Seven ways tech can influence event success

Integrating digital technology into your event strategy has never been more important. It has the potential to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and ultimately raise more fundraising dollars. That’s the key outtake from the 2018 Guide to Technology for Non Profit and Fundraising Events, produced by the world’s largest self-service ticketing platform Eventbrite. You can read the full report here (and we highly recommend it) but if you’re pushed for time, check out our abridged version below. The report identifies a number of areas where technology can really make a difference for non-profits. Here are seven recommended steps to harnessing technology.

Peer-to-peer fundraising.

We all understand the value of encouraging fundraisers to tap into their family and social networks, but technology makes this process significantly easier. Using a dedicated digital platform through which supporters can create their own fundraising page streamlines the process, reducing the need for old-fashioned cash collection and making it easy for supporters to share their journey with their networks and spread the word.

Leveraging competition and camaraderie.

Adding a team element or one which encourages friendly competition is a simple way to boost participant numbers and create an environment which encourages giving. With digital platforms, you can facilitate this with ease by asking supporters if they’d like to create a team page on registration. Offering prize incentives for top fundraising teams and displaying a leaderboard visible on every team’s page is another quick win.

Identifying supporters online.

Facebook’s targeting function is designed to help you put your messages in front of people who fit the right giving profile for your cause, however, the technology continues to evolve and many non-profits are yet to catch on.  Facebook Checkout, for example, is a new end-to-end checkout process which enables supporters who are interested in your event to then seamlessly buy tickets without having to leave the site, making conversion much more likely.  According to the report, events that sell tickets directly on Facebook drive 2X more sales and free registrations on average than events that redirect to a ticketing page – compelling statistics indeed.

Tracking pixels and links.

This is a way of tracking whether your digital ad campaign is driving event registrations and donations – in other words, it allows you to establish whether you’re really getting a return on your online marketing spend.  A tracking pixel is a small image that is placed on a webpage to send information back to your advertising platforms, letting them know that your website has been accessed by an ad. If placed on an order confirmation page, you’ll be able to see every time your ad converts to a completed order, making it possible for you to know which of your online ads is driving the most registrations for your event. Armed with that info, you can adjust and retarget your spend accordingly.

Strengthening donor relationships.

Technology makes it easier to manage your donor communications and to strengthen those relationships throughout and beyond your event. The report highlights three valuable tactics in this space:
  • Email campaigns enable you to easily send messages of support, encouragement and thanks at key moments in your supporters’ journeys, all of which helps to keep you front-of-mind and show donors how much they are appreciated. You can also use email to demonstrate the impact of your supporters’ fundraising dollars and reinforce the value of their efforts.
  • CRM software is equally important, ensuring you stay on top of your donor database and don’t miss out on any fundraising opportunities. You can even set up alerts that are triggered when important donors sign up to your event so that you can then follow up with personalised comms.
  • Retargeting ads can help you convert potential supporters by targeting previous visitors to your event page or website who failed to sign up. The ads serve as a reminder and offer a second chance to make that important registration or ticket sale.

Creating additional touchpoints for donations.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Adding an extra opportunity for donors to give when they are already making a commitment to your cause is another easy win that technology can facilitate. Adding a donation option on ticket sales pages also offers an alternative way for people to show their support, even if they can’t attend the event.

Using event data to attract sponsors.

Because technology is great for tracking data, events that are run via an online platform can help you to build a clear picture of who and where your supporters are, as well as which channels are driving conversions. This kind of valuable intel is critical for demonstrating your event’s value to potential and existing sponsors and partners.