Food, Wine, and Music events
“Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!” Data shows events geared around those three items will sell the most tickets. Food and drink, especially those with music, consistently rank #1 for tickets sold for a variety of reasons. First, food and drink events are dependable, and have a kind of ‘brand’ – most everyone has attended this sort of event, and has a good idea of what they’re in for. Food, wine, and music events also give attendees a reason to mingle and chat, providing excellent networking and team-building opportunities. People know food and drink events, and even better, they know they like them.
Food and drink events range from traditional sit-down dinners to exciting food fairs, all of which are extremely popular. For example, San Francisco’s Plate by Plate sells their tickets out by taking the best chefs and restaurants in the city and bringing them all under one roof. Attendees can go from booth to booth trying different a variety of exciting different flavors and cuisines. Compass Family Service’s annual “Toast & Taste” event follows a similar format, bringing a diverse line up of food and drink into their venue, where attendees get to taste different foods at each station. On top of all that, Compass Family Service adds games and music, spicing up their events. Attendees are never disappointed.
As a non-profit event planner, the success of food, wine, and music-based events means that this is a safe, guaranteed-to-sell event type. And what’s more? Unlike many themed events, these events tend to cost less, meaning you can charge less for tickets and host with less effort. But you’re not off the hook yet! You’ll still need to secure a unique venue, reach out to potential attendees, sponsors, and entertainers, not to mention optimize the event for donations. This checklist will help you start.
Niche Music Concerts
Rock on, music fans! Niche concerts are a close second in most tickets sold, attendees coming en masse to see their favorite bands and performers.
The keyword in niche music events is niche. As a non-profit event planner, your goal isn’t to get the biggest, most popular musician or group, but rather to find one that caters to a very specific audience. It’s extremely difficult for a non-profit to compete with music promoters and industry insiders over the most popular bands. But by focusing on the niche and indie community, you’ll not only have better luck finding performers, but you’ll also capture a specific market both interested in your performer and giving to charitable causes. Namely, your charitable cause.
The odds are in your favor for luck-based event types! Casino Game event types consistently sell out their tickets, event planners hiring a third party casino to bring in games like Black Jack, Poker, and roulette. The casino provides attendees with chips, as well as trained staff, like dealers and servers.
Combining food, fun, and a healthy amount of gambling is sure to draw in attendees and get open their wallets for your nonprofit’s cause.
Cook up impressive ticket sales with a cooking class. NPO’s who host cooking classes bring attendees together, teach them how to make tasty meals, not to mention digging into said tasty meals. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that kind of event?
Cooking classes sell so many tickets because they come across as worth paying for. A cooking class is a clear value proposition. Attendees know they’ll get something out of the event, namely food and cooking skills with the added value of knowing they are also supporting a good cause. Many non-profit events that tend to do less impressively with ticket sales forget to offer something in exchange for the ticket, beyond simply donating to your nonprofit’s cause.
Niche conference with well-known guest speakers
Bring your attendees together for a valuable conference with speakers they care about, and you’re sure to sell plenty of tickets. The key here, like with the cooking class, is to offer a value proposition. Why are attendees supposed to buy tickets for your conference? The answer that sells the most tickets is well-known speakers.
Invite a powerful influencer or figure relevant to your attendees to come speak at your event. But how I afford a powerful speaker,” you ask. “My non-profit is on a budget!” Never fear, because many speakers, if picked carefully, will be happy to speak for free. Be sure to target potential speakers relevant to your attendees and in your niche. This way, the speakers you contact will have a genuine passion for your cause and may be willing to speak free. The last key is to approach speakers, plural. Remember, attendees won’t read rejection letters, and it only takes one yes. Here’s a sample speaker request email.
As a non-profit event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and spreading your message of change. When it comes to ticket sales software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!
- Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
- aggregate all of your customer data in one place
- Keep 100% of your ticket sales
- Sell event tickets online
- White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand
6. Maritime events with food and drinks
Set sail for excellent ticket sales with a submarine or cruise non-profit event! An event on the water gives hesitant attendees an excellent reason to attend, as the novelty of water tugs at attendees’ sense of adventure. Not to mention cruises and sub trips tend to be expensive outside the world of non-profit events, meaning attendees are sure to understand why they’re paying for event tickets.
Getting on a boat transports attendees to a whole new world, a world shaped and branded by the non-profit company hosting. Their cruise will be meticulously planned and tailored by your own company, creating an intimate relationship with your non-profit and attendees. Pulling attendees from their traditional land-loving-lives will also get them interacting amongst themselves, bringing them closer together.
Kid events and classes
NPO’s aren’t kidding around with kid events. Our final ticket-selling event type is kid’s events and classes. These are events like BSA Foundation’s KidsBuild! program, where kids are brought into a makers space, where they get to learn science and engineering principles hands-on. Sprout’s Cooking Club is another great example, where kids 7 and up learn to make healthy food and have fun doing it.
The obvious reason kid events clock in last on our list is that not everyone interested in non-profit events has kids, and less would be interested in bringing them along (Or even able! Kids can be stubborn.) But why are these events successful?
First, childcare is expensive, and if your event is well planned and marketed, potential attendees may be accustomed to paying for kid events and will be happy to buy tickets to your kids class or event like they would for any other kid event, with the added bonus of supporting a good cause. Second, parents and guardians want to impart strong value on their kids, and exposing them to non-profit events early can be a great way to do this. Last, non-profit kid events can just be an incredible experience for the kids, allowing them to hang with kids their own age, away from the classroom. Generation X parents have been shown again and again to value events where they get to spend time with and away from their kids. Whichever option your event chooses, whether giving families some alone time while their kids take part in the event or if families get to experience the event with their kids, many attendees will be happy to buy tickets.