Category: Event Producers

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EV...

After years of being in the corporate world, a pivotal consulting gig with renowned chefs and restaurateurs ignited Michelle Battista’s love of food and her palette. It became her dream to bring people + food + design together in a way that had never been done before.

And that’s how The Nightwood Society was born.

The Nightwood is a collective that is 10 strong, with this dynamic all-female led team of Michelle, co-owner Kati Reardon, Director of Experience Leah Scafe, and Kitchen Queen Sarah Schneider at its helm.

The all-star, all-women team is made up of chefs, farmers, butchers, wine professionals, event planners, creatives, designers, storytellers – and each of them brings their unique skill set to the table to craft one-of-a-kind show-stopping food events.

At the heart of what they do, their mission is to empower women to create. They serve as a creative incubator for women and provide support for their ideas to flourish, be executed and become successful.

The Nightwood Society hosts all sorts of events including private events, wedding rehearsal dinners, photo shoots, book launches, corporate team-building, culinary experiences, workshops, and classes.

Locating the Right Experienced-Oriented Ticketing Partner

With so many events in the pipeline for the Nightwood, partnering with the right event platform for their customers was high on their priority list. Not only that, but it was important for them to retain the brand presence and experience of what The Nightwood Society is all about throughout the registration process.

Unfortunately, with most event registration and ticketing systems, the companies behind the technology only care about their own brand. This means the experience for The Nightwood Society customers would be very clunky and disconnected from the actual event and brand of The Nightwood Society. They found that their customers would be redirected to a third party website, which means they’d lost control over the brand experience and conversation with their audience. They worked hard to develop a strong brand presence and knew there must be a solution that is good for their brand.

Thankfully, they discovered Sparxo and how Sparxo immediately solves all of their problems and brand concerns. With seamless, direct integration into their own website, they not only get to maintain control of the entire customer experience and message, but customers never have to leave their website to register for an event.

With Sparxo, the seemingly impossible became possible for the Nightwood team. Sparxo enabled them to:

  • Keep 100% of their ticket price
  • Have the flexibility to create engaging landing pages directly on their website
  • Sell tickets right from their own website
  • Maintain control over the brand experience
  • Optimize their marketing efforts for their own brand and not someone else’s
  • Maximize efforts to improve their own SEO and brand presence
  • Track their own customer data easily
  • Understand their customers better in order to offer them more

“I am a big fan of Sparxo. It was so easy to set up, offers all the functionality you need in ticket sales, and lots of customizable options, which is great. I really like the look of the calendar and how it integrates well into our website, which is wonderful for our branding. There are always changes and improvements to be made, but Sparxo takes our feedback very well and they always offer the right updates that we need.

“Above all, what we love the most is the impeccable customer service at Sparxo. They are always responsive and so willing to work with you. They even built a custom landing page for us before our website was live! We believe that Sparxo is the perfect partner. Not only to farmers, butchers and creatives that band together to produce extraordinary experiences around food and wine, but also for event producers who aim to stand out as brands that create the best events and build an amazing community.” ~ Director of Experience Leah Scafe, The Nightwood Society

To check out how Sparxo can help take your event-ticketing and SEO efforts for your event to the next level, visit www.sparxo.com

9 Mistakes Event Producers Overlook

People often settle for learning from their mistakes, but we believe it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others. Our team here at Sparxo understands how difficult it is to produce an event from conception to reality. There are so many intricacies and details to consider to ensure a successful event, which to us means a smooth and seamless attendee experience. So here’s a list of mistakes most event producers overlook from our founding team who has 20+ years of event experience combined: (You can thank us later!)

We’ve added a lot of meat to each section. Here’s an overview of the 9 points, feel free to skip to the section that most interests you:

  1. Lack of Marketing Expertise
  2. No Live Stream
  3. Poor Registration Process
  4. Not Planning Ahead
  5. Consciously Building Your Own Event Brand
  6. Not Thinking Through The Audience Experience
  7. Underestimating How to Structure Ticket Prices
  8. Lack of Communication Before The Event
  9. Not Having Event Insurance

(Written by: Rawia Abu Rabie)

  1. Lack Of Marketing Expertise

A successful sold out, viral event requires attention to marketing and advertising on social media platforms. It is estimated that 88% of millennials regularly use social media. You may have noticed that some events are everywhere on social media platforms and others can barely seem to be found. Great marketing and advertising for an event include knowing what content to create and when the best time is to post it.  Our research shows that you want to post on Facebook between 1 pm – 3 pm on weekdays and Saturdays. On average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 PM and 3 PM. Overall for Instagram, Thursday is the best day to post on Instagram not just at 3 PM, but also at 5 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM as well.

All successful events rely on a strong word of mouth virality along with social media. Most of these events in today’s culture and with today’s technology are at everyone’s fingertips, so it makes it easier to advertise and put your event out there. Let’s take a look at Tomorrowland, one of the biggest electronic music festivals held in Belgium every summer. They do a phenomenal job in utilizing social media platforms to engage with audiences they otherwise never would have reached. Get ready for it … Each year Tomorrowland sells out on 400,000 tickets 40 minutes after they are released. To do this, Tomorrowland averages over 1.2 Billion social media engagements across Facebook, Instagram, and their Snapchat story was available in six different languages for users. One of their best strategies around digital marketing revolves around offering access to a live stream of their event to regions with strict government regulations on social media. Take notes here – if you can tap into untapped markets, you will be able to successfully ensure a sold-out event year over year by increasing your target market.

Tomorrowland is just one major example of how an international event continues to succeed and sell out their event year after year by strategically utilizing social media and digital marketing platforms. 

  2. No Live Stream

Not considering live streaming your event is one of the biggest missed opportunities event planners make. It’s a way for you to reach an audience who was thinking about coming or couldn’t come but will come next time. It’s also a way for you to have more information go viral by streaming fun content.  According to Julius Solaris, some of the best live streaming apps include Facebook, Youtube live, Periscope, Instagram Live, and Twitch. Don’t miss a chance to reach an audience who may decide to attend next time.  For example, Coachella, an annual musical festival held in California during the month of April,  its live stream reaches 41 million people.  That is the population of Australia and Cambodia combined! Moreover, the Super Bowl’s streamed event was watched across 7.5 million unique devices or the entire population of Hong Kong! One last statistic to blow your mind, the live stream of the red carpet of the Grammys has over 4.3 million views. Now, do you believe us? Live streaming of your event is a great way to engage with the otherwise missed audience and future customers. It helps create a higher demand for your next event and gives people a way to easily talk and share your event with their networks.

A successful sold out, viral event requires attention to marketing and advertising on social media platforms. It is estimated that 88% of millennials regularly use social media. You may have noticed that some events are everywhere on social media platforms and others can barely seem to be found. Great marketing and advertising for an event include knowing what content to create and when the best time is to post it.  Our research shows that you want to post on Facebook between 1 pm – 3 pm on weekdays and Saturdays. On average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 PM and 3 PM. Overall for Instagram, Thursday is the best day to post on Instagram not just at 3 PM, but also at 5 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM as well.

All successful events rely on a strong word of mouth virality along with social media. Most of these events in today’s culture and with today’s technology are at everyone’s fingertips, so it makes it easier to advertise and put your event out there. Let’s take a look at Tomorrowland, one of the biggest electronic music festivals held in Belgium every summer. They do a phenomenal job in utilizing social media platforms to engage with audiences they otherwise never would have reached. Get ready for it … Each year Tomorrowland sells out on 400,000 tickets 40 minutes after they are released. To do this, Tomorrowland averages over 1.2 Billion social media engagements across Facebook, Instagram, and their Snapchat story was available in six different languages for users. One of their best strategies around digital marketing revolves around offering access to a live stream of their event to regions with strict government regulations on social media. Take notes here – if you can tap into untapped markets, you will be able to successfully ensure a sold-out event year over year by increasing your target market.  

  3. Poor Registration Process

Too often event producers and planners are focused on the event itself, that they forget about the importance of the check-in experience for their attendees and how that first impression depicts how their audience perceives their brand and the rest of the event.

For example, for those massive, sold out events where you know attendees will show up an hour or more before the event doors open, you should consider planning out the wait time experience. This might include 

  • Looking at the weather forecast! If it’s forecasted to be rainy, you should set up tents. If it’s blazing hot, you might consider setting up water stations outside and utilizing the opportunity to give out branded swag like sunglasses with your logo.
  • Putting up banner stands and fliers along the line sharing your IG handle/ FB handle and “slogans” that they can easily share or post.
  • Renting port-a-potties outside to ensure that guests don’t decimate the neighborhood or venue building.
  • Placing trash bins outside to keep the neighborhood/area clean/ the venue so neighborhood welcomes you back in the future.

You should want to make the experience pleasant for people waiting in line. You might consider planning out a few surprise experiences for guests while they’re waiting in line to start their event experience off on the right foot.

  • Waiting in line, is this a pleasant experience? What if it rains? Are there tents?
  • It needs to be clear what check-in is like, is it digital or printed tickets?  Do customers need to show their ID? Is it fast?
  • Check-in staff should be aware of the use of check-in devices, scanning, internet, what to do if someone doesn’t have a ticket? Is there a box office? Is there a manager they go to for help?
  • How are security dealing with the audience? Are they greeting them? Are they being nice?

Check-in is the first step your audience interact with your event, it needs to be pleasant and fast in order to get your audience excited about what’s next. Sparxo offers a great, free check-in application that scans digital and printed tickets. You can also sell tickets on other platforms and import lists into Sparxo so you have one seamless check-in experience. Plus, we offer a free POS (point of sale) system and box office set up as well!

 

 

  4. Not Planning Ahead

Planning an event is a lot of work from financial planning, registrations to looking for space. In order to not waste all this in prior work and maintain the success of the event, you need to think about all the possibilities that might happen in the day of the event. “What can go wrong and how can I prevent it or fix it?” That is why no matter how small the event is, it needs a lot of planning ahead

Thinking through worst-case scenarios ahead of time to prepare for them.  

Some worst-case scenario examples and how to prepare for them:

  • It suddenly rains on your event date – Do you have an indoor venue as a backup location to move the audience into? Do you have cover or water resistant materials to cover the stuff that cannot get wet? Do you need to reschedule?  Is Is the audience aware of the evacuation plan? That is why communication is super important with the audience prior to the event about event updates. Many cities have unstable weather conditions that fluctuate like the city of rain, London,  how the morning can be sunny and clear/ evening can be foggy and rainy)
  • Too many staff call in sick suddenly (broken car, got sick, etc) what do you do? Do you have extra staff prepared?
  • Power outage – what do you do? (how do you communicate this to the audience for rescheduling of event and/or still have an event?)
  • Your major artist or headliner speaker missed their flight/ can’t make it, how do you deal with it?
  • Does your event overlap with a major holiday? Should you reschedule now?

With Sparxo, event producers and organizers have access to brainstorming with Sparxo’s cofounding team of industry experts – for free! Sign up and set up your paid event tickets and you will automatically receive an email from our CEO!

  5. Consciously Building Your Own Event Brand

This is important to your success and future events. Often event organizers think only about the current event and its success, but don’t keep in mind how to use this event to launch future events. For example, electronic dance music events are well known for having memorable and sticky names such as (EDC) Electric Daisy Carnival or Coachella. Even major mainstream events have memorable, easy names such as the Super Bowl, the Grammy’s, the Oscars, and the Emmy’s to name a few.

How will your event brand be remembered?

The best event producers brand their event so that they can reproduce with ease. Or, an alternative to building an event-specific brand, is to brand your event production company and reinforce your company’s name throughout your marketing.

A specific way to brand your event or company includes having your own website such as www.yournameherepresents.com. Website template companies make is easy, fast, and cheap to have a beautiful, mobile-optimized website in no time. Our team particularly recommends Square Space.  It is considered a low expense and well priced as it is only a base of $12 per month billed annually. Having your own branded website, allows your audience to know where to go for future events and

gives them the idea that you produce multiple events. With this in mind, it is not in your best interest to put a link to buy tickets or register for your event on your website if it redirects your audience from your website to a different website such as Eventbrite or Brown Paper Tickets.


Don’t kill your brand. Instead of making yourself dependent on these third-party ticketing companies, we urge and encourage you to leverage them instead. If you find that you need help with marketing and promotions to sell extra tickets. Why not post your event on their platforms anyway just to see if anyone new finds you through them? The goal then is not to promote their ticketing link, but to convert anyone who finds you from those sites into fans of your own website and brand.  You can do this by sending them an email recap after the event thanking them for their support and to check out your website for future events.

This is why our founders are pretty awesome. They designed Sparxo to allow you to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere you’d like. Sparxo has an easy to use way to import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems into Sparxo. This way you can aggregate all of your customer data for data analytics like identifying repeat attendees and have one seamless check-in system. Plus, our platform really does let you integrate it directly into your website with no redirects – all for free. You keep 100% of your ticket price!  

  6. Not Thinking Through The Audience Experience

Picking a venue, hiring a DJ and getting people to your event is not enough to make your event a success. Too many event producers forget to think about the details in the experience of their audience and how important their experience at the event is for the future of their other events. (We know this sounds a lot like something we mentioned above, but it’s not. We promise.)

A majority of the negative experiences attendees experience can be mitigated by simply having a training conversation with all of your event staff before the event begins.

For example,  here are some questions our team encourages you to think through before the event:

  • What is the experience like when the customer first enters the event? Are they greeted by rude security guards? Or do they enter an event with awesome lighting, music, and clearly marked bars to buy alcohol?
  • What is the experience like at the bar? Are your bartenders slow? Are they bias or not treating everyone equally? Is your event wheelchair accessible?
  • Security – what actions are and aren’t allowed in scenarios like people who are throwing up? There need to be clear instructions on how security can deal with situations.
  • How are staff interacting with the audience, do they greet? Are they nice? Do they smile?
  • Are bathrooms constantly cleaned? Are cleaning staff regularly checking them? Are trash bins regularly emptied?

These examples support the fact that there needs to be an outline of how to think through working with your onsite event staff prior to the event. Training and foresight in preparing your event staff on how to handle situations and have clear guidelines on what to do is a huge part of deciding your success.

With Sparxo, event producers and organizers have access to brainstorming with Sparxo’s cofounding team of industry experts – for free! Sign up and set up your paid event tickets and you will automatically receive an email from our CEO!

  7. Underestimating How to Structure Ticket Prices

Most of the time event producers don’t put too much effort into thinking about their ticket pricing structures. It is important to always keep in consideration that you will need to offer discount pricing and VIP or other complimentary tickets. It’s just part of generating support and advocates or promoters of your event. It’s important that they feel taken care of. Every complimentary ticket or discount ticket offered takes away from the total event capacity and the ability to sell full priced tickets. All of this needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about reaching your target revenue.

The industry standards often require you to give out complimentary tickets to special and influential people like media or influencers or sponsors for event partners. Discounts are often needed to give to event partners, friends, and family to incentivize them to buy tickets and come and “make them feel special.” Taking these complementary and discount tickets into consideration affects the price of the actual marketed price of the ticket.

Here’s an example:

Event expenses: $10,000

Target Profit: $10,000

The goal in sales: $20,000

Venue capacity: 500

An inexperienced event planner might think they should sell 500 tickets at $40 each. ($20,000 divided by 500 capacity = $40 per person ticket) This is not accurate.

To take into consideration what it takes to sell 500 tickets, you also need to consider offering ticket sale tiers, presale tickets as well as complimentary tickets and discounts.

To break this down, it might look like:

Two months of ticket sales and marketing

Presale Tier 1 for the first month of sales: $20 with a maximum of 50 tickets (goal is to generate word of mouth in selling out the first tier quickly)

Presale Tier 2: $30 with a maximum of 100 tickets

Presale Tier 3: $35 with a maximum of 100 tickets

Presale Tier 4: $40 with a maximum of 100 tickets

General Admission: $60 at the door

Offering complimentary tickets to 50 people

        And a 20% discount to friends and family off of the GA price.

With Sparxo, event producers and organizers have access to brainstorming with Sparxo’s cofounding team of industry experts – for free! Sign up and set up your paid event tickets and you will automatically receive an email from our CEO!

  8. Lack of Communication Before The Event

Event producers should always communicate with their audience about logistics for the event prior to the event. This contains information about the times in which doors open and directions within the venue.

It is always useful for your guests to know how to move around throughout the event. Can you imagine not knowing where the exit is during a time of an unexpected emergency? Thus, you should always Include the following:

  • Location of  parking garages in the area
  • Spots that have access to public transportation
  • Bathroom locations
  • The check-in station
  • Menu for food and drinks
  • Payment methods
  • ATM locations
  • Emergency exits

Moreover, making clear for staff if they have access to outlet sources to plug devices in or if they need to bring extra power packs and cables on hand to keep devices charged. Having all this clear prior to the event is highly efficient and effective.

Event producers should assure that everything is clear for their audience prior to the event because miscommunication can lead to some memorable hiccups in the experience your audience has with your brand and event.  For example, if your audience isn’t aware of the limited number of parking garages, they may not find parking or wait in long lines to park their cars, causing them to miss the opening of the show. While parking isn’t your responsibility, it is in your best interest your audience has the smoothest experience possible associated with your event and brand.  Another example would be making sure all audience are aware of the dress attire, so no one comes for a business event in a flip flop for example. Having great communication with the audience prior to the event makes your audience’s experience much better and easier. This will reflect terribly on the company’s reputation resulting in a decrease in sales for future events.

The great thing about Sparxo is that you can set up automatic messages to specific ticket holders beforehand using their Custom Email Confirmation section and/or their Email Message Specific to the Purchase of a specific ticket levelSign up for a free, no-obligation account today!

  9. Not Having Event Insurance

Many event producers make the common mistake of not having event insurance. And, trust us, event insurance won’t break your bank. It could, however, save you from going bankrupt! We recommend checking out Event Helper, a 10 years old event insurance company. We did the work and checked pricing for you. For a thousand person event, event insurance through Event Helper would cost less than $200.

For large events, event insurance is a must. It protects you from all sorts of liabilities you wouldn’t have ever thought could happen at your event such bodily injury to attendees or property damages to the venue. Event insurance generally also covers any third party damage including the venue or vehicles rented especially for the event or for catering. And if you’re selling alcohol, liquor liability is something to think about for attendees who night overdose or be so intoxicated they require EMTs.

Some other examples of why you should consider event insurance might include if you are hosting an event in the inner city and a car crashes through your event, disturbing your entire event experience and shutting it down early.  Do you refund all guests? Who covers the cost of your staff and expenses? Or, perhaps, you’re hosting a concert with thousands of people and it happens to be incredibly hot that day or the air conditioning in the venue breaks down. What do you do when someone faints of dehydration?

 

3 Ways to Build Your Following: A Guide for Event ...

As an event brand, it’s in your best interest to build your brand loyalty and grow the community around your organization. To produce recurring events, you want to have a database of loyal fans. You will want to get exposure through other systems and convert their customers into direct fans of your brand and community. A key point to developing a strong loyal fanbase is to train your fans to go to your website and your Facebook page to find you and your event information. Keep reading for three ways you can effectively build your loyal fan base!

1. Extend Your Virtual Reach

Leverage the reach of event aggregation sites to reach their customer base. Let them do the extra marketing for you to increase sales; while you focus on sharing your own website sales to your fan base. Why?

By promoting and marketing your own website, you are boosting your own website SEO. You are also training your audience on where to find you and where to register for events. If you always redirect them to a third party website, why would your audience come back to your website?

To leverage third party, event aggregation sites like Eventbrite, simply post your event without marketing their ticket link. When sales end, convert the new customers from the other sites into fans of your site and brand.

Find out which ticketing systems do marketing for event producers and post your events there. This can be done with a simple Google search for events in your region. Some examples might include Eventbrite, TicketZone, Brown Paper Tickets, etc.

Also, there are many niche smartphone applications that aggregate events and market events for you. We suggest spending 10-15 minutes doing a search for event posting applications on iTunes and Google Play. Find the ones that fit your event and post away!

PRO TIP: Your marketing efforts should be focused on driving traffic to your brand. However, selling tickets on other sites is no problem.

With Sparxo, you can import ticket sales from other sites to use our check-in system; creating one seamless check-in experience. The best perk about Sparxo is that we are a white label (no brand) platform, so the goal for us is to give you tools to build your brand and directly connect with your audience.

2. Partner with Local Businesses

Our team suggests that you make a list of organizations and local businesses that match your brand so that you can cross promote with them. Pitch a partnership that you can drive customers to them as they drive customers to you.

Here are some tips for your new relationship:

  • Give them a custom referral tracking link so you can see if they are a good fit for future events.
  • Offer them a discount code specific to their fan base as an incentive
  • Place their logo on your flyer, website, and event descriptions
  • Add them as event hosts to your Facebook event
  • Make a flyer specific for them that has their logo as the focus so they will want to use it to promote
  • Post their logo on Instagram and Facebook giving them a shout-out as an event host, tag, and hashtag them to capture their fan base

3. Ramp Up Your Marketing

Now that your reach is expanded, make sure your loyal following knows that you are a choice when it comes to events. Tag promotions to other marketing messages in the weeks leading up to your event. Make sure the message stands out and the link always goes back to your website.

To stand out from the competition, give your growing following tools to share your event.

This includes:

  • Having a #hashtag for your brand and/or event
  • Creating an account handle on popular social media accounts for your brand
  • Creating a catchy, memorable event slogan such as “The Happiest Place on Earth” (Disneyland) or “Live today, love tomorrow, unite forever” (Tomorowland)
  • Repost and tagging posts from fans, partners, and sponsors
  • Live streaming your event to capture fans who otherwise wouldn’t have known you existed
  • Posting your live stream to channels specific to regions you want to target

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

Event Promoter’s Ultimate Guide to Email Pro...

Our founders have been in the event industry for over a third of their lives. Part of our core philosophy is that we not only understand, but we believe that your audience should always be focused on you and that you should control the experience and messaging your audience engages with. This means that, yes, we are a white label (no brand) platform that integrates directly into your website(s) and Facebook page(s) with no redirects. This also means that we want to make sure you have the right tools and knowledge to build and grow your event brand. Try our free, no obligation platform today! 

Having an email database of your loyal fans and niche potential new fans is crucial, but the messages you send to them are just as crucial as obtaining the email list.

Keep these two tips on hand:

  1. Predict if your email will go to inbox: Litmus is a great, free tool to check if your email will make it to the inbox of your audience or not.
  2. Subject line length: Since most people open their emails from their phone, EventForce’s team recommends subject lines of approximately 50 characters or 6-8 words. Definitely, send yourself a test email to experience what your readers will.

Read on for some more tips from our team!

TIP: Don’t know who to send your emails to? Check out our Knowledge Base article on creating an email database: https://www.sparxo.com/knowledge-base/5-how-to-invite-people-to-your-event/

First Email

The goal of your first email is to get your audience and potential ticket buyer to open the email, read it, and, hopefully, convert to a registrant. The goal is not to shove a ton of information down their throat. Otherwise, they might open it, be overwhelmed with information and delete your email.

There are going to be two types of audiences you are sending a first email to:

  • Existing loyal fans – fans who have previously attended an event of yours
  • New audience

We believe that short, sweet, and simple is the best for a first email campaign whether to existing loyal fans or a new audience.

For your existing loyal fans, we suggest you to consider offering a private, early access to tickets option with a discount. Why? You already know they like your events since they attended before. You want to sell as many tickets from the start as possible to start generating a word of mouth buzz about your event. And you want your loyal fans to feel appreciated so they will come back and continue to support you.

Existing Loyal Fans

You might send something short and sweet like this one from Patreon:

We’d suggest including an image, flyer, or banner about your event and/or event brand as well. You might include a sentence about why they are receiving this email and early access to tickets for being a loyal fan and attending an event previously. The message is so short and plays on curiosity to get the reader to click the button which you will want to direct them to your event page on your website.

An alternative first email to existing loyal fans is a Save the Date. Here’s an example we like from Marketing United:

 

New Audience

The trick in sending emails to a new audience begins with picking the right email subject lines and text descriptions.

Here are some tips and tricks our team has compiled for you from EventForce, Optinmonster, and VerticalResponse:

  1. This event will have your LinkedIn circles talking
  2. Join all major influencers of [topic]
  3. You’re invited to [name of event]
  4. Hi [Name], free [Date]? Join us at [Event Name]!
  5. Largest [Event Type] in [Geographic Location]: [Event Name]
  6. [WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…
  7. *Don’t Open This Email*
  8. Don’t miss [Keynote] on [Date] at [Event Name]!
  9. [Year] lineup at [Event Name], featuring [Performer Name]!

 

Here are some email campaign examples for you to reference:

Havaianas:

SteadFast Creative:

Hidden Dinner:

Women’s Conference of Florida

Web Summit Team:

AdAge:

Stylist:

Follow-up Emails

There are several ways and reasons to send follow-up emails to your database.

Here are some follow-up email reason:

  1. Discount codes: Making your fans feel special by selectively offering a discount code to their group.
  2. Early bird ticket levels expiring or ending soon: Sending a reminder email that the early bird tier is ending soon.
  3. Announcements: Try to keep announcement emails few and far between so as not to spam your audience. Good announcement emails might include a new celebrity or guest speaker or highlighting a sponsor donating the event’s food.
  4. Fun Facts: This might include statistics about past attendees such as job titles or income level, dollars spent or amounts raised. A fun fact email should be just that and the reader should feel that the information you’re sharing is interesting.
  5. Promoting your Event Partners or Sponsors: Get your audience used to receiving cool emails from you that aren’t alway about your event. If they are in the habit of opening your emails, they will also open your event emails. You might take time to send an email promoting the business or telling the story of one of your event partners or sponsors. Ideally, pick a story that aligns with who you are and what your event stands for.
  6. Follow-up Email: Send a thank you to your attendees and follow-up with a cool survey to get feedback from them. Or simply ask for their feedback through a button that opens an email directed to you or your team to receive. MailChimp offers a really cool way to integrate a survey directly into an email, so all your reader has to do is click one.
  7. Event Recap Email: Send an email recap highlighting the coolest parts of your event. You might include a video, GIF, and/or link to event photos linked back to your website to help boost your SEO.

With MailChimp, you can pre-schedule your emails and email follow-ups as well!

If you’re an event producer, check out our free, no obligation platform today! There’s no reason you shouldn’t be using your marketing efforts to grow your brand and SEO. You can still post your event on other sites or systems and easily import those sales data into Sparxo for data analytics and check-in! Try us for free today!

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING: A GUIDE FOR EVENT BRANDS

Learn What Ticketing Companies Are Hiding – ...

Hundreds of ticketing companies start up each year. Don’t get taken advantage of by fine lines or small print.

 

It’s decided, your company will be hosting an event in a few months. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big event or small event, its success lies in good planning and preparation. Immediately, you do a quick Google search for the different event ticketing and registration platforms out there that can help you with event registration… and you come back even more confused than you were before you began.

Why? Because just like everything else out there in the market, you have to wade through paragraphs of marketing mumbo jumbo and then scroll till the end or jump a few pages more to see what fine print you might have missed — and even then, you still might not be getting the full story. Wouldn’t it be nice if companies just told you up front what you were getting and how much it would cost, no hidden fees or stipulations and all? Ah, the ideal world.

Well, we’ve done the research and here we are to break it down to you in easy, bite-sized morsels of information, you know, so we save you time on hiring a mathematician just to calculate ticketing fees!

Brown Paper Tickets

Brown Paper Tickets advertises a really eye-catching fee of $0.99. Whoa, you say, only 99 cents? That’s a steal! Yes, well, as with a lot of other things, make sure you check the fine print!

On their Pricing page (https://www.brownpapertickets.com/pricing.html), you’ll see this little table:

*Update 4/10/19: Brown Paper Tickets has since increased their fee to $0.99 + 5%

First of all, the fee actually is $0.99 + 5%, not just a flat rate of $0.99. Also, if you use a popular credit card processor like Paypal of Stripe, you won’t get to charge the total fees to your customers, because you will need to pay your credit card processing fee (which is normally 2.9% + $0.30) and Brown Paper Ticket’s fee ($0.99 + 5$). This essentially means that you’re paying Brown Paper Tickets at least 5% out-of-pocket of your ticket price while you pass on the $0.99 fee and the credit card processing fee to your customer. That’s knowing you have additional costs on your end before you even sell a single ticket!

They do make it sound very nice though, that they are giving you money to offset your costs… and well, that is until you realize you’d have to pay way more than what they are “giving” you to cover your credit card processing fees!

Another fine print that’s important to consider is this:

Should you ever need to cancel the event, you are charged $0.99 + 5% if using their credit card processor, or if you’re using your own processor, $0.99 + 5% PLUS the fees from your own credit card processor.

While these fees aren’t exactly hidden — they’re stated clearly on their pricing page — a little math does seem to be needed when you realize you’re not exactly getting the $0.99 good deal you thought you were getting. So be an informed customer and consider these factors when using Brown Paper Tickets.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite offers two different tiers of pricing for normal events (they also have a custom Premium option for super large complex events) — their Essentials package is 2% + $0.79 per ticket and their Professional package is 3.5% + $1.59. You can see what they offer in each package here: https://www.eventbrite.com/organizer/pricing/

However, a quick look at their Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to pricing also reveals this little info bit:

This means that while they say they let you pass the Eventbrite fee to your customers, what they mean to say is they ONLY let you pass the Eventbrite fee to your customers. At the end of the day, the credit card processing fee will still come out of your own pocket; there is no way of passing this fee to your customers.

What’s more, Eventbrite is mum about their maximum fees, while from our research we’ve found that their maximum fee in the last year alone has fluctuated from $19.95-$24.95! That’s a whole whopping load of fees! Always check with the event ticketing site you’re considering what their maximum fees are, so you and your event goers don’t receive any “surprise” fees!

Finally, one drawback of Eventbrite is even though they claim to allow direct integration to your website, unless you are one of their major clients or unless you follow a strict list of rules, really all it does is redirect your customer to their website.

This is something to take into consideration especially because most companies would prefer to keep their online traffic on their site alone. This also means that embedding Eventbrite will not help your SEO if all of your customers are redirected to Eventbrite to complete their purchase. Your bounce rate will be high and retention rate low, while Eventbrite will maintain a low bounce rate and high retention rate increasing their own SEO. In the end, you will simply be helping Eventbrite’s SEO and branding, not your own.

Sparxo

The Sparxo pricing page is so simple we couldn’t even be bothered with tables! It’s just so straightforward — $1 for tickets under $25, $2 for tickets priced between $25 and $50, and $3 for tickets $50 and above.

One really great thing to note is this:

“The maximum Sparxo convenience fee is $3.00 + 2.9% + 0.30 per ticket. This fee includes the Sparxo application fee and the credit card transaction fee. The whole fee can be passed onto the customer or internalized or split.”

The whole fee! Yes, this means you can pass ALL your fees onto your customer — not only the Sparxo ticketing fees but also the credit card processing fees.

So essentially the math equation would be: $3.00 + 2.9% + 0.30 + all fees passed to customer = you keep 100% of your ticket price! We don’t know about you, but we believe 100% sounds just about right to us!

Also, in comparison to Eventbrite, Sparxo event registration does not call for any sort of redirection whatsoever. You maintain and control the entire brand experience with your customer. With Sparxo, you increase your retention rate, decrease your bounce rate, and boost your SEO all by doing exactly what you’ve already been doing.

Another plus to the Sparxo platform is if you find yourself having to deal with the sometimes-unexpected refund and/or cancellation situations. Well, you can put your worries away. Need to refund? Your customer’s get their Sparxo fees back too. Need to cancel? Pay no cancellation fees either.

To sum it up, you can refer to this simple table:

*If you are a major client fo Eventbrite’s or you follow this specific list of rules, then and only then can you directly embed Eventbrite into your website with no redirects:

1. You must use Eventbrite payment processing.

2. Your website must be secure with an HTTPS certificate on your website.

3. You can only sell tickets in the following currencies: USD, CAD, GBP, AUD or EUR

4. Does not work for events with multiple dates or times available.

5. Does not work when group registration is turned on.

6. Does not work with using “additional items” for sale for things like t-shirts.

7. Does not work when your event is password protected.

8. Does not work with the “Will Call” feature.

9. Does not work when adding multiple embed codes on the same page for the same event.

Note: For major festivals or large events, event ticketing sites typically offer special deals or integrations. The table above is what is offered to the general public and average event organizer or event producer.

We hope that we’ve made it easier for you to see which event ticketing platform offers what and at what cost so that you can find the best one that suits your needs! We wish all companies and ticketing systems were as transparent and upfront as Sparxo. Since that isn’t the case, we hope you found our research valuable. Happy event-ing!

Try a no obligation, free account with Sparxo today! www.sparxo.com 

A MEATING OF MINDS — How This Company is Cha...

As a local company, you have something important to offer to your customers and the community; and it’s not just your products and/or services. It’s knowledge. Yes, it’s that age-old, wisdom-laden, ever-elusive and highly-intangible thing that makes you who you are, and makes you stand out from the crowd.

And knowledge comes in the bucket loads, when it comes to our event partner Portland Meat Collective. With a motto and philosophy that’s all about how to “keep meat real”, Portland Meat Collective is undoubtedly your go-to school on the West coast for hands-on classes revolving around one area of goodness — yes, you got it — meat. They know it best, and figured they were sitting on a gold mine of information that needed to be shared with the world!

You see, it all started way back in 2009 when a then- magazine editor and food writer by the name of Camas Davis embarked upon a little idea to find out how pork is sourced, you know, literally from the farm to the table. That took her on an incredible journey to France, where she studied the entire process first-hand from farming to butchery to charcuterie. It was an intensive and involved process that begun with growing the grain that feeds the pigs, up to the part where every single part of the animal was carefully and economically turned into wholesome food to be enjoyed by knowing customers. The meat was eaten with a reverence and respect that Camas had not experienced in the States, and she was determined to bring it with her as she headed back home.

Camas Davis

So began Portland Meat Collective as the local platform to highlight the processes behind your pork. The idea was that by bringing the community into the hands-on process of whole-animal butchery and charcuterie, consumers can truly come face to face with sourcing good, clean, fair meat, and just how important sustainable farms and humane meat production and processes are.

PMC founder Camas Davis teaching a pig butchery class @FeastPDX

 

And just how are these revolutionary ideas transposed onto consumers? Why, good old-fashioned education!

Portland Meat Collective has something to say and to give their ideas a voice, they have partnered with Sparxo to offer highly interactive classes and workshops to the community.

If you’ve ever been curious about just what goes into and around turning a pig into a sausage or bacon, for example, or you’ve wanted to try curing your own dried meats such as pancetta right in your own home, or you’d love to be able to break down a whole pig into beautiful and amazing cuts, with your own two hands — or it could be simply that you’ve never heard of the word finocchiona before and you’re immediately intrigued to learn that it is (a type of salami that hails from Tuscany) — whatever it is, Portland Meat Collective has a class specially designed for you.

A wide range of instructors work with Portland Meat Collective to get all that solid information to you — butchers that have studied old-world curing in Italy, to farmers who double up as beekeepers, and make their own soap. Meanwhile, Sparxo works hard with Portland Meat Collective behind the scenes to handle all their events and customer registration experiences, so they can truly focus on what they do best: keeping meat real.

A PMC class which includes a light meal as well

Now it’s time for your voice to be heard. What message does your company have to share with your community? Let us here at Sparxo make your company events effortless so that you too can focus on sharing the good stuff, the stuff that truly makes you – YOU.

We understand and value the importance of your brand and brand experience. That’s why we developed a white label, no brand event ticketing and registration platform that you can use for free. You keep 100% of your ticket price with us! Sign up for a free, no-obligation account today!

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING: A GUIDE FOR EVENT BRANDS

4 Reasons Why You Should Choose Sparxo As Your Eve...

Creating and planning an event is hard work, especially when you are competing with hundreds, if not thousands of other events happening on the same day at the same time. This is why focusing on efficiency on all aspects of event planning — from selling tickets to event distribution and guest check-ins — can reduce the stress load. With Sparxo, there are multiple features that can help you ensure you have an intuitive platform to sell tickets.

Save time

Time is money. We all know that. After all, you don’t want to be stuck on a ticketing platform that is too technical or complicated to use. You have enough on your plate with the setup of the actual event itself. That’s why you want to choose a platform and team to work with like Sparxo. We have created a user-friendly, intuitive and convenient platform for event planners whether new or experienced to design their unique event page in minutes. We know the importance of making sure your event is all about your brand and only your brand. That’s why we have created an easy-to-use splash page designer where you can add images, YouTube videos, SoundCloud music, maps and more to customize your unique event page.

You can also seamlessly integrate ticket sales directly onto your website with no redirect or install our Facebook page application which automatically updates itself as events are published, saving you a lot of time. Not just that, Sparxo enables direct two-way integration to the venue’s website as well. For example, an events calendar will auto-update as events are created on your account or on the venue rental accounts, and events set up on rental partners’ accounts will auto-post onto your website and Facebook fan page once Sparxo is installed.

We also help you make quick ticketing decisions such as choosing multiple ticket levels to drive demand, setting up promotional deals, attaching your terms and conditions and customizing confirmation emails. The time-saving features are endless with Sparxo!

Save time by integrating ticket sales directly onto your website with Sparxo

 

Reduce barriers to ticket purchase

One of the most stressful aspects of event planning is collecting and tracking payments. You want a trustworthy platform that is easy-to-use and makes secure payment transactions so that you don’t lose customers along the way. With Sparxo, we have integrated the Stripe payment application that processes transactions within 2–5 days after a ticket purchase rather than after your event is over. The best part is that throughout the whole ticketing experience, attendees never get redirected to another site. This is great for ensuring you keep their attention on your event and that they follow through with the ticket purchase.

If you decide you want to collect payments onsite at your event itself, you can easily do so with the Sparxo POS system. This is another convenient feature where tickets and attendee information continues to be tracked on our system and all your accounting is in the same place. On top of that, you can also easily manage refunds right from your dashboard on Sparxo and 100% of our fees are also refunded.

Focus on making a great first impression

When your attendees arrive, you want them to be blown away by your event and not be stuck in a long slow line waiting to check-in. First impressions are important. With Sparxo, they can be welcomed with our efficient check-in system where our scanning solution ensures that entry is secure and easy. We’ve successful checked-in 1,000 attendees in under 30 minutes with one trained ticket scanner. You can have your team use their smartphones to scan guest tickets for entry via the Sparxo mobile check-in app. This app helps you scan QR codes quickly, easily search attendees by name/email/code, import third-party tickets and automatically review check-in statistics.

The convenience of having automated check-in features at your fingertips is invaluable, especially when the alternative is manual management that is time-consuming and inefficient.

Sparxo’s efficient check-in system ensures that entry is secure and easy.

 

Constantly improve your event strategy

Data is king and is driving better decision-making and performance in all aspects of our lives. So why not event planning as well? Having a convenient system that allows you to collect, track, own, export and review customer data enables you to improve your ticketing and event distribution strategy on the go. With Sparxo, you don’t have to be a data scientist to do any of this. We make it simple and easy for you to view, filter and search through your data. We also help you analyze your data with convenient data dashboards that create charts and other visuals, helping you make informed decisions.

Furthermore, you could enhance your event strategy by being a part of our affiliate marketing program — every Sparxo partner or an affiliate receives a commission for events that use Sparxo at their venue or even outside of their venue. It’s a win-win with.

Michel Neray – Founder of MoMondays Shares h...

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I’ve been speaking professionally for almost as long as I’ve been working professionally. Back in the early 1990’s, I was giving presentations to educate the business world about ‘The World Wide Web’. (Yes, I’m that old.) Then in 1995, I launched a dotcom — the world’s first online searchable directory of creative professionals — and I toured art and design colleges North America to show students and alums how to make friends with the Internet.

I kept getting invited back, so I guess I was doing something right, but it wasn’t until I spoke at a conference for immigrants that my perception of the power of public speaking changed.

Completely.

Near the end of my talk, after realizing my “personal branding” presentation wouldn’t resonate with this audience (as immigrants probably don’t face the kind of personal branding challenges I talk about in my presentation) I had to think of what was I going to tell them that could be useful?

So I told them how my father grew up as a Jew in Iran and how he joined the French foreign legion in Egypt to escape the anti-Semitism and discrimination. I told them how my mother in France was captured by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz for a year had to walk the 3-day death march in the mountains of Poland, how they both met in an elevator in Paris, (that this is when I realized the importance of a good elevator pitch). How they decided to come to Canada, to give their children the life and opportunity that they never had – and never would have – in their own countries.

If I was trying to maintain any sense of professionalism, I had clearly lost it by this point. I got emotional. Everyone seemed to be getting emotional.

When I was done, a solidly built African woman came over to me. Her face was wet with tears. In broken English I could hear her mutter: ‘thank you, I hope in 30 years my children will say the same thing about me.’

I came home, still filled with emotion, knowing that somehow I had made a real difference in people’s lives. Now when I think about to that day, I realize that was the day I became a ‘motivational’ speaker.

From the beginning of time, stories are how we have passed on our values, made sense of the world and effected change. Today, it’s how we influence our customers, our teams and our audiences. It’s how we sell, inspire, motivate, create change and give hope to sometimes desperate people.

It was also that day that the seeds of momondays were planted.

I believe that more than ever, we just need to put away the business cards and connect authentically, one human being to another. When we do that — when we are just ourselves and share our personal stories of challenge and growth — we have the power to transform lives, starting with our own.

It doesn’t have to feel like a twelve-step program. Nobody has to cry. It doesn’t have to take thousands of dollars and several weekends. No gurus have to be flown in from far-away places.

It seems that momondays has become the modern day campfire, a place where people can gather around, tell stories, have a good time, and open up to a community of people who can identify with them. I view these shows as a place where people can connect and let go, enjoy each others company, understanding that each of us has a history, and whether it’s the good, the bad, or the ugly, we can laugh about it and learn from it.

It’s all encompassed in a beautiful story called life.

Michel Neray – Founder of MoMondays

Sound Meditation SF Founder Simona Marie Asinovski...

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“I met Guy (my business partner/brother) on the beach (serendipitously) as I was teaching Yoga in LA, I was so young then — You really know the relationship is amazing when even through all the adversity you can still be creative have fun and be yourself (tried it out not as successfully in LA then moved to the Bay Area and it’s hugely different), and even through all of that still having a huge profound effect on one another.”

“This event is done with so much love…and honestly we (Guy and I) had no idea that this would happen, we’ve always dreamed of something like this but never at this scale. I am damn grateful, still in shock, and will probably always be in amazement and wonder.”

Simona Marie Asinovski –
Organizer of hearts and minds at Sound Meditation SF est. 2015