It’s the biggest event night of the year. People come out in droves looking for the sort of night that will be a story told for years to come, and there’s no shortage of options for them to choose from. With a New Year’s Eve party on every corner, how do you make yours stand out?

It may still be a few months out, but event experts know that now is the time to start thinking ahead to ensure New Year’s Eve success. Here’s how to start your countdown to attract enthusiastic partygoers from the get-go.

10. Plan now, launch early

The most successful New Year’s parties start promoting months in advance with a website, social media presence, and online ticketing options. Planning ahead allows time for organic buzz to spread and gives you ample time to track your data on ticket sales. 

9. Motivate the early birds

To snag those looking for a NYE deal, you should be leveraging ticket types. You can set up multiple ticket types within your ticketing platform to help you roll out a sound pricing strategy

Get your initial buyers excited, and they’re more likely to spread the word to their friends and family. It’s all about leveraging FOMO (fear of missing out). Here are two ticket types that will help jumpstart your event buzz:

Early bird discount

Special discounts can woo back past attendees, offer bulk discounts for specific groups, and put the pressure on recipients to act by a certain date. You get to decide how long the early bird lasts and how much of a discount you want to offer attendees. Then, advertise this ticket type to loyal fans or “on-the-fence” attendees. An early bird ticket will often provide enough of a discount to convince them to save their spot before general admission opens up.

Coded discount

Targeted discounts give specific groups of attendees the option to purchase reduced price tickets with a special promotional code. Use it to kick off a pre-sale for return attendees, offer last-minute discounts, or extend your marketing efforts via exclusive partner discounts. Special discounts can woo back past attendees, offer bulk discounts for specific groups, and put the pressure on recipients to act by a certain date.

8. Plan a party worth splurging on

New Year’s only happens once a year, and people love to splurge. According to Eventbrite research, VIP experiences account for 10% of ticket sales and generate approximately 25% of revenue. They also help reduce no-shows at free events. If you have the resources to provide a premium experience, this is the second most important ticket type for driving revenue after GA. Not sure what to offer? Revellers are happy to pay more for things like:

  • Open bars
  • Free champagne
  • Artist lounge access
  • Premium restrooms
  • Fast, private entry (a killer perk on a steamy December night)
  • The option to reserve front-row seats

New Year’s is a VIP kind of night, so offer a range of VIP options. With Eventbrite, you can easily set up tiered VIP tickets for various amenities (and track which ones perform best).

7. Reward your promoters

For your party to attract the numbers you want, you should enlist a network of promoters. Fans, performers, sponsors, vendors, social media celebrities — all can contribute to spreading the word.

Show your gratitude and inspire their enthusiasm by giving them custom discount codes they can distribute. This lets you track which promoters drive the most ticket sales, and reward them in kind.

6. Make purchases as easy as possible

Make it easy for people to buy tickets right when and where they find out about your New Year’s Eve party. If you use Eventbrite, you can place “buy now” buttons directly on Facebook and Instagram, as well as on apps and sites where potential attendees search for cool events: Google, Spotify, Bandinstown, Songkick, and SeatGeek.

5. Drive organic online search

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is how you get your event to rank higher on a search results page like Google. If someone Googles “New Year’s Eve party in Melbourne,” your nearby event should pop right up. If you’re using Eventbrite, the new Google events integration will ensure your party can appear on the “events near me” search feature too. 

The first step is to invest in writing your online event descriptions. Use keywords you suspect people will search, and use a ticketing platform that Google trusts to help your chances. Use this SEO cheat sheet to get your best shot at ranking.

Want the skinny on how to write a killer event description? Check out this ebook

4. Curate your theme

You might have an idea of a theme for your New Year’s party, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. Start brainstorming now to create a purposeful experience for your attendees, all the way down to the signature cocktails, lobby music, and décor.

For some Instagram-worthy party ideas, check out this post

3. Wait for that sweet spot

Yes, it’s important to promote your event early to get it on the radar of search engines and real people. But you also have to be realistic about the last-minute buyers. In fact, 46% of people say they decide which New Year’s party to attend last minute.

Here are some expert ideas to win over last-minute buyers:

  • Make sure your event is listed on social discovery sites like Facebook Events, Google’s “events near me” results, and Eventbrite to get in front of local people looking for something to do.
  • Use your own social media platforms to your advantage with posts that create a story of scarcity: “Almost sold out!” or “Only 25 seats left!”
  • Retarget: Use your email list to remind busy folks that your event is still an option for their weekend.
  • Let them know tickets are more expensive at the door, but they still have time to buy online at the cheaper price

2. Avoid hectic last-minute cancellations

Avoid last-minute cancellations with a firm return policy that’s clear up front. Your policy should be easy to find on your website, event listings, and email marketing.

Before sales launch, choose whether or not your ticket buyers can transfer their purchase to someone else. You can also define which tickets are transferable — for instance, making VIP tickets transferable might give people less hesitation to buy them in the first place.

1. Make entry easy

Your marketing efforts have all paid off. Now it’s time to prove that your New Year’s party was the right choice.

Use a mobile app like Eventbrite Organiser to help your staff check in party-goers quickly at multiple entrances. Avoid annoying lines and entry turmoil with a smooth, efficient entry operation that can quickly verify identity — that way, attendees can spend more time on the dance floor. 

For more concrete information about how to plan and throw a party, download this ultimate party planning ebook.