Welcome Refugio County Fair!

RefugioCountyFair

The Refugio County Fair of Texas has decided to join the Saffire movement this week and we could not be more thrilled to bring on such a friendly group! This southeastern Texas event is held every October and is complete with a livestock show and auction, food and drink stands, arts and crafts vendors, dance, carnival and pro rodeo. We are looking forward to helping this fair increase their sponsorship and revenue with a brand new online presence!

Welcome Rockdale Fair & Rodeo!

RockdaleFair

We also welcomed the Rockdale Fair & Rodeo this week! Just down the road from our Austin office this is one event we can’t wait to attend for ourselves. The Rockdale Fair Associaton is a 100% volunteer organization who’s mission is to support the youth and communities of Milam County as well as maintaining and enhancing Fair Park, the location of this annual event.

Welcome Kitsap Rodeo Cowpokes!

Kitsap Cowpokes

We are thrilled to announce another Washington organization that has joined the Saffire team, the Kitsap Rodeo Cowpokes of Bremerton, WA! The mission of this committee is to promote and raise funds for the Kitsap County Stampede. The Cowpokes will be using their new Saffire site as a means to generate enthusiasm, sell tickets, host VIP events, increase membership and ensure that this rodeo is one of the best around.

Saffire Updates: Version 2.3

We are thrilled to announce our latest update Saffire 2.3! We think the features we’ve added to the Saffire platform will make life that much easier for our clients as well as help their customers enjoy their experience on their website even more. Check out the new features we’ve added below!

  1. SaffireScan is now available, and we think it’s one of the most exciting pieces of Saffire to date! Our clients are now able to sell print-at-home tickets from their website. We’ve developed an easy-to-use app for Apple devices (which we can provide if you need) that allows you to scan the ticket your customer has purchased and printed from home anywhere on your grounds. This new way of selling and redeeming tickets will make it even easier for our clients to increase their advance online revenue. Here’s a video to find out more about SaffireScan!
  2. We have completely overhauled editing and creating events with the addition of “Quick Add”. We now have a way for our clients to put an event on their interactive event schedule without the need of creating items or building out their event page along with updating the entire process of editing events.
    1. Quick Add will allow you to post just the day and/or time and name of an event to your schedule.
    2. Easier to use drop downs for selecting days and times for creating and editing events.
    3. Simpler filters to quickly reach the events you’re ready to edit.
    4. Toggling between listed and unlisted events can be done with one click from the admin tool, as well as selecting an event to be an “our pick.”
  3. We are introducing new homepage features and interactive event schedule customization!
    1. Now our clients can link the image on their homepage to any page or event they choose. We think this will help to get your customers clicking as you can select any photography you like for an event.
    2. Thanks for Attending” message can be automated with the click of a button long before your event happens so that you don’t have to worry about updating your website immediately after your event.
    3. You can pick the default view of your interactive event schedule with the click of a button too. You decide if list or gallery view is the way you want your schedule to appear.
  4. We’ve added Instagram as a social media outlet for your customers to stay connected to your event.

 

As always, you can check out our YouTube Channel – SaffireStudio to keep up with this release. If you have questions on any of these new features or items we’d love to fill you in or catch you up on the quick-paced evolution of Saffire! Give us a call at 512-430-1123 or email us at info@saffire.com

5 Tips to Drive E-commerce Sales for Your Event

Whether you just wound down your event or only beginning the hard work preparing for this year’s, today is always the day to be thinking about e-commerce. If your event just ended, you might be able to capture extra merchandise sales that help capture the memories. If you’re just ramping up, start thinking strategically about the best time to start selling tickets and this year’s signature items. To jump-start your efforts, we’ve pulled together 5 tips to help you drive more revenue with e-commerce.

shopping cart button

1) Create a sense of urgency

Create special bundles of items or a limited-time discounts, so you can tap into your customers’ sense that they may be missing out on something if they don’t take action (e.g., for a limited time, offer free parking with event tickets). Use retail as your guide here. They often have repeated sales, sometimes with a little twist, to keep eyes on their offerings. These don’t just happen. Create an editorial calendar that includes promotions throughout the year.

2) Mobile – If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you are losing sales

Use your smartphone or tablet to purchase something from your website. How was the experience? Would you buy from your site? Make sure you have a touch-friendly user experience. Get rid of the Flash and minimize how much the customer has to type. Consumers must be able to easily interact with your site no matter where they are. If not, consumers will lose patience and you will lose a sale. Picture it this way – we use computers during the day, tablets on the sofa in the evening and we always have our smartphones on us.  Internet Retailer reports that M-Commerce sales were up 82% in 2012 and they will rise another 56.5% in 2013. Even though mobile doesn’t represent a huge percentage of sales now, it’s only going UP!

3) Email everyone that bought something last year

Thank them for being your customer in 2012, and highlight anything that is new this year, potentially including a promotion to reward their loyalty (e.g., special pre-sale privileges or discounts). Train your customers to know they will get the latest and best info by signing up for your email. Facebook and Twitter are also obviously important ways to get information out, but don’t spend all your time there at the expense of email, which will create your highest revenue days of the year.

 4) Make it social

The audiences you get in your online store are active on social networking sites. (Nearly everyone on the internet is on some social platform.) They use social media to share and recommend things they are currently excited about, including things they buy. And for most, if they are making a purchase, then they’ve gotten excited enough to open their wallets. Consider posting exclusive promotions just for your fans or followers. Encourage them to interact by posing questions to get the conversation started.

5) Give your customers the choice of how to get their tickets

You’ve optimized your website for the best experience, insured that your site works great on mobile, streamlined purchasing to make it as easy as possible, and added social links to encourage sharing.But how do you deliver tickets? Make it just as easy to get tickets as it is to buy from you by allowing your customers to print their tickets at home. Not only do you “Wow!” your customers and give them instant gratification on their purchase, you’ll save money. Fulfilling advanced ticket orders in-house, whether by mail or will call, can be expensive and time consuming. In addition to hardware and paper stock expenses, fulfillment requires your event to devote staff resources to print, sort, and mail tickets to each of your customers. Leary of fraud? With the right application and bar-code scanners (like SaffireScan just introduced from Saffire),  you can verify not only the validity of a ticket, but also eliminate counterfeit tickets by including a unique code on each ticket.

Each of these tips can make its own impact, but as you use them together, you’ll have the best chance of increasing online sales.

Happy Endings: After the Board Meeting

Most events have board of directors. And boards have meetings. Some of them are tough.

The tougher they are, the more important it becomes to end meetings well. So even though Saffire specializes in online marketing, today we’re stepping away from the computer and sharing 6 tips for what to do when the meeting’s over.

 

teamwork

 

It’s not so much about ending the meeting. It’s what to do when the meeting is over.

  1. This one is obvious. You shake hands. You smile. But here’s the key. Smile and shake hands in a way that suggests you are 30% happier with the outcome than you actually are.
  2. If it was tough, acknowledge it. Say this was hard, and I’m happy we dealt with it. This gives everybody an understanding that it was hard on everyone. Plus it gets the elephant out in the room. (I’m a big fan of that.)
  3. Establish common ground about anything, even if you couldn’t in the meeting. Talk about anything except what you just met about. Talk about something personal and above all, neutral. Before you physically move on, establish that you’ve moved on from the topic.
  4. Who do you talk to? Engage anyone who for whatever reason didn’t participate much. It’s a nice thing to do and fulfills the purpose of the meeting, to get everyone involved.
  5. The main message to communicate is gratitude. No matter what, find something to be grateful about the meeting.  Again, 30% more positive than you feel.
  6. This one is the toughest for me. Don’t take the last doughnut. Step away from the doughnut. OK come to think of it, go ahead and take it. We won’t judge!

(We were originally inspired to cover this topic by an article in Entrepreneur, but we had thoughts too, so we made it our own.)