Eastern Division National Ski Patrol: Ten Years of Successful Online Registrations Using Event Espresso!

If you are searching for a way to manage registrations for your non-profit events and seeking to develop bigger and better event programs for your organization, read this story!

In this customer success profile, we learned more about how one non-profit organization has been using Event Espresso to manage their training classes, divisional meetings, and special programs for 10 years. Learn more about the National Ski Patrol (NSP) – Eastern Division’s journey and how they had started with just one little goal to “display events and courses on a website calendar” and wound up building an entire, and stand-alone, events registration website due to their great success with Event Espresso!

We thought it was appropriate to bring this story to you as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary! Read on. 

Who is Eastern Division National Ski Patrol?  

The National Ski Patrol serves the snow sports industry across the United States and is broken into several different regional divisions. As they have evolved over the years from a service focused organization to one that provides industry education, they now consider themselves a modern-day professional education association”.  This story is about Eastern Division National Ski Patrol (NSP).

Why the New Hampshire Regional Ski Patrol chose Event Espresso

Ten years ago in 2009 Orest Ohar, with the New Hampshire Region NSP, was searching for a way to simply display events and courses on a monthly calendar within the organization’s WordPress website when he stumbled upon Event Espresso.  At the time he was just thinking that it would be helpful to his organization and the community they served to be able to view their class schedules to help them in planning and scheduling.  Little did he know that he would find much more.

“I was looking for a WordPress Plugin to display events and courses on a MONTHLY CALENDAR page. I felt that customers viewing a four or five-week calendar that looked like a calendar would be the best way to display our weekend events. I wasn’t looking for a full registration system, but that’s what I found in Event Espresso. I had looked at every event calendar plugin and liked the presentation and functionality of EE the best. Little did I know that the integration to Seth’s back-end was the real gem that I was seeking.” said Orest about his search.

What Orest is referring to by saying the real gem was in the integration to the back-end, is the powerful administrator management console of Event Espresso.  As an event organizer, you can control all aspects of your event in one place to gain better control and even automate many of the tasks associated with managing event registrations.  This allows you to go beyond simply displaying your events on a website to fully controlling the entire registration workflow from right there within your own WordPress site. And, that is the “real gem” and power of Event Espresso!

As an event organizer, you’ll need to organize event attendees, collect payments, and manage other tasks such as not overbooking and also filling events to capacity, and of course providing your financial reports to the board. Orest found that Event Espresso helped his organization to manage all of those tasks with ease:

Event Espresso collected customers into course rosters, sold lots of free events, managed payments by credit card for those that required fees, wait-listed the popular events, and most importantly, provided an audit trail for both customer service and financial accounting.”

Though they found more than that original goal, the Calendar feature allows them to display their classes and organize all types of events using color-coded categories as seen on this example of their events calendar:

How Eastern Division NSP uses Event Espresso

After ten years of running a small non-profit event and ‘educational course’ website in his tiny corner of New Hampshire [as Orest kindly put it], they decided to morph the smaller regional operation into an 8-state territory in the Northeast and build an entirely separate WordPress website devoted solely to the schooling [classes and registration] portion of their organization. What evolved out of that initial success using Event Espresso for their event registrations is now called PatrollerSchool.ORG. And, they chose the Event Espresso, Everything license to grow with them as they’ve been growing and scaling their event registration site over the years!

Orest explains in short, what has evolved over the last 10 years of using Event Espresso:

“When my parent organization, Eastern Division NSP, came calling for an Event and Conference management system, I knew that I needed to build a small staff and create their site using Event Espresso v4. There was an EventBrite faction promoting its adoption, but I showed how important it was to maintain and control our own membership data. It was also easy to show the crossover point of transactions where managing our own servers and software began to pay a return on investment.

The new site went live on December 1st 2018 — just hit $110,000 in sales, through 955 transactions registering 1200 attendees for 95 events. I now have a staff of 14 managing the events on the back-end and a bunch of Instructors in the field doing their jobs at all the various venues. Event Espresso v4 delivered flawlessly. We even figured out how to adapt it to sell event tee-shirts at one of the venues. I have a total of three Event Espresso licensed websites and love the way things have evolved over the years!”

With Event Espresso you own and control your data, and as explained by Orest, which was a strong selling point when he pitched his non-profit committee about the benefit of owning all the information acquired from event attendees. Additionally, you can easily export the all of the event registration data into Excel or CSV format to be sure you can use your data however you see best: advanced reports, marketing strategies, attendee statistics.

Orest explains how management appreciates the robust reporting and ease of investigating event transactions:

“From top management’s perspective, the best feature of EE4 has been the ability to export and slice detailed e-commerce sales reports for each individual event. I also am able to bundle up all the transactions so they can be cross references against the Credit Card Merchant account. Customer Service audits and dispute resolution has also been easy to investigate using EE4. The Message Activity recorded in the database and the ease of calling up those records has made it easy to stitch together evidence for resolving disputes.”

Another feature that proved to be a strong benefit for them was the ability to create custom messaging for their attendees. The ability to edit messages to provide their attendees with specific information about their events, allows them to run their events efficiently and provide necessary information to event attendees via an automated system.

“The most powerful feature of EE4 that we rely on is the “Custom Message Templates.” We have created a custom message to welcome attendees for each course or event known as the “Registration Approved” email. These get edited annually to communicate the specifics that attendees or students need to prepare when arriving for an event. We also love the HTML printed TICKET. Ours has been customized to include the training waivers with signatures spaces. If the student is a minor, then there is a Parent signature required. Using the EE4 Ticketing option has saves organizers and attendees countless hours of managing legal waivers.”

Event Espresso provides custom message templates with a variety of available shortcodes to make editing emails quick and easy to insert dynamic event information.  

Finally, the system also proves to be a great solution for the end users who can easily sign up for their classes and pay for their registrations online in a very quick and simple manner.  

“Although the most important EE4 functionality is in how well the Customer Experience for REGISTRATION and Credit Card PAYMENT operates. We get customer compliments on this aspect. No more lost paper forms, no more mailing in checks. Our attendees select their courses and events, fill out their forms to qualify, pay their fees to ensure their spot, and love the emailed confirmations. No more uncertainty, registration completed in less than five minutes!” says Orest.

Would you like to accept registrations for your nonprofit events through your WordPress website? Organize your nonprofit events with Event Espresso today or reach out right now to start a conversation about your event registrations.

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