6 Reasons to Turn On Waitlist for Your Next Event

February 21, 2023

Offer real fans a way to demand new tickets on sell-out and dissuade scalpers in the process.

Activating our built-in Waitlist before you put tickets on sale is a no-brainer. You’ll not only have more control over your inventory, but you’ll be able to engage with potential consumers in a myriad of new ways. As you gear up for your next event, consider these 6 reasons to activate Waitlist so you don’t waste money or leave it on the table.

1. Capture true demand

Got a major onsale coming up? Selling limited high-value items? Wondering if you should add a second date? Don’t know if you should offer meet & greets? Waitlist gives you a risk-free way to gauge whether there's enough interest to open up inventory or increase your capacity. Since fans pre-authorized their credit cards, you’ve already secured the funds should you be able to expand your offering. You might even find there’s enough interest to add additional events. At the very least, you’ll be able to plan better for the future.

Bonus: You’ll be able to see where demand truly is. Maybe it’s the city center, a suburb, or a market you least expected. Waitlist insights can impact your next venue decision or how you optimize your future marketing spend.

2. Mitigate risk

If you’re considering adding another date, expanding to a new market, or testing a new offering, remember that your intuition is fallible. Before you commit, use Waitlist to validate your gut feelings and de-risk decisions around your event with hard data. At a macro-level, Waitlist data helped Dead & Company expand Playing In the Sand to two weekends in 2021, opening up the event to new fans rather than strictly selling to alumni. You can even use Waitlist as a test tool for running smaller activations like food and beverage offerings before you bring in concessions. Either way, you'll have the confidence to take action or the foresight to avoid an expensive mistake.

3. Thwart bots

Take the upper hand to beat bots at their own game by turning on Waitlist. Bots won't be able to hold tickets and exhaust inventory, keeping fans off the resale market. By not guaranteeing tickets, you're ostensibly destroying scalper risk profile. You're also giving our bot defenses a chance to analyze reservations and remove potential bad actors before order confirm.

4. Offer refunds with upside

Refund requests are inevitable. Rather than offer a strict no-refunds policy, use Waitlist to give fans an out if their plans change. With a backup reserve of pre-authorized cards, you can issue new verified tickets without taking any hits while keeping fans off secondary.Bonus: If you’ve activated tiered pricing, you might also enjoy some upside by offering refunds! Choose whether to offer the new ticket at the current tier price or the original sale price.

5. Vet your purchasers

Rather than go live with all your inventory, it might make more sense to gate access to tickets so you can hand-select who gets in. Waitlist can help give you that buffer to scrub buyers who've pre-authorized their cards and ensure tickets end up in the hands of true fans. Using Custom Forms in tandem with Waitlist can also come in handy for your vetting process. Say you're selling booth space at your convention. Waitlist secures the funds in advance, and Custom Forms collects the information you need to make sure the vendor meets your criteria.

6. Use scarcity to your advantage

Chances are you’ve held back some inventory for your sold out event or you’re got a limited number of low-priced passes set aside for eager beavers. Why not use Waitlist to generate hype for those tickets? You could run a social media contest for a shot at moving up the Waitlist or run a lottery and pick winners at random. Just this year, Sunset Music Festival Tampa ran a 24-hour blind Waitlist for 2013 pricing, offering 500 winners 2-day passes for $99. Passes blew out, and the social engagement was through the roof.

These 6 reasons don’t even scratch the surface.

We’ve seen Waitlist used in countless creative ways leading to smarter decisions and increased yield. Schedule a demo of our advanced ticketing innovations like Waitlist that are fundamentally changing how tickets get sold.