Managing an online event for your organization can feel daunting, especially if it’s your first time! Events of any size or scope require careful planning, budgeting and promotion to succeed. You’ll need a smart system for spreading the word about your event, collecting donations and coordinating with participants and sponsors.
Use these simple lessons to plan out your organization’s upcoming event, raise the most funds possible and create one-of-a-kind experiences for participants.
Step 1: Define Goals for Your Online Event
Every event your organization plans should have a specific, measurable and attainable goal. For example, how much funding are you planning to raise with your online or in-person event? How much will you need to fund that next project or community initiative? Honing in on that important number will help you define what success looks like for your organization—and design your event accordingly.
Your funding goals will directly influence every aspect of your event, from the price of admission to the scale of your promotions. A large-scale event for funding may require a higher ticket price, bigger sponsors and more community engagement to succeed. SMART funding goals will set you on the best course for event planning and budgeting.
Here are some basic tips to help you correctly budget for your organization's online or in-person event:
- Use online spreadsheets (like Google Sheets) to build, update and share your budget
- Include the cost of every asset you’ll need - including promotions and marketing materials
- Keep note of expected costs vs. returns to make sure you aren’t over budget
- Take advantage of event management software to make budgeting faster and easier
Step 2: Define the Logistics for Your Event
Online, and even in-person, events bring unique challenges, like registering and collecting information from participants virtually. You need to create an efficient, safe and convenient system for registering event attendees—as well as capturing their contact information so you can stay in touch and reach out for support in the future.
Above all else, make sure that registering for your event is simple and easy. You don’t want to create any barriers to entry for potential participants, which is why online registration is the way to go. With the right online registration and event management software, you can make signing up for your event flexible and effortless for attendees. These solutions even allow you to offer discount codes, group rates and custom payment options to attract more engagement and accommodate the unique needs of your audience.
Collecting contact information is another crucial step for your event’s logistics. Your cloud event management software should allow you to contact anyone who has signed up for one of your current (or past) events through an online message or email. Either way, make sure you gather the contact information of every participant when they sign up—and securely store that information to support future funding efforts.
Step 3: Promote Your Online or In-Person Event
Event marketing can be complex and expensive, but it’s much more manageable if you know which tactics work best. For events of any kind, you’ll want to rely mostly on digital efforts, like email, social media and website marketing. Your goal is to build a simple website for your event, then push potential attendees to that site through your email and social channels—where they can learn more about what your organization does and sign up to participate!
To help get you started, here’s a list of digital marketing tips for your organization:
- Leverage email marketing; it’s effective and very affordable
- Take advantage of social media to promote your event, particularly Facebook events
- Use video marketing to spread the word about your event (social video generates 12x more shares than text and images combined)
- Use event management software to simplify and track your digital marketing
Elevate Your Events with ACTIVE Network
At ACTIVE Network, our mission is to help your organization engage with your community and increase event participation. That’s why we provide dedicated experts and technologies to help manage and enhance your events, including powerful software tools to streamline internal processes.
ACTIVE’s event management software makes it simple for your team to collect online registrations using customized forms—and build engaging event websites quickly and easily. This powerful cloud event management software allows you to segment participants based on location, demographic data and even event history, then create personalized messages to maximize engagement.
Looking for a way to elevate the experience your events provide? Our nonprofit event management software unlocks new opportunities to help engage and excite your audience. For example, you can use this tool to create and distribute virtual event bags, packed with offers created by event sponsors. You can even use your event software to track and monitor the engagement of these bags, giving sponsors real-time insight into their performance and ROI (return on investment).
Align Your Organization for Success Today
ACTIVE Network has helped many organizations streamline operations, improve fundraising efforts and manage successful events. Our single, easy-to-use system centralizes and simplifies many aspects of your organization, including:
- Event Management
- Event Registration
- Point of Sale
- And More!
Connect with us today to learn more about ACTIVEWorks Endurance—and how we can help take your organization’s operations to the next level. We’re excited to become your community partner and help advocate your mission.