Planning an event isn't easy. From ticketing to marketing, finances to logistics, putting on a successful event is challenging to even the most organised event planner. Why not ease the load by making the most of the technology that is out there? You don't need to be a geek or spend a fortune to access the latest technology. There are hundreds of apps, services and gadgets to consider. We've done the hard work for you. Here are our suggestions for essential technology for your event.
1.Get your Social Media right.
The key to using social media effectively is to first consider where your audience hangout online. Facebook is still the most popular platform, with over 1 Billion monthly active users worldwide. Professionals are increasingly using Google+ and Twitter. Marketing a conference or exhibition? These are the ideal platforms for you.
If you have a highly visual event or your demographic is the under 30's, Instagram in particular should be considered. 80% of Pinterest users are female. Start a board for your event and pin information and inspiration to it.
Consider the use of a unique hashtag for your event. Make it catchy and as short as possible then use it on all communications, including your website. Although your ultimate aim is to sell tickets, the key to social media success is engagement. Keep your audience entertained and it will grow. Don't fill your social media output with sales pitches. Ask questions, share content and create a buzz around your event. Ticket sales will follow.
Consider using Periscope or Meerkat to live stream your event to your Twitter followers. It's cutting-edge but with thousands of accounts being registered daily, who knows how popular it will become?
2.Sell Tickets Online
Today's audiences want to be able to buy tickets quickly when they want and how they want. Using an online ticketing platform will help you meet the demands of your attendees as well as providing a low-maintenance box office for any event.
Once the ticket has been purchased, it can be printed out, or platforms such as Ticket Tailor provide e-tickets that can be shown from the users phone. Selling tickets online is easy for you as an events organiser. Automating the ticketing process saves you money and will free-up more of your precious time.
Whether it's ensuring that people can pay for tickets easily or buy merchandise at the event, you need to consider the needs and expectation of your attendees. Easy, safe payment options are key. Whether it's card payments or transactions via Paypal or Stripe, people expect convenience.
At the event, if you are selling products whether food, official merchandise or tickets for future events, people will expect to be able to pay by card or possibly even mobile technology. Are you ready for that?
Having a cashless payment system available; whether it's chip and pin, contactless payment cards or even RFID/NFC solutions is becoming the norm. You can get RFID wristbands, perfect for festivals.
4. Analyse your Data.
Whether it's analysis of your social media engagement or any other variable, analysing your event data is a key factor in the success of your event and any future events.
Ensure that you use the tools that are readily available and often free. Facebook Insights and Google Analytics are free. Twitter analytics are also free to business users. There is no need to be juggling spreadsheets. If you use an online ticketing platform such as Ticket Tailor, data is easy to view, export and use. Know exactly what's been sold and what's remaining and you can use tracking codes to see who's referring your ticket sales.
Leveraging your existing data is also essential. We have an integration with Mailchimp so you can easily produce an email marketing list from your attendees. Keep your audience informed and increase engagement with you and your brand or use it to send a reminder about an upcoming event.
When deciding which technology to embrace for your event, consider what your aims and objectives are. If you're selling merchandise, ensure that your payment technology is spot on. Do your attendees need WiFi? Check that your venue has adequate provision. Selling tickets online? Make it as easy as possible for your audience to buy.
Ticket Tailor provide an easy-to-use online platform for selling tickets. Why not take our two-minute tour and find out more?
For anyone involved in PTA fundraising, you'll know that it can time-consuming and frustrating getting your tickets sold. Why not take away the stress and sell your tickets with Ticket Tailor? Here's our 5-step guide on how to sell tickets online for your PTA fundraising events:
1. Register your event on Ticket Tailor
Firstly, you'll need to sign-up for a Ticket Tailor account. It's completely free and allows you to check-out everything that Ticket Tailor has to offer before you commit to being a paid member.
Sign-in to your account and you'll be shown the dashboard. You now need to create your event. Click on the events tab and then click "Add a new event". Start by adding the name, location, date and time of the event. You can also add extra information about your event in the description field and upload a picture. I’ve created an example event, which you can see in the screenshot below:
When you’ve done this, you can add a new type of ticket to be sold on your website. Click "Add a new ticket type". This will open-up a pop-up where you can set up details of your tickets. Add a name for your ticket, set a price for this ticket type and the quantity available.
When you’re happy, click "Save ticket".
You can add as many types of tickets as you want.
When you’re happy, click "Save event". It doesn't go live straight away and you can always come back and make changes.
From here, you’ll be taken to an event summary, providing details for your event and the "Event Link".
Click on the "Visit event page" button to see what your box office looks like.
Here’s what mine looks like:
You have the option to customise your box office with an image, school logo or school colours by going to Box Office Setup and then click on Customisation.
2. Create a PayPal or Stripe account and link it to Ticket Tailor to collect funds.
When you’re happy with your event details and box office design, the next step to add a method of payment.
In order to accept payments for your tickets you will need an account with Stripe or Paypal. Both systems are very easy to sign up to and allow you to collect payments from your customers via credit / debit cards. To help choose, please read our comparison.
When you’ve decided, click on the Box Office Setup tab again, then click on Payment systems. Choose either Stripe or PayPal and then click the connect button to link up your Ticket Tailor account.
3. How to send out a ticket link in an email or add it to your website/Facebook page
When you create a Ticket Tailor account, you get access to our user-friendly control panel. Once you've created an event and made it live, you will then get a live Box Office link, bespoke to you. You can then integrate this with your website or send the link to your existing email list.
Integrate with Your Website
An optional step to sell tickets online is to integrate your box office with your school/PTA website. To do this, click through to the event from your control panel, and then click on "Website embed codes" from the menu on the left.
From here, Ticket Tailor will automatically generate code that can be directly inserted into your website to embed your event ticket checkout.
We can provide you with HTML code that you can copy and paste. Or, if you use WordPress, you can install the Ticket Tailor WordPress plugin and use this to embed your widget.
If you have a Facebook page for your event, we can turn your page into a Box Office too with our easy to use Facebook app. Parents access your Facebook page, click on the event and they can buy tickets there and then. See how easy it is to integrate your Facebook page with Ticket Tailor:
4. How people buy tickets and what they receive.
Parents and family members wanting to attend the fundraiser will access your box office page via a link sent by you, or via your Facebook page or even your website. They can pay by credit or debit card securely, via Stripe or Paypal, whichever method you've decided on.
You decide whether to charge a booking fee. If you do, it's yours. We don't take a percentage, although please note that PayPal or Stripe will charge a small transaction fee.
Once a ticket has been bought, we will automatically email your customer with an e-ticket. The e-ticket contains a barcode, essential event information and order details. You can customise the e-ticket to contain any information that you like.
5. How to check-in attendees at the event.
The day of the fundraiser has arrived, but just how do you check-in the attendees? It's easy. The options are detailed below, and all can be accessed from your control panel by clicking in to your event, and clicking on the "Attendee check-in" option on the left-hand side.
- You can create an easy-print doorlist. Simply print it and then cross people off as they arrive.
- Use our Android or iPhone app. Download the Ticket Tailor app from the app store and download your event data to your device. It even works offline if you don't have an internet connection. You can check people in by searching for their names or by scanning the barcode on their ticket.
- Use a desktop computer. Use the Ticket Tailor desktop app to check people in. It works offline too and you can search for people's details.
That's all there is to it, but we are here to help!
We are always on hand to help so if you get stuck you can:
- check out our help and support guides or
- send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or
- click the ? button in the bottom corner of your control panel.
"Ticket Tailor makes it quick and easy to sell tickets online. The customer service is great, they don't take a cut on each transaction, and there's 30% off their monthly plans for charities. All round a great service for PTA events."
Tanja Kent, Collis Primary School PTA
Find out more about Ticket Tailor and take our quick two-minute tour.
At Ticket Tailor, we aim to provide the best online ticketing service that we can. We want to help our clients sell tickets online and make the experience as simple, yet effective for them as possible. With great features such as MailChimp integration, auto-hiding tickets and Facebook integration, we provide an online ticketing service that works for you.
When it comes to telling you about the benefits of the services that we offer, who is better placed than our clients? Bertie Watkins of CoLab Theatre shared with us why they use TIcket Tailor to sell tickets online.
Bertie, what can we expect from a CoLab Theatre production?
"We want to create completely new, exciting and unique experiences for our audiences to live in. Using technology, our mission is to create fun and engaging experiences for absolutely everyone, utilising locations around London, we strive to bring them alive using old, new and borrowed stories.
We create experiences that people have never gone through before. We push the boundaries, not of people’s inhabitations but how far we can take them into other worlds. We create new and exciting shows with some of the countries most exciting playwrights, producers, directors and actors. Collaboration is key and we are keen to continue to grow with the country's best creative minds and companies. With a growing network of collaboration, CoLab will continue to make the best work possible.
We strive to create experiences you will never forget - this is CoLabs mission."
CoLab Theatre combines technology with theatre for an immersive experience. What was the inspiration behind that?
"It started out by wanting to make audiences into characters within the narrative we're telling them. Audiences are changing with new styles of theatre. They're investing so much more and I thought it would be fantastic to try and create a way to give them more agency within a narrative. It means they can go from being a passive audience member to becoming an active (or passive if they choose) member of the story.
Obviously it's a massive challenge, particularly as you need to have live audiences to really try new things with. Luckily it's an incredibly fun process to have and technology makes it much easier.
Mobile technology is such a fantastic, advanced tool that we are all completely competent at using. We use them every day and they are almost essential to every day life. So why should we turn them off to see a show? Why shouldn't we transform them into weapons to gain more narrative? Our ultimate aim with technology is to seamlessly integrate it into theatre so people don't even necessarily notice when they're being fed narrative live in front of them or through a screen. They should both be working in tandem to compliment each other."
What events have you got coming up?
"We have a lot going on this year.
Unfortunately we've got a lot of shows that we are cannot speak about yet as they're 'top secret' - ironically they're spy shows...
However we are allowed to talk about The Exchange - following on from the Fifth Column, the Exchange reveals to the audiences an invisible war between the ETF and Astra. It pioneers our new form of theatre - Action Theatre. Audience pit themselves against the ETF and try bring them down from within. It's going to be a massive amount of fun."
How has Ticket Tailor helped you sell tickets online?
"Ticket Tailor has been the exact ticketing website I've been looking for ever since becoming a producer. The best thing about it is the customer service. Even if there is a problem, you know it will be solved quickly. It's incredibly easy to use and the dashboard has all the information you need right in front of you. I couldn't be happier with a ticketing system.
Finally, the most important thing it is that it's fair. The pricing means that smaller companies like CoLab can create a show and not sting or be stung by ever increasing booking fees."
Find out more about CoLab Theatre and their unique productions on their website.
We pride ourselves on our customer service so it's great to hear that our clients know how hard we work for them. It's important for us to provide a fair pricing structure for events of all shapes and sizes: from small corporate events to festivals, Ticket Tailor is here for you.
Why not take our two-minute tour to find out more?
At Ticket Tailor, we aim to provide the best ticketing experience that we can. When it comes to telling you about the benefits of the service that we offer, who better to tell than our clients? The Edinburgh Yarn Festival is in its second year, this year it's being held at Edinburgh Corn Exchange on the 14th and 15th March.
Here's what Mica, co-founder of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival has to say:
Tell us about the Edinburgh Yarn Festival
"This is the second Edinburgh Yarn Festival, hosted for the first time in 2015 in the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, to accommodate even more exciting exhibitors and visitors for this popular event. Whether it's knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving or felting, there will be something of interest for all yarn and textile enthusiasts.
Come and join our festival of colour and texture. Buy wonderful materials and tools for a timeless craft, learn a new skill and make new friends whilst attending Scotland's biggest urban knitting and crochet event!"
What can we expect from this year's event?
"Our vision for 2015 is to create a 'Yarn-Lovers' Dream Department Store for a Weekend.'Hand-picked exhibitors from all over the UK and beyond, are invited to show-off and sell the most luxurious and interesting products and supplies the Yarn Industry has to offer. The event will be of equal interest for the complete beginner to the internationally recognised knitwear-designer."
How has Ticket Tailor Helped Your Ticket Sales?"
"We like the fact that Ticket Tailor has a predictable pricing structure and highly configurable confirmation emails. Also, the fact that we could integrate Mailchimp and Facebook very easily was a bonus. Exporting the door-lists will make our life easy on the day. The support staff is responsive and helpful. We will certainly use Ticket Tailor again!"
The Ticket Tailor and Facebook integration is, as Mica says, a great feature and a useful marketing tool.
Interested in hearing how Ticket Tailor can improve your ticketing? Why not take our two-minute tour?
With March comes spring. The season of blooming flowers, regrowth and hopefully warmer weather. As an event organiser, why not choose March as the month when you try something new. Here are our handy hints on how you can get inspired this March.
March's birthstone, Aquamarine, symbolises courage. Why not take the bull by the horns, get out of your comfort zone and try something completely different:
- Embrace new technology. Whether it's kick-starting your social media or making an interactive promotional video, think of ways you can integrate new technology into your event, without breaking the bank.
- Learn how to network. Other events professionals are not your enemies. You can learn from them and even be inspired by their ideas. Look for communities on Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook or attend local networking events.
- Are your venues working for you? Tired of those niggles just not being dealt with? Look elsewhere. There are plenty of unique venues out there. Give them a try.
- Do your skills need a revamp? Would you like to learn something new? You don't have to go back to school to give yourself a career boost. There's plenty of online resources available. Try Hubspot for sales and marketing, or Alison for free, certified online courses.
March is jam-packed with events, here's a selection for your diary:
- 1st - St David's Day
- 4th-World Maths Day.
- 9th - Commonwealth Day.
- 14th - Save A Spider Day.
- 15th - Mothering Sunday.
- 17th - St Patrick's Day.
- 20th - Spring Equinox.
- 21st - World Down Syndrome Day.
- 26th - Purple Day (Epilepsy Awareness)
It's St Patrick's Day on the 17th, when traditions dictate that the life of the patron saint of Ireland is celebrated. You might think leprechauns, shamrocks and pints of Guinness are your only options. Here are five tips on how to celebrate it in style:
- Green is the colour of St Patrick's Day. If you're dressing an event, tone it down with creams and gold. Calla lilies are the perfect flower.
- Go for Guinness cocktails. Mix with champagne for a "Black Velvet", or with rum and cola for a " Black Beard".
- Celebrate today's Irish cuisine. Check out Irish chef, Cathal Armstrong's suggestions.
- Embrace the traditional Celtic style, if you're wanting quiet background music. If you're wanting to party, you can't go wrong with the Saw Doctors or of course, The Pogues.
- If you can't resist offering your attendees the chance to find a pot of gold at the end of their rainbow, give out chocolate coins or rainbow-coloured sweets at the end of the event.
Whether you're organising your first event this March or your 100th, Ticket Tailor can help you sell tickets online. Check out our two-minute tour to find out more.
Over the past two months we have been working hard on refreshing our control panel and we are excited to be launching those changes today.
There's loads of new benefits to the new control panel including:
Better ticket customisation
We have introduced a text editor for your e-tickets that allows you to style fonts, insert images, links and customer placeholders so you can change everything without touching any HTML code. There’s still an option to edit the code if you are so inclined.
QR codes now appear on tickets
We’ve introduced QR codes to tickets which should scan quicker when using our mobile apps. You’ll notice that any tickets that previously had a simple barcode on will now look like this:
When you click in to an event we provide a better summary, giving you the number of tickets sold, sales revenue, and how many days to go at a glance. Plus you can tweet or share your event link from the event summary at the click of a button.
Customisable event description
We’ve added a text editor to the event description too so you can style it how you like and insert images.
Check all checkboxes
If you have lots of events or ticket types in your account then you may have been frustrated at the number checkboxes you had to tick when setting up discount codes or exporting doorlists. Now we have added “Check all” links to all of our checkbox lists to make your life easier.
We hope you like all the changes. If you have any feedback please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Do you struggle to promote your events on social media? Whether it's a conference, comedy night or festival, social media can be a powerful marketing tool. Whether your event is for 50 or 50,000 people, here are 5 effective ways to promote your event on social media:
1.Start Marketing from Day One.
Marketing your event can't be an afterthought. You need to fly out of the blocks with a plan. Your event is competing for the attention and money of your potential attendees. Make them notice you (and buy tickets) from early doors.
You need a strong brand and identity for your event. Partner that with a well-designed website and an engaging, active social media presence. Make it easy for people to buy tickets. Don't make them jump through hoops. Sell tickets online and if you're a Ticket Tailor client, integrate your box office with Facebook and your WordPress website.
2.Find Your Attendees
Don't start promoting your event on social media without a strategy. The most important consideration is where do your potential ticket-buyers hangout? Don't waste time and effort hitting Twitter, if your client-base are Facebook users. Here are some statistics for you to consider:
- 71% of online adults use Facebook. The fastest growing demographic is 65+.
- 28% of online adults use Pinterest. Predominantly women.
- 26% of online adults use Instagram. Users are mostly aged 18-29.
- 23% of online adults use Twitter. Users are more likely to be male, under 50 and university-educated.
Let's not also forget Google+ and LinkedIn. Google+ tends to be business-to-business networking. LinkedIn is mostly professionals, with an equal split of men and women.
Don't waste time juggling multiple social media accounts. Choose two, maybe three at the most to get the best results.
3.Harness the Social Media Power of Your Supporters
Reach-out to any artists, speakers or contributors to your event and ask them to support you via their social media accounts. A well-timed social media update containing a link to your website, or your Ticket Tailor box office is always going to be beneficial.
Engage with your attendees as much as possible on social media. Consider running competitions where they can win a prize if they share a post via their Facebook account, or retweet one of your marketing tweets. It doesn't have to be a particularly expensive giveaway but can yield great results for you in terms of exposure and engagement.
4.Create a Hashtag.
Hashtags are becoming more popular than ever now that they're being used across all social media. Create a hashtag for your event that's relevant to your brand and use it. Have it on your website landing pages, refer to it in your emails and use it across your social media accounts. Make it as memorable as possible and try and avoid complicated spelling.
See what's already out there. Don't spend hours crafting a great hashtag only to find someone's beaten you to it. Once you've created your hashtag, get it out there and monitor it. There are tools available such as Bundlepost and Tagboard as well as many others.
The event might be over but that's not the end of your social media campaign. Creating a post-event buzz and a place for attendees to connect and share experiences, will help you retain your audience and sell tickets for your future events. Use your social media accounts to:
- Share images and video of the event.
- If it's a corporate event, any slides/presentations should be made available.
- Ask for feedback. Find out what went right as well as wrong. Acknowledge any mistakes made.
- Promote your next event. You've got a connection with your social media followers. Use it!
Effective social media marketing isn't difficult. Yes, it's time-consuming but with an estimated 1.73 billion worldwide social network users in 2014, can you afford to ignore it?
As an events professional, you want to give your attendees the best possible experience. It's not always that simple though is it? Despite your best efforts, are you getting less than positive feedback? Are you struggling to sell enough tickets? Learn how to truly personalise your event and blow your attendees away,every time.
No need for crystal balls. If you've held a similar event before, what feedback did you get? Analyse your existing data and plan from it. What is the main demographic of your attendees? Is what you have planned suitable?
Every attendee will have a particular motivation for buying a ticket. Understand what that is and then you can truly start to personalise your event to perfection.
Email marketing is a tool in your armoury that you should be using and is easy to personalise. Mailchimp is a great email marketing tool that's easy to work with and will enable you to design and send out a campaign to your marketing list. Import your list of previous attendees into Mailchimp and then set it up to use placeholders. This will allow you to personalise an email, by name.
Connect your MailChimp account to your Ticket Tailor account and whenever someone buys a ticket they will automatically be added to your chosen mailing list in MailChimp. In addition, we send over the name of the event the person bought tickets for, which makes it easy to target particular ticket buyers.
Give your event a brand identity from the start. Consider using social media accounts that are specific to your event. This will help engage your attendees as well as sell tickets. Make it easy for your attendees to interact with you on social media and make sure that you monitor the accounts regularly. You might get questions asked about the event. Not answering doesn't look too good!
Carry your brand identity through the event and afterwards. Consider holding a post-event feedback session on social media. Encourage attendees to connect with each other after the event. Consider hosting an online forum or simply encourage them to connect via your social media. You want to keep the buzz from your event going for as long as possible. This will keep your audience from deserting you and will pull new attendees in.
What are your attendees expectations? It's not difficult, think about these points:
- The event must start and finish on time, running to plan throughout.
- Food and refreshments provided must be of good quality and plentiful. Any dietary requirements must be met.
- If you're providing " freebies", they must be relevant to the event and of reasonable quality.
- Any speakers or artists must help tell the story of the event and be completely relevant. They must know their "stuff".
- You must be available for any queries prior to, during and after the event.
- The attendee's experience must count. They need to take something away with them, whether that's knowledge or a new experience. They need to feel that buying a ticket wasn't a waste of money.
For 2015, make personalisation a priority. Keep your attendees happy and they'll return for future events.
It's almost February, the shortest month. Winter's still got its icy grip on us and we're not quite into the Spring/Summer events' rush. Use February as the month that you get organised for the year ahead. If you're an event organiser, here are our handy hints on how you can get inspired in February.
If you lived in Ancient Rome, you'd know that February or "Februarius" is the month of purification. Take heed from the Romans and use this month to clear-out and refresh:
- Revamp your social media: Plan a strategy, ditch what isn't working and take a fresh approach. Concentrate on 2/3 platforms rather than trying to do everything.
- Reconnect with contacts that have gone quiet. Say "Hello" and use the opportunity to tell them what you've got planned for 2015.
- Join a new network. Connect with events professionals, marketing experts and potential customers via face-to-face networking or virtual. There are many networking opportunities online. You'll find great communities on Google+ and Facebook and it's easy to join-in " Twitter hours" such as #bizhour.
- Think about what went well in 2014 and focus on bringing those achievements into 2015.
- Get rid of the dead wood; whether that's people, paperwork or an attitude that's holding you back. Start anew.
- Think about how you sell tickets. Would it be beneficial to go online? Could you sell tickets more effectively?
February isn't just about Valentine's Day. Here's what's also happening this month:
- LGBT History Month. Find out more about the forthcoming events as well as the aims of the celebrations.
- 8th - World Marriage Day
- 17th - Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday
- 19th - Chinese New Year
- 26th - British Heart Foundation " Wear Red" Day.
Why not explore the Mardi Gras theme? Mardi Gras is French for " Fat Tuesday" and refers to eating rich, fatty foods before the start of Lent. It's now synonymous with partying, carnivals and fabulous costumes. Bring that festival theme to your event by:
- Embracing the Mardi Gras colours - green,purple and gold for your theme. Go for masks, peacock feathers, crowns and beads.
- Offering face-painting; Lots of glitter, bright colours and stars.
- Theme the food: Think Creole, alcohol-infused cakes and plenty of chocolate.
- When it comes to music, it's all about jazz.
Whether you're organising your first or 100th event this February, Ticket Tailor can help you sell your tickets online. Check out our 2-minute tour to find out more.