Why Just Creating A Brilliant Event Won't Sell Your Tickets!

By: Karen Yates. Published: 27 Mar, 19
I’ve been performing on stages for about 40 years now. First as a member of a rock band, then as an NHS Chief Exec and freelance Management Consultant and now as a Business Coach and Mentor.

For the events before beginning my business here in Scotland, I didn’t have to worry about filling the room.

For our gigs, the audience largely turned up for the beer & the music and for the NHS events, well, the audience pretty much had to be there! But for my Events here, the buck stopped with me.

I knew I could create dynamic learning environments and I was confident in my ability to keep and hold an audience’s attention, but I’d never had to sell tickets to an event before.

Probably like a lot of you I figured that I just needed to get it onto Eventbrite, create some content, invest in a couple of Ads, and Bob’s your Uncle. And to be fair I did sell 1 ticket just days after placing my very first Event on Eventbrite. But that one ticket proved to be beginners’ luck. Days past and no more sales. But I’d booked the venue, I’d put the date out there and more than anything; I am not a quitter. I just can’t do it. Once I’ve committed myself to something I must find a way.And, anyway I knew that live events were something I had to do to drive my business model forward. For me, live events have been my number one way to stand out in a very crowded market and build deep and meaningful relationships with my audience at a live event I get to spend several hours face-to-face with my ideal customers. I have a dual focus when I’m running an event, I am obviously committed to delivering high value content, but I’m also listening closely to my audiences’ challenges and aspirations. I learn so much about how I can help small business owners and everything I pick up is fed into the development of future events and coaching programmes. It’s a visceral approach to diving into my customers’ pain points.

Which brings me to one of the key factors for running successful events that build your business; ‘you must understand who your ideal customer is, and you must do everything you can to make sure they attend your events’. Your events should provide you with one of the most meaningful ways to build know, like and trust. They are a wonderful opportunity to nurture your audience into becoming paying customers and ultimately raving fans. But you can only do that if you have understood who your ideal customer is and been successful in your marketing. This has been one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt over the last few months as I’ve refined my approach for running events.

I know when you run your first event you’re focused almost exclusively on getting the content of the day just right. You want everything to be perfect and you’re probably preoccupied with the material and your delivery. And you’re right to pay attention to these factors, once you have people attending your events it’s crucial that you provide value and entertainment. But as brilliantly as you plan your events it means nothing if you don’t get bums on seats. You need one skill set to run a successful event, but you also need a completely different set of skills to sell tickets. You must pay attention to both areas if you’re going to make events a successful part of your business growth strategy.

And it’s on developing and systematising this skill set that I’ve been focused over the past year or so. Like you, I’m confident in my area of expertise, I have clarity over my key messages and I’m skilled at delivering my material. I’m now at the stage where I spend 20% of my time and energy on developing the content for my events and 80% on marketing and promoting them. And this is the exact same ratio I would recommend to anyone wanting to run events. After some initial trial and error I realised that you need a fully thought through Events Strategy, and I created my own 7 Step System for consistently filling events that has enabled me to grow my business here.

Remember, a great event is like any other live performance. On the surface everything looks polished and organised but the weeks, days and even minutes running up to an event can be feverishly challenging. Something always goes wrong, there’s usually a gnawing anxiety about final numbers and pulling together all the resources and kit needed inevitably takes longer than you thought.

So deciding to run Events is no easy ride. You must be committed and be prepared to go all in.

But the results, if you pull it off, are worth it.


Over the last 18 months people here in Edinburgh & Glasgow have watched me build a business based on our Live Events.

Now I want to share with you my "7 Step System To Consistently Fill Live Events And Build Your Business".

Join me for this practical, action focused Webinar.

Register NOW by clicking on the link below: