Category: Event Producers

3 Non-profit Event Trends to Get More Donations

  1. Personalized Pitches and Rebounds

Relationships were harder than ever to get going in 2019, and no, we don’t just mean Tinder. With the rise of easily affordable social media advertising and accessible video platforms like youtube, potential donors and members seem to require more media and even events before converting. There’s just so much content out there, a relationship takes more work, it takes more time. But time and time again, we’ve seen personalization cut straight to potential supporters. According to this 2017 Trends In Personalization research study, 96% of respondents said personalization helps build customer relationships, with only 45% agreeing that marketers actually succeed in personalization. What this means is that marketers are just blasting away with barely personalized content, and expecting that to instantly convert viewers. Not so. But how can you, as a non-profit event planner, take advantage of this trend?

Well, despite all that doom and gloom, email is very much alive and kicking and in 2019, and poised to grow. Largely because of personalization. Sure, it takes more time nowadays to convert attendees to donors, but all that means is the relationship will be stronger when it blooms. This requires patience. And an email mailing list is the ultimate way for event planners to put patience to use. Even if an attendee at one of your non-profit events doesn’t donate, doesn’t become a member –  if you can get them to join your mailing list, you’ve still taken a big step forward. Because from there you can send personalized messages to the attendees, encouraging them to come back and then donate, at which point the contribution will certainly be larger than it would have been. Not to mention a long-term relationship with attendees greatly enhances recurring donations, which have been shown to be increasingly for nonprofits time and time again. A mailing list with a sequenced order, or even a simple recurring system like Donorbox, bypasses the need to bombard potential donors with paid advertising and content in search of lump sum donations. Instead, free and personalized emails do the trick. A powerful mailing list, or any other tool that provides traffic analytics, also lets you make the pitch personalized. You wouldn’t ask thousands from a student attendee struggling to get through school, just like you wouldn’t ask $10 from an attendee with millions in the bank. Many sign up software like MailChimp or even ClickFunnel provide auto-generated profiles from your signups and traffic and leads, allowing you to do better research for more personalized asks. This also allows you to segment your market, understanding the different sources of traffic, the different segments of your audience, and then messaging them separately. You wouldn’t market to a twenty-five-year-old and a sixty-five-year-old in the same way, right? You also wouldn’t want to tell them your nonprofit’s story in the same way, or even present the same story. Not only will personalizing your messaging increase your conversions and open rates, but it will also improve your nonprofit’s reputation to all your targeted demographics.

2) Time for Tech

Net technology has been revolutionizing non-profit donations, both in the donation process and demographics. First, with mobile increasingly popular for donations, digital wallets like Paypal and Google Pay are a must for non-profits. Not only do digital wallets make donations easy, they act as social proof, as other users can see who has donated. Think Amazon review, only better. If your non-profit has not set up a public digital wallet and doesn’t have that on their website, now would be the time.

One of the largest demographics of digital wallet junkies is Generation Z, young people born after 1996. Aside from being very close to coming into financial freedom, a 2017 Global Trends Report said that Gen Z members are “interested in giving to many different causes… top causes being youth, animals and human services.” So not only will capturing generation z’s attention be key in the coming “it” decade, but it will be especially important for nonprofits. Generation Z grew up on the internet, surrounded by seamless mobile technology, the wide web at their fingertips. Unsurprisingly, members of Gen Z spend a huge amount of time on their phones, many conducting all transactions on mobile. This means it will be absolutely essential to have your non-profits site and even donation page mobile optimized. Generation Z also happens to be very visual, responding to pictures and visual storytelling more than other generations. When marketing to gen Z, it makes sense to take advantage of picture-based social media platforms and storytelling media, like Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and infographics in emails.

Going in the opposite direction, voice assistants have skyrocketed in popularity, AI practically a household norm. According to a Nielsen study, almost 24% of US Households have smart speakers like Amazon Echo. This isn’t just a Gen z thing – this is a future thing. How can your non-profit event take advantage of the artificial intelligence trend? Well, it doesn’t have to be with some fancy smart speaker or expensive virtual assistant. No, you can benefit just by making simple chatbots. A chatbot allows you to answer basic even questions through your non-profit website, app, or even on popular platforms like Facebook Messenger. A chatbot is a wonderful way to streamline this process and screen for common questions about your non-profit events, while also coming off as more personalized than an FAQ page. This can also give your staff more time and resources to tackle bigger and more complex questions. 

Another wonderful way to take advantage of new events technology is in ticket sales. According to an Eventbrite study, the majority of money raised by non-profits comes from ticket sales. So as a non-profit event planner, you’re looking for a free way to sell as many event tickets as possible, to raise money and promote your mission of change. However, most ticket sales software like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets online with no redirects – all for free!

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

 

3) Behold, the Awesomeness of Auctions

Auctions have always been a staple for non-profit fundraisers, but 2019 has seen auctions undergo a serious glow up, with radical new formats and attendee experience.

 

When you think auction, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Probably a fancy hall with puffy seats, a fast-talking auctioneer, with attendees throwing out numbers at the top of their lungs. If you’re a tad more familiar with auctioning, you might also think about silent auctions, a low-stress alternative to the former. Silent auctions are also quite popular, according to Winspire, “82% of benefit auctioneers reported at least 3 out of 4 events they worked included a silent auction.” A silent auction can be a great way to get more of your attendees involved, enticing those who may be intimidated by a live rowdy auction. But how are silent auctions going to change for non-profit event planners? They seem to be shorter, with “65% of [Nielsen] respondents observing the number of items included in the average silent auction declining.” So non-profit event planners are opting to save time and money by auctioning fewer items, saving money on both items and hosting time. After all, with silent auctions and the power of the internet, bids can be placed long before an event starts IRL, the opening time of silent auctions set sometimes months in advance. And in recent years, online auctions have also been streamlining auctions and their budgets, eliminating lengthy agendas, dull speeches, and of course all the hefty costs of putting on an auction, like catering and rent.

 

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TOP 10 FUNDRAISING TRENDS FOR 2019

Top Ten Fundraising Trends 2019

Charity events are not going anywhere – everyone loves to party for a good cause. But understanding some of the current trends in fundraising can help you amplify your cause, target the right donors, and create attractive ways for people to give.

  1. Go for the high earners.

Tax policies in the U.S. have shifted, making it less likely middle and lower-class individuals will be donating – and they’ll be donating less. Researchers at Indiana University predict that organizations will be more dependent than ever on individuals with high net worth – partly because they’ll still see big benefits on their taxes when they do.  Still, the outlook is positive for individual donations from all levels: giving in this sector is predicted to rise by 3.4%. 

2. Use insight into diverse communities. 

People with different backgrounds and identities tend to give differently. According to Philanthropy Outlook 2019-2020, a report published by researchers at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, African Americans are more likely to give back to their own communities than whites. They are also more likely to give to basic needs charities than the overall population of high-net-worth donors (72% of African Americans versus 54% of all donors).  Researchers have also noted differences between male and female donors, and generational differences as well, with women more likely to actively volunteer and to prefer impact investing at a higher rate, and older women more likely to choose just a few causes to support. Find more information in their report, available at www.philanthropyoutlook.com.

3. Harness social media for peer-to-peer fundraising. 

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen people asking for money for a cause on their birthday. Giving on Facebook is easy, and having a friend recommending a cause employs one of the most successful, tried and true fundraising tactics – peer-to-peer fundraising. It’s not all just Facebook charity requests, though. People are running online games and competitions – think virtual race- to raise money for their favorite causes. Make sure you have a strong online presence, with easy-to-navigate pages and a convenient method for accepting donations to take advantage of this trend. 

4. Set up a recurring giving program. 

Donors who give to recurring donation programs – where they give a set amount monthly – tend to give more on average than one-time donors. Recurring donations are ways people who aren’t in the high-net-worth category can give on a budget. Recurring giving also gives organizations a way to keep in regular contact with their donors, giving them reports on where their money goes, which helps retain donors by creating a deeper connection with the cause.

5. Jump into virtual reality. 

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being employed by businesses, schools, and organizations to enhance and extend their mission. VR can provide ways to connect people to the causes they care about; to explain a procedure that is being funded, and to give insight into the work your organization does.  A study in Nonprofit Management and Leadership which looked at the effects of using virtual reality on donor behavior found that donors were more engaged through VR and therefore more likely to give. 

6. Use the right tool for communication. 

Email is still one of the best ways to engage donors. That’s because people are often overwhelmed by social media and often dismiss what comes up in their feed, and it can be hard to find later. Email can be personalized but also very efficient, and it can be easily forwarded and shared. Crafting attention-getting emails that are mobile-friendly are key. 

7. Pursue new opportunities for corporate giving. 

Corporate giving is hot. As corporations fight for talent, they are looking for ways to present their businesses as socially minded and ethical, and engaging in a charitable cause is a popular way to do this. Some places of business also encourage volunteers to donate their time – sometimes giving them time off to do so. This can be a great way to build a relationship with individuals as well as the business. 

8. Build a planned giving program. 

Long popular with big charities, more and more nonprofits are realizing it’s to their benefit to build programs for planned giving. “Small and mid-sized nonprofits can no longer afford to ignore planned giving, and many don’t know how simple it can be to get started,” notes the National Council of Nonprofits. 

9. Chat with a bot. 

Organizations that use chatbots – digital artificial intelligence responders – recognize them as invaluable tools for connecting with potential donors and volunteers, whether they want to know how to donate, need help buying a ticket to the latest event, or directing them to more information. Chatbots are programmed to run with programs like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Slack and can even tell stories to help engage viewers – as Charity:Water does with their Facebook messenger bot, which enables viewers to follow a girl as she searches for water. Chatbots can help save money and reduce staff time answering questions.They are also a gold mine for data, notes nonprofit expert and consultant Allison Fine in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

 

10. Show ‘em what you got. 

Donors always like to know where their money is going and see it make a difference. Charity:Water started out with a party where everyone donated $20 each. All the attendees received information about how their $20 went directly towards providing a community with clean water – and as a result, donations started pouring in. So make sure you’re not only sharing the story of what’s needed but also share how donors have made an impact. This might include videos, photographs, interactive storytelling and Q & A, as well as providing hard facts and figures. Fortunately, in today’s world of a wealth of data and inexpensive digital tools that quickly connect people anywhere in the world, transparency is easier than ever. 

You can apply many of these tips to planning events, too. Chatbots can make it easier for people to ask questions and connect, and understanding your target demographics better can help ensure the right people are seeing your promotions. 

 

Another key to solid fundraising? Having the right event ticketing platform to sell your tickets online. Sparxo is designed to make it easy to reach and track your attendees, so you can follow up for other programs, like planned giving and recurring donations. Unlike other platforms, Sparxo puts your cause and your event front and center without impacting your bottom line. 

Sparxo harnesses the latest tech to make it easier on you and your followers, translating to more dollars for your cause. 

While most ticket sales software like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets online with no redirects – all for free! Plus, Sparxo offers a non-profit program where the company makes a donation.

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • Aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

 

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

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

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HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

6 SUPER FUN EVENT IDEAS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

NONPROFIT EVENTS: 5 REASONS YOU NEED MOBILE TICKETING

HOW THE HOLLAND DRAG SHOW SOLD OUT EVENT TICKETS DESPITE CRITICAL MAYOR

4 EVENT BRANDING MISTAKES THAT KILL TICKET SALES

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4 EVENT IDEAS FOR FITNESS CLASSES

 

4 Event Ideas for Fitness Classes

  1. Master Meet-Ups

 A wonderful way to boost your brand is by partnering with another brand. Celebrity trainers and influencers often meet up with their followers, be it for a Bootcamp or just to engage with their audience. Many of these influencers are eager to partner with a fitness event or venue planner to streamline their event, someone who can get their equipment, space, and safety accommodations set up long in advance. For example, Brandon Carter often runs Bootcamp meetups from his youtube followers in parks and outdoor venues, where getting fitness materials and permits can be tricky. This is where you come in. Reach out to local influencers you know host meetups and propose a partnership. You can also offer them exposure, help teaching, and even some free materials. Partnering on influencer meetups will not only boost your class’s reputation, but it will draw fans of the guest to your class, improving your visibility and attendance.

Hosting fitness supply meetups is also a great avenue to take advantage of another brand in your niche. Many sporting goods and fitness merchandising stores like Sports Basement organize community events with various fitness-geared activities, sometimes even fitness classes. Offering to teach a guest class at these events is a great way to introduce yourself to an audience of fitness enthusiasts while increasing your visibility via the sporting goods stores advertising and promotions. 

  1. Meal Prep Masterclass

Diet is as, if not more important than exercise. Odds are that your class attendees are just as eager to learn about clean meal prep as they are exercises. Consider hosting a class on preparing healthy, easy to make foods, either taught by yourself from what foods have worked for you, or by partnering with a cooking or nutrition instructor. Partnering with a nutritionist could not only boost attendance but could introduce your class to the nutritionists’ clientele.

  1. Bring it with Bootcamps! 

Hosting a Bootcamp is a great supplement for your fitness class, improve awareness, and even raise some extra funds for your class. Bootcamp group exercises, separate from your class, can offer an opportunity for attendees who may have missed some classes to catch up, and for those who’ve never attended a class but may be interested in a sample. 

Bootcamps are also incredibly high yield for the amount of energy put in, both for planners and participants. All you need to start a Bootcamp is a logo, access to the web, and a park. Advertise your Bootcamp online, and walla, you have yourself a proper Bootcamp. You don’t even really need permits if attendance is low, depending on your city that could be 20 people or less. Consider pulling the old ‘We’re just a group of friends working out in the park, officer!’ if anyone asks. Point being, Bootcamps cost almost nothing to plan but can bring in significant income for your fitness business. But the buck doesn’t stop there. No, Bootcamps are incredible for attendees as well, a rare opportunity to experience both one-on-one attention on their exercise form and regime while being pushed to their limits.  A great way to encourage a commitment from attendees is via theme. For example, New Years Bootcamps are extremely popular because they empower attendees with the exercises and routines they’ll need to achieve their fitness resolutions, whether with a trainer or by themselves. You could also focus on imparting information at your Bootcamp, attendees leaving with key nutritional and exercise knowledge rather than just muscle burn. Goals are born at Bootcamp. One taste of proper exercise, of pushing themselves past perceived limitations, and Bootcamp attendees will be sure to be signing themselves up for more classes and more programs. If nothing else, they’ll have learned low-maintenance exercise techniques they can do themselves, anytime, with almost no equipment. It really is a win-win.

But what software will you use to sell tickets to the Bootcamp, or even sell tickets for your class? As a fitness event planner, you’re looking for a free way to sell as many class tickets as possible and keep as much revenue as you can. However, most ticket sales software like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets online with no redirects – all for free!

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • Aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

 

  1. Run a Fun Run

A fun run is exactly that – fun. Even if your class isn’t explicitly about cardio workouts, helping to host a fun run, an informal run for charitable purposes, is a great way to go the extra mile in raising awareness for your fitness class. 

Fun runs are typically geared toward a particular charity, with lots of attention and care put into their planning. This leaves you two options – reach out to a smaller fun run and offer to help them organize, usually by volunteering or by creating your own run. Assisting an existing run will be far less of a time commitment, and can still give you a great chance to engage with your class attendees, acquire new students, potentially establish a permanent partnership. If you can find a fun run that may be in need of your class supplies or expertise, you could greatly enhance your exposure by offering them a partnership, donating your time as a teacher and supplies in exchange for the run promoting your class to their attendees. Also, by encouraging your class attendees to attend an existing fun run, you’ll get exposure to their friends and plus-ones, many of whom will likely have a similar interest in fitness classes. 

Your other option is to create your own fun run. While this is a much larger time commitment, it can greatly enhance your visibility as a teacher. Like with most events, success will all depend on proper planning. Your first step will be to set a goal for the run, typically charitable. Then you’ll want to put together a capable team, ideally with event planners who’ve previously assisted with fun runs. With a team and a goal, you’ll then have to iron out the details, like venue, funding, and supplies. Here’s a great guide on how to handle all the logistics of hosting a fun run. 

One of the secrets to a successful fun run is your theme. As an event planner for this run, you want to narrow down your target audience to a specific niche, that way you’ll know how to make an event appeal to them. Is this going to be an epic professional race, with high tech times? A stroller-accessible run for families? An office-getaway for corporate employees? The better you understand your target attendees, the better equipped you’ll be to design your event and eventually market the event as something that these attendees actually want to go to. With this in mind, brainstorm a theme, a kind of overarching message and style to your event that aligns with your audience’s interest. Not only will this spice up attendee experience, but it will differentiate your fun run, standing out from what’s already a very large crowd. IIn the end, whether you choose to host or help out, market to families or pros, fun runs will help your brand and a good cause. 

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

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

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HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

6 SUPER FUN EVENT IDEAS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

NONPROFIT EVENTS: 5 REASONS YOU NEED MOBILE TICKETING

HOW THE HOLLAND DRAG SHOW SOLD OUT EVENT TICKETS DESPITE CRITICAL MAYOR

4 EVENT BRANDING MISTAKES THAT KILL TICKET SALES

HOW TO GET DONATIONS FOR YOUR NON-PROFIT EVENT

DATA SHOWS THESE NON-PROFIT EVENTS RASIE THE MOST MONEY

HOW TO SELL OUT A FITNESS CLASS

WHY AFROTECH SELLS OUT TICKETS

Why Afrotech Sells Out Tickets

More than 4,000 techies attended last year’s groundbreaking Afrotech conference, a meeting of minds that aims to connect founders, techies, and employees with the fastest-growing startups. Tickets completely sold out. AfroTech features panels like “Being a Digital Brand.” Surprisingly, Afrotech is only 3 years old, founded in 2016. Since then attendance has nearly doubled each year. So how does Afrotech pull this off? How do they sell out tickets, creating a major movement in just 3 years?

  1. Superb Speakers

Afrotech’s 2018 conference featured a wide variety of amazing guest speakers, from Daymond John of Sharktank to rapper Common. Clearly, Afrotech doesn’t skimp on their speakers, bringing in speakers who are both passionate about African Americans in tech and well known in their field. Event producers are reminded of the difference passionate influencers and partners can make for marketing and brand. Not only can it boost attendance like it does for Afrotech, but it can also seriously improve your brand and lead to incredible new connections for your business.

  1. Excitement over effort

Afrotech understands the power of a good carrot, sticking a wide variety of activities for event-goers to choose to spend their time on. Just about everyone can remember a one-size-fits-all conference where time seems to pass at a snail’s pace, a conference where attendees shuffled from speech to speech en-masse with zero enthusiasm? Yeah, Afrotech is not that kind of conference. Afrotech advertises a diverse array of speakers in radically different sectors, from software to entrepreneurship to artists. Plus it encourages attendee interaction. Who knows, the group of brilliant techies shaking hands exchanging contact info in the corner could turn into the next tech giant. This attendee passion and interaction keeps the atmosphere electric, with attendees never feeling like spectators, always in control of the experience. Not to mention the free swag from company recruiters and the possibility of even snagging an interview at a major tech company. 

Afrotech strives to keep all their attendees engaged at all times, a major leg up in the conference world and an even bigger leg up in ticket sales. Event producers can make like Afrotech by checking in with attendees, providing them with enough choices to make them feel like they’re in control and taken care of.

  1. Incentive and Opportunity

Conferences like AfroTech encourages greater black representation and community in tech, tackling key social and economic issues that don’t get enough discussion in the corporate world. But beyond that, Afrotech offers individual attendees opportunity, a shot at pitching to investors and even big tech recruiters. Amazon, Stripe, Salesforce and other tech companies sent recruiters to the conference, interacting with attendees and actively recruiting black talent. With many companies struggling with pipelines and diverse hiring, conferences like AfroTech are an incredible resource to find diverse and talented individuals to strengthen their teams. But for attendees, the opportunity to network with big tech recruiters is often a big enough reason alone to attend, even without amazing hands-on panels and afterparties.

Afrotech’s networking possibilities can mirror event planners incentivizing event attendance, often with a free gift or one-on-one time with an influencer. For example, the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC offers attendees the opportunity to pitch to agents, the conference providing both writing workshops and the opportunity to sing a book deal. This sort of opportunity and individual incentive can really mean the difference between good and great sales, and should not be neglected by event producers aiming to sell out tickets.

Photo Sources Cited:

  1. Afrotech. “Afrotech 2017.” Afrotech 2017, Sparxo, https://e.sparxo.com/Afrotech17?rn=instagram.
  2. Afrotech. “Afrotech 2018.” Afrotech 2018, Sparxo, 

https://e.sparxo.com/Afrotech18?rn=instagram.

  1. Afrotech. “Afrotech 2019.” Afrotech 2019, Sparxo, 

https://e.sparxo.com/Afrotech19?rn=instagram.

  1. “Videos – Afrotech.” Videos – Afrotech, Afrotech 2019, https://afrotech.com/videos, https://assets-jpcust.jwpsrv.com/thumbnails/saw4mwfp-720.jpg.
  2. “Experience – Afrotech, Oakland Convention Center.” Experience – Afrotech, Afrotech,

https://experience.afrotech.com/.

 

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HOW THE HOLLAND DRAG SHOW SOLD OUT EVENT TICKETS DESPITE CRITICAL MAYOR

4 EVENT BRANDING MISTAKES THAT KILL TICKET SALES

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HOW TO SELL OUT A FITNESS CLASS

How to Sell Out Fitness Classes

1. Slay Sales with Software

Trying to sell tickets to your fitness classes? Your first stop is the web. Duh, you’re online now, aren’t you? And isn’t ‘use social media’ what everyone else preaches these days? Don’t worry, we’ll give you simple, practical steps you can take action on immediately. Right now, you have the potential to access millions of Facebook users, totally free. Invite all your Facebook friends to your class by creating a Facebook Event. Ask your friends to share the class’s Facebook event, and consider reaching out to influencers (especially those you already follow or interact with!) for a share. 

If you have the funds, consider running targeted Facebook advertisements for class. Target people in your area who have attended similar classes, limiting the scope of your ad to appear only to those who are very likely to potential sign up. While Facebook ads take a little bit of capital to run, they’re comparatively much cheaper than most advertising and publicizing freelancers, meaning you’ll get a good bit of bang for your buck. You also get to set the budget of the ad, meaning this is sort of paid advertising is likely more accessible than you think. We also recommend you not only utilize social media like Instagram and Twitter, but we recommend you interact on those platforms, personally liking and responding to comments. Over time this could build relationships that turn into signups.

We also recommend you promote your classes by developing and using a Mailing List. This an excellent way to keep in touch with past attendees, while also pulling new students. Think about it. If you could get everyone who’s ever been to a class with you or your friends, and you could get them coming back, your attendance would be in great shape, right?

An email list is all about establishing a personal relationship with potential attendees. Often, a personal connection makes the difference between attending your class rather than a better-known chain class like Soulcylce or Equinox. A regular, friendly email is a great way to establish this relationship while seriously boosting retention. First, you’ll need to set up a newsletter system with a service like MailChimp is free up to 2,000 contacts and unlimited emails. This will help you craft personalized messages and allow anyone interested in your event to stay up to date. Then, reach out personally to friends and past students who you think may be interested. Then ask them if they’d like to join your email list, for regular updates and potential freebies. Even if they aren’t ready to commit to signing up for your class yet, getting regular emails with class updates could change that, while also spreading awareness.

You should also consider using a free website builder like Weebly or Strikingly to create a landing page for your class, where you can put key info and promotional pictures. A personal site will keep all your information in one place, plus you’ll get more eyes on your brand, a key advantage when selling tickets. This helps your overall SEO. 

But how will you sell class tickets? As a fitness event planner, you’re looking for a free way to sell as many class tickets as possible and keep as much revenue as you can. However, most ticket sales software like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

 

  1. Offer Value Upfront (Freebies!)

Free gets people in the door. Excellent quality of service keeps them coming. As a fitness event planner, a great way to get people into your class is to offer free ‘value’ upfronts. These are things like offering a free trial for a day or giving out branded water bottles. 

You could also stress something valuable they’ll gain in just one day or weak. Will they learn a skill? Become more flexible? Advertise these tangible, upfronts on your events page, and you’re sure to increase class signups.

  1. Partnerships

Leverage platforms like a Class Pass and Dabble get you new users and then convert them into members of your own gym. Using these sites as ‘partners’ will dramatically increase your sales. See, hundreds of thousands of potential attendees are on these websites, already searching for you. Rather than you actively seeking attendees, these platforms will allow you to connect with people actively seeking you, making things much easier. Leads coming from sites like Dabble will convert at much higher rates as you have the ability to screen for specific interests, like fitness and fitness classes. 

Another successful partnership strategy is inviting in influencer or even celebrity teachers. Can you find a fitness influencer in your city to teach a class? You can offer exposure and a stipend in exchange. Guest teachers will not only boost your class’s reputation, but it will draw fans of the guest to your class, improving your visibility and attendance.

Sponsorship could also be a route for your fitness classes. This doesn’t even necessarily have to be monetary sponsorship – a local company providing free health drinks, free fitness mats, or even just their logo could make your event considerably more attractive to attendees.  If you can find a company that will benefit from sponsoring your class, you could greatly enhance your budget for advertisements and form a long-lasting partnership that helps both parties. You’ll want to build a list of potential sponsors, businesses whose customers’ interests align with your class. These would be things like sporting goods stores, energy drink companies, or even clothing lines. Reach out to the companies on your list with a friendly email or call, explaining why this company would benefit from sponsoring your fitness class. These are usually things like increased exposure and brand awareness. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.

  1. Rave Reviews

Great reviews will make a big difference in selling your fitness class. Not only will most potential attendees search for reviews, in 2019 many potential attendees will search for classes on reviews sites. Much of the traffic to your event page will come directly from sites like Yelp and FourSquare, attendees first impression of your class coming from reviews. And you want to make a good first impression, right? 

The key is to have as many high-quality reviews as possible. Create a Yelp page, a FitResever page, a Business.com page – as many review sites as you can. Then reach out to previous attendees of your classes and ask for reviews, as well as offering freebies or a discount for current attendees who write a review. Not only will this boost your visibility, but your credibility as well, which will seriously improve your sales.

 

Data Shows These Non-profit Events Raise the Most ...

  1. Food, Wine, and Music events

“Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!” Data shows events geared around those three items will sell the most tickets. Food and drink, especially those with music, consistently rank #1 for tickets sold for a variety of reasons. First, food and drink events are dependable, and have a kind of ‘brand’ – most everyone has attended this sort of event, and has a good idea of what they’re in for. Food, wine, and music events also give attendees a reason to mingle and chat, providing excellent networking and team-building opportunities. People know food and drink events, and even better, they know they like them.

Food and drink events range from traditional sit-down dinners to exciting food fairs, all of which are extremely popular. For example, San Francisco’s Plate by Plate sells their tickets out by taking the best chefs and restaurants in the city and bringing them all under one roof. Attendees can go from booth to booth trying different a variety of exciting different flavors and cuisines. Compass Family Service’s annual “Toast & Taste” event follows a similar format, bringing a diverse line up of food and drink into their venue, where attendees get to taste different foods at each station. On top of all that, Compass Family Service adds games and music, spicing up their events. Attendees are never disappointed.

As a non-profit event planner, the success of food, wine, and music-based events means that this is a safe, guaranteed-to-sell event type. And what’s more? Unlike many themed events, these events tend to cost less, meaning you can charge less for tickets and host with less effort. But you’re not off the hook yet! You’ll still need to secure a unique venue, reach out to potential attendees, sponsors, and entertainers, not to mention optimize the event for donations. This checklist will help you start.

  1. Niche Music Concerts

Rock on, music fans! Niche concerts are a close second in most tickets sold, attendees coming en masse to see their favorite bands and performers.

The keyword in niche music events is niche. As a non-profit event planner, your goal isn’t to get the biggest, most popular musician or group, but rather to find one that caters to a very specific audience. It’s extremely difficult for a non-profit to compete with music promoters and industry insiders over the most popular bands. But by focusing on the niche and indie community, you’ll not only have better luck finding performers, but you’ll also capture a specific market both interested in your performer and giving to charitable causes. Namely, your charitable cause. 

  1. Casino Games

The odds are in your favor for luck-based event types! Casino Game event types consistently sell out their tickets, event planners hiring a third party casino to bring in games like Black Jack, Poker, and roulette. The casino provides attendees with chips, as well as trained staff, like dealers and servers. 

Combining food, fun, and a healthy amount of gambling is sure to draw in attendees and get open their wallets for your nonprofit’s cause.

  1. Cooking Classes 

Cook up impressive ticket sales with a cooking class. NPO’s who host cooking classes bring attendees together, teach them how to make tasty meals, not to mention digging into said tasty meals. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that kind of event? 

Cooking classes sell so many tickets because they come across as worth paying for. A cooking class is a clear value proposition. Attendees know they’ll get something out of the event, namely food and cooking skills with the added value of knowing they are also supporting a good cause. Many non-profit events that tend to do less impressively with ticket sales forget to offer something in exchange for the ticket, beyond simply donating to your nonprofit’s cause.

  1. Niche conference with well-known guest speakers

Bring your attendees together for a valuable conference with speakers they care about, and you’re sure to sell plenty of tickets. The key here, like with the cooking class, is to offer a value proposition. Why are attendees supposed to buy tickets for your conference? The answer that sells the most tickets is well-known speakers.

Invite a powerful influencer or figure relevant to your attendees to come speak at your event. But how I afford a powerful speaker,” you ask. “My non-profit is on a budget!” Never fear, because many speakers, if picked carefully, will be happy to speak for free. Be sure to target potential speakers relevant to your attendees and in your niche. This way, the speakers you contact will have a genuine passion for your cause and may be willing to speak free. The last key is to approach speakers, plural. Remember, attendees won’t read rejection letters, and it only takes one yes. Here’s a sample speaker request email. 

 

As a non-profit event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and spreading your message of change. When it comes to ticket sales software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!

 

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • Sell event tickets online
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

 

6. Maritime events with food and drinks

Set sail for excellent ticket sales with a submarine or cruise non-profit event! An event on the water gives hesitant attendees an excellent reason to attend, as the novelty of water tugs at attendees’ sense of adventure. Not to mention cruises and sub trips tend to be expensive outside the world of non-profit events, meaning attendees are sure to understand why they’re paying for event tickets.

Getting on a boat transports attendees to a whole new world, a world shaped and branded by the non-profit company hosting. Their cruise will be meticulously planned and tailored by your own company, creating an intimate relationship with your non-profit and attendees. Pulling attendees from their traditional land-loving-lives will also get them interacting amongst themselves, bringing them closer together. 

  1. Kid events and classes 

NPO’s aren’t kidding around with kid events. Our final ticket-selling event type is kid’s events and classes. These are events like BSA Foundation’s KidsBuild! program, where kids are brought into a makers space, where they get to learn science and engineering principles hands-on. Sprout’s Cooking Club is another great example, where kids 7 and up learn to make healthy food and have fun doing it.

The obvious reason kid events clock in last on our list is that not everyone interested in non-profit events has kids, and less would be interested in bringing them along (Or even able! Kids can be stubborn.) But why are these events successful?

First, childcare is expensive, and if your event is well planned and marketed, potential attendees may be accustomed to paying for kid events and will be happy to buy tickets to your kids class or event like they would for any other kid event, with the added bonus of supporting a good cause. Second, parents and guardians want to impart strong value on their kids, and exposing them to non-profit events early can be a great way to do this. Last, non-profit kid events can just be an incredible experience for the kids, allowing them to hang with kids their own age, away from the classroom. Generation X parents have been shown again and again to value events where they get to spend time with and away from their kids. Whichever option your event chooses, whether giving families some alone time while their kids take part in the event or if families get to experience the event with their kids, many attendees will be happy to buy tickets.

 

 

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4 Event Branding Mistakes that Kill Ticket Sales

top 4 event branding mistakes

  1. Not Communicating Values

The most successful events share values with their attendees. Do your events have a clear value? Can you describe your event’s personality, both visually and in your event’s messaging?

A good value litmus test is to ask past attendees to associate one word with your events. If you get similar responses, your values are coming across. If not, you may need to make a change. For example, most Coke event-goers associate the word family with their events, while Pepsi event-goers tend to associate more energetic words like fun and thrills.

identity theft fingreprint

A great way to fix this branding issue is via market research. Look at similar events, appealing to the same audience. How are they communicating their values, in what media? What keywords are they using? What personality can you see, and how does that attract their customers? Answering these questions will help you fine-tune yours.

  1. Event Brand is Different than Company Brand or Past Event Brand

One of the biggest event branding mistakes is inconsistency. You want your event brand to be recognizable and attributed to your company, as after all the event and the company were both created under the same mission statement. While it’s definitely true that overly corporate-focused event brand for the event runs the risk of coming off as self-promoting and fake, ignoring your company’s brand entirely is worse. For example, Apple, a company priding itself on innovation and tech-savviness, would probably not want to brand an event as old-fashioned or traditional and without any emphasis on technology. While corporate branding can frustrate people, a totally unrelatable brand just confuses people, which can in many cases be worse. 

Another frequently made mistake is brand inconsistency from event to event. Does each one of your events seem to convey a completely different message? Is there any clear thread that connects them? Make sure that your event messaging can easily be linked to each other. This will not only improve your events’ visibility and encourage attendees to return, but it will allow your successful events to build on each other. Attendees who enjoyed your event will know to attribute their good time to your brand and its messaging. This will help you develop a reputation around your brand. 

  1. No Value Proposition

Does your brand offer value, ie something tangible to your attendees, or is it more intangible? How does it stand out to potential attendees?

A common issue for event brands, especially for experienced event planners, is value proposition coupled with differentiation. Branding messages that make it clear why attendees should attend your event rather than those just like it, and if they’ve been to previous events, why should they go to another one?

One great way to fix this branding sin is by stressing a value ‘add-on.’ For example, the Writer’s Digest conference stresses a ‘Pitch Slam’ in their messaging, an hour add-on where writers pitch to agents. This unique feature not only makes them stand out from other writing conferences, but it also encourages previous attendees to come back for this new feature. 

  1. Your Software Swallows your Brand

As an event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and spreading your message of change. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. But what you might not know is that most ticket sales software takes huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. The powerful branding messaging behind software like Eventbrite and Ticketmaster will appear on your event page when selling tickets with their software, which can sideline your event’s brand and visibility. A ‘White-Label’ software is often a good alternative. This ticket sales software is essentially invisible, aka ‘white label’, allowing potential attendees to only see your event’s branding when using their software.

Sparxo is a white-label software to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • Sell event tickets online
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

 

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

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QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

6 SUPER FUN EVENT IDEAS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

NONPROFIT EVENTS: 5 REASONS YOU NEED MOBILE TICKETING

HOW THE HOLLAND DRAG SHOW SOLD OUT EVENT TICKETS DESPITE CRITICAL MAYOR

How the Holland Drag Show Sold out Event Tickets d...

Holland drag show

After the Mayor of Holland Nancy DeBoer and others on a Talk of the Town radio said they did not approve of drag show coming to Holland, the show’s event tickets sold out, filling more seats than ever before. What exactly happened? And what can event planners learn from this?

The Michigan Drag Brunch Show is exactly what it sounds like – a drag show at brunch. Attendees get to enjoy brunch food while watching drag performance. Mayor DeBoer expressed disapproval of the show on-air, encouraging residents who disapproved not to attend, as disapproval and low attendance could call the event off.

“I have never been to that type of event,” the mayor said. “It’s just not the kind of event I would attend.” In response to one commenter’s disapproval, the mayor expressed concerns over the show’s values, saying “There’s a whole variety of values now that we didn’t, we didn’t deal with, you know, 50 years ago.

“Stay away,” another caller said. “If they don’t get any crowds for something like that they won’t come here.”

However, these comments seemed to have the opposite effect: Within 24 hours of the mayor’s radio appearance, the event sold out. How? And why? Let’s take this the Michigan Drag Brunch as a case study, to see what exactly went right. 

  1. The Show Got the Right People Talking

 

In Holland Michigan, one of the biggest local influencers, if not the biggest, is mayor DeBoer. Love her or hate her, most of the Drag Brunch Show’s potential customers were listening. Once the mayor talked about the Brunch Drag Show, news of the show was on everyone’s lips. The takeaway is that the more people talking about your event, the better. Not everyone has to be saying good things. That’s fine. People who don’t approve of your event aren’t your target demographic. However, if your event is on everyone’s lips, your target demographic is sure to hear. The success in ticket sales is also due to unwitting influencer marketing. Like in Holland, if your event can get people with a following talking about your event, you’re ticket sales will skyrocket. Actively out to influencers who your target customer listens to, even if they’re not necessarily in your niche. This will help create a serious buzz for your event.

  1. The Show had a Clear Brand Message and Audience

One of the biggest criticisms of the Holland Drag Show was that their ‘values’ did not align with the values of the city of Holland. How could that explain ticket sales? The answer lies in branding. The Holland Drag Show events had a clear message, and potential attendees could get a very clear idea of not only what they event was about, but what the culture and atmosphere of their events would be like. Make it Unique. Make it fun. Make it brunch with us – their simple mission statement of fun and unique, niche performance comes through in all the show’s media. Their site explains in bold letters that they produce “Sunday-Fundays,” with a Facebook and Instagram featuring boatloads of party emojis, pictures of drag performers, and promotion of LGBT non-profits in their mission. They even tagged the mayor in these posts! And on their shop page, attendees can buy hilarious shirts reinforcing this carefree, confident attitude, with messages like She Doesn’t Even Brunch Here or Resting Brunch Face. The Michigan Drag Race was unapologetically them, with confidence, youthful energy, and commitment to carefree atmosphere in everything they did. Sure, this may not appeal to everyone living in Holland. But it doesn’t have to. The show’s clear brand weeded out anyone who would be otherwise uninterested while hitting their target demographic hard. A clear, decisive mission statement and voice to your event announcements and information can be an incredible way to separate your event from the crowd and boost ticket sales. 

  1. The Show kept Technology Personal

 

The Drag Brunch Show is nothing else if not extremely human. First, the show kept an active mailing list and support email, where an actual human being would answer individual questions and queries, usually with a dash of their iconic voice. 

 

Second, they engaged with customers and potential customers on social media. Like, a lot. The show would like and comments on viewers post, doing their best to provide authentic interaction. They also told a story with the pictures they posted, sharing information about performers that pulled on their audience’s heartstrings.

 

Last, the Drag Brunch Show sold tickets directly from their website. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal. Plenty of business and event planners sell tickets through event software like EventBrite and Ticketmaster. But expert event planners like those behind the Drag Brunch show know that these popular ticketing sites often hurt SEO, brand, take big chunks of ticket revenue, and promote competing events to attendees. The Drag Brunch Show realized how incredibly important their brand, their message was to ticket sales. Frankly, it was all they had going for them. By choosing a “whitelabel” software, the MI Drag Show was able to keep tickets sales, FAQ, and customer data in one place, traffic going directly to their site instead of sites like EVentbrite. And it was the MI Drag Race’s site, their message, that ultimately sold tickets. Selling directly from their site also simplified things for customers, many of whom were not particularly tech savvy and may have been confused with a redirect to a prominent event software’s website.

 

As an event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, marketing, securing venues, and delivering an unforgettable experience for attendees. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!

 

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • Sell event tickets online
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

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

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

6 SUPER FUN EVENT IDEAS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

NONPROFIT EVENTS: 5 REASONS YOU NEED MOBILE TICKETING

6 Super Fun Event Ideas for College Students

college event ideas

So you want to host a college event. Great! Trouble is, you have no idea what you want to do. What events can you throw for your college organization that are actually manageable and fun? Never fear because Sparxo is here with 6 easy to host, super fun events. You’re welcome.

  1. Game Night

See who has game in your group by hosting a game night! Gather up a variety of board, video, and party games and then put them all in one place with some free food. Jenga, Twister, Mario Kart, Ping Pong, Blackjack – that sort of thing.

Often, college dorms will be able to offer most of these games for free and will be willing to lend them to your organization. Be sure to offer a good variety of games. This way, if members get tired of one game, they’ll have lots to choose from, plus you’ll entice them with fresh games they’ve never heard of. Learning and playing games together will be a great opportunity for members to get to know each other better and grow as a team. Not to mention have lots of fun.

  1. Next-level Movie Night 

People love movies, but what they love even more are movies about themselves. Host a creative movie night for your college organization by offering to play a popular movie and movies made by members of your own organization. Put together a short movie yourself as an example, and offer a prize to whoever makes the best movie. With phones and laptops, just about anyone can put together a fun video in just hours. Invent a theme, some basic rules on content, video runtime, material, and prizes. Encourage your members to form teams so that they’ll have a chance to bond together. Finally, find a projector and a convenient venue to serve as a theatre. 

When the contest period ends, bring everyone together to watch their films, with free snacks of course. This should get everyone in the mood for whatever feature film you’ve picked to put on after. Comparing their work to the feature-length movie is sure to make for some interesting discussion. Just, hopefully not during the movie.

  1. Dog Day

Bring in animals to help your college organization de-stress and grow together! The unconditional love of a dog or similar pet has been shown to help reduce anxiety, stress, and even depression. Unfortunately, most college students aren’t able to keep pets. Luckily for your college organization, you can invite an animal mental health group to your organization, often for free.

Many colleges and universities have nearby mental health animal organizations, often on-campus groups designed to cater to college organizations like yours. UC Berkeley, for example, has an on-campus Destress with Dogs program that brings trained dogs to clubs and campus organizations. Cornell has a similar program with guide dogs. In exchange for their time and service animals at your organization’s events, these animal groups gain visibility and exposure. Win-win. 

If your school does not have one of these groups nearby or on campus, consider a petting zoo or a farm. Many local farms and even animal shelters have tours and programs open to the public to raise awareness. These can be great opportunities for your group to get their fur fix. 

  1. Viable Volunteering

We know, we know. You’ve suffered through group volunteer events that were as much fun watching paint dry. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right research and planning, you can find volunteer events designed for college organizations that your members will actually enjoy. Since so many colleges encourage or even require service commitments from their organizations, volunteer organizations often target college groups like yours, with events made for an exciting team-building experience.  

But how do you find these events, you ask? With viable volunteering, it’s all about location, location, location. You want to be doing somewhere your members will actually enjoy what they’re doing. For example, a beach cleanup would be preferable to an alleyway cleanup. Volunteering in a New Year’s celebration would be preferable to volunteering at New Year’s garbage dump. Look on volunteering websites like VolunteerMatch and Idealist for cultural celebrations, exciting location cleanups, and food volunteering opportunities. You’ll also want to make sure your volunteering at an event designed for organizations. Before deciding on an opportunity, be sure to contact the coordinator, and see if they’ve hosted school organizations in the past. 

Not only will volunteering help your organization come together, but it will also boost your organization’s reputation in the community. 

  1. Formals and College Proms

Throwing a grownup style prom party is an easy way to hook members of your college organization, plus spice up an end-of-semester celebration or award ceremony. Swap boring punch for a spiked punch bowl and redeem your old school prom dress and tuxedos. Instead of hosting your traditional end-of-semester recognition party, make it a college prom, spicing up the event with dance, music, and a whole new level of fun.

First, you’ll want to pick a venue and theme for your college prom. Make sure the space can accommodate your entire group, plus has room for food, drinks, lighting, and decorations. Many college organizations will have used spaces like these before for past reception and award ceremonies. Spend a few nights before your event transforming the space with balloons, streamers, and any other easy party decorations. Make a playlist, and ensure you have speakers set up in your venue, along with snacks and abundant seating. You’ll also want to put together a series of high-school themed awards beforehand as well, like most-likely-to-be-early-to-a-meeting or class-clown. Awards like these will make members feel seen and grow closer to your organization.

Finally, send out invitations to your members, explaining that instead of a traditional award ceremony, you’ll be hosting a College Prom, where instead of a Prom King or Queen, you’ll be recognizing member contribution. When everyone arrives, act as MC, putting on your playlist and making sure everyone has a good time. If you’re looking to raise funds for your organization, you could charge members a small fee for their ticket. This could help pay for food, drinks, and entertainment, plus may even make the prom experience feel more authentic.

As a college event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and managing your business. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand
  1. Pool Party

Need we say more? A pool party is the perfect way for your group to unwind, exercise, and cool down, all while having lots of fun. It gets everyone outside, requires limited setup, plus offers a low-maintenance activity that will keep your group members busy for hours. 

The first step is to find your pool. We recommend an outdoor pool, one with plenty of space for talking and eating, plus provides shaded areas for partygoers. Often, your campus will have access to an outdoor pool that will work perfectly. If your campus doesn’t have an outdoor pool, reach out to your network of friends, family, and former organization members. It’s very likely that someone will have access to a pool nearby. If you can’t find one through your network, contact local community pools – they usually offer reservations for a reasonable fee. Also, don’t forget that many hotels with pools offer organizations a one-day pass for their pool without staying at the hotel.  Once you’ve secured your pool venue, just bring together a few decorations and some snacks (plastic cups and utensils, no glass) and you’ll have a fun, low maintenance event your college organization is sure to enjoy.

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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4 Trends that Could Leave Event Planners Behind

  1. Greater Personalization

An emphasis on personalization was key in 2019 and will likely only grow in importance in 2020 and beyond. According to Statista, the average email open rate for a personalized message was 19% versus 13% for one that was not personalized at all. But personalization is about more than just getting a client’s first name right. 

On the tech side, this includes things like presenting content based on attendees click-through on their sign up and email responses. You’ll also want to be personal with the number of emails you send, a different sequence based on interaction with your messages and brand.

Attendees are also increasingly interested in personalized event activities. This high level of personalization is usually achieved by offering the attendees many different ways to spend their hours. In Summer 2019, the NYC Writer’s Digest Conference offers attendees over 3 different activities to choose from every hour, and  2018’s C2 event in Montréal even offered 11 different ways to spend their hours. In the coming years, event planners will use attendee interest data to tailor the event experience, from personal targeted ads and notifications to building specialized attendee agendas for each attendee beforehand. Be sure to stress this customizable schedule to your attendees. Giving event goers greater options in how they spend their time will improve their experience and sense of personalization.

  1. More Non-traditional Venues

Hotel venues just aren’t as hot as they were. Last year, the Global Meetings Forecast predicted a 4% increase in the use of non-traditional venues. And according to a Social Table survey, 92% of event planners said they believe events are more likely to be booked outside of a hotel than they were five years ago.

Booking a non-traditional venue can push you outside your comfort zone and stretch your planning skills, but in our opinion, it’s well worth it. A unique venue will make your event experience more memorable, standing out from the crowd.

What does this mean for event planners? For starters, it means you’ll need to start earlier. Securing unique venues takes serious outreach, research, and money. Competing events may be trying to book more iconic or unique venues in your area as well, offering even more incentive to start early. Better safe than sorry!

  1. More Help and Smarter Chatbots

Believe it or not, artificial intelligence is normal now. According to a Nielsen study, about 24% of American Households own smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google’s home speaker. Many of your attendees will own voice assistants, and almost all of them have experience using them.

You can take advantage of this trend by using artificial intelligence chatbots to answer basic questions through an event app, or even before your event, through platforms like Facebook Messenger. It’s faster for attendees, less intimidating, and will give your staff more time and resources to tackle bigger and more questions. So rather than eliminating human help, artificial intelligence allows you to enhance your event’s human and artificial assistance by working smarter, not harder.

4. Last Minute Sign Ups and Personalized Ticketing

Over the last year, event planners have seen more and more late sign-ups, ticket sales going up until the last minute. Attendees are waiting longer and longer to register for events. People are waiting for last-minute travel bargains offset ticket prices, leaving their options open for better prices, deals, and event add-on choices.

You can take advantage of this trend with personalized targeting. Send out personalized emails to past attendees who have yet to register for this year’s event, explaining they’ll be missed if they don’t attend. You can also set a low early bird price, but without a definitive end date for the early bird sales. Customers will not know exactly how long they have to get the lower priced tickets, creating a sense of urgency.

You can also take advantage of this focus on attendee FOMO and ticket research by offering premium ticketing and pricing attendees are increasingly eager to eliminate event uncertainty, willing to pay extra to guarantee they’ll meet keynote speakers and talk to everyone on their VIP list.

For example, the Writer’s Digest Conference offers a $150 add-on for the “Pitch Slam,” assuring attendees with this ticket that they will get to pitch to agents. And motivational speaker Tony Robbins, known for his iconic Date With Destiny seminar, charges ticket price based seating much the same as a play or rock concert, the front rows more expensive than the far back.

Consider creating add ons for your ticket levels as well, perks like meet-and-greets, a networking breakfast, and premium seating. Getting creative with ticketing options will both make your event feel personalized, catered to attendee experience, and will generate more revenue for your event.

As an event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and managing your business. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!

  • Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
  • aggregate all of your customer data in one place
  • Keep 100% of your ticket sales
  • White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand

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

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP