Say you announce an event. You’re a pro, so things go as expected. 23% of your aggregate tickets sell during general on-sale; by the time you’re in the maintenance period, you’re predicting a strong close-out.

Well … you thought you were. Why does something seem off?

You ran the same event last year — hadn’t you moved more tickets by this point? If the pattern continues, close-out won’t be so strong, after all. You might even come out worse than anticipated. No one wants worse!

Your gut tells you to fire up a new ad campaign, but that’s not practical: you’ve got to save budget for close-out, which is just around the corner. In the meantime, how do you stop bleeding $$$?

Remember the Life Cycle of an Event

Unless you booked Beyoncé, most events have a similar life cycle: Eventbrite and Ticketfly tell us that most tickets move during the on-sale and close-out periods. Between then, though, isn’t so pretty.

That dip in the middle — pretty scary

That time between on-sale and close-out is called the maintenance period. An awkward no-man’s land, it’s “promoter’s hell.” Ticket sales lag. Life is bleak.

When our customers start panicking, we go geek. We remind them of one of our fave sci-fi quotes, from Frank Herbert’s Dune:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.”

So, fear not. The maintenance period is definitely annoying, but it’s not dooming your show. All it means is it’s time to get tactical. It’s time to bring on the flash sale.

The Flash Sale: A Win-Win

Flash sales are short-term promotional events that let fans buy event tickets at a discount. They’re good news all around: Fans snag tickets on the cheap while promoters give their event a much-needed sales/awareness boost.

Lowered prices are good and all, but the flash sale’s real magic comes from the sense of urgency it fosters. In other words, dropping the ticket price isn’t enough. You have to create a window of time that’s beginning to close the second a fan notices it’s open!

Typically, promoters run flash sales by sharing a discount code through social posts or email blasts. That code enables fans to buy a ticket at a discount. And while this will yield a decent number of purchases, the fact remains that there will be people interested in buying … who forget about the flash sale.

If there’s no way to easily reconnect with the fans who expressed interest in using the code, you’ll be missing out on a couple of extra sales, and during the maintenance period, every sale counts!

How do you make sure no one misses out? Take a look at how Envision Festival used ToneDen’s Flash Playbook to sell every ticket they possibly could!

How ToneDen’s Flash Sale Playbook Works

ToneDen’s Flash Sale Playbook leads to flawless flash sales.

Stage 1: People see Envision’s promoted post and are encouraged to comment.

Step 2: Fans receive message from Envision’s page asking if they’d like the code.

Step 3: Envision sells more tickets!

Actually, a lot more tickets. For only $168, Envision snagged $2,950 of sales. With an ASP of $295, that means they sold 10 tickets, with a “cost per ticket sold” price of $29.50.

Even better, Envision got 259 Messenger subscribers. Those subscribers are fans who can be re-marketed to again and again. Flash sale Playbooks keep your fans in the know. Those 259 people who opted in to Envision’s Messenger list really love the festival. That’s good for building a fan base, and a fan base is the key to selling more tickets, faster.