Category: Partners

5 Steps to Planning an Eco-Friendly Event

Most of us know the importance of reducing our impact on the earth and keeping trash out of our ever-expanding landfills, not to mention the tons of plastics and other waste that are polluting our waters. And many of us do what we can on a personal level, dutifully recycling and trying to minimize waste in our homes. 

However, if you’re planning an event, the idea of minimizing waste may seem like a daunting project. Yet, given the tons of waste that large events produce, many people are finding it’s not something they can ignore. Fortunately, there are many dedicated people and organizations committed to more eco-friendly events. Some even aspire to zero waste. 

What Is Zero Waste? 

While technically zero waste means just that — no waste going to the landfill—most organizations understand that achieving zero waste is very difficult. “It’s not about perfection; it’s about making better choices,” says Kathryn Kellogg, a zero-waste lifestyle blogger and author of Zero Waster’s Travel Companion. “We’re all human. We’re all just doing the best we can and that’s OK.” 

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities facilities department offers a resource about planning zero-waste events. They define zero waste as 90% or more waste being diverted from a landfill, Further, “as a philosophy, zero waste is about much more than just recycling and composting. It promotes a circular economy in which materials can be used and reused without harm to humans or the environment.”

Is A (Nearly) Zero Waste Event Possible? Yes!

Some major events have successfully met the goal of 90% or more of their waste being recovered, or diverted from landfills. Some examples are:

  • The Super Bowl. In 2018, 63 out of 69 tons of waste were successfully diverted from the landfill, according to Environment and Energy Leader. Sixty-two percent of the waste was reused and the rest was composted. As a result, they achieved a recovery rate of 91%, meaning only 9% of the waste was trashed. 

 

  • Green Festivals. These large events have been dedicated to reducing their impact. Greenamerica.org boasts that the festivals have an average rate of above 91% of trash recovery. 

 

  • The Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit successfully diverted 110 pounds of trash from the landfill in 2018. 

 

  • Waste Management Phoenix Open. In 2019, blogger Kathryn Kellogg attended and reported on this week-long golf tournament and charity fundraiser, noting that, with 700,000 attendees, it’s the biggest zero-waste event in the world. The previous year, the event successfully recycled 56% of its waste, composted 26%, and donated 9%, and another 9% was sent to a waste-to-energy plant.

Planning Your Zero Waste Event 

Here are some suggestions from those experienced in organizing successful zero-waste events.

  • Go paperless. Use online ticketing vendors (like Sparxo) for ticketing and event updates. Use social media instead of print ads — you’ll reach more people this way for less. Email or social media messages sent out in advance of the event can alert people that the event will be “zero waste,” to help prepare them for thinking about what they do with their garbage instead of just tossing it in the trash.
  • Partner up. Work with vendors and the venue to figure out how to make sure your event minimizes waste. Green Festivals organizers ask their food-service vendors to use compostable service ware. In addition, “ all Green Festival vendors sign a statement that they will not distribute plastic disposables.”  

Working with the venue is also key, says Ashley Weisman of the GreenLight Solutions Foundation, who has worked on several zero-waste events:  “Even if the venue’s staff has not engaged in anything sustainability-related before, you would be surprised at their adaptability and openness to learning. Nevertheless, it is important to find feasible solutions together that work for both parties.” By meeting with a venue representative beforehand, you’ll be able to identify where and how the venue is already doing some of this work, and what else might need to be done, such as adding compost bins or setting up additional recycling collection bins. 

  • Plan where and how to collect recyclables and compost. While most of your event-goers will probably appreciate you “going green,” you still have to make it easy for them. Setting up bins with clear signage and instructions will go a long way toward encouraging participation. 

“Generally, people will not recycle or compost unless bins are directly next to the trash bin, as opposed to having them at opposite sides of the room,” notes Weisman. “Hence, make sure you have enough compost and recycle bins for every trash bin.” Many zero waste experts recommend also limiting the number of trash bins available, so people won’t be tempted to use them instead of other receptacles. The Waste Management Phoenix Open does not provide any trash bins for public use at all. 

You’ll also need to figure out what facilities are available nearby for recycling if this isn’t already set up with the venue. 

  • Recruit help and teach attendees. You can hire a business that specializes in green events, but you might also look into an organization that recruits volunteers eager to help make a difference. 

Volunteers can help most by standing near bins and being available to provide direction and reminders for using the bins correctly. They can also help with sorting after the event is over, to be sure everything goes to the right place. 

Weisman emphasizes that “it is crucial that you have bin guarders and signs. I cannot stress this enough. The attendees are not taking better habits home with them if they are not recycling and composting correctly; make this a learning opportunity for everyone attending the event.”

  • Look into donating. Some suggestions include donating leftover food to food pantries and offering flower arrangements to hospitals and nursing homes. Consider partnering with a children’s club, like the Boy or Girl Scouts, to take back bottles and cans for deposits, where they can keep the cashback. 

Of course, these aren’t the only ways to be more eco-friendly. Other areas to consider when planning an eco-friendly event is thinking about ways to reduce water and electricity usage as well as reducing gas spent on transportation and using eco-friendly vendors. 

Encourage feedback from your team, participants, and your partners. And remember, you don’t have to cover all your bases at your first event. If you run events regularly, you might consider adding something more each time that will further help minimize your impact. 

At Sparxo, we’re all about helping people easily and efficiently plan your event, and you can do it all without wasting any paper! 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!

 

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

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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

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4 EVENT IDEAS FOR FITNESS CLASSES

TOP 10 FUNDRAISING TRENDS FOR 2019

3 NON-PROFIT EVENT TRENDS TO GET MORE DONATIONS

BEST EVENT TICKETING SOFTWARES 2019

HOW TO INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT YOUR NONPROFIT EVENT

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

EVENT APPS – ALL HYPE OR WORTH EVERY PENNY

THE SECRET CODE FOR COMPELLING EVENT DESCRIPTIONS

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

EVENT TECH TRENDS FOR 2020

HOW TO PLAN A NON-PROFIT EVENT WITH NO MONEY

How to Plan a Non-Profit Event with No Money

So you want to plan a non-profit event. Congratulations! Hosting an event is a wonderful way to raise awareness for your non-profit, find donors, and spread your mission of change. The catch? You have no money. You can hear the flies buzzing from your nonprofit’s wallet. Never fear! Sparxo will show you how to start putting together an incredible non-profit event without an incredible budget. Or any budget, really.

  1. Find ‘Fresh’ Venues

What you can’t fix, you feature. Sure, your non-profit might not have the funds to rent out the Ritz, but this could be to your advantage. We’ve all attended a stuffy event at a stuffy venue, they’re a dime a dozen. With a low budget, you’ll have to get creative with your venue, finding a less known, possibly even public venue. But the uniqueness of these cheaper venues could help your event stand out.

Your first venue choice: public or private? A public venue, like parks and plazas, can be great for more active events. They’re also normally, totally free. You could plan a relaxed picnic-style event, with active games and plenty of room for meeting new people in a casual environment. This can also attract bystanders in the public space, spreading awareness for free. However, even with a public venue, you’ll still have to consider costs other than rent. Will you need insurance? Permits? Parking? You’ll also likely have to bring food, and ensure there are restrooms nearby. While there is no obvious entry cost at a public venue, these smaller costs add up. However, the unique, casual atmosphere of a public revenue could very well set your event apart.

 

A private, or commercial venue, is pay-to-play. You rent this space, but it will come with event accommodations like insurance, parking, bathrooms, and seating. If you can find one of these venues on your budget, it’s definitely worth considering. Be sure you reach out to all your own contacts too: someone may be able to offer you commercial space at a discounted price or be familiar with a venue that will fit your budget. This is especially common for non-profit event planners, as their message of positive change makes contacts more likely to help them or give them special deals. If you decide to go with a commercial venue, we recommend that you choose a venue with a smaller staff. The more staff needed to run a venue, the more people you’ll likely be paying for. Smaller staff will likely mean a smaller bill.

After you’ve narrowed down your list of affordable (or even free!) venues, send the venue manager an email explaining your event and how it will benefit the venue. As a non-profit, you’ll want to stress your mission statement, the good the event will do, as well as how your attendees’ presence could benefit the venue. You can find a sample venue request letter here.

  1. Master Mailing Lists & Social Media

Throwing more money into marketing is not always the answer. Sure, money can help, but free tactics like an email list, newsletters, and social media have proven effective time and time again.

Your first stop: a newsletter. Setting up a newsletter system with a service like Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 contacts and unlimited emails. This will help you craft personalized newsletters and allow anyone interested in your event to stay up to date. Everyone on your newsletter mailing list is there because they’re actually interested in your events, meaning the returns on sign-ups will be high. But a mailing list is a long-term investment: you won’t instantly get thousands of sign-ups the second you create a list. However, over time and over many events, your mailing list will grow and help you immeasurably. Progressive newsletters can urge members to attend future events, ad even donate, boosting your nonprofit’s budget.

But what do you do get sign-ups now? Reach out to people in your personal network. Sent them a personalized email asking if they’re interested in joining the list for this event and future events. This is a great place to get started. Word of mouth and plenty of hustle is the first and extremely critical step for marketing an event with no money.

You can also add a mailing list to your website, linked to some sort of free giveaway, to incentivize sign-ups. A free brochure or even a discount can be a great incentive. Free website builders like Weebly, Ucraft, or Strikingly can create a landing page for your event, where you can put key information and promotional pictures. This will also make it easier for attendees as all your information will be in one place, plus you’ll get more eyes on your brand, a key advantage when selling tickets. This will help your SEO. 

Consider creating a Facebook event page. Not only will this let you post promotional pictures and links to the event, but Facebook Events allow you to invite all your friends to like the page. You can go one step further: send your Facebook friends a personalized message, with one or two words on why they specifically might enjoy the event. This personalization will greatly improve the amount of page likes you get, in turn boosting your event’s visibility. Another way to boost social media visibility? Follow and interact with attendees. When someone buys a ticket or even signs up for your site, follow them on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Not only will this make them feel more connected to the event, but these social media platforms give greater visibility to events with interaction. It’s a win-win.

As a non-profit event planner on a budget, you’re looking for a free way to sell tickets and keep as much revenue as possible, giving you the resources to help spread your nonprofit’s message of change. However, most ticket sales software take big percentages of ticket sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your nonprofit’s 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! Sparxo let’s you:

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

 

  1. Back to Basics

Data shows these non-profit event types get the most donations. The most lucrative type? Food, wine, and music events. Your nonprofit event doesn’t need a yacht, fancy dining rooms, or expensive speakers. Sure, those things can help, but when you get down to it, basic food and drink events bring in the most donations anyway. This sort of simple nonprofit event is very do-able with a shoestring budget, especially because you’d need food and drink at pretty much any other more complex event type anyway. But how can you make these basic event types engaging? You can keep it easy and personal. First, offer plenty of value upfront, with the event clearly geared toward attendee experience rather than donations. Give attendees opportunities to interact with each other in a stress-free environment. Consider orchestrating some simple party games or ice-breakers. Once everyone is comfortable and having a good time, check-in personally with attendees. This personal level of intimacy and warmth can take your event to the next level. Finally, make it as simple as possible for attendees to donate, with credit card readers and pledges available at your event. Many attendees will only feel inspired to donate at the event when emotions are high. Logistics can make all the difference.

As long as attendees are having a fun, relaxing time, your non-profit event doesn’t need a complex theme or advanced auction to raise funds. Focusing on the basics, like atmosphere and logistics, is an affordable way to make sure your event shines. This way you can raise awareness without destroying your budget.

 

  1. Secure Sponsorship

Sponsorship will not only boost your event’s budget but boost future event budgets, too. Establishing a relationship with a sponsor will streamline your event planning events, giving you the resources you need.

Typically, sponsors will support you if they can benefit from access to your attendees. Sponsors give you resources, visibility, and assistance because your audience will be interested in your sponsor’s organization. In plain English, sponsors want to take advantage of crossover interest. 

Start by finding sponsors that might have an interest in your audience and their demographics. Who attends your events and why? What are their interests and needs, where do they shop? What problems do they need to be solved?  Review your event demographic data until you have a very clear picture of your attendees’ habits and wants. Then seek out sponsors who market to audiences with similar demographics to your non-profit event attendees. Once you have sponsors in mind, craft a personalized pitch. Tailor the emails to the sponsor, with details about the sponsor’s organization to show you’ve done your research and care about their experience in your potential sponsorship relationship.

As a non-profit, your mission for change may help sway potential sponsors. Stress the good your non-profit does in your pitch, especially how your event will contribute to that good. You may also want to put it in a ‘story’ format, with specific examples of lives made better by your non-profit. This ‘storytelling’ can help make your pitch more human, and connect to sponsors.

For small scale donations, consider crowdfunding for your Non-profit. Tools like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to get small sponsorships without the hassle of going from door to door. This is no substitute for proper sponsorship, but every little bit helps when you have no money.

 

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

3 NON-PROFIT EVENT TRENDS TO GET MORE DONATIONS

BEST EVENT TICKETING SOFTWARES 2019

HOW TO INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT YOUR NONPROFIT EVENT

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

EVENT APPS – ALL HYPE OR WORTH EVERY PENNY

THE SECRET CODE FOR COMPELLING EVENT DESCRIPTIONS

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EVENT TECH TRENDS FOR 2020

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.

 

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

3 NON-PROFIT EVENT TRENDS TO GET MORE DONATIONS

BEST EVENT TICKETING SOFTWARES 2019

HOW TO INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT YOUR NONPROFIT EVENT

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

EVENT APPS – ALL HYPE OR WORTH EVERY PENNY

THE SECRET CODE FOR COMPELLING EVENT DESCRIPTIONS

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!

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

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5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

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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

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SPECIAL EVENT INSURANCE: DO YOU NEED IT

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DATA SECURITY FOR EVENTS: 5 WAYS TO KEEP INFO SAFE

EVENT APPS – ALL HYPE OR WORTH EVERY PENNY

THE SECRET CODE FOR COMPELLING EVENT DESCRIPTIONS

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.

 

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LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

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5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

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HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

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4 EVENT BRANDING MISTAKES THAT KILL TICKET SALES

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

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

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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

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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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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

 

Enter your information below to receive the full eGuide for free!

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

 



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5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

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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

4 EVENT IDEAS FOR FITNESS CLASSES

TOP 10 FUNDRAISING TRENDS FOR 2019

3 NON-PROFIT EVENT TRENDS TO GET MORE DONATIONS

BEST EVENT TICKETING SOFTWARES 2019

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SPECIAL EVENT INSURANCE: DO YOU NEED IT

BRAND AMBASSADORS AND INFLUENCERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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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?

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

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Top Ten Fundraising Trends 2019

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

  1. Go for the high earners.

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

2. Use insight into diverse communities. 

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

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

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

4. Set up a recurring giving program. 

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

5. Jump into virtual reality. 

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

6. Use the right tool for communication. 

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

7. Pursue new opportunities for corporate giving. 

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

8. Build a planned giving program. 

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

9. Chat with a bot. 

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

 

10. Show ‘em what you got. 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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

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

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

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

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

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

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

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