Doing things the old way isn’t always bad.
But when it comes to managing your events, you can’t afford to be doing things the same way that you were doing them five, ten, or even fifteen years ago.
After all, business has changed. Newsletters are going to inboxes, not mailboxes. Being social has become a form of media. And events are being planned, organized, and even hosted online.
I sat down with Mary Crogan, senior marketing manager for Constant Contact, to talk about the ways that online event management has changed events for small businesses and nonprofits.
How has online event management changed the way businesses manage their events?
It has actually had a pretty profound impact on the way that small businesses and nonprofits are managing their events.
It’s made their registration process more efficient, it’s allowing them to accept donations and capture payments efficiently, and frankly it has really helped them in terms of promoting their event.
With online tools, they can now send email invites, use social media more effectively, send save-the-dates … there’s a whole host of things that they can do now that they couldn’t before.
What does online event management offer that other traditional ways of management do not?
When you think about promoting an event, the old school way of doing it was something like this: if you had a retail shop you might put signage up in the store, if you were a nonprofit you might print up really nice invitations for your upcoming gala or fundraiser.
The tools today allow you to send those same invitations, but do it through email. It allows you to integrate with your social channels like Facebook and Twitter, and promote the events that way. You can also integrate your promotions with online directories that are dedicated solely to making people aware of events in the area. It has really taken the promotion to a whole other place.
There’s the registration component as well.
If you were running an event in your store before, you would promote the event and publish your phone number and email address. Then you would have to field calls, check emails, and try to figure out how many people were coming. That’s a ton of work.
These tools today, allow folks to register themselves through online registration forms, get all the information they need about the: who, what, where, and when. This makes it easier for the registrants and it saves you a ton of time.
On the backside of that, a lot of people don’t think about after the event. These new tools give you ways to keep that excitement and momentum going through social media. You can share quotes, photos, and other items right from the event. You can also ask for feedback using the survey mechanisms that are built into some of these tools.
It’s really revolutionized the whole process from start to finish.
What do you think is the biggest benefit that online event registration offers for small businesses?
The time that businesses are able to save is really essential.
Small business owners have to worry about a lot more than just their events. They don’t just plan events … they plan events AND run a business. That’s a lot of work.
We actually had a customer who told us that using online registration and promotion saved her over a hundred man hours for her bookstore. In the past she had to have a part-time staff stay and work overtime to field calls, handle registration, and compile all the details for the event. That cost her time and it also cost her money.
So saving time is the most important thing, but in the end that will eventually mean saving money.
Interested in getting started with managing your events online? Learn how by attending our Free Event Marketing Webinar. Register today!