The Power of the Pre-Sale: How Cape Fear Drew Record Event Turnout

Julia Kennedy

Marketing & Aud Dev Associate

The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science in downtown Wilmington is the oldest history museum in North Carolina.

The museum had launched a new event series – Museums After Dark – with each event focused on its own unique theme.

Cape Fear wanted to ensure the first event of this year’s series was a huge success. Their goal? To encourage more visitors to come back throughout the year! To help achieve this, they called Museum Hack to help promote the event on social media.

The first event was all about outer space, which paired well with Cape Fear’s Space Place, an interactive exhibit designed to emulate the International Space Station.

Space Place Exhibit at the Cape Fear Museum

The Museums After Dark series allows adults to kick back, relax, and enjoy an evening after hours in the museum.

Using Partnerships and The Power of Facebook To Get The Word Out

Cape Fear partnered with local bottling company, Bombers Bev. Co. and a local radio station for a free ticket giveaway. These efforts combined with other engagement tactics helped increase excitement and hype about Museums After Dark. Using these methods helps to extend the event before it starts and after it ends.

“It was very obvious Facebook marketing works. It just works.” – Amy Mangus, Public Relations Specialist, Cape Fear Museum

4X The Number Of Attendees Compared To Past Events

The engagement continued with a space themed selfie booth.

The effort paid off and pre-event excitement encouraged a record number of pre-sale tickets sold.

The museum saw four times the number of attendees compared to prior events, with more than half buying tickets online ahead of the event. About 25 percent of attendees bought pre-sale tickets on-site, including the day of after online buying closed.

Build your own snack satellite. Arguably the best kind of satellite.

All the cultivated excitement from the Facebook event led not only to a record number of pre-sale tickets, but amazingly engaged attendees! The Cape Fear crew came up with lots of space-themed activities for guests, like making snack satellites, creating egg parachutes, and designing Alka-Seltzer rockets.

Attendees testing their parachute skills to be put to the test!

Have you experimented with pre-sale tickets for your event? How did it work for you? We’d love to know more!

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