Category: Event Producers

Event Tech Trends for 2020

Technology changes with the times and both are changing fast. With the price structure of event tech going down as the tech gets smarter, event planners can take advantage of new technology to rock 2020’s event season. But with all the new innovation, it’s also never been easier to fall behind, missing critical event tech trends.

 

What’s in store for event industry tech? Here are 4 key tech trends to watch for.

  1. Radio Makes a Comeback

Radio was huge and the 1920’s and it’s poised to be huge in the 2020s, too. Event planning is being revolutionized by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), automating and personalizing events, while providing brilliant insight into attendee activity. 

RFID proximity devices provide insight into where event-goers are in your event and what they do. These devices can be card readers, badges, wristbands, small keychains—the important thing is that they’re cheap, simple, and have radio capacity. These proximity devices let you know where attendees are whenever the device is signaled, and many can even offer the same capability to attendees, allowing parties to find each other easily. Some of these devices can even point out key attractions to attendees. This RFID tech lets you see where attendees go, how long they stay, and which products and features they engage with at the event—all critical data. Even better? Rather than being limited to data after the event, RFID presents data in real-time, giving event planners a better understanding of the event during the event. This is invaluable for making changes on the fly and spotting problems attendees may have with the event.

RFID tech also streamlines events, allowing for cashless payments and confirmations with just the tap of a wristband. RFID can allow for personalized event access, VIP’s getting an extra special experience, their RFID devices enabling early access, discounts, reminders, and special attractions. RFID seems to be a leap forward for event planners and attendees because it’s so simple, streamlining everything from security to check-in.

If you’re looking to further streamline your ticketing and event-planning process, consider a white label solution. If you find RFID is still too expensive for your event budget needs, QR codes, while simple, has most of the same capacity. Ask us about its white glove service opportunities to simplify your needs and budget. Sparxo is an all-in effective if your tickets are also sold directly from your site, allowing for direct conversions, aggregating all your data in one place. You can use Sparxo to post your event description and sell tickets for your event directly from your website with no redirects – all for free! Sparxo lets you:

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

Robots are dominating 2020’s RFP game. A Request For Proposal (RFP) is a request that event planners send to suppliers, usually potential venues. In plain English, it’s how event planners ask for a venue. According to a Cvent Global  Planner Sourcing Report, only 16% of event planners said they are “certain of their venue” when they begin the process of sourcing a venue. Going into 2020, event venue finders and RFP tools have been combined into automated event venue sourcing tools, streamlining the process for event planners. These tools will present you with hundreds of thousands of event venues, complete with blueprints and full specs. Once you’ve found a few venues that work, event sourcing tools send the venue manager a tested RFP, improving your odds of landing your dream venue.

Venue sourcing technology is not quite ready to cut out the human middle man—a human touch is still important for best results. You may want to further personalize some of your RFP’s, stressing special features of your event or some unusual venue feature you need. Also consider sending your RFPs out when people actually check their emails. Mornings on weekdays have much higher open rates than late Fridays or weekends. Many of these Event Sourcing tools can even do it for you, but it’s something to always be thoughtful of. Make sure your RFP asks for cost and DDR (Day Delegate Rate), as automation tools can compare these to final you the best rates.

  1. Ingenious Internet

Slow internet seems to be the bane of every event ever. Again and again, attendees report issues accessing and staying connected to event wifi, struggling to download key event information and media. But what if we told you internet connection could not only get much faster but also become one the most powerful tool for event planners’ analytics?

Enter, 5G. While 4G LTE ran 100 megabits per second at top speed, 5G runs 10 gigabits per second. 5G is 100 times faster than most attendees’ current 4G devices! This will make so many event technical difficulties a thing of the past. There always seems to be a handful of attendees who can’t access online event programming, left out of downloadable videos or photo sharing, or even big tech demonstrations like 3d, artificial reality, and virtual reality. The fear of these new technologies being glacially slow and crashing made event planners… cautious, to put it kindly. But 5g speeds make these fears a thing of the past, potentially turning more complex event tech from a risky fad to key feature.

Internet isn’t just getting faster, it’s getting smarter. 2020’s Wifi can give event planners key data and insight, from the sorts of technology attendees use to their demographics. Wifi will likely only get better at collecting information, able to offer key insight into how your attendees engage with your event, what they enjoy doing, and even what problems they need solving. The analytics of modern wifi gather incredibly useful data on attendees, data that can impress sponsors and help you improve. Before your event, ask your Wifi provider what data you can collect, potentially turning that knowledge into power with sponsors and future event planning.

  1. Artificial Intelligence Gets Less Artificial

As the demand for artificial intelligence is higher, the bar is higher, too. According to a Nielsen study, 24% of American households own smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home’s speaker. Many of your attendees will own voice assistants, and they’ve come accustomed to a smooth, smart experience. A responsive FAQ is no longer enough—as AI grows in its capabilities, so will event planners.

Chatbots are an incredible way to automate customer service with AI, streamlining the process for both event attendees and planners. Attendees tend to have the same or similar questions. They want answers as fast as possible, and a robot operating at 10 gigabits per second is more qualified for that job than human event planners and staff. Event planners can use 

But moving into 2020, artificial intelligence has the potential to make attendee experience less artificial and more human, personalizing the event. Some AI technologies can collect data from attendee social media and web activity, and then provide them event recommendations based on those preferences with shocking accuracy. This could potentially be used for smarter networking and meet-and-greets, artificial intelligence suggesting attendees other attendees with similar interests. AI itself could also connect with attendees on a more human level going into 2020. Smart AI like Neon’s Spectra is being put to use at events, artificial intelligence with more fluid communication styles, including friendly voices and faces to make the experience as human as possible. This new AI with a focus on human touch could very well be the next big thing in the events space. At the very least, it’ll be an improvement from finicky FAQ bots. There’s no Nielsen data on chatbots attendees want to strangle, but we’ve all thought about it.

 

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MORE THAN JUST WARM BODIES: STAFFING YOUR EVENT THE RIGHT WAY

More Than Just Warm Bodies: Staffing Your Event th...

You have the time and place ready to go for your event. You still have a lot of items on your to-do list, but one of the most critical is finding and hiring staff to make sure your event runs smoothly. 

Hiring staff for events shouldn’t be just about filling a space with warm bodies. A dynamic staff can be the key to providing a high-quality immersive brand experience that leaves attendees satisfied and with a positive impression, increasing the likelihood of word-of-mouth and social sharing about your event and brand. 

 “Not only is the event staff the face of your brand, but they help to build and establish relationships with your most valued customers,” notes Margaret Colebeck of Event Manager Blog.

Where to Find Staff

Ideally, you’ll find some of your staff through referrals with a track record for reliability and success. If you have an online community, this can also be a great way to find staff, as these are people who already have familiarity with and are likely enthusiastic about your mission or brand.

While these are good strategies, it can be difficult to fully staff an event this way. Online job boards like Jooble for event jobs are quick and easy, and can help you with the initial paring down of applicants. Post the details of the event, when and where staff will be needed, what kinds of qualities you are looking for, and instructions in how to apply.  Make sure your tone is both professional and friendly. Be sure also to have a process in place for processing applications. If you aren’t getting enough applicants, try casting a wider net and reviewing your job ad. 

 

Tips For Hiring Event Staff

 Industry experts suggest the following when hiring staff: 

  • Don’t hire just on looks. You want someone who looks presentable, of course, but someone with a friendly, welcoming attitude who can quickly resolve problems is going to be a lot more valuable than someone who simply sits around looking pretty. 

 

  • Be honest about what the job entails. People know what they can handle; this will help weed out people looking to make an easy buck. 

 

  • Consider using an online application that uses video to get an idea for a potential staff member’s personality and communication skills. 

 

  • When you find someone who you think is a good fit, offer them the job as soon as possible, before they’re snapped up somewhere else.

“Hiring event staff is an investment in your company and it’s important to find the right mix of skills and abilities in the people you hire – whether they’re part of your day-to-day team or contracted for a specific event,” says Melanie Woodward of Eventplanningblueprint.com. 

Some qualities to look for when hiring: 

  • A genuine interest in the organization and event and a willingness to represent your brand 
  • Ability to listen and communicate well 
  • Demonstrated relevant experience
  • Reliability and flexibility 
  • Energetic and outgoing (especially if interacting with event-goers) 
  • Ability to acknowledge areas of strength and areas that need to work, and demonstrated efforts at making improvements 

Make Time For Training 

Once you’ve assembled your staff, arrange for training that includes information about your company and brand. Even if the venue you are using comes with its own staff, it is important to convey to everyone who will work your event the ultimate goals of your particular event and organization. 

 Make sure all employees understand the exact process for handling a problem, including who to go to and what to do in an emergency. It may be tempting to skip over this training for a one-time event, but taking an hour to provide this information can be the difference between a disaster and a success. 

Finally, make sure your legal ducks are in a row. Consult with your accountant, human resources professional, or legal team about everything you must do when hiring temporary staff. You also might want to consider having all staff sign a non-disclosure agreement if that’s relevant for your industry to further protect your brand.

Planning For Future Events 

Taking some time after the event to review the performance of staff can pay off in the long run when you need to hire again. Make note of anyone who especially stood out or went the extra mile and make sure to keep their contact details on file. Conversely, take note of any staff who didn’t come through, or just weren’t a good fit. Also, assess the training and processes and look for any areas that could be improved. Every event is a learning experience; build on those lessons so your next event is the best one yet. 

 

About Sparxo

There are many details to take care of when planning an event. You may want to check out Sparxo’s white-glove service that includes everything from ticketing to registration, check-in, staffing, hardware, box office, and badge printing. Sparxo is the platform for you. If your organization runs several events, multiple event coverage is also available. Sparxo enables you to enter event registration and ticketing on to any website with no other brand or logos, produce media-rich pages to assist with your brand and selling efforts, offers a straightforward guest arrival app and permits you to possess all of your information, therefore, you’ll be able to track your progress. Everyone has full access to all features, despite the size or type of event-free or paid!

 

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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

4 EVENT BRANDING MISTAKES THAT KILL TICKET SALES

HOW TO GET DONATIONS FOR YOUR NON-PROFIT EVENT

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THE SECRET CODE FOR COMPELLING EVENT DESCRIPTIONS

The Secret Code for Compelling Event Descriptions

Your event description is your pitch. It doesn’t just tell your attendees about your event, it tells your attendees why they should come to your event. People will glance at this description and decide if it appeals enough for them to attend, so it’s essential that your description is compelling. But how do you craft a compelling event description? We have 6 pointers to get you rolling.

  1. Name of the Game

A great event name is the first step to getting people to actually read your event description. Great event names grab attention while communicating the gist of your event. A strong event name is not necessarily a summary of the event, but it captures the type of event and entices people to learn more. It should also be memorable and compelling enough to go on promotional materials. Some examples of strong event names:

-Free Shakespeare in the Park

-Happy Hour Silent Disco

-California Academy of Sciences Teen Night

-Exploratorium: Museum After Dark

 

  1. Raise your Voice

Your event description doesn’t just tell attendees what will happen at your event, it tells them what your event will be like. The voice, or personality, of your event description, gives attendees a sense of your event’s personality. Will the event be a formal dinner? A casual meetup? An exciting trail run? The voice of your event description should match your event’s personality, so potential attendees can get a sense of what sort of atmosphere they can expect at the event.

How do you decide on what sort of voice to use in your event description? You can start by reading descriptions for similar events, getting a sense of their voice. Also, consider your attendees. What are they expecting to get out of the event? What experience would they like to have? Do they want a playful atmosphere or something more serious?

Above all else, your voice should be snappy. You have very few words to capture everything great your event has to offer. Every word needs to serve a purpose, giving key information and incentive to come. You don’t have room for any filler words. When writing and editing your description, strive to make it as lean as possible, cutting unnecessary words while still maintaining your description’s voice. You want to end up with a concise description that captures your event’s key details and personality.

  1. It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Your event description needs:

-Date, time, and location

-Event purpose and activities

-Ticket price

-Appealing details

-Call to action

 

Once you have those elements, it all comes down to how you put them together. If you stuff your description full of filler words and numbers, leading with boring facts, your attendees will likely be overwhelmed and disinterested. But if you stress enticing details like well-known speakers at the event or the good the event does or even free food, your reader will be able to connect with the description. 

You’ll want to paint a picture for your attendees with your most important and appealing details, not just throw facts at them. You can always add an FAQ to the bottom of your event description if you have more facts or figures. Not only would people prefer to see the benefits of attending before the time and cost, but reading about the reasons to attend first makes them more likely to accept that cost. 

  1. Reading the Room

Where will your description be read? The location of the event description can shape its format and content.

The description on your own website:

Event description on your website gives your extra control, allowing you to shape its format and presentation easily. You can include enticing media like videos and high definition images, as well as links and call-to-action like ticket checkout. Event description on your site is extra effective if your tickets are also sold directly from your site, allowing for direct conversions. You can use Sparxo to post your event description and sell tickets for your event directly from your website with no redirects – all for free! Sparxo lets you:

      • 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

Event Description in Email:

An event description needs to stand out more than ever in a crowded inbox. You’ll want to use a short subject line, ideally under 60 characters, personalized with the recipient’s name. Including some value proposition and urgency (Free Shakespeare, Tickets Limited!) may increase the email’s open rate. Making a picture of your brand and company name visible from the inbox will also help, especially if the recipient has opened your emails in the past.

In the email, the event description should especially be concise and compelling. The description should still stress incentives and the appealing details upfront, but everything should lead to a call-to-action button. Put one of these call-to-action buttons at the top and bottom of your email, making finding it as easy as you can. On your website, potential attendees are likely already in your funnel, tickets always a few clicks away. But in email, your goal is to get them into your funnel by clicking your call-to-action button. Your description should entice attendees to attend your event and learn more about this event by clicking the call-to-action.

 

Event description on social media:

Social media event descriptions will likely be extra concise, as you have less space and less control than on your own website. You’ll also want to take advantage of social media graphics, using thumbnails that grab interest. Including pictures of people in your thumbnail, especially emotional and expressive people, have been shown to increase click rates. On Facebook, inviting all your friends to the event can increase event visibility, especially if you invite them with a personalized message, stressing how they personally can connect with the event. You may also want to consider employing social media advertisements for your event, which tend to be more reasonably priced and accessible than other paid event advertising. Just be due the ad targets people in the event’s area and target demographics.

 

  1. Keywords Are Key

Crafting an event description is a key step in search engine optimization or SEO. You want your event description to be seen by as many people as possible, but also as many interested people as possible. Use keywords in your event description that people interested in your event might search for. Pick out a few keywords, like, and then be sure those keywords are featured prominently and often in your event description. If your own website is already optimized for similar keywords, using free software like Sparxo to put your event description and ticket sales on your own website could improve SEO for this event and future events

  1. Go Easy on the Eyes

TLDR (too long didn’t read) is the kiss of death for event descriptions. But too long doesn’t just mean there are too many words – it means the paragraphs were too long, that your event description contains big blocks of text that nobody has time to comb through.

 

Don’t overwhelm your reader with text. Instead:

-Split description into sections

-Use bold headings

-Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs

-Restate the important details at the top and bottom

 

An easy-to-read event description means more of your description actually gets read, which means more attendees.

 

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 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

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3 NON-PROFIT EVENT TRENDS TO GET MORE DONATIONS

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BRAND AMBASSADORS AND INFLUENCERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

AN EVENT PLANNERS 10 SECRET TIPS TO HAVING A SUCCESSFUL EVENT

DATA SECURITY FOR EVENTS: 5 WAYS TO KEEP INFO SAFE

EVENT APPS – ALL HYPE OR WORTH EVERY PENNY

Event Apps – All Hype or Worth Every Penny

Apps are taking over the events world.

Everyone from a world-class event production agency to small local event management services providers are adopting various apps that help to plan various tasks, interact with attendees, and promote your brand.

However, there’s one question that many event planners often ask – do the most popular apps live up to the hype, or are they just technological fads that will go away in a few years?

Well, to answer that question, we decided to explore the subject of event apps and see which (if any) apps can be an actual improvement over organizing events the old-fashioned way.

Ready to get started? Then read on below.

APPs for Networking

As any event agency will tell you, networking plays a vital role in almost any business event, and so it’s not surprising that apps are offering to streamline the process and make it more effective.

Apps that are available today can make networking before, during, and after events much easier, seamlessly integrating with social media platforms and helping people connect and find colleagues that are relevant to them.

For instance, the Whoa app completely changes the way event attendees make plans – it allows planning attendance of various panels and sessions according to their chosen focus.

It also provides bios and social media links for the speakers and participants, which makes it much easier to connect with the right people and know exactly how to get the most out of every event.

For those organizing events themselves, Attendify offers the option to create their own private social network where attendees can post updates, share photos, and communicate with one another.

APPs for Conferences

Another popular category of apps that are used by event management services providers in the UK and beyond are conference apps.

These apps also cover similar aspects to those discussed in the previous section, but they are uniquely designed to suit the needs of conference organizers and attendees.

It allows attendees to plan their itinerary quickly, learn more about the speakers and participants, network with others, and even discuss various aspects of the events with their peers on the app itself.

Apps like these are designed to help attendees get the best possible experience from the event, so any event production agency is naturally interested in using these tools to make that happen.

Some apps, like Guidebook, even allow you to create a completely customized app experience for your event using their intuitive drag-and-drop system.

This allows you to remain on-brand and focus on the areas and functionality that you deem are the most important to your audience instead of having to rely on a generic layout that is the only option in some of the other apps.

APPs for Consumer Events

Finally, we need to go over apps that are designed to fit the needs of consumer events such as festivals or public gatherings.

As you probably know, today’s consumers expect brands to offer personalized experiences that are catered to the individual’s needs and preferences.

With the help of a few apps, you can do just that, allowing attendees to plan ahead and make the most of their time, participating in the activities that they deem the most worthwhile.

You can even customize the apps to send push notifications so that the person is reminded where an artist or speaker that they want to see is about to perform.

These types of apps can work for a range of consumer events, including music or art festivals, food festivals, or even gatherings related to a particular event.

In the end, these apps help visitors get the most out of their experience, which is the goal that every event planner tries to achieve anyway. The difference with apps is that a lot of the processes can be automated, freeing up the time of the event’s staff to focus on more productive tasks.

Apps like Sparxo even offer convenient branding and advertising opportunities, which gives you more flexibility to not only promote your own events and company but also strike deals with partners, increasing your revenue in the process.

Final Verdict: Are Event Apps Here to Stay?

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most popular uses of event apps, we need to reach a final conclusion – are event apps worth using and will they become even more prominent in the future?

Well, at this point, you probably know what the answer is.

Event apps make the lives of the attendees easier by offering various features, helping them get the most out of their time, and providing useful information about speakers, performances, activities, and people that the attendees may be interested in connecting with.

But even more so, they help event planners increase the satisfaction levels of their guests, as well as free up time it would otherwise take guiding the guests in person for more productive activities.

Apps help streamline a lot of the processes that were previously harder to control – by providing people with information and also giving them a platform to communicate and connect, these apps will continue to be on the rise, as more event companies see the value of getting their events into the mobile devices of the attendees.

If you want your attendees to start reaping the benefits of using apps, you need to figure out which ones work best for the types of events you want to put together or consult with a professional event production agency on how to get the most out of what today’s app technology has to offer.

About Sparxo

There are many details to take care of when planning an event. Sparxo is the platform for you. You will need to provide information about the event, like what type of venue it is, how many attendees you expect, and if alcohol will be served. If your organization runs several events, multiple event coverage is also available. Sparxo enables you to enter event registration and ticketing on to any website with no other brand or logos, produce media-rich pages to assist with your brand and selling efforts, offers a straightforward guest arrival app and permits you to possess all of your information, therefore, you’ll be able to track your progress. There are not any layer levels of access to options. everybody has full access to all options.

Author Bio
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – an event agency in Birmingham, offering event production and conference organising services in the UK. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.

 

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?

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SPECIAL EVENT INSURANCE: DO YOU NEED IT

BRAND AMBASSADORS AND INFLUENCERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

AN EVENT PLANNERS 10 SECRET TIPS TO HAVING A SUCCESSFUL EVENT

DATA SECURITY FOR EVENTS: 5 WAYS TO KEEP INFO SAFE

Data Security for Events: 5 Strategies to Keep Inf...

Today, technology means everything, and it’s no different for nonprofit event planners. While technology can streamline the entire process, there are several security implications that come with it. 

From payment information to mailing addresses, there are a number of reasons why hackers would want to steal your data.  Because of this, nonprofits have no choice but to expand their event planning efforts for the online community. 

Whenever we engage with the internet today, and especially when it includes payment processing or data entry, it usually involves multiple parties. In other words, both guests and planners need to be aware that the security of their processes relies on a configuration of various elements, not just one. 

Data security starts with your nonprofit. Lead by example and implement extra security measures; don’t just tell users what they need to do. 

Unfortunately, if your potential guests don’t know that their data is protected, they won’t register in the first place. Then, your team will miss its fundraising goals by a longshot.

 

In order to protect your sensitive event data, follow these effective practices:

  1. Invest in authentication tools.
  2. Use a secure registration platform.
  3. Constantly stay updated.
  4. Restrict access to data.
  5. Be prepared for a breach.

 

More likely than not, most of your supporters spend ample time online. To reach them, you need to leverage technology. Unless you take the appropriate security measures, your event data will be vulnerable to cybercriminals. If you’re ready to start protecting your event data, let’s dive in!

  1. Invest in authentication tools.

When it comes to any online platform, you should implement some sort of authentication tool. This is especially true when handling sensitive data for events. Doing the bare minimum isn’t safe anymore, so take a proactive approach to security.

These days, traditional login credentials (i.e. a username and password) are no longer enough. Instead, you’ll need to implement an extra layer of protection. That’s where multi-factor authentication comes into play!

Multi-factor authentication, also commonly referred to as two-factor authentication, ensures that your users are who they say they are. When implemented into your tech plan, guests will enter a few key identifiers:

  1. The username and password which they created to register for your event
  2. A uniquely generated passcode that’s sent to their phone, email, or authenticator app

 

User authentication has been around since 2011, but many event platforms still don’t leverage this secure tech. 

As technology evolves, so do authentication platforms. For instance, passwordless options are available now, too. Plus, they’re just as secure as two-factor authentication! Password-free login can be anything from a generated email with an encrypted code to fingerprint scanning. Each has a unique process, but all put an end to the forgotten password conundrum. 

To learn more about this unique twist on authentication, visit Swoop’s passwordless authentication guide.

 

The bottom line: Put up every barrier between hackers and your sensitive event data that you can. User authentication is a powerful first step.

2. Use a secure registration platform.

As a professional event planner, executing events flawlessly is nearly impossible. However, you’ll get much closer to accomplishing this with a comprehensive registration and ticketing platform. You’re bound to increase your registration numbers if you make your registration form as visible and accessible as possible.

However, you need to leverage a secure registration platform. Otherwise, your private event data will be vulnerable to cybercriminals. When researching your next platform, keep an eye out for these key security features:

 

  • Encryption. Since you’ll be handling sensitive payment data, find a platform that encrypts that data. In other words, it should scramble the data and store it in a way that’s useless to unauthorized users.

 

 

  • Secure integration. There’s more to an event than just registration. Because of this, you’ll need to leverage other software solutions such as event planning and marketing platforms. However, make sure those integrations are secure!

 

 

  • Check-in badges. A comprehensive registration platform will feature badge scanning for guests to check in. Not only is this more secure, but it’s also quicker than traditional check-in methods.

 

When selecting event software, ensure that it promises a secure experience for all parties involved. There are a number of safety features to consider in your registration platform. These are just a few baseline requirements to keep in mind.

 

The bottom line: Not only should you leverage user authentication on your own website, but you should also invest in secure event technology that features encryption, secure integrations, and check-in badges.

 

Need actionable tips for planning outside of your event tech? Check out our Ultimate Event Planning Checklist!

3. Constantly stay updated.

As technology advances, so do hackers’ techniques. To combat this, software providers consistently release updates that specifically target any gaps in security.

To keep up, your event management team should constantly update software. In fact, consider enabling auto-updates. This ensures that you never miss one of these vital updates. From ticketing software to your event website platform, ensure your tech is always up-to-date! All it takes is one slip up and your entire database can wind up in the wrong hands.

However, staying updated has more than one interpretation. Rather than just updating your technology, stay on top of the best digital practices, too!

In addition to authentication tools and secure event tech, there’s a number of other security precautions to take. For instance, you should:

 

 

  • Use a firewall. This is a barrier that protects your system from harmful software encountered online.
  • Install anti-malware software. This will protect your system from all types of malicious software.

 

    • Use secure, unique passwords. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

 

  • Exercise caution with public Wi-Fi networks. Sometimes, hackers disguise their Wi-Fi by naming it after a nearby business. 

 

 

Once you’ve compiled a list of best security practices, share any useful information you learn with your event guests.

 

The bottom line: By constantly updating your software, you stay one step ahead of hackers. Stay on top of the best security practices and share them with your event guests, too!

4. Restrict access to data. 

It may come as a surprise that your staff is just as likely to create security gaps as your event guests are. Because of this, you should restrict access to data both externally and internally.

To jump-start this protective strategy, try the following:

 

  • Require passwords for all accounts. Without passwords, anyone could access staff members’ or attendees’ emails and private data. Then, hackers have a direct route to other data as well.

 

  • Limit accessibility settings. For instance, attendees shouldn’t be able to see anyone’s information but their own. As for employees, they shouldn’t be able to see private guest data such as payment information. Make sure to adjust the settings on a user-by-user basis.

 

 

  • Enforce password requirements. This means enforcing special characters, a minimum number of characters, a mixture of letters and numbers, and so on. Otherwise, users will create easily-guessed passwords that aren’t secure. 

 

 

  • Provide passcodes for events. When hosting a private event, have registrants use a passcode to log into your event app or website. Then, share that passcode with a specific list of people. This will limit public access to information such as event location, time, and so on.

 

Anyone who has access to private event data is responsible for keeping that information private. However, in the event that a breach does occur, your company or nonprofit will instantaneously take the fall, making your event go viral for the wrong reasons.

The bottom line: Not everyone should have access to your event data. Restricting access can be anything from editing accessibility settings to enforcing password alternatives.

5. Be prepared for a breach.

Although you can implement a billion safety features, there’s still a strong likelihood that your data will be hacked. Because of this, you’ll need to put a cyberattack plan in place.

 

  • Create a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Have registrants sign a form that protects you legally in case there is a breach. Don’t allow them to sign up for your event otherwise. This ensures that they know what’s happening with their private data.

 

  • Regularly back up your data. Don’t risk having to start from scratch. Ensure backups are encrypted and stored offsite or in a cloud-based system. Then, test these backups to see if the information is still coherent.

 

  • Create an incident response plan. Your team’s natural instinct may be to freak out after a breach. To avoid this, make sure there’s a plan in place so that they know exactly what to do.

What to Do After a Breach Occurs

You’ve protected your data to the best of your ability, but a breach still occurs. What do you do next?

 

Well, you should have backed up all your data, so ensure that the copy is still intact. Then, follow these steps:

 

  1. Alert the proper authorities. They may not be able to do anything, but you need the incident to be on the record.
  2. Check your backup. See if that data is still intact and usable. That way, you know if you need to have participants register again. To entice guests to sign up again, make sure you have an engaging fundraising event planned (click here for inspiration!).
  3. Be transparent. Let event registrants know what happened immediately. They’ll be worried (maybe even mad), but they’ll appreciate the honesty. Then, they can take the appropriate steps on their end.
  4. Announce the steps you’re taking and the steps guests should take. While your team finds out what data was taken, registrants should change account passwords and report their payment information as stolen.

 

No matter how many security measures you implement, you can never fully prevent a breach. However, to grow event support, all you can do is be prepared and hope for the best.

Thankfully, embeddable tools have come a long way over the past decade, and you no longer have to make a choice between security and user experience. Creating a streamlined authentication process while using secure registration tools should help an organization cover all its bases.

 

Now that you know the ins and outs of event data security, don’t wait; start protecting your guests’ data today!


Author: John Killoran

John Killoran is an inventor, entrepreneur, and the Chairman of Clover Leaf Solutions, a national lab services company. He currently leads Clover Leaf’s investment in Swoop, an authentication service that eliminates the need for passwords on websites and apps. 

Swoop launched in late 2018 and helps software providers upgrade their single or multi-factor login experience and shed obsolete passwords. With Swoop, instead of logging in, users “message in” with two taps: one to create a pre-addressed email and the second to send it. Authentication is secured by cryptographic keys inserted by the email server—infinitely more secure than a password. Swoop is now the authentication expert for teams that build everything from data analytics platforms to e-commerce apps.

 

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AN EVENT PLANNERS 10 SECRET TIPS TO HAVING A SUCCESSFUL EVENT

An Event Planner’s 10 Secret Tips To Having ...

Introduction:

Behind every successful marketing event is an ingenious Event Planner with a bag of tricks. These are tried and tested tactics for increasing ticket sales and executing a flawless event. 

Are you looking for secret tips to help make an upcoming event successful? Then, this eGuide is just what you need!

  1. Plan well in advance

Depending on the size of your event you may want to start your planning six months in advance or just about a month in advance. The key is to be prepared. Trying to launch a successful event overnight can be incredibly difficult. 

 

“Creating a truly memorable event is always a challenge. Whether it’s a tea party, music concert, community fair or even just a dinner at home: the key to an unforgettable event is careful planning and details, details, details.” – Chantal Williams, founder of Blossom & Co event management company in Orange County 

 

So bring out your planners, checklists, address books, charts and anything else that will help you with the details. Plan for scenarios A, B and C. Set expectations with your vendors in advance so that you minimize last-minute changes. Get it all in order so that you have time for a dry run and any unexpected curveballs along the way.  

Depending on the type of event you’re planning, you may want to keep the following in mind to make sure you cover all of your bases:

  • Event insurance
  • Disclaimers – video, photo, alcohol, age limitations
  • Security emergency plans
  • Water stations
  • Coat check
  • Bringing ATMs on site
  • Internet access
  • Starting cash banks
  • Flashlights, pepper spray or tasers for staff in case of emergencies

 

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We promise we don’t sell your information or abuse it.

 



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BRAND AMBASSADORS AND INFLUENCERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Brand Ambassadors and Influencers: What You Need t...

There are more ways than ever to market your event these days, but it can be hard to cut through the noise. Social media serves up a constant stream of possible events that you may have never heard of 20 years ago. How do you get your event to stand out? 

The answer: Find a cheerleader! Brand ambassadors and influencers can help take your event from ho-hum to one of the premiere, can’t-miss events of the season. 

Brand Ambassadors

A brand ambassador is a loyal customer or previous patron who is eager to help promote your brand simply because they love it. Nonprofits and any kind of fundraising event for the greater good are especially well-suited for brand ambassadors who are passionate about the cause, and for most people, simply retweeting or sharing an invite on Facebook is an easy way for them to show their support. The ideal brand ambassador does more, though, offering personal perspectives about why others should support you.

Authenticity is key when it comes to brand ambassadors. Referrals and recommendations shouldn’t feel canned or like just another advertisement. Personal experience with the event or organization is going to be important. Stories rule when it comes to today’s marketing landscape, so you want someone who can share their story. 

“A great brand ambassador can cut through the clutter and say things about your company and brand with more credibility than you can because they won’t make money as a result,” marketing professional Derek Netwon pointed out in an article in Entrepreneur. 

Look for brand ambassadors who are already excited about your organization, event, or mission. It’s best if they’ve already had some experience with you. If you’re new and still trying to build up a following, offer a product or service for free as a way to draw in fans who will then share their enthusiasm with others. Offer a free class or a free ticket to an event and encourage attendees to share their experiences. Once you get a couple of people reporting on their experiences (hopefully good), the investment will be well worth it. 

Be sure to also reward your brand ambassadors. Recognize them and thank them, and when possible, offer free goods. That will keep them coming back. 

Employees As Brand Ambassadors

Hopefully, employees will feel passionate enough about your organization that they will be your biggest cheerleaders. They can be vital in helping to spread the word about an important event because they will have inside knowledge and will be more invested in its success. However, recruiting employees as brand ambassadors can be tricky because outsiders will question their authenticity. Employees who participate in social media campaigns should do so voluntarily and should identify their affiliation, otherwise, their authenticity will be questioned. Encourage insiders to share the message in their own words.

How To Find a Social Media Influencer

Do you know how books have blurbs from famous authors on the back to help sell the book? Influencers work in much the same way, except they can do even more to generate excitement about an event. 

A social media influencer is someone who already has a platform. While big-name stars can make great influencers, you don’t have to think big to find an effective influencer. Popular bloggers within your niche are often one of the best ways to generate buzz because they’ve established themselves as authorities on the subject. Thought leaders and prominent writers in your industry can also be vital in getting your event the attention it needs.

Shama Hyder, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group and author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing, suggests using Twitter to find influencers. She recommends you first find people in the niche, then find out who they’re following. You ultimately want to find an influencer who

  • is active on Twitter (tweets more than once a day); 
  • interacts with followers in a meaningful way – participates in conversations; and 
  • posts engaging content (doesn’t just post what they had for breakfast).

 

You, or someone on your team, then become part of that influencer’s circle, interacts, and shares information that s/he might like, and will, hopefully not only retweet with their own message and encourage others to share. To find people who might be good influencers for an event in your area, check out localtweeps.com. It might take a while to find an influencer who will help promote your event, but the payoff is worth it.

Be Something To Cheer About 

Finding a cheerleader to help promote your event requires your organization to present an image that has integrity. You need to promise what you deliver. It will be hard to get others excited about your event if you and others working on it aren’t excited, too. Creating an experience others will talk about is the first step, making it easier to recruit others. Once that’s done, putting in just a bit of extra effort in finding brand ambassadors and influencers can be just the boost your marketing campaign needs to help you stand out from the crowd and help make your event or experience one not to be missed. 

 

For help planning your event, check out Sparxo’s Event Planning Checklist

 

Using the latest tech to make it easier for you and your guests, Sparxo provides an easy-to-use online platform for selling tickets, managing your event, and staying in touch with your followers. And, unlike other ticketing platforms like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster, we won’t take huge portions of your ticket sales or promote competing events. Plus, Sparxo is committed to giving back – we donate part of our proceeds to nonprofits. 

Get started with building your event here

 

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SPECIAL EVENT INSURANCE: DO YOU NEED IT

Special Event Insurance: Do You Need It?

While it’s probably not a part of organizing an event you want to think about, planning for the worst is vital for minimizing the financial impact of an accident or other unforeseen events to your business or organization. While most businesses and organizations carry a general liability policy, special event insurance is an add-on that can help protect your company in case of an unforeseen accident at your fundraiser, gala, concert, or other types of events.

Reasons to Get Special Event Insurance

  • General liability insurance may not cover the unique factors involved with special events. For nonprofits and other organizations, this can make them vulnerable. Heather Brown of The Nonprofit Insurance Program, an organization that helps nonprofits obtain insurance, warns, “Typically, these policies [gen liability insurance] only provide coverage and protection for normal daily operations.”

 

  • If you’re hosting an event where alcohol will be offered, your organization can be held liable for accidents that happen as a result of underage drinking or drinking to excess, which can lead to accidents. You can get special event insurance that specifically covers serving alcohol at the event.

 

  • What will you do if your star has to go in for surgery and can’t make your event? Cancellation insurance can help stem the losses.

 

  • Unfortunately, accidents happen. Gale-force winds may suddenly come up at your fun run fundraiser, causing a structure to collapse, possibly injuring participants. Special event insurance will help if any claims are filed against your organization for bodily injury or property damage.

 

  • If you’re renting from a venue, it may require it; make sure you read the contract carefully. 

Where To Buy Special Event Insurance

Special event insurance must be obtained before the event and can be purchased from your insurance agent or company. You can also purchase it from a variety of online insurance vendors. You will need to provide information about the event, like what type of venue it is, how many attendees you expect, and if alcohol will be served. If your organization runs several events, multiple event coverage is also available. 

How Much Will Special Event Coverage Cost?

The cost of special event coverage will vary by state, the number of participants and guests, type of event, and other factors. Here are just a few examples of some quotes. These are only examples; you should contact your insurance agent or investigate some possibilities on your own for your specific needs. 

 

*Indoor auction, 150 participants, $250

*Fun run, 200 participants: approximately $300 

*Outdoor concert, 500 guests, $450 

 

Note: These are estimates provided by online insurance companies. Actual results may differ. 

 

Experts say that special event insurance is vital for any organization that puts on events. When you consider the protection it gives your organization from a bigger financial impact due to circumstances out of your control, talking to your agent about whether this coverage is needed is an essential item on your event-planning to-do list. 

 

There are many details to take care of when planning an event. Let Sparxo help by being your online ticket provider. Using the latest tech to make it easier for you and your guests, Sparxo provides an easy-to-use online platform for selling tickets, managing your event, and staying in touch with your followers. And, unlike other ticketing platforms like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster, we won’t take huge portions of your ticket sales or promote competing events. Plus, Sparxo is committed to giving back – we donate part of our proceeds to nonprofits. 

 

Get started with building your event here

 

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

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HOW TO INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT YOUR NONPROFIT EVENT

HOW TO INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT YOUR NON-PROFIT EVEN...

If an incredible event happens in a forest, and nobody attends, does it make a sound? An impact? Certainly not as much as it would have made with stellar attendance. You could plan the most incredible non-profit event imaginable, but with low attendance, you’re not going to meet your fundraising goals or spread your message of change. This makes non-profit events something of a numbers game. More attendees mean more donations and more support. Not only does low attendance means limited support, but it also fails to offer social proof for your events, making your brand seem lagging and unpopular. Good attendance is a barrier to entry, a requirement every event needs to meet for even planning to even matter. Okay, so attendance is important. But how do you get attendees non-profit event? Never fear, because Sparxo is going to share 4 ways to get more attendees to your non-profit events. 

  1. Supercharge Your Social Media

Our first stop: Social Media. But we’re not talking posts and emojis. No, we’re talking metrics and measurements, to not only raise awareness, but understand what can be improved, and how to optimize for awareness with data in mind. We know that writing long posts only to get no likes and five views can feel like shouting into the void. So let’s work smart, not just hard.

You’ll want to start by finding your core audience. Who has engaged with your posts already? What hashtags do they use? What are their interests? Find these core fans and consistently engage with their post. Taking it one step further, follow and interact with users these core fans follow and interact with. This way you can build an audience with similar interests. You’ll want to stay within a niche – stick to one to two relevant hashtags maximum, ideally with medium or low search traffic. You don’t want to be competing with the whole Twitterverse for views. With your posts, you’ll want to focus on telling a compelling story, not just facts on your organization. Try to attach names and faces to the work your non-profit does. This will connect with readers on a deeper level than bombarding them with simple statistics and details. 

Next, find out when your followers and this core audience are the most active on the platform. Maybe they like to use Instagram before work and Facebook before bed, checking their email before work. Free tools like Audiense can show you exactly when your audience is on social media like Twitter, and MailChimp will allow you to see when your newsletter emails are opened. Once you know when to post, schedule your posts. Write them in advance, and use free tools like Hootsuite to post automatically. On Instagram, be sure to take advantage of the “Stories” feature, so that users can see your content when they view your profile, rather than depending on a finicky algorithm. Planning your posts this way, even if you only have a small audience, all of them will actually see your message. This can mean you actually get more eyes on your posts than big accounts who post willy nilly, they’re core audience not online when they are. 

Last, give your audience an incentive to actually attend your events. Going from a screen to a live event can be a big jump for some. Many huge accounts fail with attendance because they offer no value proposition, just providing entertainment rather than an incentive to take action and come to an event. Stress the networking opportunities, the community, and experience at your events, not to mention the good they’ll be doing. You should also consider reaching out to influencers in your nonprofit’s niche to help you promote. Their endorsement could be enough to convince hesitant attendees to show up!

  1. Tackle Ticketing

More ticket sales not only means more attendance but greater revenue for your non-profit. Tackling ticketing should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it will take a little brain work first. You’ll want to start by analyzing the data from your ticket and registration platform. Determine where your conversions are actually coming from, that way you can who to market to, which demographics to shoot for. Ticket Software like Sparxo offers you a complete array of ticketing analysis tools, allowing you to determine exactly who your attendees are so you can reach them. The real them, not just points on a graph.

Your next step will be to write the best copy description for your event that you can. Is it simple? Does it offer a clear, concise, value proposition for attendees? Check out this template for event descriptions. 

Once you know exactly who your target attendee is, and you’ve written a  killer description to reach them, you’ll want to look for ways to streamline the ticketing process. What’s the experience like for a potential attendee? Go through the ticketing process yourself on both mobile and desktop, taking note of how much time and effort it takes just to buy a ticket. 

Finally, consider switching software. As an event planner, you’re looking for a free way to sell as many event 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. Master Messaging

Create a responsive landing page for your event, optimized for mobile and desktop, including desktop, platforms is a powerful step toward master your messaging. We recommend putting your ticket funnel front and center, linked to a mailing list, along with a description of your event and eye-catching media. This way if potential-attendees can’t commit to buying a ticket right away, the funnel will squeeze their email. Your non-profit will then have the chance to build a relationship over email, your company’s message of change and story’s convincing email sign-ups to buy a ticket in the future. 

Remember to optimize your page for SEO so interested parties can actually find your event. You can bet your bottom fundraising-dollar that people are searching for fun events in [city name]. You’ll want to want to make sure your event shows up. One way to enhance your SEO is to make sure your event page, ticketing page, and description are all in one place and hosted on your own site. Many ticketing software that claims direct integration (Looking at you, Eventbrite) redirect to their own website when customers buy their tickets. Others even host your description on their site, only with your event’s extension. Whitelabel software like Sparxo allows you to sell tickets directly from your site, with no redirects, meaning that all traffic you get will go to boosting your SEO, not your ticketing company’s SEO.

Consider running pay-per-click social media ads, aimed at your target demographic nearby your event location. These social media ads are both more affordable than traditional billboards and banners, and pay-per-click, meaning you only pay if someone actually engages with the ad. If you’re on a truly tight budget, stick with low-cost guerilla marketing tactics, like chalk and flyers in high traffic areas. Get creative with your event’s messaging and you’ll get more attention! Check out some of these low-cost guerilla marketing campaigns for nonprofits. 

  1. Nail Networking

Event data seems to get better and better every year. Modern ticketing software like Sparxo can give you boatloads of data on your attendees the moment they purchase a ticket, or even if they just consider buying one! This means you can know your attendee’s demographics, background, and past of engagement with your non-profit. Not only will you be able to organize your networking, but you can come into interactions knowing what you might have in common with specific attendees, and how best to tailor a pitch to their interests. In addition to making fundraising more successful, this will personalize and improve the attendee experience, encouraging retention and greater attendance 

You should always be following up with attendees after an event, with plenty of “Thank Yous,” memories from the events, and possibly a call to action. But one of the most neglected and most important components of a follow up is the ever-elusive post-event-survey. These can not only show you what’s working at events, but how to feature these positives, and fix flaws. This focus on feedback is key for building a loyal audience and retaining them. If you’ve been conducting surveys after your past events (which, again, you should be doing), you’ve probably gotten some negative feedback. It hurts, we get it. But these can often be some of the most valuable responses, as these dissatisfied attendees can exactly what your non-profit can improve on to deliver an even more incredible event next time. Look for trends in surveys, both what’s been done well and what’s been done less-than-well. If something tends to come up in review after review, brainstorm a solution with your team, and feature the change in your next newsletter. Not only will this let attendees know you’ve improved your events, but it also shows that you’re listening to your attendees and care about their experience. It’s a great way to boost retention and ultimately attendance at future events.

There you have it, four ways to boost your attendance. While anyone could improve attendance using these steps, very few actually would. It’s up to you to put in the time for your non-profit, even if it can feel like nobody is there to hear your event fall in the crowded forest of events. But follow these instructions and when you’re event drops, it won’t just make a sound – it’ll make an impact.

 

 

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?

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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

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  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.

 

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

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

4 EVENT IDEAS FOR FITNESS CLASSES

TOP 10 FUNDRAISING TRENDS FOR 2019