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How to Increase Your Ticket Sales! (Your Secret Weapon)

show planning & advice Jan 10, 2024
Bethany Baldwin MAD Society


Selling tickets to events can feel daunting and exhausting, especially if you’re new to it like I was. People need to know about what you are doing, about the performances you are going to give, and spreading the word is the key to ticket sales. I’ve found that a great way to spread the word is through free tickets, and before you get nervous about it, let me explain how I’ve used this process to sell more play tickets at every show I’ve run, and boosted our numbers and our confidence!

Free tickets lead to thankful people which leads to emotional investment which translates to the desire to reciprocate which turns into social media posts and word of mouth promotion.  It’s not a fast process, but it’s a brilliant “long game.”

Free tickets are great tool when used effectively, so here’s a few guidelines for when I use free tickets following the Who, What, Where, When, Why formula:

  • Who are free tickets for?: People you know who might not have purchased a ticket (who can’t afford it, previous members of your drama club, ministry workers and teachers), people who donated towards the show (be it financially, with time, services, advertising, props or costumes or sets, etc.), and/or people who live within walking distance of the show venue (for me it was my neighbors). Again, anyone that you know for sure would not have bought a ticket.

(MAD Hint: Consider having a raffle for a set of free tickets to build interest and provide a reason to post more about the show! )

  • What exactly do free tickets mean?: 2 free tickets, non-transferable, with decent seats, either to an actual show or the final dress rehearsal. We can’t sell tickets to the dress rehearsal anyway, and it’s really good to have an audience so the actors can adjust their performances to accommodate the audiences reactions, and it shakes off some of the nerves while knowing that no one watching paid for a ticket (pressure is off!).
  • Where do I give tickets?: From a heart of love that wants to be a blessing.  After all, everything has a higher purpose than ourselves if we allow it to.
  • When should I give out free tickets?: I give them away about one month before the show so the recipients have plenty of time to save the date. This also helps me to not be handing them out during “crisis mode” right before the play. This way, I have the mental energy to do the free ticket thing right.
  • Why should I give free tickets?: Because people want to participate in something bigger than themselves that is doing something admirable, like MAD Society. If your drama club does not already have some kind of mission statement that is purposed way beyond “we perform plays in exchange for ticket sales,” you are letting an easy opportunity for ministry pass you by.

(Double MAD Hint: Make a social media post thanking the people who donate and tag them.  This is an easy opportunity to have a unique reason to spread the word about your play, and it will reach a new audience if the person you tagged decides to share the post.)

Find the YouTube video to go along with this blog post at

~Coach Baldwin

Head to MAD Society Inc

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