Ticket design is just as important as planning the event itself. The ticket is the item that ends up in your customer’s possession. It’s a marketing tool that reflects what the event is about and is highly influential in determining how your event is perceived. It needs to be both practical and attractive. Use this guide to help create effective, memorable tickets to properly promote your event and achieve your goals.
Why Is Ticket Design Important?
While tickets are ephemeral in nature, they are not something to ignore or put little effort into creating. It is true that most people don’t keep their tickets and eventually dispose of them. However, tickets are just as important as other marketing materials you plan to create. In marketing, the focus is on branding and the image and perception that is presented to a target audience. All promotional materials need to have a consistent look, from the websites and emails to banners, posters, flyers, and other print materials. Depending on the event, your organization is likely to spend a good amount of money to secure a keynote speaker or renowned musician, for example. The tickets would need to reflect the same look, feel, and importance of such an event.
If your event has sponsors, their brand needs to be reflected on the ticket design along with your brand. An appealing, professional-looking ticket will only help improve the partnership you’re forming with the sponsors, so it’s important to present the best, most favorable image possible.
What Information Needs To Be Included on the Ticket?
Tickets need to have the essential information printed on them. This includes the name of the event, the date and time, the name and address of the venue, and the website URL for the event. This is the minimum information that attendees will need about your event.
Initial Ticket Considerations
You need to consider the size of the ticket. No matter what size you choose, you are still working with a small amount of space, so all elements that are featured on the ticket must be wisely selected. The ticket should not be too small since it’s more likely to become lost. Besides including basic information, you’ll want to incorporate a good design that is practical, yet appealing. Putting too much information and text overwhelms the look of the ticket. In addition, the font chosen needs to be easily readable for both attendees and event staff, who may have to read tickets in dark areas. Also remember that using all capital letters makes text less readable than using mixed cases.
Keep Things Simple
The ticket’s main purpose is to communicate what the event is, where it’s located, and what day and time it happens. Do not overwhelm with text or information beyond the basic details. While you want to incorporate design into the ticket, it needs to be consistent with the branding of the other marketing materials being used. Do not go overboard by adding design elements that are unnecessary and inconsistent.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want landscape or portrait orientation, and this is usually determined by the amount of information that will be printed and displayed on the ticket. Besides text, this includes the size of the logo or images you plan to use.
Use White Space
The amount of space on the ticket is limited, and the ticket can easily get crammed and crowded if you are not careful with the design. Allow some white space between the design elements so that they have breathing room.
Matching the Event Theme
If the event is a concert, the design should reflect that. This is also the case whether the event is a dance, a speech, a charity fundraiser, or a sporting event.
Besides being mindful about font choice and using all caps, the font choice needs to match the event as well. For example, serif or cursive fonts are more difficult to read than sans serif fonts. Cursive script would not be appropriate to use for a rock concert but would be fine to use for a high-end, formal dinner event. Limit the number of font sizes and font styles to two each.
Color choice affects the audience in different ways. Having some basic understanding of color theory will help you determine what image you wish to project on the tickets. Warm colors, such as yellow, orange, and red, evoke feelings of happiness, passion, enthusiasm, creativity, energy, and positivity. Cool colors, such as purple, blue, and green, give off a reserved, calming, and relaxing feeling. Neutral colors like black, white, brown, or gray, are often used as background colors that are combined with brighter colors. Black is a common color for typography because of its readability and versatility. White is a good background choice when other colors need to pop or stand out.
Use contrast to make certain elements more distinguished from the rest. If there is one element that needs to be the focus of attention, using a combination of color choices, shapes, textures, and even fonts will help this. If using color contrast, it’s best to use complementing colors. Use a color wheel and choose colors located opposite of each other on the wheel for a vibrant look. Size contrast is an easy way to make something stand out. You can make certain parts of the text a larger type size or you can adjust image sizes by enlarging or reducing.
When possible, use custom images over stock images. For a more personal touch, use images of faces, especially those of the speaker, performer, or headline guest for the event. You can also play with halftone printing to use images as the ticket background. Use high quality images and avoid low quality, blurry images.
Card Stock Choices
The card stock you select affects the impact of the ticket design. Matte stock has a softer, muted feel while glossy card stock brightens color.
Use the Back of the Ticket
You can use the back of the ticket if you need more space. You can use it to print a map, give directions, add statistics, provide an event calendar, or offer a coupon for food or goods.
If security is a concern, there are several things you can do to add features into the ticket design. Holographic stamps or foil strips can be added to show whether a ticket has been tampered with. Barcodes also prevent unauthorized copies of tickets and help with crowd management. Watermarks are another option, where they are embedded into the ticket design and can only be seen under blacklight. Another fraud prevention measure is sequential ticket numbering. Finally, choosing the right card stock, especially high-quality cardstock, makes reprinting more difficult.
Print as You Design
To better judge your progress and decide what changes are needed to the ticket, print some test copies of the ticket as you work on the design. You will have a better idea of how the tickets will look and can correct any mistakes before the final printing.
To ensure that your ticket design, and ultimately, the event that you are holding, is successful, you need to have a marketing strategy. It’s best to start selling telling tickets early. One way to do this is to have an early bird special that is exclusive to a certain group; offer a discount, then open a second date when the tickets are available to anyone at regular price. Promotional codes are another way to boost ticket sales by providing a discount incentive to buy tickets. If a promo code is tied to a marketing campaign, you can evaluate how well the campaign performed based on how often the promo code was used.
The event itself needs to be beneficial to the attendee in some way. If there is a guest lecturer, attendees expect to learn something. If the headliner is a performer, people expect to be entertained and have an enjoyable time. As a bonus, a preliminary or after-party cocktail hour could broaden the appeal and positively affect people’s perceptions of your organization.
The marketing materials also need to be up to par. Check both the appearance and the content of any event-related web pages and social media. This is where you can put high resolution images to use and add videos or interactive content. If the event registration is handled through a website, the information needs to be provided there to help bolster ticket sales. If there is no content and either poor quality or no images at all, the opportunity to boost event attendance is lost. It is also important to continuously update the content on your web page and social media channels with news related to your event.
Use email campaigns as an inexpensive method of promoting your event. Ideally, you have already developed a network or distribution list, so the trust between you and others has already been established. Otherwise, reach out to partners and see if they would be willing to promote your event in their communications. You may be asked to reciprocate the favor, offer discounted or complimentary admission tickets to your event, or share in the revenue.