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Online resources are 20% more useful than direct mail when it comes to influencing donors. That means if you’re hosting a fundraising event for your non-profit, using online event registration software is going to be 20% more effective than simply letting people know about your event via postcard.
Event registration software makes it much easier to manage your event—from pre-planning, to payment, to post-event thank-yous. Marketing an event? Issuing event tickets? Need to collect payments? It’s all made simple with event registration platforms. But when there are dozens of software options on the market, how do you choose the one that is best for your organization? It depends on a number of factors.
Your answers to the above questions will help you navigate the crowded events platform space, but here’s a rundown of some of the best options on the market.
Eventbrite became popular by offering free registration pages for free events. If you hold a lot of events that are free to attend, Eventbrite could be the way to go. With Eventbrite you can issue tickets, let people sign up on mobile-optimized event pages, and promote your event with built-in social sharing tools.
Eventbrite does charge for paid events, though, at 1% of the ticketed value plus a flat fee of 99 cents per ticket and 3% payment processing for their basic package. However its benefit is that is one of the largest and most trusted event registration platforms available today.
“It’s one of the fastest growing event management tech companies!”
“Better than Facebook!”
These are just a few of the points stock-watchers and tech gurus obsessively argued when Cvent first went public. But those who are actually familiar with Cvent are few and far between, and this particular event registration company is not terribly well-known to the general public for a reason. The actual software is a little rigid even for savviest of users, while reporting is oversimplified and unstructured.
Within Cvent, you can manage rooms and source hotels, so it’s great for massive events like conferences and conventions. But for the average non-profit it is likely too robust (and expensive). It can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, and if you’d like to integrate with other systems (like your marketing platform, for example) it’s an additional cost. Plus, the average price of each registration is $1.50 plus 2.5% per attendee and 3% in payment processing.
Eventzilla is similar to Eventbrite in both features and cost. In the basic package, you pay $1.25 per registration, and 2.9% plus $0.99 per transaction.
Also like Eventbrite, Eventzilla has its drawbacks. For instance, if your event starts at 11:15, you may be out of luck with Eventzilla, as the event software only allows you to schedule events at hour or half-hour intervals. While you’re changing the time of your event to correspond with the time that Eventzilla allows, you might as well also make sure that each of your attendees buys the right number of tickets from the start—there’s no canceling one or two tickets out of a total of seven—the entire order must be canceled then re-ordered from the very beginning.
The Munich-headquartered online event registration company Xing events really shines in the marketing department. Xing Events was one of the first online registration software companies to be equipped with built-in marketing tools for your events, which works like the AdSense platform (a.k.a. the Display Network) by Google, and which they inventively trademarked ‘Eventsense’.
Xing Events also is great for entry management because they can set your organization up with turnstiles, screen gates or RFID gates and corresponding terminals with the necessary software. Like Cvent however, Xing Events is better suited for large (5000+ people) events. Cost is on par with other platforms, as you pay $0.99 per attendee + 2.95% of the attendance fee and 2.95% for payment processing.
At Paperless Transactions we focus on a holistic approach to event management. We have a suite of solutions that allow you to build your event page, promote your event to your audience, view in-depth reports and drive giving to your organization. Our processing fee is only 1.75%, and you get access to every one of our solutions no matter which plan you choose.
With our page builder you can integrate your own web theme or custom CSS design, meaning your branding remains consistent while you get the opportunity to communicate to the most targeted and segmented groups of attendees possible. You can also send custom email receipts, provide the option for recurring giving, send integrated email giving campaigns and more. Plus, we offer event ticketing with on-site check in, here’s a helpful Event Ticketing guide to get you started on creating your first Event!
As far as payment goes, we are a leading credit card processing company for non-profits and also offer Automated Clearing House (ACH) processing. Registration pages serve as an avenue to numerous ticket payment options, including partial payments, installments, check or credit/debit card. This is where our secure Back Office Virtual Terminal software comes in, working behind the scenes to make sure all transactions are recorded and easily accessed via the cloud-based platform. Learn how Paperless helps you run an event from start to finish.
If you’re still undecided on which event registration platform is right for your organization, download our guide to selecting a comprehensive events platform. It highlights key event software features you need to look for that will help your events be successful.
Ready to take the next step and get started with Paperless as your comprehensive event management platform? Sign up for a demo and see how Paperless can help your organization increase funds. We offer innovative solutions such as the Paperless Page Builder, mobile giving and donor management tools combined with cost-effective, secure payment processing that is easy to integrate with your current database and website.
Read on to learn the formula for raising more money at your events.
Updated 11/13/2017 for clarity, breadth and accuracy.