The Pros (and Cons) of Using Facebook Events to Collect Responses When You’re Really Trying to Sell Tickets

Deyder "Eman" Cintron

Very few event planners savor the feeling of having the majority of their tickets still available on the day of the event, waiting for the fabled masses to appear.

Most event planners, on the other hand, want to sell out early. They want to know how many tickets have been sold and how many people to expect. It streamlines the process, gets revenue in your hands early, and relieves a lot of stress.

So, when it comes to Facebook advertising tools, one go-to for events is the Facebook Event that collects responses like “Interested” “Going” or “Can’t Go.”

Screengrab showing an example of what a Facebook Event looks like

If it’s a free event, those are helpful indicators. You can at least get a good sense of how many people to expect. But clicking “Going” isn’t the same as buying a ticket, so are these Facebook Events really worth setting up and running as ads? Let’s explore the pros and the cons.

Con: “Going” does not equal “Has a ticket”

When you click “Going” on a Facebook event, that’s it. Nothing else happens for the user. It doesn’t ask “do you have a ticket?” Or, “do you want to get a ticket?” That’s the end of the guided journey.

The user can click on the event and, from that page, find a link to get tickets. But, they’ve already seen the event name, date, and location in the event ad that appears in the newsfeed. Unless they truly want more details, users may just click “interested” or “going” and forget to do anything else.

Pro: Interacting With the Ad Keeps the Event in the Newsfeed

Even if “Going” doesn’t equal “please click here to buy a ticket,” capturing interest with Facebook Events does have a lot of potential value. When someone clicks “Interested” or “Going” they are telling Facebook that this event is something they want to see more of. And algorithms in Facebook then deliver more content about that event. So when friends express interest, you might see thatevent again in your newsfeed. When information is added to the event, you might see the event popup with details (again!) in your newsfeed.

Pro: Interacting with the Ad Puts the Event in Other Newsfeeds

Looking to drive awareness of your event? (After all, people need to know your event is out there before they can buy tickets.) When people interact with your Event, your event may start popping up in other newsfeeds with the preface that “Friend’s Name is going to...” or “Friends Name is interested in...” this event.

That means you’re a psychological boost when you get in front of this new audience because you’re getting the benefit of social proof that your event is worth considering. A friend is recommending it,even if it’s a totally passive recommendation.

The bottom line: are Facebook Event ads worth running?

The great news is this: you don’t actually have to run ads to get some of the benefits of using a Facebook Event. Creating and managing the event is free. It just takes a little bit of time. Whether you actually run ads on it will depend on factors specific to your event: who is your audience? If, for example, it’s a professional conference for doctors, your audience may not have a lot of professional connections in their friend list. In a case like that, you’ll need to make a judgment call. But in most cases, Facebook Event ads are worth mixing into your ticket sales strategy.

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