Seven Strategies to Plan a Year of Events

As the current year winds down, event organizers are gearing up for the next round of exciting programs and gatherings. And they’re right to do so. The success of an event often hinges on meticulous preparation and foresight. 

Planning your events calendar a year in advance provides the framework for a seamless and successful series of gatherings. It also reinforces marketing and branding initiatives geared toward creating cohesive messaging and consistent experiences for your audiences. 

In this guide, we’ll explore seven strategies to masterfully plan out your event programming for the coming year, ensuring each season is filled with memorable experiences.

1. Take time to reflect

Before diving into event planning, take a moment to reflect on your events from the past year. Highlight your successes and challenges, understand feedback from participants and sponsors, and identify lessons learned.

To get started, read “A Year in Review: Conducting an Annual Evaluation of Your Events.”

2. Define your goals and objectives

Once you’ve understood your past performance, you can set benchmarks for the coming year and align your events with your organization’s strategic goals. It’s important to be specific and clearly articulate your objectives in order to prioritize spending and planning.

Are you aiming for increased attendance, higher engagement, or a more diverse lineup of activities? Defining key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you allocate spending on elements that directly contribute to achieving those objectives.

Estimate the potential return on investment (ROI) for your events by assessing both tangible and intangible benefits. Consider factors such as increased brand visibility, participant satisfaction, and long-term partnerships. These evaluations will help garner support from partners or sponsors on future events. 

3. Start with flagship events

There might be certain events that act as anchors to your annual event programming. These are events that your audiences might come to expect every year, raise the most money for your organization, or foster an important partnership with an outside organization.

To keep these flagship events at the forefront, plan ahead to book venues and secure highly sought out entertainers, speakers or vendors. Remember, logistics take time. The earlier you can sign a contract, the better chance you have of nailing down special rates. And the sooner you can share details with your audiences, the easier it is for them to block their calendar. 

Once set, you can work to fill in the time between your major event(s) with other programming that supports your goals and messaging. Consider a tiered system that offers diverse event types and formats – webinars, workshops, meet-ups. Mixing up your offerings caters to different preferences, expands your reach, and positions your organization as a community leader. 

A theatre of people listening to a speaker at a business event

4. Build our your marketing calendar

By mapping out your events for the entire year, you can avoid scheduling conflicts with other industry events, holidays, or peak times and refine your marketing timeline to avoid gaps or channels with low ROI. This ensures better attendance and engagement from your audience and ample time for strategic marketing and promotion. 

You can use this extra time to build anticipation, create targeted campaigns, and engage your audiences across platforms. So, work closely with your marketing teams to build content across web, social and email marketing channels that echoes your event messaging and vice versa.

Seeing how audiences engage with content can inform plans for your next event, giving you plenty of time to refocus and adjust if needed. If helpful, you might consider creating themes for different months or quarters. Themes add coherence to your programming and can help in marketing and branding. 

5. Identify potential partners

Establishing your event messaging and goals well in advance will help you prospect potential sponsorships or partnerships whose values align. These relationships go a long way in reducing costs and enhancing the overall event experience.

Refer to your past year’s event analysis. If an organization helped you out in the past, they may be willing to do so again and at a higher-level. Reach out early to gauge their interest and build their trust by engaging them in the planning process. Input from these key players may influence event themes, speaker selection, and overall event strategy. It can also open new opportunities for resources and cross-promotion.

6. Understand your budget

Planning ahead allows you to allocate resources more effectively. This includes budgeting, staffing, and logistics planning. As mentioned above, early planning can help you negotiate better deals, secure preferred venues, optimize marketing efforts and lock-in sponsor funding. The more you understand about each of these components, the easier it is to lay out a budget for your full year of event programming.  

Start with budgeting for your flagship events. Because these happenings are staples to your overall event strategy, more time and resources should be committed to ensuring they are produced successfully. So, ceate a comprehensive view of how much you will need for the venue, marketing, entertainment, catering, equipment rentals, staff, etc. 

Once you’ve budgeted for your most important events, revisit your tiered event programming structure and develop a budget for each event. These smaller events should require less money and resources. But if your marketing and events budget is thinning out, you might have to evaluate which ones are worth keeping or identify where you might be able to cut costs.

7. Create contingency plans

While planning your events calendar a full year in advance provides numerous advantages, its essential to remain adaptable as circumstances change. Flexibility is key to successfully navigating the dynamic nature of the events industry. 

Luckily, getting a head start on event planning allows time for a more thorough risk assessment and to develop and budget for contingency plans. You’ll be able to more easily pivot and adjust based on feedback from prior event attendees or changing circumstances without compromising your overall event schedule or strategy.

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Planning out your event calendar a year in advance is a strategic endeavor that requires careful consideration, collaboration, and adaptability. By defining goals, analyzing past performance, and aligning with broader strategies, event organizers can create a well-rounded and dynamic calendar that caters to diverse audiences and ensures a successful year of memorable experiences. The key to success lies in the details, and a well-executed plan is the foundation for extraordinary events.

Planning a Last-minute New Year’s Party

As the countdown to the New Year begins, the pressure to plan a memorable celebration can be daunting, especially if you’re doing it last minute. But with some quick thinking, resourcefulness, and creativity, hosting a knock-out New Year’s party on short notice is absolutely possible.

The good news is, event planners have noted a rising trend of last-minute ticket buying, meaning many people will likely wait until after Christmas to lock-in their New Year’s Eve plans. But to ensure your event is on their radar, now is the time to make quick decisions on venues and vendors and start spreading the word about your event. 

Create an event registration page in less than 10 minutes

Visit ticketbud.com and click “Create an Event” then follow the prompts to sign-in or create a free account.

Complete the event details form and click “Continue to edit event page” at the bottom of the screen.

The information from the form will be transferred to the event page editor. You’ll still need to add a banner image, event description and ensure all time and location details are correct. 

Click here to access banner design templates on Canva. 

Before you can activate your event, you’ll need to create ticket types and configure a payment method if you plan on selling tickets. You can complete both of these steps using the event dashboard on the left. Select “Tickets” to customize and manage ticket types. Select “Event Settings” to link a payment processor. If your event is free, you don’t need to configure a payment method.

Once you’ve completed all these steps, your New Year’s event is ready to go live. If it’s your first time using Ticketbud, you can also click on your Account Dashboard (the Ticketbud logo or your own logo/Initials are shortcuts to this). Consider updating your Account Profile Page with website and social media information.

When everything looks good, it’s time to start spreading the news. 

Get the word out quickly

Time is of the essence, so utilize digital invites via social media, email, or messaging apps. You can use the “Promotion” option in the event dashboard to send invitations. Or, you can cast a wider net by sharing the link to the event page directly on your website, social media pages or other communications channels. 

Be sure your event messaging and branding aligns across all channels. This will make people more likely to see and recognize your event. Which in turn, may secure their registration. 

Don’t forget to have a little fun with your promotional campaigns. The New Year is a great time to look towards new goals as well as to look back at the year’s highlights. So, engage your audience with posts or giveaways inspired by their future plans or favorite memories. 

Focus on the Experience

People want to bring in the New Year with friends and family. So exert your energy into designing an inviting atmosphere that people want to invite their loved ones to, fostering an environment for enjoyable conversations and shared memories. 

Need some fun ideas? Try:

Cheers to seizing the moment and creating unforgettable memories!

Sell More Tickets With This Checklist

testAt Ticketbud, you have the opportunity to use sub-domain’s to customize your event ticketing page. Awesome right? Absolutely, but only if you make sure to use it. Customizing your sub-domain does a lot of things:

It is important to also remember, that your sub-domain doesn’t change! So don’t name it after the event, name it after your organization. So, if I was part of a rebel alliance determined on overthrowing a totalitarian regime with an obsession with black and wanted to host an event talking about their latest superweapon and sell tickets to the event, my URL would be: https://therebelalliance.ticketbud.com/so-what-is-the-deathstar Now when people google for “the rebel alliance” this URL will show up in their search, increasing odds of them purchasing tickets and you getting money. tbcheck2 screencapture-ticketbud-com-admin-events-1d7627f6-49ef-11e6-93a5-1315e502a949-interactive-1468520149822 Having too many ticket options sounds great in theory. You offer people a lot of options so that no matter what they’re looking for, they have it right? Makes everyone happy! Wrong. The more ticket types you have the more difficult it is for your customer. Now, instead of deciding if they want General Admission or VIP they have to decide between multiple things and can lead to customers getting frustrated and leaving. Don’t let this happen to you. If you have more than 5 different ticket types, look at what types of options you’re offering. Do you need to offer a 3-person group ticket, a family of 4 ticket and a family of 5 ticket? See what you can combine and what you can get rid of. Your customers will thank you. tbcheck3 Your Facebook page already has fans and followers, so why wouldn’t you make it so much easier for them to purchase tickets there? Our Facebook widget allows customers to purchase right there from your Facebook page or a button that will take them to your event ticketing page. Either way it makes it so much easier to convert that we think it is one of the most important things you include. In fact, events that used the Facebook widget to sell tickets had a 14% increase in sales before the event. Earlier ticket sales means earlier money in the bank. We even made an awesome how-to guide, just click here! tbcheck4titleYou would think having a title is a no brainer but you’d be surprised how many people seem to jump past it and straight into the meat and potatoes of the event page. We don’t blame you, putting the images and tickets together is super fun but a title is necessary. How necessary? Events with no title sell 28% fewer tickets than their titled counterparts. When an event comes up in search, the first thing displayed is the title, without that, no one knows what your event is about at first glance. Having a title also indexes your event better in Google search (all about that SEO) which, again, makes it rank higher in search results, ensuring more of your customers will come across it when they’re looking for tickets. So make sure your title is descriptive but also engaging! “What Is The Death Star About” let’s everyone know exactly what our event will be about and also makes it seem open and appealing to a general audience who may not know what the Death Star is. Also it looks good. tbcheck5 map2 Having a map with location up on your event page may seem unnecessary but here me out. Let’s say you have someone that wants to go to the event you’re having at the Mos Eisley Cantina but they’re based in Coruscant and aren’t sure what part of the back rim Mos Eisley is in. Well, having a map below allows your customers to see where your event is, how to get there and all without having to leave the ticketing page. It makes things easier for them and better for you. Be sure to add your event location in under your title and Ticketbud will automatically use Google Maps to drop a pin in the location for you! Super easy. Also, if your having an event in a well known venue (like Mos Eisley Cantina) you’re able to add venue name in under the location as well. tbcheck6 descriptionThe description box is the place to go nuts with information. The more information, the better (mostly) and will give the customer everything they need without leaving to find it somewhere else. The obvious things like Where and When and What are obvious but other things to include:   tbcheck7 If a picture is worth a thousand words then consider these your event pitch. We know people are visual; we all respond more viscerally to an image than just to words so why wouldn’t you use this with your event? Remember back when I said that you have to be heard in a crowded ocean of events and stand out? This is one of the best ways of doing so. A well placed banner can inform an opinion on your event. It can change the look from “this is a small band of uninformed and unskilled resisters” to a legitimate organization dispelling important information and leading an organized rebellion. tbcheck8 payout Payout set-up is important to make sure that at the end of the day, you get paid. If you’re in the US, we recommend using WePay as it allows for daily payouts and getting your money faster is always better. If you’re outside the US, your best payment processor option right now is through Stripe, though we do accept multiple forms of payment processors. Make sure that your monetary denomination is the same as the country the bank processing the payments is located in, not necessarily where you are or the event is located. That means, if I’m running an event on the farthest moon of Endor, but I’m based on Yavin 4 along with my bank, then my bank needs to be in Yavinese notes. Also, keep in mind that all banks and processors have their own rules and regulations regarding out of country transactions. tbcheck9 time2 Ticketbud is based in the best city in the galaxy (as far as we’re concerned), Austin, so the timezone on your event page is automatically set to Central U.S. but we understand that you may be anywhere. Make sure you’ve adjusted the time zones for where the event will be. Not necessarily where you are so that all tickets and information display correctly. And that’s it! That’s all you need to get started with your event page in making it successful. Pretty soon, you’ll be selling tickets right and left! bb8 thumbs up]]]]> ]]>

How to Use Instagram for Marketing Your Event

fastest growing social network? 26% of the adult population is already using it. That’s a huge audience of potential ticket buyers. Instagram is the perfect marketing channel for events. The reason being that events are told best through pictures. Just take a look at your Instagram feed. Scrolling through photos you see friends at concerts, bars, holiday parties…you name it. It’s now second nature for people to post about their experiences. Instagram just happens to be the best place to do it. In this post, I’ll walk through the steps on how to use Instagram for marketing your event. I’ll go over how to get started, what kind of content to create, and how to build your audience. Let’s get rocking.

Getting Started

So the first thing you’ll want to do is create a new account. Be smart about this. Creating an account for a large festival or conference makes sense. If that isn’t you, create an Instagram account for your organization. This avoids pigeonholing yourself in building your audience from just one small event. After creating your account, Instagram asks you to connect to Facebook. Go ahead and connect if you already have a large Facebook fanbase. By connecting, all your Facebook followers will get notified that you joined Instagram. It’s an easy way to build your initial audience. Now let’s dress up your profile page. Think of your profile as a landing page for potential ticket buyers. This is where your event either makes a great first impression or fades away from memory. You want to show off your event both through the copy and your images. Let’s take a look at the example below: using instagram for marketing                               BLINK Conference does a pretty solid job here. I know exactly what the conference is, when it happens, and how to find more info. Their bio link goes to a Facebook community page which works fine. If your tickets are on sale, do  link to your ticketing page. Use an aggressive call to action like “Grab early bird tickets before they run out” to get the point across. The profile also has some photos that make me want to explore the account. This is key. If your account doesn’t have any activity, visitor won’t follow you back.

Content Creation

Before using Instagram for marketing, you need to get in the flow of publishing awesome photos. Luckily it’s pretty easy to do. That’s why people use Instagram in the first place. Before diving into what to publish, let’s look at 2 apps that will help you create high quality photos. Canva: This is my go-to tool for graphic design. I’m not a designer myself so Canva is a godsend. You don’t need to know Photoshop. Just click and drag to edit photos and overlay text. PicLab: Similar to Canva but designed for the smartphone. So for event planners on the go, PicLab makes it possible to quickly snap a pic and drop some text over it. OK so you got your apps. Now what do you post? Here’s a list that should give you some ideas: conf                               marketing on instagram                               how to use instagram for marketing                               instagram for marketing                               attendee                               Along with creating some beautiful imagery, also take advantage of the post description. Write compelling and engaging text. Ask questions and get followers to tag their friends. A neat trick is to include a CTA that asks your followers to Double Tap. By double tapping, they’ll like the photo. After you’ve come up with some ideas, the next question is how often should you post? To make headway, I recommend posting 1-2 times per day. This makes it manageable and avoids being too spammy. This article recommends posting between 5-6pm on weekdays. Our infographic on social media for events is also a solid resource for when and what to post. Let’s move to the most exciting part: growing your audience!

Building Your Audience

Account Engagement

To use Instagram for marketing, you need to identify your event’s target audience. Easiest place to start is location. Let’s say we’re planning a bacon festival in Austin, Texas. I’ll head over to Instagram’s and search #atx under the tags column. #atx is a pretty popular hashtag used by Austinites. how to use instagram for marketing your event                               When I search the hashtag, Instagram shows the most popular ones. The 4th one down is #atxeats. That looks promising! While there’s a couple other hashtags, lets dive into this one as it’s a bit more targeted to our festival. After tapping on the hashtag, I see a ton of foodie posts. I can make an assumption that people using that hashtag might be interested in attending my bacon festival. How do I engage with them? Start by using the Follow, Like, Like, Like strategy. This link talks about the process in more detail. What you want to do is find the top pictures under the #atxeats hashtag and follow those accounts. Then, like 3 of their photos. The account will then get a stream of notifications from you following and liking their stuff. If they’re interested in what they see, there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back. Now this process is a bit manual but you can use a tool called Instagress to automate it. Instagress allows you to put your follows and likes on autopilot. It’ll save you a lot of time in the long run. Along with this strategy, you can start using these targeted hashtags in your own photos. By doing this, your account will start showing up in these searches as well. An important note is that if you’re going to load up an image with hashtags, do so in the comments. This way your photo description won’t look spammy.

Contests

Contests work especially well for marketing on Instagram. A solid tactic is organizing contests where the winner gets a couple free tickets. I recommend using Gleam.io for running your contest. It makes contests super easy to run. Instagram’s photo mentioning is what makes contests work. A photo mention is when someone comments on your photo by mentioning a friend as seen below: event-marketing-strategies                     When this happens, Instagram notifies the friend of the mention. The friend will then typically click on the photo to check it out. For contests, direct people to tag their friend on one of your photos to enter. This is where the network effects come into play. As your photo mentions build up, your exposure increases. You can also create entries that have people follow your account or like a post. What makes ticket giveaway contests awesome is that you’re capturing buyer’s intent. All your contest entries are showing interest in attending your event. Click here to view our slideshare about contests and other social media tactics.

Shoutouts

Our last growth tactic for how to use Instagram for marketing your event comes in the form of a shoutout. A shoutout is a post on another Instagram account that encourages that account’s followers to follow you. For an event, I recommend researching influencers in your city. City influencers can be publications, restaurants, or just ordinary people. Going back to the bacon festival example, I’ll search for something like “Austin Magazine”: how to use instagram for marketing                               Now I have a couple local publications I can reach out to for a shoutout. You’ll want the account to share an image and caption that you curate yourself. At least get them to mention your event in one of their photos. To help sweeten the deal, communicate to them that you’ll return the favor by giving them a shoutout. This way they can get exposure to your audience as well. The shoutout tactic also works for influencers that are relevant to your event type. As you build your audience, it’s also important to create your own hashtag for the event. The power of having an event hashtag is that attendees can tag their own photos with your hashtag. This not only helps increase your reach but gives you more photos to publish into your feed. It’s a no brainer to try marketing on Instagram for your event. The platform is still young so there’s a lot of untapped opportunity. Try testing out these tactics and see what works best for you. Every event is different. Be creative in your Instagram marketing to stand out from the rest of the pack.]]]]> ]]>

5 Steps to Running A Successful Pop-Up

here , and the same concepts apply. People fall for flash sales all the time – we can’t help it, it’s human nature to desire something that is difficult to get. With all these benefits of Pop-Ups in mind, let’s look at 5 ways to ensure that your Pop-Up concept, whether it be a retail store or restaurant, is successful.

1. Choose Your Theme and Brand

This is the beginning of your entire concept and will determine everything else that you do. If you already know your theme, feel free to go onto number 2 where I discuss getting your venue. A few things to keep in mind with any theme: -Does it resonate with what you want to sell? -Colors are important. -For more information about branding, check this post out. Theme and brand go hand in hand.

2. Find the Right Venue.

This step is critical as your venue will make or break your Pop-Up. There are a variety of factors that influence whether your concept will be successful. Among them are: -Does it fit within your theme and objective? -Is there foot traffic or is it off the beaten path? You’re not likely to get many interested patrons to visit your Pop-Up if you’re off the beaten path, so to speak. As a subset of getting your venue, make sure that you have all the proper tools at your disposal such as licenses if you’re selling alcohol or food.

3. Market your Pop-Up

There are a ton of ways to market your pop-up. This is where you should design your Value Proposition, aka why people should go to your Pop-Up versus going anywhere else. Once you have your value proposition in place, the fun begins. You can create all different kinds of marketing materials. One of the benefits of marketing a Pop-Up are the time constraints. Since Pop-Ups only run for a limited of time, you get to lean on urgency and exclusivity all in one go. For convenience, I’ll split up marketing into online and offline. For offline marketing, look into things such as posters and signs to post on local posting areas. Be sure to tell friends and family to spread the word – there’s nothing like a referral. Even passing out discount coupons, along with an address and opening (and closing) dates can go a long way. The great thing about offline marketing is that you can also help build your local community. Offering to donate money to a local charity or Boy/Girl Scouts group will do wonders. For online marketing, you have a ton of options available to you. The first and most obvious is social media so I won’t go too much more into that. I’m sure you already have your social media accounts firing on all cylinders. To save time, check out using a service like Hootsuite or Buffer to make scheduled posts across your social media platforms. If the city you’re posting in has a subreddit, you could try posting about your pop-up there too. I’ll talk a little more about this in #4, but an event registration page could also get you a lot more eyeballs. These pages rank well on search engines for their city, and you can also collect RSVPs or sell tickets.

4. Get Ready To Sell Spots and Stuff!

If you’re doing a restaurant or any other pop-up that would require spots or RSVP, you can use a site to sell tickets online. Event registration sites can also provide you with hard tickets, which you’ll also want to use just in case you’re expecting more people to buy a spot at the door. A great thing about online registration sites is that you’ll be able to post your address, time of opening/closing, and other important info. You’ll get more online exposure in conjunction with your marketing that I mentioned in the last spot. They’ll also give you analytics data which allows you to see how popular your Pop-Up was with certain demographics.  Another advantage is that you’ll be able to get access to their emails. It’ll give you a good idea of how many people are showing up so that you can have your supplies set up beforehand. If you’re selling physical items, get a mobile POS like Square to accept any credit or debit cards. With your POS, you’ll need to make sure that you have steady and reliable WiFi, or at the least access to a 3G/LTE network. In a pinch you can use an iPad or iPhone as a mobile hotspot.

5. Follow Up

Your Pop-Up is a success due to your hard work on the previous four steps, awesome! You may think you’re done as you savor the revenue, but the truth is that you’re not. You need to follow up with customers after. During your Pop-Up’s operational hours, you can offer discounts in exchange for a user’s email address so that you can get a customer list going. That way, you can contact them after the Pop-Up ends to notify them of the next time you’ll be around. If you created an event page and sold tickets, you already have an email list so you don’t need to worry about getting customer’s emails. Also, be sure to send a thank-you to everyone that came. Including pictures of the Pop-Up will be great to help solidify the experience. Feedback from clientele is important, not only to improve for next time but also to get ideas for new product lines and future events.]]]]> ]]>

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.]]]]> ]]>

Slideshare: Email Marketing for Events

In this slideshare, we discuss:

Email Marketing for Events from Ticketbud
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How To Brand An Event In 5 Easy Ways

brand noun 1. a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. 2. an identifying mark burned on livestock with a branding iron. A successful brand isn’t just a type of product with a particular name, look, and feel – it’s something that embeds ideas into your brain. So while I doubt you’re a cattle rancher, you’ll want to metaphorically leave your mark on your attendee’s brains. They should feel certain things whenever they think, attend, or talk about your event. And you want this to happen because great branding makes your event successful in the long run. If you want to know how to brand an event, keep reading. Wal*Mart shows that you can make more money simply because you have a powerful brand. Go to a cereal aisle and you’ll see Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Sitting next to Kellogg’s, you’ll see Great Value frosted flakes. These two cereals offer the same exact thing, however the Kellogg’s cereal is higher priced and more commonly bought. This is true even though the Great Value flakes tastes the same and is cheaper. Great Value sells less simply because they lack the brand! So, how do we not only create a strong brand for events, but create an impression on your attendees? As it turns out, it’s much like creating a company.

  1. Create A Descriptive, Simple Name
Creating a good name can be difficult if you overthink it. At the end of the day what you truly want is just a name that perfectly describes what the event does. The less words, the better. Think of some of the most popular events: Woodstock, Coachella, Burning Man, Live Aid, and Comic-Con. Some of them might describe places, and others describe what they do. But they’re all simple and evocative, and you probably got a good idea of what Comic-Con is about just by the name.
  1. Design A Logo
Designing a logo might seem weird if you’re doing a trade show but it’s super important. Logos are one of the most important parts of branding. In the case of Starbucks and McDonald’s, they don’t even have their name on some of their storesThey know that their logos are immediately recognizable. Logos should be simple and generally 2 colors or less. Even 1 color can work since you’ll be wanting to have swag with your logo on it.  Feel free to do something creative, like with Live Aid’s logo being a guitar of Africa. It was a perfect descriptor of the event with music being used to raise money to help out starving and impoverished Africans.
  1. Create Your Presence
By now, it’s pretty well established that people rarely buy something the first time they’re exposed to a product or a potential event. Even once they’ve bought something, companies still have to use channels to keep customers aware of their product. You probably had a Sierra Mist soda before, but if I asked you to name 3 different sodas, would that one first come to mind? Maybe it would, but probably not. You would likely name Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper. Why? Because they do a ton of advertising. So keep this in mind, you need to have an overall presence. This means having not only a website, but having people talk about your event  on other websites and blogs. Have branded social media pages and even run ads if you are looking to make a huge impression. keep in constant contact with people once they’ve purchased tickets to your event. Once the event is over, continue contact through postings and emails sent out, especially if this is going to be an annual event. The more you keep your event “top of mind”, the more likely you will not only have a lot of return attendees, but a lot of new ones as well.
  1. Tribal Mentality
From the way some people talk about football teams, you’d think that they owned the team! Overheard:”My Cowboys are going to be so good this year, their offense is totally stacked.” You need to make an effort to create this same sort of mark on people attending your event. Make them not only proud to be a part of your event, but also elitist. And I don’t mean elitist in the sense that they’re walking past a poor person and spitting on them, but in the sense that they feel superior for being a part of it. You can do this through VIP tickets if the opportunity is there.
  1. Endorsements
“Hi, I’m Robert Downey Jr. and when I want to make an event, I use Ticketbud.” – Robert Downey Jr. Okay so RDJ doesn’t actually use Ticketbud, but if he talked about it, people would be interested in checking us out. They would look up Ticketbud solely because a popular celebrity (redundant I know) talked about the product. In fact you’ve probably noticed that a lot of advertisements and products today have a celebrity endorsing the product. This works a lot in part with creating the Tribal mentality, as I mentioned before. I’m totally wearing Levi Jeans right now because a cool action hero in a movie wore them once (okay not really but this stuff does influence you!). So, in conclusion, you need to have a simple name and logo that combine to create an impression on your attendee. This leads to creating your presence both online and in the real world while continually pushing to make your brand known. You can also easily do this with celebrity appearances and endorsements which will help further your event’s appeal.Finally, you need to create a sense of togetherness for your event to help boost numbers and create a following which will help bring in additional attendees down the road.]]]]> ]]>

Best Damn Tailgating Guide

tailgate Theme A theme for your tailgating party may seem unnecessary but it makes the rest of the planning easier. Your event appears cohesive and gives the impression that you spent weeks planning it. Most tailgates have pretty self explanatory themes. You want to go all out for your team and drench everything in the colors that matter. So if your’e a University of Texas fan then burnt orange and white would work here. To truly make your tailgate a masterpiece, go one step further and ask yourself what type of party you want to have. Are you more a “quick-grilling, hotdog-eating, beer-in-a-can out of the cooler” type of tailgater? Or are you a “crock-pot bringing, themed cocktail making” type of tailgater? Knowing this allows you to put together food, drinks and all the essentials. (But of course, don’t forget the team colors!) Food [caption id="" align="alignright" width="318"] Mmm, hot dogs.[/caption] Mmm, hot dogs. It should surprise no one that food is high on the list of important needs at a tailgate. Some might say it is the most important thing and they wouldn’t be wrong. Good food makes any social event and this is no exception. Keeping your theme in mind, put together a few sure-fire food options that will appeal to everyone. Know how much time and effort you’ll have to spend during the tailgate. Don’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking while you’re there? No problem! Crock-pots are a god send and its easy to put together some quick dishes before hand that will travel well. If you decide nothing beats the fresh, smokey taste of meats off the grill (and we can’t blame you!) make sure where you’re going allows for grilling. Also keep track of everything you need to not just start the grill, but also put it out safely. Still not sure what you should do? Too many options to choose from? No problem, we can help you out. Here are a couple sure-fire options for your tailgate:

        Drinks [caption id="" align="alignright" width="316"] For the truly transcendent tailgating refreshment.[/caption] Are you having an all ages event? Or is your tailgating party more a kick-off kegger? Either way, you need to have some kick-ass drinks available for your event. Whether you make your own beer punch (we really like like this one) or toss a couple local brews into the cooler, you should have enough to keep everyone properly hydrated. If you do have a kid-friendly kick-off going on, make sure to keep coolers or drink dispensers separated and easily marked. When the event gets underway, much easier to ensure that what the kids are drinking is actually Kool-Aid. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, you can always go for a sweet bar-in-truck set up.   Cooking/Cleaning supplies While it seems obvious, make sure you have all cooking and cleaning supplies handy as you’re cooking. Inventive tailgaters have come up with a variety of different methods for keeping everything handy and nearby. No one wants to grab a hot dog and some potato salad and not be able to find a napkin or a fork to eat! There are a bunch of ideas for keeping your utensils from being lost from the quick and easy to the elaborately pinterest-y (that counts as an adjective right?) depending on your theme and how much effort you want to put into it. Whichever way you go, make sure you have everything before you set out for the stadium! Music [caption id="attachment_22846" align="alignright" width="182" class=" "]tailgating Pre-made playlist and lacking the [insert your team here] fight song but handy when you need something quick.[/caption]Proper tune-age is essential. You can go the homemade mixtape route like your inner 90’s kid totally wants you to do (admit it) or you can check out iTunes Music or Spotify Playlists and check out the pre-made selection if you’re in need of some music quickly. Tent & Chairs While we don’t get too many rainy days here in Austin (gotta love that perpetual sunshine!), tents are an essential part of your tailgating gear no matter where you’re setting up (we’re sure many of our fans in the less sunny parts of the country would agree). Doesn’t matter if it is hot Texas sun, pouring rain or, god forbid, freezing snow, a tent will save your tailgate from ending before the kick off. Also, be sure you have more options for seating than people you expect to be there. Without a doubt, Jimmy is gonna show up and even though he said he was coming by himself, you know he’s going to end up bringing that girl he just started dating (or who knows, you may make friends while you’re there!) Either way, extra seating ensures that no one is going to have to have the sad seat in the dirt. TV [caption id="" align="alignright" width="273"] These bold fans are really stepping up their TV Tailgate Game.[/caption] There was a time when tailgating was mainly done just as a precursor to a football game. You would go early, wait with your friends and family for the stadium to open and then head on in to watch the game. Nowadays, the parking lot is the end destination for many people heading towards the football stadium. If you’re one of the many heading out to grill and drink and watch the game from the outsides of the stadium, well don’t forget to take your TV. If you’re really ambitious, throw in a second TV so you’ll be able to keep track of all the games going on. Good Friends Of course there is nothing more necessary to a tailgate than having good friends with you. Make sure To get as many people together as you can as tailgating really benefits from the more the merrier proviso. Provided they’re cheering for the right team of course.   So have fun! Go crazy! Make the most kick-ass tailgating event you’ve ever done! Check out our Pinterest board for more tips and tricks on food, drinks and everything in between. And remember when it comes to tailgating and your team, you can never go too far or do too much.]]]]> ]]>

Slideshare: Event Sponsorships 101

In this slideshare, we discuss:

Event Sponsorships 101: How to Grow Your Event Revenue with Sponsorships from Ticketbud
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Slideshare: 8 Social Media Tactics to Ignite Ticket Sales

In this slideshare, we discuss:

Event Marketing Strategies – 8 Social Media Tactics to Ignite Ticket Sales from Ticketbud
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Snapchat: Event Organizers Best Friend

Event promotion is tough. There are so many things going on and it takes something awesome to stand out in the crowded social landscape. However, Snapchat is perfectly suited for promoting an event and building an audience. The key is to tap into what makes Snapchat better than all other social media platforms: accessibility and time. (more…)