To reach people, you have to get them involved. But the more events you have, the more potential there is for confusion and frustration – for your staff, your members and visitors. The right system and processes will significantly reduce the time it takes your staff to manage events, registrations, donations, etc. The result is more time spent in service instead of administration.
Here are seven ways for you to use technology to get people involved:
1. Make your event calendar open to the community. One survey found that 70 percent of Web site visitors were seeking event information. Show the latest event information on your site, instantly and automatically updated to reflect any changes. Each department or ministry should have its own calendar, making it easy for people to find information that matches their interests.
2. Use event tickets online and on-site. People expect convenience everywhere they go. Offer the convenience of ordering tickets for events on your Web site. Give your staff the ability to use the same system to take orders in your lobby. Allow online purchasers to print e-tickets or request them by mail or will-call.
3. Reach people with e-mail. Why make people come to your Web site to get information? Send them an e-mail each week with the exact event information they are interested in. Give each subscriber a list of upcoming events that match personal interests (youth, sports, music, etc.).
4. Register for your events anytime, anywhere. People hate standing in line. Give them the convenience of 24/7 registration through your Web site. People can visit your Web site anytime day or night and let you know what events they’ll be attending. Make it possible to get more accurate numbers for head counts and future planning.
5. Customize your communications. Let visitors to your site subscribe to your newsletter and pick the ministries that interest them. Automatically send a personalized newsletter to each subscriber every week that includes news from each selected department, plus the personalized event listing. View reports showing which recipients opened their message and which links they clicked.
6. Use reserved seat tickets as an outreach tool. People appreciate having a reserved seat for an event. It eliminates the hassles of finding a seat or meeting a friend. If you give someone a ticket, they are more likely to attend.
7. Make giving convenient. Some people have jobs or other commitments that keep them from attending regularly. Let contributors set up and manage their giving through your Web site. Enable each person to have total control of his or her own giving. Automatically send an e-mail reminder before each contribution is made.
Tim Whitehorn is the founder and CEO of ServiceU Corporation. Serving churches since 1999, ServiceU (www.serviceu.com) is the leader in online event management software used by churches, schools, ministries and all types of nonprofit organizations. ServiceU’s product line includes three core products: EventU provides a way to easily manage event scheduling and registration; TransactU allows organizations to accept online payments and donations. For more information, e-mail [email protected], or call 888.638.7439.