Archive for the ‘Tips and tricks’ Category

The importance of events for your organisation

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Organizing and event requires a lot of your time and organization. Searching for a location, working out a programme, sending out invitations, collecting participants data, searching for presentors, contacting spronsors, etc. Why do companies put so much effort in seminars, conferences and business events? On top of that, some of them are completely free. So let’s have a closer look at what is the importance of organising business events with your company or organisation and spending time and money in it.

By organising events like seminars for your (target) clients, conferences for your equals, or meetings for a certain niche market, you build a relationship. People will start looking at you as a kind of reference in your domain. Openminds, a Belgian Ruby on Rails hosting company, organises every 6 months a conference for Ruby on Rails programmers and interested people. And this is good. As well for the programmers, as for Openminds. They put together people with the same interests and hobby. You can meet other programmers, there are speakers, you can learn more about your profession or passion, and if you want, you can even present yourself for your colleagues. In this way, Openminds is building a real Ruby on Rails community in Belgium. And by building a community, you become a reference in this community. And is there anything better then being a reference in your community / market? If you are a reference in a market, you’ll never be out of business.

The one who DOES the most is a reference. Not the one who KNOWS the most. Hence it’s important to DO something, and consider organizing a seminar, conference or workshop for your (potential) clients or market!

What are your experiences with organizing events for your business or organization?

9 good reasons to put your event online

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Online event management means “publishing, promoting, managing, and selling out your event online”. Publishing your event means putting all information about your event online. Online promotion means the use of digital communications channels like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or E-mail to promote your event. Selling out your event online means attendees can pay their tickets online. Most often, tickets are sent by E-mail. Online event management has many advantages. We list 9 of them:

1. Less printing costs

Attendees print their tickets at home, each with a unique code and barcode. This means you don’t need to design and print tickets yourself.

2. Less administration

Traditional registration often happens by phone, mail, or fax. You need someone to answer the phones, read the emails, or process the faxes. Also, all registrations need to be collected into one central file, to prevent over bookings. A lot of things can go wrong during these administration processes: misunderstandings on the phone, faxes that are not readable, …Online ticket sales resolves these problems and gives organizers more time to spend on other useful activities. As organizing events generally takes a lot of time, these time savings can be very useful.

ScreenHunter_02 Nov. 30 22.31

3. No over bookings

Online event management software often allows you to manage the capacity of your event. This can prevent you from selling more tickets than places are available. Once full capacity is reached, it is simply no longer possible to buy tickets online. Managing capacity without online tickets sales is often more difficult: you need to bring together all sales (by phone, fax, mail, etc.) constantly. You need to communicate that the event is booked …With online event management software, you can raise capacity whenever you want.

4. Accurate reporting

How many tickets did you sell exactly? How much revenues were created? Reality shows that the answers are not always straightforward. Online event management software often contains standard reports to deal with these issues (e.g. tickets sold, revenues, payment methods, attendee information, etc). Reports can be downloaded in Excel or other software.

5. Collect online payments immediately

You know how it goes: attendees call for ticket reservations, the tickets are held aside, and then they don’t show up! With online tickets sales you can force your attendees to pay online. This enables you to collect the money immediately and be sure that attendees will show up. You no longer need to monitor all transactions; the computer does it for you.

6. Professional image

Nowadays, flight tickets are no longer booked by phone. Customers simply expect airline companies to have an online booking system. It is a necessary tool to stay in business. The same evolution is to be expected for theaters, trainings, seminars, concerts, sports events, etc. An organization with online tickets sales and promotion creates a young, dynamic, and professional image.

7. You get a second chance (and a third, fourth …)

Once your tickets are printed, you can no longer change the price. Once your 500 folders or posters are printed, you can no longer correct possible mistakes. Online, however, nothing is definitive. You can, at any time, change prices, augment capacity, correct spelling errors, change the address, etc. Furthermore you collect the email addresses of all attendees via the online ticket sales, so you can contact them with important changes.

8. No need to be a web designer or programmer

Online event management software is clear and simple, meaning that you can put your event online and set up your sell out page in a couple of minutes. You can start promoting your event via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or email. All of this without programming one line of code. Also, online event management systems often provide the option to embed the software into your own website. The software is easy to use for everyone!

9. Online viral marketing

Compared to the classical promotion methods (e.g. posters on the street), online promotions have lots of advantages. Viral marketing is the effect of spreading your site like a virus on the internet; people tell each other online to come to your event. This kind of marketing can spread very fast! Read the following article on viral marketing for events and how it works.

What are the advantages of online event management according to you?

How does viral marketing work for your event?

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

The Mexican flu spreads exponentially. One boy infects 2 friends (1+2=3). They each infect another two friends (3+6=9). These 9 again infect each 2 friends (9+18=27). After 13 infection rounds we have 531.441 infected friends! Graphically this looks like this:

This is an exponential growth pattern. The growth goes faster and faster. Much more about this has been written and said by Seth Godin (marketing guru).

What could interest you: The growth of the ticket sales for an event can follow the same pattern! People can find your event so exciting that they start talking about it, just like that, for free.

Imagine yourself: You encounter the web page of an event that attracts you. Furthermore; the web page of the event looks great. The performers are top quality. Subscribing is easy and online…all looks great!

In this case, interested people will likely ask their friends to come as well. Events are social happenings. Also, when you know that some of your friends are going, you will be more convinced. When you convince your friends to go to an event, they will be easier to convince than when it is a poster or another piece of publicity. Those friends could, on their turn, invite some friends of their own, etc…Subscriptions rise exponentially.

This kind of marketing is totally free! And it is “real”. It is not some kind of poster that raises doubts…Your own friend telling he is going to an event because it looks really cool you won’t consider as a marketing trick, it is authentic publicity.  When you hear the same of different friends, you will be even more convinced: I want to go there too.

A dream for every organizer! Despite that fact that the word can spread automatically, you still have to get the word out there. How you can get people to talk about your event?

  • Be different! Give the people something to talk about (unusual location, special poster, strange name, be ‘mysterious’ about something, be funny, put a YouTube trailer online, …). You won’t get people excited and talking about your event when everything about it is average. A well organized event is not enough….it must be different, remarkable!
  • Make it easy to spread the word. People usually don’t do too many efforts when it is not for their own profits. Fikket provides a ‘share’ button for every event, which allows you to easily share the event with others on more than 150 social networks.

To end with: Fikket, the easy tool to publish, promote, and sell out your event counts on you for an exponential growth of Fikket. When you like Fikket, spread the word!

11 tips to turn your next event into a succes!

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Organizing an event can be complex. It often involves weeks, months, or even years of preparation, hard work, informing, planning, brainstorming, tickets sales, publicity, … And all this work done then results in one event of a couple of hours (or maybe some days). You’ve got only one chance, so you better be prepared: 11 tips to help you organize an event.

1) Define your objectives

This is the first thing to do, no matter what kind of event. Doing this will help you create a budget, define who will be involved in the organization, how many people  to invite, … Without clear objectives  you could soon be lost and working on things that are not relevant for your event.

2) Make (viral) publicity for your event

No matter how great your event is, if you don’t reach your target audience, you have got a small problem. Make use of the digital media that are appropriate for your event: use LinkedIn for business events, Facebook for social events, etc. Don’t forget Twitter.

Posting your event on social networks has the advantage of free viral publicity: just like a virus can spread very fast, a link on the internet can. Make use of this free marketing!

3) Always think about our friend Murphy

An efficient organizer takes into account anything that could go wrong during his event. Weather conditions, problems with acts, food and safety problems, … . Prepare contingency plans to deal with those kind of things. Although others could be to blame, people will take you responsible.

4) Knowledge is power

In order to make an event successful, it is crucial to have all required knowledge. The knowledge and skills required differ from event to event: corporate meetings involve certain protocols and procedures, concerts require logistic facilities. Talk to people that have already organized such events, and keep up with the newest trends…

5) Food is important

Often a meal or snack is offered at events. The logistical impact of this service is often high, but a minimum level of planning can prevent problems.

6) Budget

A structured budget helps monitoring costs, tells you what you can afford, facilitates reporting, …

Revenues of tickets sales are often difficult to monitor for less professional organizations. Makes sure you have a clear and sound system to track ticket sales and collect the money.

7) Safety

No much explanation needed here. Make sure the emergency exits are indicated. Don’t exceed the capacity of your location. For bigger events: hire trained personnel and medical help. As organizer you are responsible for safety, so be prepared.

8) Location

Pick the right location: make sure you have got enough seats, a bar and kitchen, toilets, airco, … Does the location fit your event? Is it easy to reach by public transport or car? Are there sufficient parking facilities? What about technological facilities (light, sound installation …)? Also be aware that easy to reach places in big cities are preferred by participants and give a better look to your event.

9) Evaluation

Take enough time, right after the event, for an evaluation. Where objectives met? What went well, what went worng? Were there enough attendees? What was the feedback? If things did go wrong, wonder why: maybe there were not enough attendees because promotion was not successful, or because the location was too distant.

10) Use Fikket to promote your event online, and take online bookings and payments in an efficiently!

11)  Extra tip:

If you really want success, hire this young Michael Jackson imitator!