Selling Tickets to Events
In this article:
- Filling in the basics
- Adding your ticket types
- Customizing your event form
- Promoting your event
- Managing your event
You can easily sell and track tickets for an event using our tools and keep all of your fundraising in one place. Events are a great way to raise money and build relationships within communities, but they can take a lot of work. We’ve streamlined the hard stuff — selling tickets, tracking responses, working with multiple hosts — and put it all in one place so you can avoid event-induced headaches. Plus, your donors can buy tickets using all the same payment methods they can use on regular contribution forms, including their debit/credit card, the saved card in their ActBlue Express account, PayPal™, Google Pay™, Apple Pay®, and Venmo™.
Hosting a virtual event? Sell tickets with our event form, then use a regular contribution form with our featured video tool to host a Facebook livestream where donors can give again! The featured video tool is not currently available on event forms.
To get started, click the blue “Create Form” button in the top left corner of your Dashboard.
Clicking the “Create Form” button will display a dropdown menu. Make sure to select “Event Form.”
Filling in the Basics
You’ll need to give your event form a title and web address. We also ask that you provide an email address for the ActBlue Customer Service Team to reach you at if we are contacted by one of your donors. Don’t worry if you haven’t settled on a final title — you are always able to change the title of your form.
Once you click “Create and continue,” you will be brought to a live preview of your form. You’ll see the form editor already open on the left. Use the form editor to finish setting up your event form’s basic settings!
Add a donation ask in the “Title, ask, and URL” tab (this is also where you can update your form’s title).
We recommend including any relevant details about the event in the ask to help people decide whether to buy tickets. See below for sample text to use as a guide:
Please join us for an event to support Your Favorite Candidate or Organization
A few lines describing what will be happening at the event or why people should come
8:00pm, June 25, 2017
At the home of Jane Smith
123 Main Street, Washington, DC, 20036 RSVP by ordering your tickets below.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (###) ###-####
Typically guests will have questions about the event, so it’s best to give the most important information (time, date, location, how to RSVP, contact information) up front.
Make sure you save any changes you make to your title or ask by clicking the green “Publish” button at the top of the editor.
If you have information that you’d prefer to keep private, such as the address for a high-profile event, include it in your email receipt text. That way, only donors who are attending your event will have the information. If you do this, you should include a line in your donation ask explaining what information will be sent in the email receipt so guests are not confused when making their purchase.
To edit your email receipt text, go back to the main menu of the form editor and open the “Thanks and receipt” tab. Then write your message in the “Email receipt text” box and publish your changes. You can also send a sample receipt to yourself here.
Adding Your Ticket Types
You can create as many ticket levels as you’d like. To begin, go to the main menu of the form editor and open the “Tickets” tab.
Click the green “Add ticket type” link to start adding ticket choices.
Fill out the ticket name, description, and price.
If you want to include an option for free tickets, leave the “Price” field empty. The ticket price will appear as “Free!”, which you can see in your form preview.
In addition, a “Can’t Attend?” donation box will appear under all of your ticket prices so supporters have a way to contribute if they can’t join you in person. This donation box is on every form by default and cannot be removed.
In the “Number of tickets” section, choose if you want to offer an unlimited or limited amount of that ticket type. This is useful if you have limited space. If you select “Limited number,” you’ll be prompted to enter a specific number of tickets that can be sold. Once you reach the limit, that ticket will sell out and automatically disappear from the options (but you can always come back to the form editor and increase the ticket limit).
After purchasing a ticket, buyers will be asked for the name(s) of the guest(s) attending and any notes they may have, as shown below.
If you’d like to ask your guests something specific, you can write your own label or question in the “Post-purchase question” field. Your custom text will replace “Notes” in the previous image.
Once you have finished creating your ticket type, click the “Done” button in the right-hand corner.
Your ticket will be shown on your form preview, but you must click the green “Publish” button in the form editor to actually save the tickets you create.
If you want to edit a ticket type after creating it, click on the pencil icon in its box.
To remove a ticket type from your form, click the archive icon. You can bring back an archived ticket type by clicking on the reset arrow.
Your ticket options could be adult, child, student, etc., but you may also choose to create specific donor levels such as friend, host, sponsor, and VIP. To change the order of tickets on your from, just drag and drop your tickets in the order you want. Don’t forget to always publish your changes!
Customizing Your Event Form
Now that you’ve got the basics, you’re ready to customize your event form!
Go to the “Branding” tab to create a custom form branding right in the form editor or use one of your reusable brandings. A beautiful branding that matches the theme of your event or the messaging of your mission will get people excited! You can find more information on creating great brandings using your form’s branding editor here.
In the “Thanks and receipt” tab of the form editor, customize the messages your donors will see after buying a ticket. We recommend thanking your guests for buying a ticket and including any information you only want guests to know, such as the address or personal contact information of the event coordinator, in the “Email receipt text” section. If you create a ticket type that allows entry for multiple guests, be sure to ask for all of the guest names in your email receipt text.
Lastly, in the “Social share” tab you can customize the messages and graphics your supporters will post on Facebook or Twitter if they choose to share their purchase on social media. Find out how to create standout reusable and default social share settings here!
Promoting Your Event
If you’re having hosts sell tickets on your behalf, it’s important to keep track of how many tickets each of them sells. After publishing your changes in the form editor, close the editor, click the “More” dropdown from the form navbar up top, and click on the “Promote” button.
Here, you can create a custom link for your event form for each host to use when they sell tickets. To do this, type the host’s name (or other identifying feature, if you prefer) in the “Refcode” box.
Every donor that uses a host’s custom link to buy a ticket will be tagged with the host’s name (or whatever you set as the custom refcode). This way, hosts are guaranteed to get credit for each contribution, and you can easily track their progress in real-time in your form’s “Statistics” page. To learn more about refcodes, click here.
Now your event form is complete!
Managing Your Event
If you need to edit your event form, find it in the “Contributions Form” tab of your Dashboard. You can search for your form’s name, or filter your forms by clicking on the “Event” button at the top of the page.
Once you’ve found your form, click on the “Edit” button to view your form with the form editor already open.
To view your event’s guest list, click on your form’s name in “Contribution Forms,”click the “More” dropdown from the form navbar up top, and then click the “Guests” button.
Here, you can view all guests attending the event and their special requirements, and you’ll have the option to print a guest list.
If you’d like to sell tickets at the door, we recommend bringing a laptop or a mobile device, pulling up the event form on an incognito or private browser (that means no cookies, so no one’s information gets stored), and having guests buy tickets as they walk in. You can also collect additional donations this way.
For example, if you’re using an iPhone at the door you can open Safari, tap the Pages icon (shaped as two squares), and then tap Private to launch an incognito window.
If you’re using a laptop, opening an incognito or private browser varies depending on what browser you’re using.
- In Google Chrome, click File > New Incognito Window.
- In Safari, click File > New Private Window.
- In Firefox, click File > New Private Window.
- In Internet Explorer, click Safety > In Private Browsing.
If you’re using a different browser, the steps should be similar.
Have more questions about pulling off a great (and smooth) fundraising event? Let us know, and we’d love to help brainstorm!
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