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.

 

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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!


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

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

And that’s how The Nightwood Society was born.

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

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

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

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

Locating the Right Experienced-Oriented Ticketing Partner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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Top 5 Biggest Event Planning Fails in History

Not all events are created equal. In fact, some are created awful. Like angry press, negative 1 star review, never-will-I-ever-attend-this-event-again awful. Today the Sparxo team is counting down the top 5 biggest event planning failures so you can both laugh and learn from them. And then go back to laughing because, psh, what were these event planners thinking? These events are so bad they’re good.

  1. Trapped in TomorrowWorld 2015

TomorrowWorld 2015 was so incredible, event goers never wanted it to end. Trouble was, they got their wish.

Mid-concert, a storm rolled in and flooded the Chattahoochee Hills venue. All roads in and out of TomorrowWorld were closed, leaving the concert goers trapped. It was like Cast Away, except with more prickly social media influencers and less Academy Awards. Needless to say, it was a total freaking disaster.

With heavy rain and nowhere to sleep, people got sick of waiting for the roads to open. Many struck out on their own. Thousands of concert-goers marched through for miles in the mud to reach Ubers and Shuttles, which weren’t able to get close to the closed-off concert roads. If that wasn’t bad enough, the high demand for Ubers meant some had to pay hundreds of dollars just to escape TomorrowWorld. “They left us to rot,” said one festival goer, “Like the walking dead.” Concert goers went from never wanting to go home to not being able to go home. Careful what you wish for.

Lesson: Have a backup plan. And a backup plan for your backup plan. It can be easy for experienced event planners to forget about Murphy’s law, to forget that no matter how skilled, nature can turn anyone’s event on its head. Be sure you have safety procedures in place and a way to keep people informed. In a worst-case-scenarios like TomorrowWorld, even if it’s not possible to arrange transportation out of the event, event planners can provide some support to attendees, putting a positive spin on a negative experience. Event planners could give out tents, raincoats, free food, care packages, and discounts to future events. Freebies. Something to prove the event cares about its attendees. With TomorrowWorld’s swollen budget, event planners could have even afforded to airdrop freaking scooters. And if all else fails sure, giving out refunds isn’t ideal, but it’s better than an angry, wet customer base. When planning events, assume that anything that can go wrong, will.

  1. Putting the Hot in Hotline

Veteran event planners have the best stories. Senior event planner Erika Turan recalls her most gruesome event horror story, where a hotline mixup ended in a very spicy twist.

Turan worked under a usually very capable event planner, who’d done everything by the book. Turan had just helped him set up the perfect medical service event, complete with a responsible budget and mailpiece, all carefully maneuvered around physician politics. Everything was great. Hot, even. But for some reason, nobody was registering. The phone never rang. So Turan checked the number.

The event’s perfectly memorable hotline registration number had been listed as 800-555-0000 instead of 888-555-0000. The wrong number. The number everyone had been calling to register belonged, in fact, to an adult entertainment hotline. The callers got the checkup of their lives.

Lesson: Test, test, test! Never set up a call line, an email address, anything, without testing it. Send a sample email, make a test call. If possible, get an outsider to do this, to give you a sense of what the sign-up or hotline experience is like for an event goer.

No matter how sharp your event planning skills are, testing and checking your work will always be essential. A double or triple check could be the difference between a hot event and a, err, hot event. You know what we mean.

  1. And the Million Dollar Deal Goes to… Nike’s Imaginary friend!

In 2013, Nike finally invited Stephen Curry in for a shoe deal. This was big for them. Curry was a rising star and had family working for Nike. Plus, he was already a fan of Nike shoes. Besides Nike wasn’t just any shoe company, they were the shoe company in 2013. They should have had this deal in the bag, one easy shoot and swish. Should have. Enter, incompetence and impersonalization.

Nike began by welcoming ‘Steph-on’ Curry to the pitch, thanking him for his time and telling him how big of fans they were. Big fans of Steph-on, they just couldn’t wait to work with him.

…Wait. There is no Steph-on Curry? Nike confused him for a Family Matters character?! Because Nike had no idea who the real Stephen Curry even was?!?

And the mixups only got worse. The staff’s pitch PowerPoint addressed Kevin Durant instead of Steph Curry, the event staff reusing the old Durant pitch for Steph, forgetting to switch the names around. Awkward. Steph Curry’s father says Steph “Kept his poker face on,” but “Stopped paying attention after that.” Steph obviously turned Nike down, before signing with Under Armour. He went on to make millions for Under Armour, his brand of shoes second only to Jordans in sales. Nike must be kicking themselves.

Lesson: Relationships count. That’s why you’re inviting real live people to these events, right? People appreciate people who pay attention to them, who knows what’s going on in their lives, in their business, and at the very least, know their freaking name. Event planning and business superstar Dale Carnegie once said that “The Sweetest sound to any man is the sound of his own name.” And it’s true. Cultivating personal relationships before, during, and after an event will make the difference between a success and a failure, and hopefully keep things a whole lot awkward. So shake hands. Stay focused on the event goers. Send follow-ups. And if you’ve got influencers and awards, please, please learn names. We know it’s hard. But it’s worth it. Just ask Steph Curry.

  1. Not Chicken Nuggets. Presidential Chicken Nuggets.

January 2019, mid-Government shutdown, the President invited the Clemson Tigers to a White House dinner. You’d think fine dining at the highest office in the land, right. Steak, silver platters. White tablecloths. That sort of thing.  

But remember the government was shut down, there were no federal employees in the White House. No federal chefs were available to make the meal. So the president was forced to order out.

Did they go with caviar? Steak? Some fancy DC chain? Nope, the event planners ordered fast food. They had a truckload of McDonald’s, Wendy’s burgers, chicken nuggets, Domino’s pizza (and some salad!) sent into the white house for dinner. Oof.

When asked why on earth a white house dinner, renowned for its exclusivity and class, would do this, the president said “Because of the shutdown. So we set out and got this. We have some wonderful people working at the White House that helped us out with this…We have to have border security.”

The president wasn’t thinking brand or experience, he was thinking politics. And now anyone lucky enough to RSVP for a White House dinner will have to wonder will I be served McDonald’s? And more importantly: should I bring ketchup?

Lesson: Brand and experience are everything. It’s awful for an event to fall apart, sure, but it’s worse when a reputation falls apart too. Not only did the White House’s event planning for the dinner spark online outrage, but it also seriously damaged the White House brand and experience. There’s less faith in them. Their guests of honor came all the way to the White House only to be served fast food from around the corner. Worse, the menu made the White House look like an ad for McDonalds. Not only did their brand suffer, but it was eclipsed by fast food companies. Double no-no. This begs the question: How will you keep your brand intact? How will your brand be remembered? Well, one great way to brand an event or company is by having your own domain name, like www.yournameherepresents.com. Plenty of web template companies like Square Space ($12 bucks a month) make this easy, fast, and cheap to have a beautiful, mobile-optimized website in no time. Having your own branded website, allows your audience to know where to go for future events and build trust.

This is so crucial for ticket sales too. Instead of making yourself dependent on big third-party ticketing companies that hide your brand (Looking at you, Eventbrite and Brown Paper Tickets), consider putting them to work for your brand. First, post your event on these big ticketing platforms to see if anyone new finds you through them. That way you’ll convert anyone who finds you from those ticketing sites into fans of your own website, your own brand. Then when the event ends, send event goers an email recap after the event thanking them for their support and to check out your own website for future events. In reality, companies like those don’t really help you sell more tickets. A majority of your sales come from your own brand and marketing efforts. Check out this case study.

See, this is what companies like ours do. We allow you to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you integrate ticket selling it directly into your website with no redirects – all for free. Sparxo also lets you import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems into Sparxo so you can aggregate all of your customer data for data analytics like identifying repeat attendees and have one seamless check-in system. This will make things so much smoother, and so much more personal. Win-win, right? Plus, you’ll make more money. Like, a lot more. WIth Sparxo, you keep 100% of your ticket price! The best part? Sparxo is free.

So there you have it, hacks to avoid having your brand swallowed like fast food, plus SEO nuggets to empower your brand. Heh. Nuggets.

  1. The Fyre Festival Fraud

Fyre Festival has become the most infamous event planning failure of the century, if not ever. Fyre was such a colossal dumpster fire of an event, the company got pinned with hundreds of lawsuits, thousands of angry attendees, and its own Netflix documentary on its spectacular failure. For those of you not up to date on internet outrage, here’s what happened:

Fyre was a failed music festival slated to take place on in the Bahamas, the supposed “luxuries” of this island festival advertised by social media influencers, models and rappers all paid to say good things.

Unfortunately, most of the “luxuries” were lies. Fyre had no intention or even the ability to deliver what was promised. When the day of the festival arrived, there were humongous issues with security, food, accommodation, medical services, and musician relations, causing the event to be postponed indefinitely. Instead of “luxury” villas and fancy meals the attendees were promised, they got soggy FEMA sandwiches and makeshift tents. The festival’s founder went to jail for fraud, with $26 million in fines. Ouch.

Lesson: Don’t over-promise and under deliver. When advertising and promoting or even just chatting with event goers and influencers, be modest. Don’t downplay your events great qualities, but don’t embellish or oversell either. Fyre promised private jets, sandy beaches, gourmet cuisine, and exclusive bands — attendees paid thousands of dollars in ticket costs for these big promises. Instead, they got soggy sandwiches. And rain. Lots of rain.

This sort of hype and overselling risks disappointments your attendees, and worse, destroying their trust. Remember how brand was trust? Well, yeah, you can imagine how under delivering would obliterate brand. Fyre’s brand is so toxic it didn’t just shut down, but it’s now an adjective meaning the opposite of fire. “That event was so not-fire that it was Fyre. Trash!” When advertising tickets, definitely do stress your brand’s good points but don’t exaggerate. Your event’s awesomeness will speak for itself.

 

Sources Cited:

“3 Special Event Fails – and What They Taught Me.” LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-special-event-fails-what-taught-me-erika-turan/.

Joseph, Andrew. “The White House Really Did Serve Clemson a Fast-Food Feast on Silver Platters.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 16 Jan. 2019, ftw.usatoday.com/2019/01/trump-white-house-clemson-fast-food-mcdonalds-wendys-burger-king-silver-platters-photos-reaction.

Godwin, Becca. “How TomorrowWorld Became an Epic Disaster Of Near-Riots and Looming Lawsuits.” Vice, VICE, 28 Sept. 2015, www.vice.com/en_us/article/gvngkx/how-tomorrowworld-became-an-epic-disaster-of-near-riots-and-looming-lawsuits.

“Why Did John Travolta Mess Up Idina Menzel’s Name? The Truth Revealed.” Broadway.com, www.broadway.com/buzz/179663/why-did-john-travolta-mess-up-idina-menzels-name-the-truth-revealed/.“The Lessons of the Fyre Festival.” INFLUENCE, INFLUENCE, 5 Feb. 2019, influence.bloglovin.com/the-lessons-of-fyre-festival-a79f983ea374?gi=4305de1d129d.

 

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 Creative Startup Labs completely SOLD OUT thei...

With a career in law and a passion for fashion, J. Brad Carrick identified that there was a gap in understanding legal aspects of the fashion industry. That’s why he founded Creative Startup Labs, a unique and innovative full-service agency dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs start, protect and grow their business.

From brand development and legal services to creative financing and strategic consulting, Creative Startup Labs goes the extra mile for its clients.   So how does Creative Startup Labs plan sold out events all year around?

Brad’s approach is multifaceted. He isn’t just focused on filling the space with bodies or consumed with the physical experience of attendees, but even more so, he understands that the brand image attendees have begins with the digital experience that happens before the event. He understands that it’s about the technology he uses to sell out events to provide a seamless and smooth digital to physical experience for each of his client’s brands.

A decade of event experience

Creative Startup Labs has been producing events for its clients for the past decade with notable industry experience in activating word of mouth marketing, memorable attendee experiences, and successfully planning sold out events.

In March 2019, Creative Startup Labs worked with a client to host an exclusive event called  MM Fantasy Soiree: Dragon’s Lounge, which showcased Asian-inspired art, fashion, performance and visuals by Mariya Milovidova. Performances included a series of modern dance, ballet and singing performances inspired by an appreciation for Asian arts and celebration of the Lunar New Year and the event was held at a secret, pop-up underground den at Eleven11 Fantasy Lounge.

The event had all the makings of a premium event worth talking about.

Switching technology to build brand following and loyalty

Creative Startup Labs recognized that they had to take a different approach if they wanted to stay ahead in the marketing game and really focus on developing its clients brand following to produce recurring successful events.

The goal was simple –

  1. Ensure the event is packed
  2. Provide the best digital to physical brand experience

From engaging marketing content and convenient ticket purchasing to smooth check-in, Creative Startup Labs wanted the end-to-end experience for its audience to be a seamless reflection of its client.

The right technology makes all the difference not only to the success of this show but also to the long term viability of brand loyalty and returning attendees.

This is where Brad and Creative Startup Labs decided to partner with Sparxo’s white label ticketing platform.

They were  attracted to Sparxo for a few key reasons which included:

  • Ability to keep 100% of their ticket price
  • Flexibility to create engaging landing pages
  • Maximize marketing efforts to improve their own SEO and brand
  • Ability to sell tickets on other ticketing platforms
  • Ability to aggregate all data into Sparxo
  • Referral tracking links to incentivize event partners

“Sparxo made it easy to track and incentivize affiliates and team members. We were also able to use several different promotional and discount codes that were customizable across ticket levels and times.“ – J. Brad Carrick, Founder of Creative Startup Labs

They set up their event on Sparxo with the intention to directly integrate with its website, use it as their primary sales promotion platform and increase their SEO efforts.

As per its client request, Creative Startup Labs also posted the event on Eventbrite in hopes of riding the email marketing and branded platform wave to generate more sales.  

“Funny enough, our client wanted to have an Eventbrite page up as she thought that would get her greater exposure. In the end, only one ticket sold on Eventbrite.” – J. Brad Carrick, Creative Startup Labs Founder

A partnership for life

Creative Startup Lab’s event was a huge success and they packed the venue for their event.

The agency sold 98% of tickets through its website integrated with Sparxo’s white-label ticketing platform. Numbers don’t lie. While Eventbrite boasts that the majority of sales come through Eventbrite channels, in reality, that does not translate into the majority of sales come from Eventbrite’s promotions and marketing or discovery platform.

A majority of ticket sales come from the event organizer’s own marketing and branding, driving traffic to Eventbrite channels.

Sparxo also offers 50% faster check-in compared to Eventbrite with its lightning fast QR code scanning.

“Overall, we had a seamless and smooth experience on Sparxo and will definitely be using it again for our future events.” – J. Brad Carrick, Creative Startup Labs Founder

Evidently, trying something new with the right mindset and functionality can be a real game-changer in marketing events and growing your brand.  Check Sparxo out for planning your next sold out event!

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

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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

9 Mistakes Event Producers Overlook

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

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

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

(Written by: Rawia Abu Rabie)

  1. Lack Of Marketing Expertise

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

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

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

  2. No Live Stream

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

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

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

  3. Poor Registration Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

  4. Not Planning Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

  5. Consciously Building Your Own Event Brand

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

How will your event brand be remembered?

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

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

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


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

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

  6. Not Thinking Through The Audience Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

  7. Underestimating How to Structure Ticket Prices

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

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

Here’s an example:

Event expenses: $10,000

Target Profit: $10,000

The goal in sales: $20,000

Venue capacity: 500

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

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

To break this down, it might look like:

Two months of ticket sales and marketing

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

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

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

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

General Admission: $60 at the door

Offering complimentary tickets to 50 people

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

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

  8. Lack of Communication Before The Event

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. Not Having Event Insurance

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

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

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

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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

3 Ways to Build Your Following: A Guide for Event ...

As an event brand, it’s in your best interest to build your brand loyalty and grow the community around your organization. To produce recurring events, you want to have a database of loyal fans. You will want to get exposure through other systems and convert their customers into direct fans of your brand and community. A key point to developing a strong loyal fanbase is to train your fans to go to your website and your Facebook page to find you and your event information. Keep reading for three ways you can effectively learn how to grow a loyal fanbase!

1. Extend Your Virtual Reach

Leverage the reach of event aggregation sites to reach their customer base. Let them do the extra marketing for you to increase sales; while you focus on sharing your own website sales to your fan base. Why?

By promoting and marketing your own website, you are boosting your own website SEO. You are also training your audience on where to find you and where to register for events. If you always redirect them to a third party website, why would your audience come back to your website?

To leverage third party, event aggregation sites like Eventbrite, simply post your event without marketing their ticket link. When sales end, convert the new customers from the other sites into fans of your site and brand.

Find out which ticketing systems do marketing for event producers and post your events there. This can be done with a simple Google search for events in your region. Some examples might include Eventbrite, TicketZone, Brown Paper Tickets, etc.

Also, there are many niche smartphone applications that aggregate events and market events for you. We suggest spending 10-15 minutes doing a search for event posting applications on iTunes and Google Play. Find the ones that fit your event and post away!

PRO TIP: Your marketing efforts should be focused on driving traffic to your brand. However, selling tickets on other sites is no problem.

With Sparxo, you can import ticket sales from other sites to use our check-in system; creating one seamless check-in experience. The best perk about Sparxo is that we are a white label (no brand) platform, so the goal for us is to give you tools to grow a loyal fanbase, brand and directly connect with your audience.

2. Partner with Local Businesses

Our team suggests that you make a list of organizations and local businesses that match your brand so that you can cross promote with them. Pitch a partnership that you can drive customers to them as they drive customers to you.

Here are some tips for your new relationship:

  • Give them a custom referral tracking link so you can see if they are a good fit for future events.
  • Offer them a discount code specific to their fan base as an incentive
  • Place their logo on your flyer, website, and event descriptions
  • Add them as event hosts to your Facebook event
  • Make a flyer specific for them that has their logo as the focus so they will want to use it to promote
  • Post their logo on Instagram and Facebook giving them a shout-out as an event host, tag, and hashtag them to capture their fan base

3. Ramp Up Your Marketing

Now that your reach is expanded, make sure your loyal fanbase knows that you are a choice when it comes to events. Tag promotions to other marketing messages in the weeks leading up to your event. Make sure the message stands out and the link always goes back to your website.

To stand out from the competition, give your growing fanbase tools to share your event.

This includes:

  • Having a #hashtag for your brand and/or event
  • Creating an account handle on popular social media accounts for your brand
  • Creating a catchy, memorable event slogan such as “The Happiest Place on Earth” (Disneyland) or “Live today, love tomorrow, unite forever” (Tomorowland)
  • Repost and tagging posts from fans, partners, and sponsors
  • Live streaming your event to capture fans who otherwise wouldn’t have known you existed
  • Posting your live stream to channels specific to regions you want to target

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

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

Event Promoter’s Ultimate Guide to Email Pro...

Our founders have been in the event industry for over a third of their lives. Part of our core philosophy is that we not only understand, but we believe that your audience should always be focused on you and that you should control the experience and messaging your audience engages with. This means that, yes, we are a white label (no brand) platform that integrates directly into your website(s) and Facebook page(s) with no redirects. This also means that we want to make sure you have the right tools and knowledge to build and grow your event brand. Try our free, no obligation platform today! 

Having an email database of your loyal fans and niche potential new fans is crucial, but the messages you send to them are just as crucial as obtaining the email list.

Keep these two tips on hand:

  1. Predict if your email will go to inbox: Litmus is a great, free tool to check if your email will make it to the inbox of your audience or not.
  2. Subject line length: Since most people open their emails from their phone, EventForce’s team recommends subject lines of approximately 50 characters or 6-8 words. Definitely, send yourself a test email to experience what your readers will.

Read on for some more tips from our team!

TIP: Don’t know who to send your emails to? Check out our Knowledge Base article on creating an email database: https://www.sparxo.com/knowledge-base/5-how-to-invite-people-to-your-event/

First Email

The goal of your first email is to get your audience and potential ticket buyer to open the email, read it, and, hopefully, convert to a registrant. The goal is not to shove a ton of information down their throat. Otherwise, they might open it, be overwhelmed with information and delete your email.

There are going to be two types of audiences you are sending a first email to:

  • Existing loyal fans – fans who have previously attended an event of yours
  • New audience

We believe that short, sweet, and simple is the best for a first email campaign whether to existing loyal fans or a new audience.

For your existing loyal fans, we suggest you to consider offering a private, early access to tickets option with a discount. Why? You already know they like your events since they attended before. You want to sell as many tickets from the start as possible to start generating a word of mouth buzz about your event. And you want your loyal fans to feel appreciated so they will come back and continue to support you.

Existing Loyal Fans

You might send something short and sweet like this one from Patreon:

We’d suggest including an image, flyer, or banner about your event and/or event brand as well. You might include a sentence about why they are receiving this email and early access to tickets for being a loyal fan and attending an event previously. The message is so short and plays on curiosity to get the reader to click the button which you will want to direct them to your event page on your website.

An alternative first email to existing loyal fans is a Save the Date. Here’s an example we like from Marketing United:

 

New Audience

The trick in sending emails to a new audience begins with picking the right email subject lines and text descriptions.

Here are some tips and tricks our team has compiled for you from EventForce, Optinmonster, and VerticalResponse:

  1. This event will have your LinkedIn circles talking
  2. Join all major influencers of [topic]
  3. You’re invited to [name of event]
  4. Hi [Name], free [Date]? Join us at [Event Name]!
  5. Largest [Event Type] in [Geographic Location]: [Event Name]
  6. [WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…
  7. *Don’t Open This Email*
  8. Don’t miss [Keynote] on [Date] at [Event Name]!
  9. [Year] lineup at [Event Name], featuring [Performer Name]!

 

Here are some email campaign examples for you to reference:

Havaianas:

SteadFast Creative:

Hidden Dinner:

Women’s Conference of Florida

Web Summit Team:

AdAge:

Stylist:

Follow-up Emails

There are several ways and reasons to send follow-up emails to your database.

Here are some follow-up email reason:

  1. Discount codes: Making your fans feel special by selectively offering a discount code to their group.
  2. Early bird ticket levels expiring or ending soon: Sending a reminder email that the early bird tier is ending soon.
  3. Announcements: Try to keep announcement emails few and far between so as not to spam your audience. Good announcement emails might include a new celebrity or guest speaker or highlighting a sponsor donating the event’s food.
  4. Fun Facts: This might include statistics about past attendees such as job titles or income level, dollars spent or amounts raised. A fun fact email should be just that and the reader should feel that the information you’re sharing is interesting.
  5. Promoting your Event Partners or Sponsors: Get your audience used to receiving cool emails from you that aren’t alway about your event. If they are in the habit of opening your emails, they will also open your event emails. You might take time to send an email promoting the business or telling the story of one of your event partners or sponsors. Ideally, pick a story that aligns with who you are and what your event stands for.
  6. Follow-up Email: Send a thank you to your attendees and follow-up with a cool survey to get feedback from them. Or simply ask for their feedback through a button that opens an email directed to you or your team to receive. MailChimp offers a really cool way to integrate a survey directly into an email, so all your reader has to do is click one.
  7. Event Recap Email: Send an email recap highlighting the coolest parts of your event. You might include a video, GIF, and/or link to event photos linked back to your website to help boost your SEO.

With MailChimp, you can pre-schedule your emails and email follow-ups as well!

If you’re an event producer, check out our free, no obligation platform today! There’s no reason you shouldn’t be using your marketing efforts to grow your brand and SEO. You can still post your event on other sites or systems and easily import those sales data into Sparxo for data analytics and check-in! Try us for free today!

 

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

Learn What Ticketing Companies Are Hiding – ...

Hundreds of ticketing companies start up each year. Don’t get taken advantage of by fine lines or small print. Find out who has hidden event ticketing fees.

 

It’s decided, your company will be hosting an event in a few months. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big event or small event, its success lies in good planning and preparation. Immediately, you do a quick Google search for the different event ticketing and registration platforms out there that can help you with event registration… and you come back even more confused than you were before you began.

Why? Because just like everything else out there in the market, you have to wade through paragraphs of marketing mumbo jumbo and then scroll till the end or jump a few pages more to see what fine print you might have missed — and even then, you still might not be getting the full story. Wouldn’t it be nice if companies just told you up front what you were getting and how much it would cost, no hidden fees or stipulations and all? Ah, the ideal world.

Well, we’ve done the research and here we are to break it down to you in easy, bite-sized morsels of information, you know, so we save you time on hiring a mathematician just to calculate ticketing fees!

Brown Paper Tickets

Brown Paper Tickets advertises a really eye-catching fee of $0.99. Whoa, you say, only 99 cents? That’s a steal! Yes, well, as with a lot of other things, make sure you check the fine print!

On their Pricing page (https://www.brownpapertickets.com/pricing.html), you’ll see this little table:

*Update 4/10/19: Brown Paper Tickets has since increased their fee to $0.99 + 5%

First of all, the fee actually is $0.99 + 5%, not just a flat rate of $0.99. Also, if you use a popular credit card processor like Paypal of Stripe, you won’t get to charge the total fees to your customers, because you will need to pay your credit card processing fee (which is normally 2.9% + $0.30) and Brown Paper Ticket’s fee ($0.99 + 5$). This essentially means that you’re paying Brown Paper Tickets at least 5% out-of-pocket of your ticket price while you pass on the $0.99 fee and the credit card processing fee to your customer. That’s knowing you have additional costs on your end before you even sell a single ticket!

They do make it sound very nice though, that they are giving you money to offset your costs… and well, that is until you realize you’d have to pay way more than what they are “giving” you to cover your credit card processing fees!

Another fine print that’s important to consider is this:

Should you ever need to cancel the event, you are charged $0.99 + 5% if using their credit card processor, or if you’re using your own processor, $0.99 + 5% PLUS the fees from your own credit card processor.

While these fees aren’t exactly hidden — they’re stated clearly on their pricing page — a little math does seem to be needed when you realize you’re not exactly getting the $0.99 good deal you thought you were getting. So be an informed customer and consider these factors when using Brown Paper Tickets.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite offers two different tiers of pricing for normal events (they also have a custom Premium option for super large complex events) — their Essentials package is 2% + $0.79 per ticket and their Professional package is 3.5% + $1.59. You can see what they offer in each package here: https://www.eventbrite.com/organizer/pricing/

However, a quick look at their Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to pricing also reveals this little info bit:

This means that while they say they let you pass the Eventbrite fee to your customers, what they mean to say is they ONLY let you pass the Eventbrite fee to your customers. At the end of the day, the credit card processing fee will still come out of your own pocket; there is no way of passing this fee to your customers.

What’s more, Eventbrite is mum about their maximum fees, while from our research we’ve found that their maximum fee in the last year alone has fluctuated from $19.95-$24.95!** Update on their maximum fee as of July 2019: They removed their maximum fee and no longer cap out. This means their rate is applicable for the entire ticket price with no maximum fee. That’s a whole whopping load of fees! Always check with the event ticketing site you’re considering what their maximum fees are, so you and your event goers don’t receive any “surprise” fees!

Finally, one drawback of Eventbrite is even though they claim to allow direct integration to your website, unless you are one of their major clients or unless you follow a strict list of rules, really all it does is redirect your customer to their website.

This is something to take into consideration especially because most companies would prefer to keep their online traffic on their site alone. This also means that embedding Eventbrite will not help your SEO if all of your customers are redirected to Eventbrite to complete their purchase. Your bounce rate will be high and retention rate low, while Eventbrite will maintain a low bounce rate and high retention rate increasing their own SEO. In the end, you will simply be helping Eventbrite’s SEO and branding, not your own.

Sparxo

The Sparxo pricing page is so simple we couldn’t even be bothered with tables! It’s just so straightforward — $1 for tickets under $25, $2 for tickets priced between $25 and $50, and $3 for tickets $50 and above.

One really great thing to note is this:

“The maximum Sparxo convenience fee is $3.00 + 2.9% + 0.30 per ticket. This fee includes the Sparxo application fee and the credit card transaction fee. The whole fee can be passed onto the customer or internalized or split.”

The whole fee! Yes, this means you can pass ALL your fees onto your customer — not only the Sparxo ticketing fees but also the credit card processing fees.

So essentially the math equation would be: $3.00 + 2.9% + 0.30 + all fees passed to customer = you keep 100% of your ticket price! We don’t know about you, but we believe 100% sounds just about right to us!

Also, in comparison to Eventbrite, Sparxo event registration does not call for any sort of redirection whatsoever. You maintain and control the entire brand experience with your customer. With Sparxo, you increase your retention rate, decrease your bounce rate, and boost your SEO all by doing exactly what you’ve already been doing.

Another plus to the Sparxo platform is if you find yourself having to deal with the sometimes-unexpected refund and/or cancellation situations. Well, you can put your worries away. Need to refund? Your customer’s get their Sparxo fees back too. Need to cancel? Pay no cancellation fees either.

To sum it up, you can refer to this simple table:

*If you are a major client fo Eventbrite’s or you follow this specific list of rules, then and only then can you directly embed Eventbrite into your website with no redirects:

1. You must use Eventbrite payment processing.

2. Your website must be secure with an HTTPS certificate on your website.

3. You can only sell tickets in the following currencies: USD, CAD, GBP, AUD or EUR

4. Does not work for events with multiple dates or times available.

5. Does not work when group registration is turned on.

6. Does not work with using “additional items” for sale for things like t-shirts.

7. Does not work when your event is password protected.

8. Does not work with the “Will Call” feature.

9. Does not work when adding multiple embed codes on the same page for the same event.

Note: For major festivals or large events, event ticketing sites typically offer special deals or integrations. The table above is what is offered to the general public and average event organizer or event producer.

We hope that we’ve made it easier for you to see which event ticketing platform offers what and at what cost so that you can find the best one that suits your needs! We wish all companies and ticketing systems were as transparent and upfront as Sparxo. Since that isn’t the case, we hope you found our research valuable. Happy event-ing!

Try a no obligation, free account with Sparxo today! www.sparxo.com