that everyone can use to get the job done.
Some of the easiest ticketing software to use (based on user reviews) are AudienceView, Purplepass, ezEvent, TicketSpice and ThunderTix.
Which Ticket Site Has the Lowest Seller Fees?
Each of the sellers above uses different methods for collecting fees. Which ticket site is the best for you will depend on your usage of the solution and other factors.
The bottom line is if you are getting all the features you need, and the solution is making your life and that of your teammates easier; then the value is meaningful to you. You may be saving time which equals money.
For example, AudienceView includes many features that outpace the competition therefore, the value may be higher than with another solution that offers less but also charges less.
Streamline Ticket Sales for Your Next Event
We have reviewed the ten best event ticketing systems providing you with all the necessary details like features, pros, cons, and pricing. This information will help you make an informed decision.
With fierce competition nipping at your heels, don’t underestimate the value of a sound ticketing system. These solutions are built to streamline your operations, make ticket sales more efficient, and convert more sales. If you select the right program for your company, you can automate tasks saving time and money, and collect plenty of data for targeted marketing. Ideally, an all-in-one solution will fit the needs of every department involved and ensure the success of your event.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Buying Ticketing Software before you choose the best ticketing software for your organization.