Archive for the "AttendEasy (Fundraising Dinners)" Category:

Survey Your Guests: Make your Good Event a Great One!

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

team-fistbump

Your event is over. You can breathe now.

How was it? Did you even have a second to listen to the program you spent months planning? Did it feel like everything went wrong?

  • The tables weren’t where they were supposed to be.
  • People showed up at the last minute who you weren’t expecting.
  • The potatoes didn’t look as appetizing as they did at the taste testing.
  • The speaker went over by THREE MINUTES!!!

When you’re in the midst of all the details, it’s sometimes hard to see the big picture. Thankfully though, your guests do see the big picture. So what ultimately matters isn’t the tiny mishaps, but rather your guests’ lasting impressions.

The primary purpose of your event—beyond fundraising—should be to educate your guests on your mission and show them what you’re doing to achieve it. Are you communicating your ministry well? Are you being respectful of your guests’ time? How do you know?

Thankfully, AttendEasy gives you tools to communicate with your guests, and you have the opportunity to gauge their opinions. When using Live Attendance in conjunction with AttendEasy, you’ll have access to a breakdown of the following types of guests: regular attendees, no-shows, guests who canceled, as well as walk-ins.

We give you the ability to email these different segmented groups of guests. So I urge you—use these tools, and get a survey out to them!

Pro-Tip! Email your segmented groups directly from the Attendance section of your event.

I suggest creating two surveys, one for all guests and one for Table Hosts.

Survey your guests

Here is an Event Survey that you can copy and use for your center. (Note: You must have a Google account to copy the survey for your use.)

button-guest-survey

Survey your Table Hosts Questions from above, plus:

button-th-survey

The above survey templates are comprehensive and designed to help you have a full understanding of your guests’ experience. (Click for a preview.)

These are important things to gauge each year, and often these are the things that separate a good event from a great one.

Within your thank you email to all guests and Table Hosts (preferably sent the next day), include a link to your survey with your genuine thank you and the estimated amount raised (if possible). Doing so will help you identify what your guests liked and disliked allowing you to make your event even better next year!

Make it a great one!

 

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

Planning Today for Tomorrow’s Event

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

The key word in the job Event Planning is PLANNING.

The more “planning” you do, the less work you have. Putting this into practice year after year will get you into a groove and allow your events to practically plan themselves! (OK – so that may be an exaggeration, but I promise they will be much less stressful.)

Though your events may be several months away, there are important things you should do today to prepare for them. And remember, for best results, start planning as early as possible.

 

For Spring Fundraising Dinner Events:

1. Create a budget

  • In my opinion, this is the most important task for any and all events.
  • If you are at a loss for how to start for creating a budget, click here → Budget Planning Templates
  • Determine if your event will have underwriters. This may greatly impact your event budget.

2. Identify the venue and negotiate details and date

  • The earlier you can do this, the better.
  • Event Tip! Opt for a weekday evening for good pricing and turn out.

3. Set up online registration

4. Compare cost estimates and make selections on everything

  • Get estimates for all fixed and variable items (e.g., food & beverages, A/V equipment, speaker fees, etc.)
  • Event Tip! Remember to include taxes and service charges within your budget to save you from a big surprise cost later.

5. Identify and contact potential Table Hosts

  • Table Hosts are great assets for your event. Prepare them well and they can take much of the burden off your plate. (Sample Table Host Packet)

6. Get the word out!

 

For Fall Fundraising Dinner Events:

Do all of the above, but get started NOW! Trust me, planning now will save you a lot of stress later.

Happy planning!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

P.S. Do you know anyone who might, perhaps be procrastinating a tad? Share this article with them and encourage them to start today!

Maximizing the Donation

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

SM-64percent-2We’ve been keeping track and you all have some amazing supporters!!!

Organizations that manage fundraising events using AttendEasy and FundEasy now have the ability to allow supporters to cover their own transaction fees since we’ve switched payment processors. The response has been phenomenal!

On average, an astounding 64% of supporters opt to cover their own transaction fees. When they make the choice to cover their own fees, the organization receives 100% of the revenue. This means more money goes directly to the organization.

That $50 donation is now actually $50, not $47.50 ($50 minus $2.50 for transaction fees).

This option allows your supporters to give the maximum amount for a cause they believe in—your mission! This is their way of being a part of your organization and sharing their heart for your ministry.

Be certain to thank your supporters for taking that extra step to maximize their donation. I know your organization appreciates it, be certain they know too!

Have a great day!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

P.S. Did you know that you can track exactly how many supporters are opting to cover the transaction costs in the Ministry Sync Beta site? In the Event Dashboard, simply mouse over the question mark next to the “Covered Fees” and see for yourself! (Don’t forget to thank your supporters for taking that extra step!)

82-percent-fee-covered

Are Name Tags Necessary?

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

hello
It is the week of the event. You have your tables set. You have confirmed with your caterer. You just put the finishing touches on your power point. You just have one task left. Printing name tags.

But, is this really necessary?!?

In a word, yes! In another word, ABSOLUTELY!

Name tags allow for social interaction among strangers and the avoidance of embarrassment from staff to donors. Have you ever forgotten the name of a large donor’s spouse?

Name tags are a simple security to professionalize your event. When you know WHO people are, you can interact much more easily. Plus, think about your guests!

Inevitably, there will be tables with unknown groups. An easy ice-breaker is a name tag. “I see your name is Kim. That’s my mother’s name! Nice to meet you. How are you connected with the ministry?”

Name tags allow for a more personable approach when engaging your guests. It is unrealistic to expect that every person will know everyone at your event, including Table Hosts. Printing name tags and handing them out upon registration helps everyone have a sense of belonging. Each person is there because they believe in your cause or want to learn more about it.

MS-name-tag-sampleWhen you call a person by name, it helps them feel significant and therefore more attached to your organization.

Through AttendEasy, name tags are easily created for your guests. Simply click the name tag tool within your event and find the appropriate name tag style.

I know we are in a high-tech world and name tags may not give that feeling. But trust me, when you are learning about an organization for the very first time and are seated at a table of strangers, that name tag is a life-saver.

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

When are email invites ok?

Monday, September 25th, 2017

When are email invites OK?

Times they are a changing. Phonebooks used to be thick enough to use as a booster seat. Now, with access to contact info online, they’re small enough to be stuffed into a mailbox (if printed at all). Encyclopedia door-to-door sales used to be a popular profession, yielding big sales. These days, encyclopedias themselves are nearly obsolete.

In today’s digital world, it is so common to replace printed items with digital versions; which leads me to today’s topic—when are email invites ok?

Considering that email is regarded as a casual form of conversation, it’s safe to say that email invites are ok for a casual type of event. A dinner party, corn maze adventure, child’s birthday party, bachelorette party, and community concerts are all appropriate uses for email invites.

Printed invitations, on the other hand, indicate a sense of importance and set a more formal tone for an event. Time, effort and resources are put into the development of printed invitations, and the courtesy of an RSVP, attendance, and generosity are expected.

Sample formal invitation courtesy of Keener Marketing.

Most events managed within AttendEasy would fall more into the “formal” category. They are fundraising dinners with programs, plated meals and financial giving intentions.

The invitation to these events should set these expectations. Therefore, an informal email invite is simply not the way to go for a first impression. A printed invitation will set the tone for your event and be a tangible reminder of your guests’ requested presence.

Of course, not everyone will respond right away, so following up with an email invite a week or two after the formal invitation is sent is a good idea. When using our “Send Invite” tool, you can write a personal note—mentioning the previously sent formal invitation—and request their RSVP.

Email invites alone may not only communicate the wrong expectations for your event, but they also run the risk of never being seen by recipients. Spam filters, smart folders, and growing inboxes all too often keep recipients from seeing emails.

In event planning, emailing Save the Date reminders and follow-up invites are OK, but eliminating the traditional printed invitation could be a costly mistake for your organization.

I’ve sadly heard too many stories of regret from customers who have made the mistake of replacing printed invitations with email invites. In each conversation, both attendance and giving were significantly reduced—in a couple of instances by 50 percent! 😱

In conclusion, we at Ministry Sync strongly encourage utilizing our email invitation tool to communicate with your invited guests as a follow-up to your printed invitations for your formal events.

It’s like I remind my nephews—just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. 🙂

 

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

 

Announcing: New Partnership with WePay Payment Processor

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

wepay-color-sm-landscape

Ministry Sync now partners with WePay to provide improved online payment processing and automatic bank deposits for your events.

Here are a few reasons why you’re going to love using WePay:

Keep up to 100% of your donations and registration fees!
Donors have the option to cover their own transaction fees.

Faster and better reporting!
Your transaction report just got a big upgrade.

Better chargeback protection!
Reduced risk of chargebacks, and better support with lower fees if they do occur.

Processing available in Canada for CAD currency!
Canadian customers can now process funds in their local currency without the need for PayPal.

WePay will be the standard payment processor for all new events going forward. Any events or campaigns that have already been created will be automatically upgraded to use WePay if they are eligible.

Ministry Sync will prompt you to set up your WePay account the next time you add or edit an eligible event.

 

Sign In to Ministry Sync

Visit Our Knowledge Base for More Info

 

WePay is the world’s leading processor engine for apps like ours and will enable Ministry Sync to build a faster, more reliable, more secure platform in regard to how we process funds.

Some of the benefits right out of the box, you will see immediately:

checkbox

Soft-descriptors (payment titles) can be changed to whatever you want!

checkbox

Multiple WePay accounts can be created for your organization! This allows you to have a different soft-descriptor per event or have funds go to different bank accounts. 

Example: You could create one WePay account called “PRC Banquet” and another one called “PRC Walk for Life.” This helps people remember what that charge is on their credit card statement, reducing the number of chargebacks to you!

checkbox

Payment via checks! Don’t have a bank account or want funds direct deposited? WePay can cut you a check once a week or once a month.

checkbox

Real-time on-boarding — no more faxing drivers licenses and 501(c)3 documents.

 
 If you have any questions at all, please contact us. We are happy to help!

 

Jason Galicinski
Jason Galicinski

 
 

Sign In to Ministry Sync

Visit Our Knowledge Base for More Info

 

Tools of the Trade: Table Host Packet

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

skydiving2Most often, first-time skydivers have an experienced jumper on their back. Yes, this jumping buddy will make sure the shoot deploys at the right time and that the rookie sticks their landing, but many times they also help the jumper to… well… jump.

You’re utilizing a powerful tool for your event this year—one that has great potential to shave hours of time off your event planning, and give you accurate stats to refer to for future events. What is this powerful tool you may ask? Table Hosts.

You have a great opportunity in front of you, so make the most of it!

Like a skydiving buddy, you’re the coach for your table hosts, so let’s help them jump.You have the capacity to unlock the power of those table hosts by teaching them how to use the tools placed before them. The more you encourage table hosts to utilize the tools at hand, the less time you’ll spend updating your RSVPs. 

A helpful tool for your table hosts is a Table Host Packet. You might distribute this at a meeting with your hosts, or simply give it to a host when they agree to invite potential partners to sit at their table.

What should a Table Host Packet contain? I’m so glad you asked!

Table Host Packet components:

For more detailed instructions on using the Guest List Manager, click here.

If I can encourage you in one thing, it’s to resist the urge to enable your hosts. The easy thing to do when the phone rings is to take the names of your host’s guests, but if you do this you’re missing an opportunity for a teachable moment. One that will save you hours of time down the road.

Instead of taking the name of the guests, encourage your host to use the Guest List Manager Page, and maybe even take a minute to walk them through it. The “you” the week before the event will thank the “you” who took the initial guest list because let’s be honest—those names will probably change. And if your host knows how to change them, you can spend your time negotiating your event expenses instead of taking RSVPs.

Don’t get in your own way. Teach those hosts to fish—and have a great event!

God speed!

 

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

 

Pro Tip! Take screen shots of your Table Host Email and Manager Page to include in your Table Host packet using the snipping tool on a PC, or this simple key command on a Mac as seen in the“Online Registration Manager” Instructions above.

TOTT-Table-Host

9 Qs to Ask Before Setting Up Your Event in AttendEasy

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

 

Businessman in his office pointing to the front

 

As part of our “Running a Great Event” series, our sales and support staff has worked together to bring you key questions you should ask yourself before setting up your event in order to make the planning process as simple as possible.

Online registration is a great tool that has been proven to increase attendance—are you using it to its full potential?

Each AttendEasy event comes with a default registration form. Your event may require more information than is collected on this default form, so we have specifically designed the form to be customizable to meet your needs.

Before “going live” with public registration, be certain to think through your entire event to make sure you are asking the right questions of your guests and collecting all the information that you will need not only for your event, but also for follow-up after the event.

Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself to make sure AttendEasy is working for you!

Note: If you liked the registration form used in a past event we can copy it into your new event so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

What are the registration types for our event?

Our default registration form allows guests to register as either a table host or a guest.

Do you also have table sponsors? Is there an option for someone to sponsor a table, but not host it? We can help build these exceptions into your form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.19.18

back to top

What are the different registration fees?

AttendEasy’s Pay to Attend version can collect registration fees for sponsors, hosts, and guests. Think through all pricing options and contact our Support Team to discuss how to best set up your registration form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.19.10

back to top

Are there exceptions or discounts?

Sometimes offering an Early Bird Discount is what it takes to get guests to RSVP before the final countdown. If your pricing changes on a certain date, your registration form can be set up to automatically change pricing or remove options when the early bird deadline is reached.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.19.01

Call it a Promo Code, a Registration Code, a Discount Code, etc. These short codes can be used to give special pricing or discounts to your registrants. This is a simple way to help your guests feel even more special while entering the code.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.18.50

back to top

What contact information must we have?

Would you like guests to be required to enter more than just their name? No problem. Any fields on your registration form can be required. Requiring email addresses is one way to boost the number of emails in your mailing list.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.18.44

back to top

What do we need to know to prepare for meals?

Will you need to know if your guests have special dietary restrictions? Food allergies are pretty common. Be prepared to serve your guests food that they can eat by adding this field to your registration form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.18.31

Meal requests: Are you offering a choice of chicken or beef? Enable Meal Choices in your event details for easy reporting.

Screenshot-2017-07-25-10.18.19-3

back to top

Will people be registering individually or in groups?

Occasionally three, four, or five people want to register at a time. Adding the “Register additional people with me” field to your form will allow your guests to quickly register everyone at once. If your event has a registration fee, this field eliminates the need to enter payment information multiple times. Our Support Team is happy to help you add this to your form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.17.01

back to top

Is childcare available?

If you’re offering childcare, you can ask about your guests’ childcare needs so you will be prepared to serve their family.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.16.54

back to top

Do we need to prepare for special options?

Doing a conference with workshops? Need to know if guests are from a certain school district? Want to ask what church they attend? How they heard about your organization? Whether they’re a cat or dog person?

Additional information about your attendees helps have a better understanding as to how the people connected with you. This information is useful for relationship growing. Radio buttons, check boxes, text fields and drop down selections can be used to capture any information you’d like.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.16.33

back to top

Are there limits for any options?

Do you have a certain number of seats, sponsorships or workshop spots available? We can add a limit to your registration options so you don’t exceed your availability.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.16.19

back to top

As always, our Support Team is available to help you get set up for your event. Simply chat, call or email us!

Screenshot-2017-07-24-10.45.42

back to top

Let me know if you have any questions! I’m here to help :)

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

 

Designed by Freepik

Is Event Branding Really Important?

Monday, July 10th, 2017

In a word, yes.

Consistent marketing increases the professionalism of your eventfrom the invitation to your online registration, a sharp look can encourage high-end partners to attend your event.

When you repeatedly use the same event graphic, people recognize it and understand what they are seeing immediately without the need to seek out further information.

Let me be blunt: People don’t read as much as we’d like them to.

That’s why it is so important to create an event graphic that provides all the key details with a quick glance.

Just look at these two sample designs from Keener Marketing for a Walk-4-Life and a Banquet:

keener-walk

Notice the same branding across all the designs. When is this event? Who’s hosting? All the key details are incorporated into all the appropriate pieces.

keener-banquet

 

Both our products, AttendEasy and FundEasy, encourage the use of event branding. As part of our “Events Made Easy” promise to you, our event templates are customizable to complement your event branding. We provide a place for you to upload your event graphics for a seamless transition from your organization’s website to the online registration site. All emails and follow-ups will also include your custom colors and graphics for easy recognition.

Now, when someone goes to register for your event, they are confident that they are registering for YOUR event because the graphics match the invitation they received in the mail, which matches your event page online, which matches your follow-up email confirmation.

We even go a step further.

Our software allows the event graphics you upload to be used in your Facebook posts with a click of the mouse in order to help promote your event even more without the need to upload to a separate site.

So, what should your banner graphic include?

  • Name of your event
  • Date of your event
  • Your name or logo
  • An eye-catching graphic matching your theme/purpose
  • [online] Link to your website for more information

And don’t worry, if you don’t have a graphic designer on hand, we have a great partnership with Keener Marketing and they can create a custom banner for your event for just $40.

Delving into the world of event marketing may seem like a lot, but honestly, once you have your theme, most other pieces simply fall into place. You just need to know the sizes!

Here are the dimensions needed by us for your upcoming fundraising event. 

Happy planning!

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

A Trick to Find Anyone in your Event

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Do you know the trick to finding virtually any word on a page? Like a walker name in your column browser, or a particular guest’s name in your all members list?

There is a very simple shortcut to help you find any name in AttendEasy, FundEasy, and heck, pretty much any page on your computer!

So what is this magical trick?

Ctrl+F. Yes, that’s it: Ctrl+F. Simple, right?

ctrl-f

Control-F (or Command-F) gives you the ability to look for–or find–a word somewhere on a page, any page!

When you click Ctrl+F, a small “find” box will pop up somewhere in your browser where you can type in the exact word or phrase you are looking for. Click “enter” and your word or phrase will be highlighted on the page andif it’s outside the current screenthe page will jump to where the word is located.

 

ctrl-f-ssV2

If the name or phrase exists more than once on the page as in the above sample, you can then either click the down arrow in the find box, click “enter” or click Ctrl+G to move on to the “next” match.

This keyboard shortcut works in all web browsers and for other documents too! (Think PDF, Excel or Word for example.)

So, next time you’re searching for a specific name within your event, remember Ctrl+F and save yourself a lot of time.

And for us Mac users, Cmd+F works exactly the same way 😉

Enjoy!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

P.S. Keyboard shortcuts save a TON of time as it eliminates the use of a mouse. From copying & pasting, to finding items on a page, to quitting programs, you’ll be amazed as to how much faster you can work. For a list of Windows Shortcuts, click here. Mac users, here’s your list.