The Event Marketing Lifecycle

An explanation of the event marketing lifecycle and its different stages.

Today we'll discuss the sales curve for events and the event marketing life cycle. The sales curve and event marketing life cycle are separate but interrelated concepts that are invaluable for event organizers.

A sales curve for events means daily or weekly sales volume plotted over the course of when your event goes on sale to when your event occurs.

Here, the X axis (the horizontal axis) represents the time period: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, up until the week of your event. The Y axis reflects gross ticket sales: the ticket sales in total sold during a specific period of time.

Why is it important to understand a sales curve? It is incredibly important for marketing events. Regardless of the vertical, we’ve noticed that individuals have predictable buying habits. They tend to buy at certain times, so it stands to reason that certain times are more attractive than others when measuring gross ticket sales. Again and again, ticket sales cluster around the days immediately following an event’s on sale (the on-sale period) and the days leading up to the event (the close-out period).

The event marketing lifecycle consists of four distinct periods of time. Each of those periods necessitates specific marketing activities.

  1. Presale (optional): At this time, tickets aren’t available to the general public, only through something promotional like a fan club discount.

  2. On-Sale: This is the 7-14 days after your event goes on sale to the general public. Anyone can go to your ticketing site and buy tickets.

  3. Maintenance: The maintenance period spans on sale and closeout. This is typically the slowest sales period.

  4. Close-out: This is the 7-14 days leading up to your event.

Why does the event marketing lifecycle matter? There are two key reasons.

One reason that the event marketing lifecycle is important is that it helps manage expectations. By nature, events are stressful. There's a lot of money on the line. There's a lot riding on whether or not the event will be successful.

Still, if you know when the majority of your tickets will sell, you can manage expectations. If you’re in week four and your advertising efforts aren't selling tickets, that's probably not cause for concern: If you were to look at the sales curve for your events, you might see that the majority of your tickets sell during on-sale or closeout.

Tip: Taking the time to plot out what your sales curve actually looks like will give you information specific to your organization, so take the time and effort to export that information from your ticketing company. Plot out on average what your daily or weekly sales volume looks like during your event’s lifecycle.

The event marketing lifecycle also plays an important role in determining budget allocation. If you know that sales are slow during the maintenance period, you wouldn’t want to spend the majority of your budget there, where it would be wasted. If, on the other hand, you see sales boom during on-sale and close-out, you’d want to spend the majority of your budget during those time periods. Your ad dollars won’t be as impactful if you spend them evenly from presale to close-out. You want to maximize your budget by spending when individuals are most likely to buy.

We'll include vertical specific strategies below, but please feel free to skip to our section on the best practices for understanding Facebook Attribution:

Best Practices for Understanding Facebook Attribution

Watch to learn more about sales curves and event marketing life cycles by vertical:


Music Festivals and Conventions

Food & Beverage, Comedy, Nightclubs

Last updated