Remember years ago when Tomorrow’s World (BBC TV) told us how amazing the future would be, that we’d all have robot cleaners and loads more spare time because computers would handle everything for us? It all seemed, and still seems so far away. Computers have largely resulted in people spending a massive proportion of their time on computers.
I’m helping to organise a conference for the Local Safeguarding Children Board. Anyone who’s ever organised such a thing knows that one of the time consuming challenges is the administration involved in people registering for the event, especially dealing with reserve lists and cancellations. In April 2011 I attended an event called Shropcamp. To book a place on the course, there was a very simple online registration process, which showed you how many places were left and even the names and organisations of those who had already booked a place. The site was called Eventbrite.
What’s wonderful about Eventbrite is that it’s free to use if you’re not charging admission for your event. From an administrative time saving aspect, it’s massively helpful in the following ways:
- List all the info you want about the event in an easy to use editor.
- Include pictures/logos/flyers.
- Add location details and it presents a Google map for people to interact with, and send details to their phones etc.
- Define various ticket types, this can help if you want to ensure a good spread across stakeholders by allocating a certain amount to each group.
- Specify exactly how many places are available.
- System shows how many tickets are remaining.
- Facility to email all attendees
- Waiting list function, re-allocate cancellations painlessly!
- Ability to export excel lists of attendees.
- Detailed tracking of “sales” to help refine your promotion campaign
- Built in sharing to social networks, encouraging people to forward the event to their friends or colleagues
- Promotional web widgets to help advertise the event on your website
The great thing is that it all appears to work beautifully.
Within 3 days of launching our event, 75 of the 100 tickets had been booked, and some people had actually emailed me to say how much they liked the registration process.
The planning group had initially expressed concern that it would be too technical. I had hoped that this was just plain pessimism based perhaps on their own preference to remain digitally ambivalent.
For me, it’s a clear and refreshing sign that people have come a long way in the last few years and that mere acceptance of “digital” is giving way to an increasing expectation to do more online. When it all flows intuitively, it sometimes feels like we have actually arrived in the future we were promised years ago.
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