Saffire 101: Ecommerce

It is so important to have a solid online ticket sales strategy. Why? In 2011, we had major weather events that affected so many fairs, including storms and extreme heat.  Advanced ticket sales are like money in the bank before your event even starts, so we have incorporated several ecommerce features into Saffire to make your life easier.

In our tutorial today, Rebekah will teach you how to sell, tax and ship items on your website.


Welcome American Royal!

Can you handle some more good news?  Because we just can’t wait to share that we are officially partnering with American Royal to enhance their online presence!

We have been talking with Jody and his staff since we first met at the NALS&RMA Conference last summer, and we couldn’t be more excited to be associated with an organization that gives over $1 million annually to support youth and education.

From the Horse Show and Rodeo to the World Series of BBQ, this organization does it’s part to keep the fun alive in Kansas City.

During September, October and November, more than 250,000 people will attend the American Royal events, so we better get started!  We had our first design brainstorm meeting yesterday, and let me tell you: this is going to be one knock-out website!

Welcome Texas State Forest Festival!

Join us in welcoming the Texas State Forest Festival to the Saffire community!  We first met the nice people from Lufkin at the TAF&E Convention here in Austin.

After a few phone calls and emails, Cassie took a little trip to East Texas to show them all that our software had to offer a festival like theirs.  Turns out, they liked what they saw and signed up right on the spot!

We look forward to working with the team at the Texas State Forest Festival to enhance their online presence as they prepare for their event September 21-25!

Welcome Coors Ranch Rodeo!

It’s hard to believe it, but today we are happy to announce our second partnership with an event in the great city of Amarillo, TX!

Our dear friends at the Amarillo Tri-State Fair & Rodeo recommended us to the Coors Cowboy Club, and now we are working on a new website for the Coors Ranch Rodeo! 

We are excited to welcome another rodeo to the Saffire community, and we can’t wait to show you our new ideas for the look and feel of their website.

Now that we have so many friends in Amarillo, I think I see a road trip to West Texas in our future!

Social Media & Your Event

In our webinar this afternoon, we will be discussing how-to market on a budget and one of the best ways to save money is to take advantage of social media.  If you let your customers market for you, its a win-win situation!  You don’t have to pay for marketing, and they feel involved.

And the truth is, having your customers share information about your event won’t be a stretch.  Take a look at how much time the average user spent on social media in January 2012.

A great example of an event that has taken advantage of Social Media is the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, TX.  At the beginning of their 2011 event, they didn’t even have a Facebook page.  And today, they have 1,139 fans!

Part of what has helped increase their fan base is that each post encourages interaction.  Whether they are asking for feedback, suggestions or a simple “like,” their fans feel that they are doing their part to help and promote the event.

They also cover a wide variety of topics.  Make sure you aren’t just talking about the same event all the time, but also discuss new fair foods or events that are taking place each day.

Have fun with social media and feel free to offer incentives!  If you want to increase your fan base, say you’ll randomly choose 2 fans to win a prize once you reach your goal number.  This will get your fans to tell their friends about your page, and your numbers will skyrocket.  Trust us!  We’ve seen this happen more than once.

Don’t be afraid to try new things with social media and make a commitment to finding the right formula.  And if something doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Rodeo Austin: Where Weird Meets Western

It is always a highlight for our team when we get to go see one of our events in action, and this Wednesday we drove across town to visit our very first Saffire client, Rodeo Austin!

First, we got to go on a tour of their newly remodeled office and the fairgrounds.  Our tour guides were wonderful and we enjoyed learning even more about their event.

Next, we enjoyed a yummy dinner in the Founders Club.  If you ever have the chance to enjoy dinner there, we highly recommend the friend pickles and homemade peach cobbler.

We headed down to our seats and watched an exciting rodeo.  As a former intern at Rodeo Austin, Cassie got to see a lot of her old friends, including the one and only Rusty Rodeo!

But we would lying if we said that most of our excitement came from getting to see Josh Turner in concert!  He is definitely a favorite around the Austin office, so we sang along to every song he played.

After the rodeo and concert, we headed over to spend some time at the 100X club for drinks and dancing.  We enjoyed some live music from Clayton Gardner before we left the grounds.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and we can’t thank the staff at Rodeo Austin enough for their hospitality.  We are proud to be your partner!

Saffire 101: ShoWorks Integration

As we began talking with our clients about what our software could do to make their lives easier we heard over and over again that they would like to enter their results only once.  They were already doing this with ShoWorks, and we agreed that there was no need to double the effort to get results to customers by entering the information again for their website.

We approached our friend Mike Hnatt, and now we couldn’t be more excited to announce our partnership with ShoWorks!  It means so much that a company with an incredible reputation in the event industry believed in our vision for the improving the industry’s online presence enough to partner with us.   

In today’s episode of Saffire 101, Kirk will show you how easy it is to integrate your ShoWorks results with the Saffire software.


Welcome Lea County, New Mexico!

The original vision for Saffire was to help fairs, festivals and rodeos improve their online presence, but the folks of Lea County, New Mexico saw more to what we had to offer!

As our newest clients, this county website will be our first site that isn’t based around a specific event like a fair, but the Saffire software still works for them!  They have the ability to create all the pages of basic information they want, but their main goal is to make it easier for their community to find out what events are taking place.  What better way to share event information than with the Saffire software?

Please join us in welcoming Lea County, New Mexico to the Saffire community!

SXSW Recap: Social Storytelling & Building a Narrative for Your Brand

I attended a session on Monday presented by Helen Klein Ross, the creative mind behind @bettydraper, a twitter account that maintains the voice of AMC’s mega-popular character Betty Draper, played by January Jones, in the hit show Mad Men. Everything about this twitter account is spoken in the voice of the character from the show.  Not the actress, not the writer, but the character is perpetuated in this easily accessible and massive platform.

She provides a connection for several thousand fans of the Mad Men brand, and gives them an opportunity to interact with her in a way that helps them feel personally connected to the show. 

Social media allows you to stay connected to your consumers, but it’s not just about having a twitter account or Facebook page.  Those are simply the platforms for building a connection with your brand.  You have to give consumers a REASON to connect, because just being present in these spaces is typically not enough.

Whether it’s maintaining your brand recognition and story throughout the off-season when consumers may “forget about you,” or just perpetuating your brand in new arenas, it’s a way to broaden your market and at the same time strengthen your connection with your existing fan base. Creating content that engages your consumers creates an emotional connection and gives them a reason to want to share that experience.

As you begin to craft your story, consider your audience.  Think about who you are trying to reach, and instead of considering how many people you are trying to connect with, think about WHICH people you are trying to connect with.  Think about the stories you can tell that will resonate with your customers, and if you’re ever in doubt, use Betty Draper’s recipe for successful storytelling.

Create the content (the more the better), keep a consistent and continuous voice for your brand, keep it simple and always make it easy for others to share it with their friends.