Blog – Tips and Trends For Your Events

How to Host A Gala Fundraiser

Host a gala fundraiser

An easy way of raising funds for a nonprofit or charity is to host a gala fundraiser. A gala is a dinner that raises funds through sponsorships, table purchases, and individual ticket sales. A gala sometimes is referred to as an annual fundraising gala benefit dinner, the organization dinner or gala, or a black-tie gala.

It’s a simple way for charities and non-profit organizations to generate some funds for future or upcoming projects. It might seem like a challenge at first but once you have the right tools in hand, it’s really easy to host a gala fundraiser.

In this article, we’ll show you how you can host a gala fundraiser event for your business or organization in five simple steps. Read More

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How to Make Your Own Customized Church Event Planning Checklist

Handwriting a customized church event planning checklist

Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters

Last year’s youth conference was a bomb! All the tickets were sold out. The preachings were great and you saw lives touched and changed. You even saw Gary “The Black Sheep” cry!  The same boy who was often dragged by her mother to Church is now a regular at Sunday service. He even volunteered to teach children about God. And if that’s not a success for you, I don’t know what is.

Everything was great not until you went through the evaluation. You found out that a lot of things were overlooked. There was a shortage of food. The banner was not put up. The decorations were a little bit off. And to make matters worse, a set of speakers malfunctioned during the event and many participants didn’t hear the message well enough.

You looked at the faces of the volunteers, especially the leaders and you saw how exhausted they were. One of the things they said was: “Thank God it went fine. We were panicking the whole time. We thought that we had it all figured out but it turns out that we forgot to bring a lot of things. Great to hear that the youth enjoyed it because we were definitely stressed. I didn’t even have the time to drink coffee.”

As the event organizer, you feel that you failed. You want to motivate them but you can’t because you feel the same way. All you feel is being burnt out. And you just found out that the couple’s retreat will be next month! Read More

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Prioritizing Donor Appreciation at Nonprofit Events: 5 Tips

As a nonprofit professional, you know the importance of building relationships with your supporters. When you develop these relationships, you’re able to retain more supporters, increasing their lifetime value and ultimately raising more from them.

Events are one of your primary supporter engagement opportunities and a great opportunity to develop these relationships. You can mingle with supporters, learn more about them, take notes to add to CRM profiles, provide new information about your mission, and collect donations, all from a single event venue.

But how do you make sure these relationships grow? By showing your appreciation after the event.

In this guide, we’ll be diving into five tips that you can use to make the most of your appreciation strategies with supporters, including:

  1. Thank Everyone
  2. Write Appreciation Letters
  3. Shout Out Your Sponsors
  4. Ask for Feedback
  5. Call Attendees

According to Bloomerang’s donor appreciation guide, showing proper appreciation to supporters can directly negate some of the main reasons they stop giving to nonprofits. For instance, a well-crafted appreciation message can help your organization keep the 5% of donors who leave because they don’t think the organization needs them, the 18% who believe the organization has poor communication, and the 13% who were never thanked for their support.

Let’s get started with some tips to make sure you’re showing ample appreciation for your supporters. Read More

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Prices Increasing September 1, 2021

Event Espresso is, and always will be, known for being exceptionally valuable for event organizers. You can host unlimited events and sell unlimited tickets for no additional cost.

We have not raised prices since August 2017. The cost to build and support more complex applications is increasing which necessitates an increase prices.

So, this is a friendly notice that on September 1, 2021 we will be increasing prices for new subscribers. You should lock in your lower price by buying now!

What Does This Mean for You?

❤️ You can subscribe to Event Espresso before September 1, 2021 and be grandfathered in to the current prices. This means that prices DO NOT change for existing customers with active support licenses before that date. That includes your future renewal discounts too. Once you purchase Event Espresso, you will never pay more than your initial price, as long as you maintain an active support license (as long as your subscription does not expire).

🎗 And when you subscribe, you will continue to get access to all the existing and new features we release for your plan. (That means we keep improving the product, but you don’t have to pay higher prices for it!)

👉🏽 Plus, the new Recurring Events Manager plugin and the new Datetime and Ticket editor are very close to being officially released. If you buy the Everything License now, the Recurring Events plugin for EE4 will be included with your plan.

What Prices are Changing?

This blog post would be too long to list all the prices, so here are the upcoming prices of our most popular Support License plans. You can see a complete list of changes here:

  • Personal: $99.95 includes Event Espresso core only.
  • Everything: $359.95 includes Event Espresso core and ~40 add-ons
  • Developer: $359.95 includes Event Espresso core for five sites, plus you can buy an add-on one time and get support and updates for five sites.

See a complete list of plans on our pricing page.

Why the Change?

We have not raised prices in FOUR years, but we continue to add new features, make improvements, release bug fixes, and provide the best support known to the WordPress community. The EE4 Everything License now includes almost 40 premium add-ons and we just announced that another add-on is ready for Beta testing. The EE4 Personal License is approaching double the standard features compared to the EE3 Personal License. Not to mention the mobile apps which you can use for free. Essentially all these improvements have come without any price increase.

It costs a lot more to serve a customer than before. Continually building Event Espresso on a more modern technical stack is more time consuming and expensive. We are building tools that will help you save time, earn money, and be successful with your event registrations and ticketing.

It’s also increasingly more difficult for our support team to wade through all the many possible conflicts between plugins, themes, and server configurations to help you. We’re also investing in more automation tools to make the development process more efficient and reliable as WordPress gets more complex.

Additionally, the pandemic has been hard on the events industry, but in order to keep the Event Espresso team working hard and making improvements, we need to keep up with raising costs and prices.

We are not going to compromise on quality. Our goal is to be the best event registration and ticketing plugin for WordPress. We know we have many ways to improve and you have a lot of feature requests. Many of you have been wildly successful, and we want to be around to help create more success stories. These small price increases will help us re-invest in the tools, people and processes that will help us all succeed.

We’re always working hard to improve Event Espresso. Sometimes the price has to rise along with those improvements to keep our hardworking team properly caffeinated and brewing a higher quality plugin for you.

I hope you will take this opportunity to get Event Espresso and lock in your lower price by buying now!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reply so we can help you!

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5 Tips for Creating an Engaging Event Registration Website


As a business owner, it’s important for you to generate engagement on your event site. This might involve prospective attendees checking out videos from past events, reading blog posts written by speakers, or filling out an event registration form. This way, you can gain new members, subscribers, or customers. Engagement is also important for promoting new, upcoming events and making your event website profitable.

The good news is that, with a few small changes to your event registration website, you can make a huge impact.

You want to make it easier for attendees to register for your event and boost engagement on your event website. In this article, we’ll go through some actionable tips that can help you create an engaging event registration website. Read More

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How to Host an Online Charity Auction

As a business owner, you want to promote your products or services to a wider audience whenever possible. This ensures a better place for your business in the future. One effective way of promoting your brand is by hosting an online charity auction on your event website.

This is also a great way to provide back to the community and help make a name for yourself in the industry. You can also host an online charity auction if you’re thinking about launching a new idea or a product.

It can seem quite intimidating to host an online charity auction, especially if this is your first time. However, it’s really easy to do if you have the right tools in your tech arsenal. In this article, we’ll explain step-by-step how to host a successful online charity auction on your site.

Step #1: Set up the non-profit auction

The first thing you need to do is come up with a non-profit auction idea.

Let’s take a look at some different types of charity auctions you might want to set up on your event website: Read More

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3 Tech Tips from a Year of Virtual Fundraising Events

For the past year, nonprofits have conducted virtual fundraising events to raise donations and continue engaging supporters despite pandemic-related restrictions. During this time, organizations learned valuable lessons about not only the best way to plan these events, but also the best tech tools to use to set their virtual events up for success.

It’s not enough to just live stream your event and call it a day. Virtual event tools provide the framework for creating a uniquely engaging opportunity that rivals in-person experiences.

With this in mind, here are three tech takeaways we’ve learned from a year of digital fundraising events:

  1. Strategic virtual event management processes are necessary to engage participants.
  2. Mobile apps provide an effective way to reach potential participants.
  3. Accessibility is important to reach the widest audience possible.

Although social distancing and masking regulations are easing in many areas, it’s still worth investing in dedicated virtual event management solutions as these events will be popular in the future. Virtual fundraising events are highly convenient for attendees, have less overhead costs because of the lack of a physical venue, and allow you to reach an international audience with your message.

By establishing your strategy for virtual fundraising events now, you give your organization a robust framework to use in all future activities. Let’s dive in! Read More

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How Do I Create an Event with WordPress?

If you’re thinking of organizing events for your business or non-profit, you might consider building a website and publishing an event with WordPress. It’s the most popular CMS in the world and powers nearly 42% of all websites.

You can use an event registration and ticketing plugin to create an event on your own website with WordPress in a few simple steps. We’ll cover everything including your event website’s design, tickets, registration, and payments. We’ll also explain how you can promote your event to get the word out about your event.

In this article, we’ll explain how to create an event with WordPress using the Event Espresso plugin.

Why create an event with WordPress?

Now, you might be wondering why you should create an event with WordPress?

First, let’s take a look at the other options that are available to you – social media platforms and third-party event tools.

Social media platforms (like Facebook) make it easy for users to set up event pages. They’re great for people that want a simple event page that lets other Facebook users learn about the event, RSVP, and register online.

However, if you’re looking for something more professional, you might come across third-party event tools like Eventbrite. The problem with Eventbrite is that they charge you fees for each ticket you sell. So, for paid events, tools like Eventbrite aren’t cost-effective. Read More

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Best Ideas To Make Your Next Virtual Event Unforgettable

2020 was a challenging year for event marketing agencies. While everyone was practising social distancing, everything became virtual. Events too adopted the virtual route, and virtual events became normal for multiple brands and businesses. Unfortunately, just when normalcy started returning, the second wave of the pandemic struck us and in a much worse and more intense manner. Dealing with the ongoing crisis and conducting virtual events at the same time can be pretty challenging.

Since every brand and business is taking the new means of virtual events to promote their products and services, engaging people more into your event is not that easy.

Through this article, we are listing the best ideas to make your next virtual event unforgettable for your attendees easily. So, without any further ado, let’s dive in right away! Read More

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3 Multi-Channel Marketing Strategies for Hybrid Events

3 multi-channel marketing strategies hybrid eventsThroughout 2020, organizations had to quickly pivot and adapt their strategies to focus on virtual event opportunities. Events were no longer in-person affairs ripe for mingling; instead, events occurred virtually from within everyone’s private home. 

Now, your newfound skills on Zoom and other online event platforms won’t go to waste! However, we can expect to see another shift in how events are handled moving forward. In the post-pandemic world, we can expect to see a shift in organizations’ strategies toward hybrid events rather than solely in-person or virtual.

These events incorporate both an online and in-person element to engage audiences who attend in both capacities. Luckily, you now have many of the skill sets necessary to host effective hybrid events. All that’s left to do is refine those skills and combine the two into an impactful single event opportunity. 

One of these skills? Marketing. Multi-channel marketing allows organizations to reach out to their audience on a number of different platforms, expanding brand recognition and making them more familiar with your upcoming event. 

This type of marketing is even more essential for hybrid events as your organization will need to appeal to a broad audience composed of virtual and in-person attendees. In this guide, we’ll cover three of the necessary strategies to make sure your multi-channel marketing is up-to-scratch: 

  1. Carefully Choose Your Marketing Platforms
  2. Personalize Messages When Possible
  3. Analyze Your Data After the Event

Ready to dive deeper into multi-channel marketing for hybrid events? Let’s get started. 

Carefully Choose Your Marketing Platforms

When you host hybrid events, you’ll need to reach multiple audiences at once. Particularly, one that prefers an online platform and one that can’t wait to attend your event in-person. Therefore, you’ll need to create a marketing plan that incorporates the communication strategies likely to resonate with each of these audiences. 

The platforms you choose will directly impact the way your audience eventually reaches your event registration pages

Your in-person audience will likely be more comfortable shifting back to their normal lifestyles, and will be more likely to see information about your event out and about as well as online. Therefore, they may do some additional research, also encountering your online promotion materials. 

Meanwhile, your digital audience will likely be more inclined to attend your event if they come across marketing materials as a part of your digital outreach campaign. They should be able to click through your marketing materials and land immediately on the event registration website. 

Direct Mail

Direct mail is a staple to any effective marketing campaign, and is well-designed for multi-channel opportunities as well. Direct mail response rates are ten times higher than email or social media marketing alone. However, you should be sure to direct people back to your digital platforms. 

Direct mail, when paired with digital marketing strategies, offers several advantages for organizations: 

  • Repeat exposure to your brand. Include your logo, brand colors, and other visual cues so potential attendees immediately recognize your brand if they encounter it on other marketing materials. 
  • Personalization opportunities. Segment your supporters and specifically reach out to those interested in receiving direct mail. Use these segments to also include personal information in event invitations to resonate specifically with each potential attendee. 
  • Increased registrations. Attendees who immediately want to register for your event can do so if you provide them with the web link or QR code directing them to your registration page. 

When you reach out to supporters via direct mail, don’t forget to provide them with an immediate opportunity to register for the event. Provide a phone number they can call to purchase a ticket, give the web link for the registration page, provide a discount code they can use online as they sign up, or you can even provide a QR code the recipient can scan from their phone. Be ready for these supporters to access your registration form directly from their mobile devices by optimizing your page for this channel. 

email marketing statistics

Email

Email is another staple of impactful marketing strategies, allowing your organization to directly reach people through their inboxes. Plus, you can directly link them to your event site and registration page to learn more about the opportunity. 

Segment your audience and send regular emails leading up to your event to encourage as many people to attend as possible. You might even set up an event drip stream of constant emails to generate excitement for the event, shifting to stewardship communications after registration. 

According to DNLOmniMedia’s guide, email marketing is especially important for nonprofit organizations, citing the following statistics about how it can impact fundraising in particular:

Social Media

Organizations’ interactions with social media have changed over time. While the platforms used to simply present posts in chronological order, there is now a complicated algorithm for the posts that show up on potential attendees’ news feeds. 

This article says that, “Facebook has started to prioritize groups in its algorithm. This essentially means that your supporters are more likely to see a post made within a group float across their timeline than one made on an individual profile.” Therefore, consider how you can leverage groups on social media sites to promote various activities and events. For instance, invite your attendees to join a specific online event group so that you can reach out to them before, during, and after the event takes place.

Personalize Your Message When Possible

Marketing materials sent directly to your potential event attendees, whether by direct mail, email, or even Facebook Messenger, should be personalized to communicate with the recipient. This means addressing them by name and including information in the message that will best appeal to the audience, providing them personalized links, etc. 

Tweak your messages to potential attendees by leveraging the data in your CRM to: 

  • Segment your audience. For example, an animal shelter might reach out to a segment of cat-lovers differently than a segment of dog-lovers for an upcoming adoption event. 
  • Use personal information. Most effective marketing platforms can automatically populate information like names, addresses, and engagement history on a template for easy personalization. 

When you’re creating your messages for your audience, it can be incredibly helpful to start with a donor letter template to be sure all important elements are included. However, make sure you customize those templates to make them your own. 

Analyze Your Data After the Event

After your event ends, make sure to analyze the metrics you’ve pulled from the different marketing channels and messages that you sent. This data can be pulled into reports to help you better understand the strengths and opportunities in your marketing campaigns. 

The following channels are incredibly helpful for collecting and analyzing the data from your marketing campaign: 

  • Marketing channels. Your marketing channels, specifically the digital ones, can be configured to collect vital information about how your supporters interact with the promotional materials. For example, you might analyze open rates, click-through rates, and more.
  • A/B testing. If you conduct A/B testing throughout your campaign, you can adjust the images, languages, or other elements in your marketing messages to determine what your audience prefers in their communications. 
  • Surveys. One of the best ways to learn about your audience’s preferences is simply to ask! Ask them how they found out about your event and why they decided to attend to determine which marketing channel and message was most effective for them. 
  • Repeat attendees. When supporters come back again and again, it’s clear that your marketing efforts and strategies are making an impact on them. If you have difficulty recapturing your current supporters, you may consider revamping your efforts and revitalizing your strategy. 

Of course, after your event, you can’t change the attendance rates at the event itself. However, you can influence the event attendance for your next engagement opportunity. By collecting and analyzing important metrics regarding your marketing strategy after this event, you can optimize future strategies to even better appeal to potential attendees. 

Multi-channel marketing is the best way to appeal to the greatest possible audience for your next event. As hybrid events are able to reach a greater number of people than solely in-person or virtual opportunities, you’ll want to cast your net as wide as possible. Going through these steps for each of your upcoming events, you’ll be able to continue optimizing your strategy for continuous outreach improvement.

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