Category: Partners

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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HOW TO SELL OUT A FITNESS CLASS

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TOP 10 FUNDRAISING TRENDS FOR 2019

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

After years of being in the corporate world, a pivotal consulting gig with renowned chefs and restaurateurs ignited Michelle Battista’s love of food and her palette. It became her dream to bring people + food + design together in a way that had never been done before. Read on to learn why the Nightwood Society chooses Sparxo as the right event ticketing system partner that allows them to maintain their brand and experience throughout the entire registration process.

And that’s how The Nightwood Society was born.

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

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

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

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

Locating the Right Experienced-Oriented Ticketing Partner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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

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TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

9 Mistakes Event Producers Overlook

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

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

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

(Written by: Rawia Abu Rabie)

  1. Lack Of Marketing Expertise

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

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

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

  2. No Live Stream

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

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

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

  3. Poor Registration Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

  4. Not Planning Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

  5. Consciously Building Your Own Event Brand

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

How will your event brand be remembered?

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

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

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


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

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

  6. Not Thinking Through The Audience Experience

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

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

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

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

These examples support the fact that there needs to be an outline of how to think through working with your onsite event staff prior to the event. Training and foresight in preparing your event staff on how to handle situations and have clear guidelines on what to do is a huge part of deciding your success. We hope you don’t make this mistake most event producers overlook.

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

  7. Underestimating How to Structure Ticket Prices

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

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

Here’s an example:

Event expenses: $10,000

Target Profit: $10,000

The goal in sales: $20,000

Venue capacity: 500

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

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

To break this down, it might look like:

Two months of ticket sales and marketing

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

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

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

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

General Admission: $60 at the door

Offering complimentary tickets to 50 people

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

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

  8. Lack of Communication Before The Event

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

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

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

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

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

The great thing about Sparxo is that you can set up automatic messages to specific ticket holders beforehand using their Custom Email Confirmation section and/or their Email Message Specific to the Purchase of a specific ticket levelSign up for a free, no-obligation account today! This is an easy way not to make this mistake most event producers overlook!

  9. Not Having Event Insurance

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

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

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

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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