If you want to sell out shows, you have to get inside the mind of your audience. To find out how today’s music fans are discovering and interacting at live shows and festivals, we surveyed Aussie event-goers to learn more about their path to purchase and onsite experience.
How to Engage Aussie Music Fans to Sell More Tickets
About the survey
The results of the 2019 Australian Music Fans Report are based on responses from 1,132 event attendees who attended at least one live music event in Australia ticketed by Eventbrite between 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2019. Respondents are adults living in Australia aged 18 and older and are from all states and territories. Eventbrite conducted this research to understand what aspects of the music event experience are important to attendees — to help music organisers make informed decisions about pre-event marketing strategies, onsite experience and post-event communications.
Before an event — Where Australians hear about gigs, concerts and music festivals
Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping social media as an essential tool for promoting shows. Our research uncovered that music lovers are highly active on social media to discover events, learn more about performing artists, and find crucial details such as dates, prices and times.
The top 3 ways that people hear about music events:
Then there’s the “superfans” of music events — respondents who attended 10+ shows in the last 12 months. For this crowd, social media engagement is even more valuable. Almost half (48%) of high frequency event attendees first learn about events on social media. This is important because the people who attend the most events also tend to be the ones to invite the most friends, spread hype about your event, and of course, buy tickets.
Aussie music fans go online to get informed
74% of music-goers are actively looking for information about an event before they buy tickets. While the most common information people are seeking out are the event date (82%), ticket price options (76%) and venue (70%) — many fans are looking to social media, video, or streaming to validate that they want to pay to see an artist.
56% of fans will go directly to the artist or event’s official website to look for information, but they’re just as likely to check social media for information. 55% of all fans use social media to look up information about events, but for Gen Z and Millennials, this increases to 70%.
How to put this into action to sell more tickets:
To get discovered by ticket buyers, here are four ways to put these insights into action for your shows.
Optimise your social media channels for event-goers
It’s not enough to list events on social media. To optimise your social accounts for ticket sales, you need to:
Create clear event listings: Be upfront with information such as date, time, venue, and pricing options as this is what people are most likely to seek out. Put dates and city locations in event titles and ads to hit the right audience.
Create or repost shareable content: After covering the basics, fans will be looking for anything that can validate that your show is worth their time and money. Impressive photos, videos, and sound clips of artists are not only great for enticing ticket sales, it’s also shareable content that people can use to rally friends. 49% of respondents said the reason they attend events is because friends or family are going.
Here are a few things that will make attendees’ vetting process easier:
- Upload or link to YouTube videos of previous events or hype reels
- Showcase powerful photos from the perspective of your attendees
- Create a Spotify playlist of top hits from your artist/s
Sell tickets: Once you’ve captured interest on social media, it’s time to make the sale then and there. Don’t let fans get distracted or redirect them to another website. By connecting your ticketing platform with native checkouts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify, you can let your attendees reserve seats, register, or buy tickets without leaving their favourite site or app. A simpler checkout means more people at your events.
Build an email database of fans
The third most common way for fans to hear about events is via a direct email, which makes your email database another critical way to promote events. Unlike email newsletters from ticketing companies, direct emails from venues, artists, or festivals can cut through the clutter of noisy inboxes because fans already have a relationship established with events and venues they know and love.
Make sure there are ways for loyal fans to register for updates to hear announcements, pre-sale offers, and receive engaging content about your upcoming artists.
It’s important not to neglect email in favour of social media, as email lists have a more direct audience and aren’t affected by algorithms and paid advertising. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) recommends that marketers consider running email alongside social media advertising such as Facebook, as their data shows this approach “consistently achieves uplifts in response rates in the region of 40% with minimal increases in campaign costs of between 5% and 10%.”
Promote events on Spotify and YouTube
Our research shows that 42% of ticket buyers are streaming artist’s music before purchasing tickets. To capture the attention of these fans, you can create your own accounts on channels such as Spotify and YouTube to engage with fans and boost ticket sales.
If your ticketing provider distributes your events to Spotify, then your potential to convert fans to ticket buyers is even greater. Spotify will recommend your shows to listeners based on their music preferences — next to their favourite artists and albums.
Invest in video and livestreaming
While only 24% of fans said they are watching videos before choosing to purchase a ticket, this is a trend tipped to rise with the increasing popularity of channels like YouTube Live, IGTV and Facebook Live. Livestreaming events is a great way for potential attendees to view artists and see the kind of experience they’re getting at your venue or festival before purchasing.
According to Livestream, concerts, and festivals are the second most-watched type of Live video out there and that 67% of viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to an event after watching a livestream of the event (or similar event).
During an event — How Aussie fans spend and share during events
Fan spending habits
Almost half (43%) of patrons surveyed spent at least $50 on food, drinks, and/or merchandise at the last event they attended. Unsurprisingly, the bar claims the most revenue from music fans with 83% of respondents buying drinks and 41% buying food.
Festival-goers are naturally higher spenders, with 41% spending between $50 – $99 at events, compared to 27% at venues and pubs.
Regardless of spend, one trend that applies across all music events is that fans don’t want to line up for pineapples from the ATM. 2 out of 3 music event-goers say that it’s important that non-cash payments be accepted at events and 66% of all purchases at music events are made on card.
Think about how many times you’ve skipped a purchase because the line was way too long, or because you didn’t have cash. If you aren’t already taking advantage of cashless technology for your shows, you could be missing out on sales.
How to encourage spending at events and festivals:
Research from Square found that 37% of buyers say their top pain point when purchasing at events is slow lines. And if your payment processing is slow, you won’t just frustrate attendees — you’ll sell less.
Cashless payments have been slow to take off in Australia with the lag in banks taking up options like Apple Pay. But now that more providers are beginning to embrace digital wallets, an upward trend in user adoption is likely to follow.
When it’s easier for people to spend money at your event, they’re more likely to do so. Utilise a portable POS system like SquarePOS, or mobile payments like Apple Pay or RFID wristbands, so attendees can buy quickly. Many festivals have seen double-digit growth since implementing mobile payments.
Want a smarter way to drive revenue and forecast profits from food, drinks, and merchandise? Download the At-Event Revenue Workbook
Fan sharing habits
Event sharing can be controversial at concerts. On the one hand, it’s disruptive to a performance and can annoy audiences. On the other, FOMO is a powerful driver of attendance. Fans want to share their experience with friends, and the more they do so, the more content is available online that will encourage people to buy tickets to your events.
A recent study found that 73% of music fans support a mobile phone ban at gigs — but when we asked what their sharing habits were, the results told a different story. 45% of all fans say they shared a photo, video or update from the event to social media while at the event, jumping to 79% for Gen Z.
Therein lies the paradox: people want to share their experiences in the moment, but they also don’t want to be disrupted by phones.
This puts event organisers and venues in a conflicting position. Before you decide to place a ban on devices at shows, consider your audience and their sharing habits.
Shared via social media
How to manage screen use to keep fans happy:
Discuss measures with artists: Increasingly, artists are wanting a say in the use of technology during their shows. Artists such as Jack White, Alicia Keys and Guns N’ Roses have all requested total bans on mobile phone use during their performances. Yondr pouches are becoming a popular solution, allowing promoters to control screen use during shows without asking patrons to surrender their phones.
Others have requested that fans wait until their final song to take photos, to minimise disruption. If your artists have requests like this, make sure they are communicating this message to fans at the start of their set — and earlier on social media if possible.
Make shareable content available post-event: If you do impose a phone ban, make content readily available after the event by posting official photos and videos on social media or in follow-up email communication. 34% of fans said they post content from the event within a few days of attending an event (51% for Gen Z), so they may be willing to share your content in lieu of their own.
Develop a policy and communicate it: Whether you want to give audience members a ‘gentle nudge’ to minimise screen distraction or ask them to lock their phones away — the single most important thing you can do is communicate your policy to fans. Make screen policies available on your ticketing page, FAQ pages, and social media or email comms prior to the event.
Receiving advice prior to the event will minimise frustration, confusion, and the need to involve security for policy breaches.
After the event — What energised fans look for after an event
We don’t need to tell you that music has the power to move people. You know that feeling of the dopamine-fuelled buzz that comes from seeing an incredible live act. In fact, some studies have shown that attending live music increases your wellbeing and could even make you live longer.
But, as someone who throws shows, are you harnessing the power of the post-event buzz? Our research has shown that after a gig, fans are actively looking for more music and live experiences to buy tickets to.
In the days after an event fans…
Within a few days of attending a music event:
By re-engaging with fans within days of an event, you have the chance to capture them at a time when they’re most excited and ready for more live music experiences.
For the superfans of music events who attend 10+ events a year, the opportunity to sell tickets post-event is even higher: 63% looked for another live music event to attend.
Re-engage fans to slay your next onsale
When we asked participants what they expected to receive from organisers after an event, 46% responded ‘nothing’. And less than 2% heard about other shows from advertising during an event.
The bottom line: The relationship between live music event creators and fans is transactional. But if this is how you operate, you’re missing out on sales.
Regardless of whether you host intimate acoustic sets or huge multi-day festivals, by reconnecting with fans after your events, you can tap an event-hungry audience who are ready to buy tickets to more shows.
How to put this into action to sell more tickets:
Here are three ways to connect with fans after an event to maintain a profitable events business.
Follow up with emails
Whether you host annual festivals or are managing a venue with regular acts, you’ve always got something in the works to sell to enthusiastic fans post-event. By utilising an email database and an early on-sale strategy, you can capture the feel-good vibes that people have after a live show and use it to sell out your next gig.
Within the following days and weeks of your event, create tailored email communication, segmented on what type of ticket your attendees have purchased. By segmenting ticket types, you can use targeted email to sell merchandise, collect registrations for pre-sale events, and even upgrades to higher-tier tickets for your next event.
Of course, this can only happen if you manage your own lists, rather than relying on third-parties who blast one-size-fits-all messages to all subscribers. Nick Threapleton, Technical Lead at events and entertainment marketing agency, Bolster., explains why owning your own lists can work in your favour. “You don’t have to annoy a lot of people to reach the right few anymore. Using data to segment lists, you can better match your message to the right people. This serves as a better experience for punters and means better results for you. With this approach we’ve seen conversion rates improve by three to eight times” says Threapleton.
Tap into word of mouth by being prepared
81% of all respondents said they talked to family, friends, and colleagues after attending a show. With ‘Word of Mouth’ being the second biggest driver of event attendance, you may have wondered how to capture the buzz surrounding your events.
While you can’t directly influence what people are saying about your event, you can be prepared to capture anyone looking for information. This involves closing the loop by going back to the beginning and looking at how people discover events — online.
After an event, populate your social media channels and website with shareable content such as photos, videos, and recordings. Having this content readily available gives excited fans something to share with friends and family, and provides information for anyone who heard about the event and looked it up.
This is also when you should be promoting tickets to your next show or events. If you don’t have another event to promote, provide a way for people to subscribe to email updates or register for pre-sales for your next event. This helps to capture leads from excited fans and harness the power of FOMO for people who didn’t make it but don’t want to miss out next time.
Connect your concerts on Spotify
Half of all attendees (49%) will head home and stream artist’s music after attending a gig. If they’re also looking for their next gig to attend, they can find it in the ‘Concerts’ tab on Spotify. Concerts recommends upcoming shows to fans for artists that they listen to or follow. By ticketing your event with a provider that is connected to Spotify, your upcoming events will be promoted to fans. This is especially handy if you have an artist who recently played elsewhere, at a festival or as a support act.
Power your events from pre-sale to doors open
Now you know how to keep Aussie music fans happy and target them when they’re ready to buy tickets to shows. But converting fans into attendees can be even easier: If you use Eventbrite, you can supercharge your marketing with automation tools and integrations across hundreds of partners including Facebook, Spotify and more.
To learn more about how Eventbrite Music can push your shows towards sell-out status, get in touch with our team of live music experts here or by calling 1800 820 172 (AU) or 0800 448 422 (NZ).
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