Events are a key tool used by nonprofits to get supporters involved while raising money for an important cause. While we always appreciate donors giving online, hosting events provides a personal touch as supporters are able to meet your volunteers, other donors, and your staff members.
All of the attendees believe in the same cause, providing a great bonding opportunity.
While events are a classic way to bring people together, the processes for planning events has evolved with an increasingly digitally-minded society. One major software advancement for events: mobile ticketing.
Mobile ticketing allows registrants to scan their smartphones or other mobile devices at the entrance for access to the event. Generally, mobile ticketing is paired with online ticket sales to minimize the work that needs to be done at the entrance of events.
However, mobile ticketing does a lot more than simply save your staff time and energy. Other benefits include:
- Increased accessibility.
- Reduced printing costs.
- Faster check-in processes.
- Streamlined data management.
- A completed software stack.
Ready to learn more about all of these benefits? Let’s get started!
1. Increased Accessibility
Over half of online traffic is mobile. This means more and more people are searching the web via smartphones or tablets than from computers. The chart below shows the percentage of all global web pages served to mobile phones from 2009 to 2018 (provided by Statista).
Chances are when people are signing up for your event, they’re doing so from a mobile device. Therefore, it’s important for them to have just as easy a process signing up as those who register from their computers.
Make sure your supporters can easily complete the entire ticket-purchasing process from their smartphone or tablet.
If your registration page is not mobile-responsive yet, you may be losing registrants through shopping cart abandonment. They’ll leave your event page because the process of signing up or purchasing a ticket is too difficult.
However, when we say that the entire process should be accessible from the mobile device, this means you need to do more than just optimize the purchasing step. Your supporter should never need to switch devices during the ticketing process. When they purchase a ticket from their phone, they should also be able to check-in using that same device.
Mobile ticketing also provides increased accessibility because it reduces the one-off issues caused by paper ticketing. For instance, paper tickets can be:
- Smudged. This is especially true if your event attendees are printing their own tickets at home. Lower-quality printers may result in problem-causing smudges on tickets, making them more difficult to scan at the event.
- Damaged. Paper tickets may be ripped or torn before the event even begins. This can also lead to issues when your supporters arrive at the event.
- Lost. People are much more likely to lose a small slip of paper than they are to lose their cell phones. They won’t be able to enjoy everything your organization has to offer at the event if they lost their ticket before they even arrived.
All of these problems make mobile ticketing a more accessible and reliable option for your nonprofit’s event.
2. Reduced Printing Costs
Printing can be costly for nonprofits. It’s one of many easily overlooked mistakes made by event producers to not budget in printing costs during the planning process. Consider the expense of ink, paper, and high-quality printing devices. For single tickets or a small crowd, printing won’t be too costly, but for large groups, those expenses add up.
While not everyone will choose to participate in mobile ticketing options, each person who uses their smartphone to scan into an event saves one ticket that your organization would’ve otherwise spent money printing.
Think about other organizations that use a full-time ticketing system. Your local aquarium has likely switched to aquarium ticketing software with online sales and additional mobile functionality.
Those who rely on ticketing for their everyday organizational health see the immense benefits associated with switching to mobile ticketing.
While you may not need full-time ticketing software, you can still benefit from incorporating mobile ticketing into your event strategy.
Another key factor to consider is that mobile ticketing saves your staff members time. Instead of selling printed tickets at the door, you can rely on your up-to-date technology to provide a scannable QR code for registrants. This shaves off valuable seconds, which compile to equal additional minutes and even hours that can be better spent making your event fantastic.
If you’re looking for an accounting solution that will help you see the positive impact of the budgetary changes associated with proper software investments, click here.
3. Faster Check-In Processes
No one likes waiting in line, especially not your event attendees. A faster check-in process ensures a positive engagement kickoff for your event attendees.
Mobile ticketing provides the faster check-in process to improve the experience of your attendees right off the bat.
The primary way that event attendees can check into your event using mobile ticketing is by scanning a QR code. Instead of searching through lists of names on paper, all your organization needs to do is scan a quick code!
Of course, you’ll need to have some backup ways to search for attendees just in case they’ve misplaced the code or something goes wrong. That’s when search features in your mobile ticketing tech are incredibly useful. If you can search for your attendees by name, email, or ticket code, you have a backup for those rare instances where a QR code isn’t enough.
Think about it this way: Let’s just say you are expecting 1,000 attendees to your nonprofit event. If 1 in every 100 supporters has difficulty with the QR code, that means you’ll only need to slow down the check-in process 10 times to search for the name of an attendee. Compare that to paper check-in or less equipped technology where you’d need to search all 1,000.
When you’re looking for software that offers mobile check-in, be sure they’ll take the extra step to ensure speed with:
- Imported third-party tickets. Don’t slow down just because someone has a third-party ticket! Import them to maintain speed and accuracy.
- Multi-device functionality. Double-check to ensure both iOS and Android compatibility. You don’t want to alienate attendees from speed due to their preferred operating system.
- A guest list app for the host organization. Things happen. Maybe you need to double-check a name or look up a guest list stat. Doing so on the move with a mobile app can keep the whole process moving faster for your nonprofit.
Speed is a big deal to your attendees. A slow check-in process may discourage some people, which can be difficult to recover from. You don’t want to kick off your event trying to re-engage attendees after a poor check-in experience. Instead, make sure everything is planned expertly from the start!
4. Streamlined Data Management
One of the biggest advantages of working with mobile ticketing and digital event resources is that you can streamline your collection and storage of data.
Your nonprofit should track every engagement opportunity your attendees take advantage of in your CRM. This provides a big picture of their involvement with your organization, helping facilitate communications in the future. You’ll want to track their event attendance as well as any donations given during that event.
With digital registration and check-in processes, you can easily download the information provided during this process and upload it to the CRM.
This drastically cuts back on the amount of manual data input from one system to another. Manual input isn’t inherently bad but leaves room for human error. Plus, it’s costly in terms of hours. Wouldn’t you prefer your staff to be working on something more relevant to your cause?
Another form of data storage you should focus on streamlining is that related to your accounting software and ticket sales. Be sure your accounting software offers budgeting features that will relate directly to your event. You may need to track information such as:
- Venue cost
- Food and drink expenses
- Ticket sale revenue
- Donations from the event
- Sponsorships or grants
- Any other revenue or expenses
With more data available online, you can easily transfer information about these topics between software solutions.
Make sure any accounting solution you invest in offers features to create a budget specifically for the event so you can compare with the true cost after the event is over. Check out the other important features you should look for in accounting software from the experts at MIP Fund Accounting.
5. Completed Software Stack
As we touched on slightly in the last section, software for each of the features at your nonprofit event shouldn’t stand alone. Your nonprofit likely has an entire software stack that you use for day-to-day activities as well as for your event.
A complete stack of software is one with features to satisfy all of your needs. It will ensure your event runs smoothly from start to finish.
The specific software you should think about as your nonprofit plans its next event includes:
- Fund accounting software. Fund accounting software is nonprofit-focused and specifically designed to help organizations like your budget and allocate money for events management, other software solutions, event fundraising, and more.
- Event ticketing software. Event ticketing solutions like Sparxo provide online purchasing options and mobile ticketing that make it easy for attendees to learn more about your upcoming event directly from your website and buy a ticket right then and there with no redirect or other brands.
- Event planning software. Event planning software solutions help organizations plan speakers, venues, communications, and other activities involved in the planning of the event activities themselves.
Before you make these important investments, be sure you have the funds set aside for them. While the venue, speakers, and food may seem like obvious expenses, many organizations forget to factor in the price of tech in their budgets. But really, the tech your nonprofit chooses can help make or break your next event!
If you’re looking for more tech options for your nonprofit’s next event, check out this list of top providers from Double the Donation.
As your nonprofit plans your upcoming event, don’t forget to collect lots of records. Your mobile ticketing solution should offer statistics about purchasing and check-in processes. Look through these statistics to get a better idea about your ROI for your event software.
The right tools investment should bring in more registrations, more attendees, and more donations!
As an event planner for your nonprofit, you’re busy with scheduling, marketing, securing venues, increasing donorship and delivering an unforgettable experience for attendees. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software takes 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
Article was written by: Pia Simeoni
Pia Simeoni is Director of Marketing for Nonprofit Solutions at Community Brands. You can find Pia on LinkedIn