Let me ask you a quick question, "have you ever purchased a ticket to your own event?" You might think this a preposterous question. How could this possibly be that important? Because you'd be amazed at how something as simple as selling a ticket could get royally messed up.
In 2011, a client was selling air show tickets at a local grocery store. My focus at the time was on online ticket sales. Honestly, there a very few reasons not to sell a ticket online for your event. But that's what the client decided, and it's their event. For whatever reason, curiosity got the better of me. The web site which I maintained for the client clearly stated that you could buy online or at the local grocer. So, while going to pick up a few groceries, I decided to try a ticket to the event.
Upon arrival, I knew to go to the customer service desk. Once there, a nice lady asked me, "How can I help you?" I told her, "I'd like to buy an air show ticket." Her reply, "oh, I didn't realize that we sold tickets to the air show." (She was very nice about the whole thing and genuinely tried to help me.) To which she followed up with, "Let me check the event book, there might be information in there." No luck!
Long story short, 10 minutes, and three people later ... the tickets I wanted to purchase weren't available for sale. And nobody knew why. I called my client to let them know and ruined their day.
Moral of the story, try to buy a ticket for your event. This applies to both online and offline ticket sales. If you're worried about being out of pocket for a ticket, refund yourself later. Event organizers have refused to test because they refused to spend money on a ticket to their own event. That's proven itself costly for some!
In almost every test purchase, online or off, a purchasing issue was found. If people can't buy a ticket to your event. It's going to be hard for you to make money with your event.
Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to your event!
Here's more information on testing and tracking insight for your event: