Hosting events is one of the best ways to get people through your door. Yet, many venues rush through the planning process and go toward the first third-party ticketing vendor they meet to help promote their event. This is a great idea, until you realize most of these third-party ticketing sites don’t fully set you up for success.


Here are three questions you need to ask before signing up with a third-party company to ensure your event – and your venue – gets the best return.


1. Where does my money go?

Most ticketing sites collect your customers’ payments in their own banks until after the event is over. Once the day of your event has passed, they’ll cut you a check for what you earned, but not until they’ve made sure to take any fees they deem themselves worthy to collect. Then, it takes a few business days for the remaining money to appear in your account, meaning you may not actually get paid until a week after the event happened (and weeks since your guests even purchased their ticket).

Instead, you should look to companies that ensure payment goes directly through your merchant services provider and into your bank account right from the get-go. That way, a guest purchasing a ticket to your event is the same process as that guest buying a drink inside your venue doors.


2. What will be on my event page?

Many ticketing sites have online-hosted pages about your event to help promote it and attract buyers. Yet, some of these sites don’t have the capabilities for guests to purchase tickets directly from the site. What’s worse is your event page is chock-full of advertisements and information about “similar venues” (aka competing venues).

Confirm beforehand what’s going to be on your event page and look for companies that don’t have competing venues or advertisements, that allow guests to purchase tickets directly from the website, and that have the capabilities for you to fully customize your page to your needs.


3. Will I have access to the data after the event?

It’s sad, but most ticketing sites don’t let venues see detailed information on who bought their tickets. Rather, they leverage this data to sell tickets for other venues on their own site. This is a huge missed opportunity and something you should never let happen.

Always make sure you’re given full access to your data. After all, data is one aspect you absolutely need to make better decisions and grow your profits. Your data should be able to tell you the number of tickets sold, the amount of revenue earned, a comparison of tickets sold and sales by event, the number of parties who attended, and who bought your tickets – including their name, gender, age, zip code, email, and phone number. This information lets you know whether your event was a success, what to improve on for the next event, and toward whom your marketing should be geared.


Whitney Larson is the president and director of marketing at Vēmos. Contact her at