A Guide To Hosting an Unofficial SXSW Event

The South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is an integral part of Austin’s identity as a global center for innovation and creativity. The annual event attracts thousands of attendees from around the world, generating revenue, supporting job creation, and providing opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to showcase their products or services.

This year’s festival will take place March 8-16, 2024 and feature hundreds of discussions, film screenings, music showcases, exhibitions, and networking opportunities.

Applications to participate in the official event close months ahead of festival dates, but there is still an opportunity for businesses to leverage the festival’s attraction in an unofficial capacity. 

What is an unofficial SXSW event?

Unofficial SXSW events and showcases are those that run concurrently with the festival dates and are hosted in or around downtown Austin. These events are not associated with or promoted under the SXSW banner but can attract a broader audience outside of SXSW attendees.

Much like SXSW events, unofficial SXSW events serve as a catalyst for inspiration, innovation, and collaboration. These events take advantage of an active audience of creatives, innovators, industry leaders, and enthusiasts, but also open their doors to other members of the public looking to immerse themselves in the excitement without buying a SXSW badge. 

How to plan an unofficial SXSW event

Hundreds of communities, businesses, and individuals participate in SXSW in an unofficial capacity. But planning an unofficial SXSW showcase has to start early in order to secure spaces and vendors before they’re booked by other SXSW-related commitments. Here are some quick tips to get started:

Set up registration or ticketing for unofficial SXSW events

Unofficial SXSW events can be free or charge a fee. Evaluating your event experience against similar events will help you determine the best way to go about registration. But, no matter what you decide, you’ll need an event ticketing platform that will help keep your event and attendee list organized. Ticketbud provides such a resource. Within minutes, event organizers can create a Ticketbud account, customize an event webpage, and open registration for their events. Visit ticketbud.com to get started.

Every Ticketbud user has access to a full suite of ticketing tools, including the ability to create multiple ticket types (think: timed-access ticketing, VIP experiences, member vs. non member pricing, etc), create discounts and promotions, showcase sponsors, customize ticketing pages and layouts, invite and communicate with attendees, report on sales and promotions, and more.

And, the best part? Free events are always free with Ticketbud. A small fee is assigned to tickets at checkout for paid events. And nonprofits hosting unofficial SXSW events can qualify for non-profit pricing for their paid events. Ticketbud also offers daily, weekly, and monthly payout options for event organizers looking to access revenue funds ahead of their event. 

Promote your unofficial SXSW event on community calendars

The main challenge of promoting an unofficial SXSW event is fighting through the noise. Unofficial SXSW events are competing against the most iconic festival in Austin in addition to hundreds of other happenings around town. 

Because of this, marketing an unofficial SXSW showcase must be intentional and robust. Event organizers should engage their current, active audiences through email, web, and social media marketing. Social media, especially, can be a powerful tool for target-marketing new audiences whose interests align. To be successful, choose the appropriate channels and consider paid promotions.

Additionally, community calendars and SXSW RSVP lists are go-to resources for non-badge holders looking to be a part of the action. To ensure an event appears in their search, event organizers should consider submitting their unofficial SXSW events to the following sources:

Sites like RSVPATX allow event-goers to search and sign up for hundreds of unofficial SXSW events at once. Getting listed in the directory is easy. Visit the site and click on “submit an unofficial SXSW showcase.”

Final considerations to hosting an unofficial SXSW event

Hosting an unofficial event during SXSW can offer significant advantages to a business or organization. Firstly, it provides a unique opportunity to tap into a large, diverse audience of SXSW attendees, as well as a more general public. 

These events can also serve as powerful marketing tools, allowing businesses to showcase their products, services, or brand in front of a highly engaged and relevant audience. It’s a chance to create meaningful connections, increase brand visibility, and foster relationships with potential customers, partners, or influencers within an environment known for innovation and creativity. 

Moreover, hosting an unofficial event allows for creative freedom, enabling businesses to tailor the event to their specific objectives, whether it’s to launch a product, conduct market research, or build a community around their brand.

Collecting Event Feedback: How Free Online Tools Can Help

Event organizers face enormous pressure to gather a crowd and create memorable experiences that foster invaluable connections, all while working toward organizational goals. But their success cannot be measured simply on the execution of the event itself, rather it’s evaluated in the crucial step that follows: collecting feedback.

Why feedback is important

Gathering feedback after an event is not a box-ticking exercise; it’s an crucial exercise that provides insights on audience engagement, identifies future opportunities, and validates the event spend by demonstrating the return on investment (ROI).

“The ultimate value of your events hinges on the data. The data you collect from your events has vast potential to affect your business. It enables you to understand which products customers are engaging with, feeds all of your internal marketing systems, guides future marketing campaigns, and provides benchmarks for future events,” writes Nick Fugaro, CEO of Vivastream, an event data analytics company. 

Feedback offers a window into the attendee experience – what worked well, what fell short, and what attendees truly valued. It acts as a compass guiding event organizers toward enhancing future experiences and demonstrates an organization’s genuine interest in serving its audience better. So it’s an important step to take in your event evaluation process. And luckily, there are free online tools, such as SurveyMonkey, that can help.

Creating an Event Survey with SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey allows event organizers to create custom surveys in order to gather feedback from event attendees. The free version allows you to collect up to 25 responses for each survey. To get started, visit surveymonkey.com and click “Sign up free” and create an account.

how to create a survey monkey account

Once logged in, begin creating your event feedback survey.

How to create an event feedback survey

Already know the types of questions you’d like to ask? Select “start from scratch.” SurveyMonkey allows you to copy and paste questions from a separate file into a dialogue box to help develop a custom survey. Or, you can build your survey directly on the site, one question at a time. For best results, diversify the types of questions and responses to capture valuable insights from your audiences. 

building an event feedback survey

Need help getting started? Check out SurveyMonkey’s templates for helpful blueprints for effective event feedback surveys. Note that some templates may require a paid subscription, which start at $25/month. Once you’ve selected an appropriate template, you can add or customize questions and prompts to suit your event’s needs. 

Want to gather feedback geared toward measuring specific goals? Select the “Build with AI” option. The new feature allows you to write a prompt that will then generate a template specific to your requirements. The tool is completely free and customizable.

Write a prompt for your survey and let AI do the rest

Once you’ve crafted your survey, it’s time to share. After previewing your survey in its entirety, select “Collect responses.”

How to review your event survey responses

The site will provide you with two options in issuing your survey. Because you already have an active audience and mailing list of attendees, select “Send surveys your way” to generate a shareable link to your survey.

Collecting event survey responses

Collecting event feedback from attendees

It’s easiest to collect survey responses when your audience is most engaged. If possible, prepare the survey before the event. That way you can share the link via a QR code in an event program or on digital screens and signage so attendees can scan and access during breaks or downtime at the event.

If you are unable to share the survey link at your event, do so as soon as possible in your event follow-up communications. If using Ticketbud, you can issue your survey through email directly through the event dashboard. Simply click on “Promotion” in the left side toolbar and select “Email Attendees.” Here, you can craft and send an email with the SurveyMonkey link.

How to send out an event survey with Ticketbud

Keep in mind, Ticketbud allows you to schedule emails. So, consider preparing your post-event communications ahead of your event. This will ensure the survey goes out within a timely manner (within 24 hours of your event) and give you time to focus on other post-event duties.

Issuing your feedback survey as soon as possible will help capture data and impressions when the content and experience are fresh in attendees’ minds. But gathering substantial feedback can take time and persistence. So, send a follow up email after a few days if your response rate is low. You might offer incentives, such as discounts on future events or raffle prizes to encourage participation.

Evaluating event feedback

Once all of your data is collected, it’s time to evaluate your success. 

SurveyMonkey has tools to analyze and present the results of your survey in ways that are actionable. View the full summary of your results or individual response; use filters or rules to compare specific segments of data; and create and export charts to share your results in a variety of formats. Each of your stakeholders will bring a different perspective when evaluating event data, so tailor your analysis and results according to those needs.

For more information on how to get the most out of SurveyMonkeys analytical tool, check out this guide

These insights will help you communicate the success and ROI of your event to leadership and stakeholders. They will also serve as a catalyst for enhancing the overall quality of events. By identifying areas of improvement, organizers can fine-tune various facets such as content, logistics, scheduling, networking opportunities, and overall engagement, thereby elevating future event experiences.

Go Digital – Easily Create an Online Event Registration Form

Event registration forms help capture important information about the people who attend your event. But collecting and organizing the data can be time-consuming, especially if you’re doing it manually or using multiple platforms. 

Ticketbud can help by providing a simple website to host and manage all aspects of your event registration. Use it to digitize tedious processes, while collating and preserving valuable insights that will help you understand your audience and plan for your event. 

How do I create an event registration page?

Whether you’re hosting a free or paid event, you can create a free online registration page with Ticketbud. It costs nothing and can be up and running in minutes. 

Sign up now to get started.

The site’s page editor gives you an easy-to-use template to create your own event page with your  images, event descriptions, and event partner logos. 

Take a load off your event-planning plate by setting up your event registration with Ticketbud’s ticket editor. You can create multiple ticket types varying in cost and quantity, as well as automate sales timelines.

How can I create a free registration form?

Limited technical skills? That’s ok, you don’t need to start from scratch or understand coding and web design to build your event registration form. With Ticketbud, you can create an online event registration form through the custom questions tool. It’s as simple as a click of a button — in this case, one that says “Add Question.”

After creating your ticket types for your event (such as Show Only and Dinner + Show), you have the option to create and assign questions to any ticket type. If you’re hosting a business event, you may ask about the attendee’s job title or place of work. If hosting a dinner event, you may ask about meal preferences or dietary restrictions. The questions can be required or optional, and can be applied to specific ticket types or all tickets.

Watch this tutorial video to learn how to build your registration form with custom questions:

What should be included in a registration form for an event?

A well-thought-out registration form can help you to tailor your event for your audience and meet specific business objectives. The custom questions on your registration form will help you gather vital information to improve your attendee event experience, as well as provide valuable insights for your marketing, products and services. 

A word to the wise, don’t overdo it. Most people don’t want to fill out an entire survey before purchasing an event ticket. The more complicated the registration process is, the less likely someone is to complete it. So, it’s important to find balance between data collection and a seamless sign-up. 

First, consider what details might help you improve the attendee experience:

Beyond helping plan your event, your custom questions or registration form can be used to collect valuable marketing data and pinpoint future opportunities. For example, you may consider asking your audience how they heard about your event, or give them the option to receive newsletters or other information from your organization. 

Do your best to keep your questions short, clear and concise so you can gain an understanding of your attendees’ preferences and build a future contact base. 

Once an attendee has signed up, you can send them a pre or post event survey if you want to learn more. Ticketbud integrates with Survey Monkey, and you can email a follow up at any time to your database with Ticketbud.

Event Registration Software

People are more comfortable than ever buying tickets and registering for events online ahead of time. So it’s more important than ever for event planners to familiarize themselves with online event registration software and tools that can help them meet their potential attendees where they’re at.

How do you handle event registration?

Websites, such as Ticketbud, provide easy-to-use event registration software for planners to manage and promote their events. The online tool allows event managers to create event pages and host registration and ticket sales for free, with a small fee passed along to ticket buyers for paid-events. Selling and sending electronic tickets has never been easier. 

The online ticketing tool also allows event planners to customize every step of their event registration process – from creating different ticket types (GA vs. VIP) and automating their sales timelines, down to designing the look and layout of each ticket. Ticketbud even allows users to customize questions for ticket buyers to help planners gather and capture important information about their audience. Use this feature to create a custom event registration form. 

What is registration software?

Event registration software provides an online platform where event planners can plan, create and manage paid or unpaid sign-ups to their events. Useful event registration platforms, like Ticketbud, consist of an online back-office for event planners to organize and promote registration, as well as a user interface for attendees to learn more about the event and purchase tickets. 

How to choose the right event registration software

When considering which online event ticketing software to use, take stock of key features that can help ease processes before, during. and after the event. 

With Ticketbud, event planners can create custom event webpages to share across online platforms. The platform’s ticket editor allows users to create and customize costs and sales timelines for multiple ticket types. And its promotional tools can help planners create and track special sales, referrals, or marketing campaigns.

Ticketbud also helps streamline event-day activities, such as arrival or check-in. For example, when attendees register through Ticketbud, they’re emailed a unique QR code that can be easily scanned on-site through a mobile app for secure check-in. It also provides communication tools that allow planners to email attendees ahead of the event with details they may need to know before they arrive, as well as follow-up with any post-event messaging. 

But perhaps the most important feature to consider is cost. While many event registration softwares offer all the capabilities for successful event registration, it’s not all-inclusive in their base-level user’s cost. With Ticketbud, these features are free for all users. 

What is a registration management system?

Ticketbud is a registration management system that streamlines the workflow for event planners and makes it easy for participants to sign-up for events. The online tool allows event managers to create a custom event page for their events and sell tickets or register individuals through an easy online process. 

Registration management systems can vary in cost and features, but Ticketbud’s tools equip event planners with the tools they need to reach strategic sales goals. For example, the ticket editor allows users to create multiple price points for different ticket types or merchandise sales. Use it to automate specially timed sales promotions. 

The online registration system also provides planners with communication and marketing tools. Event managers can email up-to-date information to participants directly through the site, or run targeted marketing campaigns through Ticketbud’s Ad Engine. 

How do I create an online registration form for an event? 

If using Ticketbud to host your event registration, you can easily create an online registration form using the “Custom Questions” options in your event dashboard. 

When drafting your questions, you have the option to choose whether each requires a response and the type of response – be it text, dropdown, radio or multiple choice. And, if you’re selling multiple types of tickets, you can write specific questions for each ticket type, or assign questions to all ticket types. 

As participants purchase their tickets, their responses will be recorded with their order. This way, when you run a report of the ticket sales, you can view individual responses to each prompt. 

Custom questions are also a great way to gather other information from participants, such as suggestions for content, questions for speakers, or info on how they heard about your event.

7 Ways to Simplify Event Registration Process and Improve Attendee Experience

The event registration process seems like such a small part in the bigger scheme of things. However, it’s important that you get this part right because it has a bigger impact on attendee experience than you may realize. There are a few steps to implement to simplify the process and improve the experience for guests.

  1. Group Registration
Group registration is beneficial for two reasons. One, it encourages attendees to bring an additional guest or two, thereby increasing overall registration. Second, it also simplifies the process as it only requires a single registrant to register an entire group. This saves everyone else in that party from having to register separately. This can prove to be a huge timesaver for attendees. If guests have to register separately, some may hold it off and simply never get to it.
  1. Keep It Simple
Don’t make the registration process feel like a burden. Keep it short and sweet. This means the process should only include the basics, such as your name, address, number of guests, payment information, etc. To expedite the process even further, you can also enable auto fill options, which comes in handy for attendees that have previously inputted their information. You may, however, present a follow-up offer or two after a successful registration. This is known as upselling and is an old-time marketing tactic for boosting sales. A follow-up offer in this instance can be an offer to upgrade to a VIP ticket or an optional survey to complete in exchange for a discount code. Limit the upsell and/or survey to two at the most, or else attendees will feel like they’re being pestered.
  1. Make the Process Mobile-Friendly
Give attendees the option to register wherever they are, whether they’re at home, in their car, or at a bus stop. If you do opt for mobile registration, be sure to include a separate link for those that want to register from their portable devices. The mobile registration page should have a different layout to make the process as user-friendly as possible. The page can, for example, include one question at a time to avoid crowding the screen. Some registration software can detect the type of device being used and automatically adjust the page layout accordingly.
  1. Ask Preference Questions
Just because you want to keep the registration simple doesn’t mean you can’t ask additional questions. Go ahead and ask anything that you feel would improve attendee experience. This may include accommodation questions, such as whether they require certain dietary needs or disability access. Other questions include shirt size if you’re handing out apparel for event swag. You can also ask whether they’ll be attending a specific workshop or prefer one presentation over another. These questions are useful because it helps improve attendee experience. It also makes guests feel like you care about their preferences.
  1. Digitize the Process
Online registration seems obvious, but it must be mentioned because some companies still opt for paper registration. While there may indeed be folks who prefer to register through pen and paper, these people are in the minority. Everything should be done online. Not only does this expedite the process, but it also ensures for more accurate information. Not only is paper registration an environmental waste but errors are also more likely, not to mention you may struggle to decipher sloppy handwriting. You may keep a few physical copies of registration forms handy for those who absolutely insist on registering the old fashion way. Beyond that, though, everything should be in digital format.
  1. Be Sure the Registration Page Works on all Browsers
Once your registration page is set up, double check to be sure it works on all browsers. Most issues you may run into are relatively minor, such as spacing and alignment inconsistencies. However, it’s also possible that the page may not work at all. If this is the case, it can reflect poorly on your company. It may also prompt attendees to hold off on the process until “later.” Of course, later sometimes means never. Double check the registration page on all the primary browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Also check it on lesser used browsers as well because you never know who uses those.
  1. Allow Multiple Payment Options
Some people may choose to pay by credit card. Others may opt for PayPal. There may even be those that opt for less conventional methods, such as wire transfer or electronic check. If attendees have previously inputted their payment information on your site, then there should be an autofill option so registrants don’t have to input the information a second time. Also, if you are expecting guests from overseas, then there should be an option for foreign transactions. This way, oversea guests don’t have to deal with complicated currency conversions. Make Registering an Enjoyable Experience Event attendees gauge every part of the event experience. A dissatisfaction in a single area can overshadow what would otherwise be a positive experience. Make sure the registration process is simple and engaging so attendees aren’t left with a bad taste in their mouths by the time they reach the confirmation page. About the Author: Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.]]]]> ]]>

Using Slack to 10x Your Event Planning Productivity

Using Slack for Conferences Your staff needs to be on the same page or else your conference will fall apart. Text messages and email chains are a struggle with large numbers. Good luck being productive while sifting through a never ending email thread. Phone calls work in some situations but usually waste precious planning time. Slack accomplishes what these forms of communication cannot. The app allows you to easily make channels within an organization. This enables volunteers, staff, PR, catering, or even the balloon animal team to streamline communication. No hassle, no missed messages. David Bisset details his experience using Slack to organize WordCamp Miami 2015.  When Google Docs & smoke signals ended up not working, David turned to Slack and saw awesome results. Using private channels, WordCamp created sub-channels for different subjects. Sponsorships, speakers, and volunteers all had their own channel to avoid the messiness of a single, public chat.   [caption id="attachment_23173" align="aligncenter" width="396"]Easily communicate with your co-workers with groups or direct messaging! Communicate with your staff in real-time using groups or direct messaging.[/caption] Right now I work with a large-scale event company that puts on a convention every year. Most of the team is based in Atlanta but me? No, I like to be a rebel and I’m in a completely different time zone. By using Slack, we stay on the same page with what we all need to be doing. Announcements and important dates never get missed. It enables me to be able to work seamlessly with a team that I am not in the same zip code with at all.  If you’re next event has many working parts, Slack makes it so much easier to keep everyone on the same page.

Using Slack to Build Your Community

You need Slack to talk with your event staff and volunteers but what about your attendees? Well, that leads me into the second reason why Slack is freaking awesome for events. The more communal you make your event, the more people want to go. It’s a win/win no-brainer. You want your attendees to mingle and talk when the time for the convention comes around. Standing in tight circles with as much inter-communication as there is at a 7th grade dance won’t end well. You don’t want an attendee get the distinct feeling like he walked into the lunchroom on the first day of school and doesn’t know where to sit. So what do you, the enterprising conference producer do? Well, you could develop an app geared towards enabling communication between attendees before, during and after the conference… but that takes money. And time. Which is also money. So why not skip all of that and just use something that is designed for communication? Slack is also exactly what you need for your event from an attendee standpoint. Recently, XOXO Festival in Portland utilized the new communication device, making channels for event attendees to communicate with each other prior to the convention starting. The idea was such a hit, many attendees actually began creating their own channels on their own. For many people who find the task of cold introductions daunting (and really, how many of us like those?), this was a god send. It allows attendees to begin communications and find people to meet with at the event before it even takes place. And bonus for you, conference producer! Using Slack groups for communication means that you can extend your event beyond just the length of the conference. By having your attendees talking before and after the event, it ensures that event are on their minds that much longer. It also enhances their communication, meaning the contacts they make are better and all of that reflects better on you and your event and isn’t that what we all want? If you’re looking for an easy way to communicate with staff or just trying to encourage your attendees to bond, Slack makes your event better. (Plus they have awesome emojis.)  ]]]]> ]]>

Most Common Problems With an Event Check-In App and How to Avoid Them

1. Walk-Ins Walk-ins aren’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, it means additional attendees and revenue from ticket sales. However, if there are more walk-ins than anticipated then it can lead to problems especially if you are near capacity limit. This may include turning people away and facing a few unhappy campers as a result. To remedy the situation, be sure to include bold lettering on your event page that walk-in registration is not guaranteed. There should also be a quick registration process for those who haven’t pre-registered. Keep the event checkin line separate from those who already registered and just need to register to pick up their name tags.

2. Long Lines

In most retail stores, there’s a rule that another register line must open if any of the existing registers have three or more customers in line. If guests have to wait in a long line that’s moving at a snail’s pace, it might overshadow any positives they experience later on. At no point should the line extend past the premise of the venue. If you anticipate a swarm, borrow some of your staff in other areas and have them open a few additional registration lines. It is highly recommended that your point-of-sale system has some sort of event checkin app to make the process as expedient as possible. Most event registration software comes with its own check-in system. Opt for a system that utilizes check via QR code scan. The Ticketbud Event Check-in App for iPad & iPhone is useful for streamlining the registration.

3. Ditch the Pre-Printed Name Tags

Having name tags already printed out may seem helpful but it can prolong wait times. Staffers will needlessly waste seconds sifting through hundreds of name badges. If a single one is placed out of alphabetical order, then that’s going to hold up the entire line by minutes. With improved registration technology, professional name tags can be printed on the spot by simply typing a name and hitting the print button. Alternatively, there are also always those “Hello, my name is…” stickers where attendees can write in their own name. This is always a feasible option when formal name tags are not necessary.

4. Express Lines for VIP Guests

VIP guests typically consist of your most loyal customers or those who paid extra for special treatment. One of the perks should be an express line where they can immediately check in from a separate line and bypass the long line that everyone else has to wait in. To further expand the VIP experience, there should be a few staff members designated to escort VIP members to their front seats or private lounge. Some event software systems can be set to automatically alert selected staffers when a VIP member has registered. This way, the designated staffers can immediately proceed to the check-in area and greet these important guests.

5. Watch Out for Event Crashers

Your event may only be exclusive to those affiliated with your company. If so, you have to watch out for event crashers who may try to make their way in under a false name to take advantage of the booths, presentations, or food. If you have a guest list app, keep it out of sight as crashers could easily pretend to be someone on that list. Also require everyone to show their identification. For high-profile events, consider using a event check-in app with a pre-uploaded photo of each guest. This way, you can be sure that each guest that registers really are who they say they are. Keep in mind that event crashers may also simply bypass the registration line and make their way straight into the venue. You should have someone posted at every entrance and prohibit anyone without a name tag from entering.

6. Avoid Attendee Confusion

Guests can easily become confused especially if there are multiple registration lines. Are they supposed to check in first? Do they proceed straight to the venue? To avoid confusion and guests waiting in the wrong lines, be sure to have signs that clearly explain what each line is for. Lines can easily be distinguished using cones and yellow tape. Posting paper signs will suffice, though for an amplified visual effect, incorporate a digital signage that explains the check-in process. Another advantage of using a digital signage is that instructions can be presented in multiple languages and even include voiceovers.

7. Handout Materials

Usually, staffers are also required to hand out companion material for the event, which normally consist of a welcoming packet that includes flyers, schedulers, sponsor brochures, and the like. This can take additional time. First of all, it’s not advisable to be distributing paper handouts at all. All of the material should be delivered digitally, which attendees can access via their smartphone. If you decide that paper handouts are necessary, then have a separate station just beyond the check-in counter where they can be distributed.

Make It Short and Sweet

Accountability is a crucial aspect for any event. There are so many things that can go wrong during the check-in, ranging from long wait times to excess walk-in registrations. You need a plan in place for these scenarios or else the situation can quickly become disorganized. Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.]]]]> ]]>

Picking The Best Event Registration Software

best event registration software.

Event Registration Software Pricing.

Perhaps you’re trying to run an event on a budget. While everything else we’ve mentioned is nice and all, the bottom line is you need to make as much money with the lowest fees possible. Makes sense. Most events on our platform are run by non-profits and event companies where every dollar counts. Two categories break up into two categories: service fee and credit card fee. The service fee is the cost you pay to the company that is hosting your tickets like Ticketbud or Eventbrite. The credit card fee is the fee that the companies who process the credit cards charge. Ticketbud and Brown Paper Tickets are your best options from a cost perspective. Ticketbud has the lowest service fee and credit card fee available. BPT has a higher service fee though they’ve built their credit card fee into their service fee.

When You Receive Your funds.

If finding the lowest payment option is important, getting your money as soon as possible is invaluable. Ticketbud is your best option for quick payouts. We offer daily payouts, ensuring that you get your money ASAP. Others typically release your funds days after your event ends. Make sure you consult with your event registration platform about payouts. Expenses for events build up. You don’t want to get stuck in a sticky situation. These are some of the most important factors for choosing the best event registration software that works for you. Based on your event’s needs, there might be other features that play a bigger role in your success. Meet with your planning committee to determine what you need from your ticketing solution. Get a demo if possible and give yourself time to make a decision. You won’t regret it.

Reliability.

When running your event, reliability is going to be your number one concern. No one wants to start selling tickets to an event only for the site to melt away like candle wax. Brown Paper Tickets is the oldest ticketing company on our short list, having started in 2000. However, Eventbrite hosts more events per year since it started in 2006. Regardless of their founding date, all four major event ticketing and registration platforms have been around for awhile. They’ve handled large number of events making them all reliable in handling your upcoming online ticket sales needs.

Customer Support.

Having available customer support is vital. I’m sure we can all admit that no matter how intuitive we are with technology, there’s comfort in having a solid support team to rely on. While FAQ’s are helpful, having a support phone number is definitely a game changer. Setting up your ticketing can sometimes be a complicated process. A live expert who’s willing to help can go a long way. Ticketfly offers Monday through Friday phone support during business hours. Ticketbud also offers phone support from our amazing team Monday through Friday during business hours. Ticketbud customers can also talk to a rep via live chat or email on a 24/7 basis. As an added bonus, Ticketbud offers 1-on-1 personalized demos that walk through each individual event’s needs.  Both Eventbrite and Brown Paper Tickets offer 24/7 phone support for their event customers though they don’t offer a live chat component.

Mobile Purchasing.

Mobile ticket purchasing has seen a dramatic increase in the past year. It makes sense – more people have a smartphone now then a desktop. Consumers use social media via mobile more as well. Social media also happens to be where people usually hear about events. So putting it all together, it’s easy to see why mobile ticket purchasing is important. What this means is that you need to make sure your online registration platform is mobile optimized. No one likes trying to make a purchase on their phone when it doesn’t work right. Luckily for you, all major ticketing platforms offer mobile support and allow for easy ticket purchasing. Score!

Customizable Event Pages.

Do you have a vision for your event that you want to see carried out across all marketing pages? Do you want to ensure that everything matches from the images used to the font that you write with? Yeah, we understand. It is your event so you should have it look how you want it to. Customizable event pages create a better experience for your customers! All major event ticketing platforms allow for a customizable user experience which includes descriptions, maps, photos, and colors used. With this said, test drive the providers you’re looking at. A great user experience is important and every event has specific needs from a design perspective.]]]]> ]]>

Make Your Event Check In App Work For You

Scanning a ticket with an event check in app[/caption] Fast and Efficient Ticketing App Guide You have access to all of the latest event registration software, and you’re using the most cutting edge event check in app. But at the end of the day, none of this is going to matter if you’re not ensuring that everyone is properly trained and aware of how to best use the event check in software for your event! Read on to find out how to best use your phones and tablets to check in guests and avoid misfortunes! Wifi: Seems simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, we’ve seen events that have everything set up amazingly with the exception of a solid Wifi connection. All guest check in apps (including the Ticketbud event check in app) require a Wifi connection in order to work properly and to sync with other tablets. For best results, we recommend using a closed network so that just your tablets and phones can use it to check in. For example, when there’s 10,000 people coming to your event, a closed network moves from something ideal to something required. The last thing you want is your Wifi network getting overwhelmed! As a side note, if you want to read about an encounter with poor Wifi that Ticketbud experienced, read it here. On-Site Team: You need to ensure that you have a proper ratio of staff to guest ratio for the quickest possible check ins. Although there’s no tried and true number here due to how varied events are, look at past events you’ve thrown with analytics derived from your ticket scanning apps to see if there were any bottlenecks and how quickly eventgoers were checked in. Also, in order to keep track of all tablets, we recommend having some sort of collateral to make sure that none of them go missing. Little Things: Sometimes, the little things can add up to become very big things. Here’s some things that you should make sure that you’ve checked with all your tablets and phones:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="304"]Ticketbud's ticket scanning app is the perfect free guest check in app Checking in guests on a phone is easy – as long as your staff are able to access the app![/caption] Use The Ticketbud App: If you want the fastest and most efficient guest check in app out there, look no further than the Ticketbud app. It’s completely free to use, and works on almost all Android and iOS devices. It’s one of the best guest list apps that allows you to check in guests manually or via a QR code, and you also have access to back-end analytics! These analytics can tell you how long each check in took, the amount of people currently at the event, and even more. Learn more about the app here! And if you already have the app, here’s a training guide for you staff.]]]]> ]]>