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

  1. Food, Wine, and Music events

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

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

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

  1. Niche Music Concerts

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

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

  1. Casino Games

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

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

  1. Cooking Classes 

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

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

  1. Niche conference with well-known guest speakers

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

6. Maritime events with food and drinks

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

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

  1. Kid events and classes 

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

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

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

 

 

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HOW TO GET DONATIONS FOR YOUR NON-PROFIT EVENT

How to Get Donations for Your Non-Profit Event

Non-Profit event planners are all about service. After all, they exist to help people. So it’s no surprise that they maintain this commitment to service is found in their events, especially fundraising events, creating the best experience for attendees they can. But how do non-profit event planners actually get donations from these stellar events? How can they sell tickets, get attendees on subscriber plans, and take pledges? Never fear, because Sparxo will share 6 ways to get donations for your Non-Profit events.

  1. Set Goals for Your Event and Attendees

The first step to a successful non-profit event is to set clear goals. Give yourself a benchmark for donation success, and don’t keep it private – share it with your attendees. Put this in advertisements, posters, and announcements, to make it clear your organization and the event’s attendees are all working toward this same fundraising goal.

You’ll also need to set a budget for your non-profit event, a goal for event spending. You obviously need to raise funds beyond the amount you’re going to spend. A clear budget goal will help keep your costs in perspective and get more for your money. Make sure to include things like venue, seating, entertainment, food, drink, as well as any unforeseen costs. You’ll want to pad your budget to account for the unexpected.

Last, give the event-goers a goal beyond the fundraising goal. Give them an activity, a game, participatory entertainment – something to keep them engaged. Simply putting people in a room with food is often not enough. Professional development, networking, or even meet other singles are all excellent attendee goals. 

  1. Make it fun

Get donations is not a valid event theme. Satisfied attendees open their wallets. If you want event-goers to donate, you want them to have a good time.

One of the best ways to make event-goers enjoy their experience is to get them to be social. These social-theme fundraisers like speed-dating or meet and greets are a fun way to expand upon the traditional benefits dinner format.

Another great way to get event-goers to have a good time is by offering value upfront. Provide them with free food, free drinks, free entertainment, party favors, and other goodies. Make it clear you’ve spared no expense on their behalf.

  1. Make it Personal

One of the most time-honored means of fundraising is establishing a personal connection. This means making your attendees feel special, that they matter.

The first step here is to tailor each individuals’ experience as best you can. These are things like personalizing emails, personalizing cards, and creating intentional seating cards. You’ll also want to frequently check in with attendees and get their feedback.

Then, when making your fundraising appeals, you’ll also want to keep it personal. Stress how their contribution could specifically help another person. It pays to have examples of your nonprofits work to show them, and explain how by contributing, they will be creating results like the ones your non-profit has achieved in the past. Subscription-based calls to action are very effective here, especially coupled with pictures and details.

For example, the Scottish homeless charity Cyrenians created a digital chatbot ‘Alex’ designed to inform people about how easy it is to become homeless and the struggles they face. The ‘Ask Alex’ chatbot not only gave their cause a clear human element, but it allowed users to see exactly how they could help people like Alex, and how their contributions mattered.


 

  1. Make it easy

When it comes to donations, convenience is king. 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 – don’t let these slip away. A little logistics can mean the difference between a donation and a forgotten donation. 

You’ll also want to consider the venue. Pick someplace affordable, that meets your needs. Will it accommodate all your attendees? Is it affordable? Some venues might be willing to discount or event donate their space to be associated with a good cause. If you have any flexibility with your date, it can help secure a venue at a lower cost. Second, make sure your venue is accessible, and in an area your attendees are comfortable. Don’t make your attendees go too far out of their way.

5. Find a sponsor

Sponsorship can make or break your event. If your organization can secure a sponsor, more of the money your nonprofit raises can be used for your organization’s important causes rather than used to secure new donors.

But how do you go about finding new sponsors? It’s important to realize that sponsorship is not charity. In exchange for sponsorship, sponsors expect you to wield your event’s influence to give them a warm introduction to your event audience. They want to be exposed to your existing donors and clients who may be in their target demographic. 

Start by creating a list of potential sponsors, whose customer base may align with your event attendee demographic. Learn as much as you can about each potential sponsor business and their target customers. It’s crucial to understand a potential sponsor before you propose a partnership.

Your next step is to make contact. Put together a strong argument for why this company should sponsor your non-profit event, explaining your nonprofit’s mission, and that attendees of your event may make customers for the sponsors’ business. We recommend sending out a batch at a time, each email tailored to the potential sponsor, with specific details about their business. You can find a simple sponsor request here. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.

 While a cold-call is often frowned upon, this could be a good option if a potential sponsor has a limited online presence.

  1. Sell Tickets Online

Technology has taken ticket sales online. Not only can you now sell tickets directly from your site, but web tools ad social media give you an opportunity to advertise and reach new potential attendees on a budget. 

Invite all your Facebook friends by creating a Facebook event page, get your friends to invite more people and share the event. Social media like Facebook also offer powerful advertising tools to let you send targeted promotions to the right audience, at low prices. Consider targeting users in your niche.

If you don’t already have one, we recommend you set up a Mailing List ASAP. Sure, Social media can be great for promotions, but direct messages through Facebook or Instagram can easily get lost. An email will go directly to the person intended and will be read when it’s most convenient. Setting up a newsletter system with a service like Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 contacts and unlimited emails. This will help you craft personalized messages and allow anyone interested in your event to stay up to date. 

Last, capitalize on your network. Reach out to past attendees and donors, sending personalized messages that encourage them to attend your next event. This will not only increase attendance but increase the likelihood of donation.

As a non-profit event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your clients, venue, and spreading your message of change. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. 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

 

 

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

4 Event Branding Mistakes that Kill Ticket Sales

top 4 event branding mistakes

  1. Not Communicating Values

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

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

identity theft fingreprint

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

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

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

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

  1. No Value Proposition

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

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

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

  1. Your Software Swallows your Brand

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

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

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

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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

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

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

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

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

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

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

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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

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

Holland drag show

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

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

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

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

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

  1. The Show Got the Right People Talking

 

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

  1. The Show had a Clear Brand Message and Audience

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

  1. The Show kept Technology Personal

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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

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

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

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

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

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

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

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

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

6 SUPER FUN EVENT IDEAS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

NONPROFIT EVENTS: 5 REASONS YOU NEED MOBILE TICKETING

Nonprofit Events: 5 Reasons You Need Mobile Ticket...

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: 

  1. Increased accessibility. 
  2. Reduced printing costs. 
  3. Faster check-in processes. 
  4. Streamlined data management. 
  5. 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 and Twitter.

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6 SUPER FUN EVENT IDEAS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

6 Super Fun Event Ideas for College Students

college event ideas

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

  1. Game Night

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

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

  1. Next-level Movie Night 

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

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

  1. Dog Day

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

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

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

  1. Viable Volunteering

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

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

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

  1. Formals and College Proms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

 

How to Plan a Fitness Event with no Money

Congratulations, you want to host a fitness event! You’re planning to put on an event that helps attendees achieve their fitness goals, pave the way to a healthier lifestyle, and can even earn some money for your business. There’s just one problem: you have no money. You just don’t have a substantial budget to host this event with. So how do you put on a fitness event without a budget? Don’t worry, today Sparxo will answer your question with 3 simple steps.

  1. Use Social Media and Free Technology

No advertising budget? No problem, you already have access to millions of social media users, totally free. Invite all your Facebook friends by creating a Facebook event, get your friends to invite more people and share the event, ask for retweets and reach out to influencers in your fitness niche to co-host the event or partner for promotions.

We also recommend you set up a Mailing List. Sure, Social media can be great for promotions, but direct messages through Facebook or Instagram can easily get lost. An email will go directly to the person intended and will be read when it’s most convenient. Setting up a newsletter system with a service like Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 contacts and unlimited emails. This will help you craft personalized messages and allow anyone interested in your event to stay up to date. 

You can also use a free website builder like Weebly, Ucraft, or Strikingly to 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 helps your overall SEO. 

Tools like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to receive online contributions for your event, without the hassle of going from door to door asking for change. If you absolutely need a few dollars for one of your events unavoidable costs, consider starting a crowdfunding campaign.

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

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

You don’t need a stellar budget for a stellar venue. With the proper planning, you can find the perfect venue for the perfect price. But the first thing you need to decide is if you want a public or commercial venue.

On a budget, a public venue seems like the obvious choice. This would include venues like parks or open plazas. Anyone can be there for free, right? But it’s important to consider costs beyond rent. This might include stuff like permits, insurance, and parking. Are you allowed to bring food? Are restrooms nearby?

Your second option is a commercial venue, a space you can rent. These can seem more expensive, but most commercial spaces are designed for hosting, accustomed to fitness like yours. Meaning things like insurance, vendors, parking, bathrooms and other costs will be included. If you can find one of these venues on your budget, it’s definitely worth considering. Be sure you reach out to all your personal contacts too, to see if anyone in your network may be able to offer you commercial space at a discount price. We recommend that you choose a venue with a smaller staff. The more staff and support needed to run the venue, then the more people you’ll likely be paying for. 

After you’ve narrowed down your list of venues, send them an email explaining your event and how it will benefit the venue. You can find a sample venue request letter here.

  1. Seek Sponsors

The right sponsorship could be the answer to your budget troubles. Sponsoring companies want exposure, marketing, and a hand in events their customers attend. If you can find a company that will benefit from sponsoring your event, you could greatly enhance your budget and form a long-lasting partnership that helps both of you.

Your first step is to research what companies could benefit from sponsoring your event. Craft a list of potential sponsors, and make sure their customers’ interests align with your event. Learn as much as you can about their business and their customer. It’s crucial to understand a potential sponsor before you propose a partnership.

Your next step is to plan first contact. Your best bet is likely a friendly email message, although social media direct messages through Twitter or Instagram are becoming more acceptable. While a cold-call is often frowned upon, this could be a good option if the potential sponsor has a limited online presence.

Finally, craft a pitch! Put together a strong argument for why this company should sponsor your fitness event. We recommend sending out a batch at a time, each email tailored to the potential sponsor, with specific details about their business. You can find a simple sponsor request here. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.

  1. Be a People Person

On a budget, personal contacts are your friend. First things first, you should reach out to your contacts again to at least alert them of the event, especially those you know already enjoy fitness events like yours. But that’s only the beginning. If you’re looking to spice up your fitness event, inviting an influencer can be very effective. Even if they don’t accept the invitation to attend your invitation, they may be willing to help spread the word. And if they do decide to attend, they most certainly will be endorsing you. 

How do you get an influencer to your event? The first key is to stress what the influencer will get out of your event if they’re not getting paid – most of the time it will be visibility or audience engagement. Make it clear how the event will appeal to the kind of clients they want to attract. The second key is to make attendance convenient. Try to cover their travel fees, and make attendance as streamlined as possible, with clear simple, steps for the influencer. You don’t want to overwhelm them. Last, be as polite and courteous as possible, thanking them and offering small goodies if possible. This human touch can make all the difference. 

People skills will also help you land your dream venue. Much like with attracting influencers, communicating how your event will help a specific venue thrive will make them more likely to let you host there, and possibly lower your costs. Stress what your venue will get out of your event, typical visibility, more traffic in their space. Make it clear how the event will appeal to the kind of clients they want to attract. A more popular venue will make influencers more likely to attend, and at the same time, influencer attendance will make a venue more likely to attend. 

Consider proposing partnerships. There are sure to be local businesses, like health food restaurants, drink companies, and even fitness lines that are just getting started out in your area. They may be willing to donate supplies like t-shirts, water bottles, or healthy food and drink in exchange for space or exposure. Your first step is to contact your network for these sorts of newer businesses, and newer businesses you maybe already frequent. Then you can start researching, cold calling, and visiting these newer businesses in person. You may also be able to get music and design work on a bargain by proposing a partnership with a student, using their work at your event in exchange for greater visibility for their portfolio, and even resume experience. Be sure to always be as polite and respectful as possible when proposing partnerships, stressing what the business will get out of this partnership.

Last, a human touch will separate your lower budget events from those with much larger benefits. If you’re consistently friendly and outgoing, reaching out and checking in with attendees, your personal relationships with these attendees may mean they’ll continue to support your fitness business over larger ones, even if your business may have fewer resources. And even better, as a smaller event, you have the ability to spend the time cultivating these relationships, while events with bigger budgets may simply too big to focus on this human element, personal relationships just not feasible for them. Event planners on a budget should seize this human advantage.

 

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

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

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

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4 Trends that Could Leave Event Planners Behind

  1. Greater Personalization

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

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

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

  1. More Non-traditional Venues

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

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

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

  1. More Help and Smarter Chatbots

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

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

4. Last Minute Sign Ups and Personalized Ticketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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

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

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

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

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

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

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

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

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

Top 5 Steps for a Successful Pop-up

5 Steps for A Successful Pop-Up Shop

Build it and they will not come. As a pop-up shop, you’re likely starting as an unknown entity. Even if you have an established brand, you don’t have any history in your new brick and mortar space. It’s up to the pop-up to plan their pop-up event to not only be profitable but also grow brand awareness and trust.  

The good news is that with the rise of cheap short term rentals and boutique urban shopping, pop-ups are more popular than ever. Include these 5 steps in your pop-up plan, and you’ll be on the path of success. Neglect them and you kill your pop-up before it can get off the ground.

  1. Advertise more than you think you need to

For a successful pop-up, your customer needs to know you exist. Word of mouth won’t be enough, social media won’t be enough, and in some cases paid advertisements aren’t even enough. It’s our opinion that you should advertise more than you think you need to, starting earlier than you think you need to. Get a buzz going on social media many months before the event by running ads and contacting local influencers in your niche. You can also do a blog tour, posting on popular blogs in your space, which can make your site more visible and drive ticket sales.

And it’s important to note that it’s not enough to advertise big – you’ve also got to advertise smart. Your goal is to capture profits from the pop-up, to prove that a brick and mortar location can be profitable. Spending an obscene amount of your budget on advertising is going to make that goal very difficult to reach. Rather than splurging on splashy advertisements, find ways to specifically target your demographic through targeted online ads, influencers in their niche, and guerilla tactics. 

One of the slyest and often most effective advertising techniques harness the fear of missing out, or FOMO, to pull customers to your shop. Consider paying a group of people to form a line outside your shop and head inside. This paid foot traffic will generate a long line out your door during peak hours, so passersby will notice, take photos and get in line just to see what the hype is all about. 

Make sure your everyone who you pay to be at your shop signs a nondisclosure so they don’t tell anyone they were paid, and avoid jealousy.  These paid people should also be required to take a social media photo and post on IG/FB with your hashtags and location pin. They should be paid and given enough money to also get food at your space. Be sure to know the peak hour of your target customer so you can arrange the line to be out the door at the right time.

 

Simply enter your name and valid email address below and you will receive our comprehensive, 9 page, free e-book!

 


 

 

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

The Ultimate Event Planning Check List

The last event planning checklist you will ever need! Download yours for free! Here’s a sneak peek of our Ultimate Event Planning Checklist:

EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

5-8 Months Before the Event

  • Set goals for your event. What will you achieve by this event, specifically, e.g. generate qualified leads, develop loyal customers for your brand, sell products, raise funds
  • Select a date and venue. Here’s a sample venue request letter.
  • Get cost estimates (Space rental, equipment, food & drink, entertainment fees.) and create a budget plan for your event. You can find an example event budget template here event cost spreadsheet here.
  • Put together your team! We suggest working with a staffing agency to source all your event staff. Staffing agencies carry insurance to cover their staff, plus you know for certain that the staff will show up. Otherwise, recruit employees and volunteers and ensure they know what they will specifically do to help with the event.
  • Designate managers for each set of staff. 
  • Create a plan for promotions and publicity. Where will you put advertisements? Sell tickets?
  •  Identify and confirm speakers/presenters/entertainers. You can find a sample speaker outreach letter here.
  • Contact potential sponsors. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.
  • Determine if you need ticket sale software or event ticketing solutions to make the process easier.

 

3-4 Months Before the Event

  •  Finalize your entertainment plan, if any. Communicate with speakers/artists so you know what they’ll be doing at your event when they’ll be doing it, and their goals.
  •  Finalize travel & accommodation plans for the entertainment, you, and your team.
  • Set ticket price/registration fees.
  • Create an online registration form on your site.
  •   If you’ve secured sponsors, reach out to them for specific figures. Finalize goals and thank them. With Sparxo software you can include sponsor shoutouts in the automatic email confirmation pages and on the Sparxo splash page design.
  • Analyze your venue, especially any issues with weather or transportation. What could go wrong? Oh, only everything.
  • Review security for your event. You want to make sure your customer experience is on point no matter outside forces interfere. Make sure you have protocols for the weather, attendee conflict, illness, etc.
  • Arrange all the technical details of your event. This includes your menu, A/V equipment, registration set-up, parking, signage, etc. Here’s a list of technical elements.
  • Publicize your event, e.g. ads, your publicist, flyers. Here are 50 ways to market your event in the months before.
  • Plan your program (e.g. speaker order, openings, thanks, closing, etc.) Find gorgeous event program templates here, free with Canva.
  • Develop publicity pieces, e.g., newsletter articles and/or ads, radio spots, print blog posts articles for submission to other publications and/or ads, etc. Here are the top 12 publicists freelancers on Fiverr and here the top on Upwork.
  • Request logos from applicable corporate sponsors for online and printed material. Here’s an article explaining why sponsorship can make or break an event.
  • Develop media list & prepare news releases, Backgrounder, and all media kit materials (e.g., speaker info, bios, headshots, photos, etc.)
  • Create and promote an event page on your own website.
  • Create a Facebook event page, invite all your Facebook friends to like the page for visibility. Here’s a video showing you how to do that. The more people marked going or interested, the greater the event’s visibility. 
  • Register your event on online event calendars like Loxi, Trumba, and Yelp.
  • Create an attendance spreadsheet, keep track of VIP’s or select a technology partner like Sparxo to digitally track your attendees by importing guest lists from other systems.
  • Consider and check for any legal barriers for your event. Do you need any special permits? Insurance or licenses?

 

Simply enter your name and valid email address below and you will receive our comprehensive, 11 page, free e-book!


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