Event Planning, Strategy

The Top 5 reasons why EVENT ticket sales are declining

By The Perfect Events Group Team
2 min read | May 9, 2024

Producing conferences? Running festivals? You may be asking then, where are the guests? Where are the ticket sales? How can you incentivise people to buy tickets when the general cost of living doesn’t allow a basic household to make ends meet?

The events industry is one that is constantly in a state of flux, especially seen off the back of the pandemic. So, what is the answer?

I’ve had the privilege of chatting with some incredible folks in the industry, from producers to suppliers, to gather insights alongside my own experiences. It is with these few conversations that I have realised that we have a persistent and worrying pattern.


We all know what the problem is; cost of living crisis, post pandemic syndrome, a huge rise in the cost of production, declination in sponsorship opportunities and the evolving landscape of online event marketing has had huge implications on how we are selling our events. All these issues that we are facing are leaving the industry to see huge ramifications like the most recent series of festival cancellations here in Australia.

So how do we address it? How can we as the humans behind the scenes do things differently or change things up to reach those that we have lost?

In order to change we need to understand the bigger picture, peel back the layers of what led us here, and of course the elephant in the room, Covid-19. Despite the enormous push post pandemic to bring back events and have so many successes off the back of this time we never really stopped to recover. The world went into a standstill and that fear we all had over what would the world be like once this was all over is still causing lasting side effects. We are seeing people be more cautious booking events any further out than a few weeks to not risk cancellations and loss of that money. We are all living with the effects of the pandemic but trying to forget it ever happened.

So how can we expect the industry to thrive and succeed when we are now living with the new norm of delayed sales?

Firstly, a large factor that we in the industry are facing is the production costs in order to even put on the event! Supplier costs and labour are now significantly higher in the last 5 years leading ticket prices for patrons to soar and become more unachievable for the target demographics. According to Richardson Research cost of production has increased between 30-40% on average, leaving event producers to cover a large majority of the costs upfront without the assurance of presale tickets. Events that were once free like community events or Vivid in Sydney now have added ticketed experiences to recover the cost of production. But how can we expect the industry to survive through this time if we keep expecting loyal attendees to pay for something they once enjoyed for free.

Secondly, the cost-of-living crisis has hit a lot of us hard. Majority of mid – lower sector workers barely have enough income to cover the basic day to day let alone disposable income to go towards the arts and entertainment industry. With more than 40% of Australians reporting that they have had to go without essential items in the last 3 months it’s hard to justify that they should be saving for an event or show.

Thirdly, the ever-growing use of social media makes it a lot easier to access our target audience, but this in itself is creating a bigger problem. Easy access and free options to advertise means that the network is flooded with all these events fatiguing audiences with the overstimulation of content. Additionally, with social media using algorithms and AI to target individuals, a large amount of advertising spends are being wasted on audiences that are uninterested.

Lastly, some of us may look to targeting new sponsors, getting funds to drive these events which is what we have always done, right? If you look at the changing scale in ROI for these sponsors the demands are much higher and cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, many large sponsors are no longer investing in an industry that is in such a state of flux.

These are the issues we are facing, so I ask you, what can we do to change all of this? What is the secret recipe that is going to allow us to come out on top of this tumultuous time?

From what I have seen from the successes of events in the last few years and even the sellout shows that were Taylor Swift and Pink in Australia. Your brand is everything! If your brand and your reputation in the industry are strong enough people will reinvest back into your events.

Attendees also like to feel special, If they are spending money they are wanting a premium experience. The Gold Class or the VIP packages are still some of the first to sell despite the price increase. This trend is seen even more post pandemic for the aforementioned reasons.

Collaboration and Connections! The best thing about events, in my opinion, is the collaboration and networking with likeminded individuals in fun and new ways. Although how are we supposed to branch out and reach those that are outside our network? It’s simple, cross promotion and utilising your networks wider network. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask and share your events with people that may be outside your immediate network to reach people you wouldn’t normally target.

Some of the best events that I have had the pleasure of producing have been due to connections and collaborations with industries I never thought of connecting with! From The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay to Gala dinners for charities, I have utilised every aspect of my network and in the end created a brand that now covers nearly all categories of events. This wouldn’t have been possible if I had remained within what I “knew” or avoided asking the questions that ultimately opened the doors for my company.

While some of these tactics have worked for my business it is understood that it may not work for all, but we must start somewhere. I want to open the conversation; I want to hear what you who is reading this is experiencing within your business. Our conversations and advice are what is going to get us through the toughest time the industry has seen in years. Our collaboration is what I believe will save the industry.

By The Perfect Events Group Team
2 min read | May 9, 2024

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