Saffire Update: Version 2.5 Release

We’ve been working hard this fall at Saffire and one of our greatest accomplishments is the update to our software: Version 2.5. Providing our clients with the latest technology and features that they’ve requested is one of our greatest pleasures so here’s a brief list of what has been added to Saffire!

  1. Customized landing pages for our interactive event schedule and event categories.
  2. A third view is now an option for the interactive event schedule; Expanded View offers a hybrid display of an event with photo and description.
  3. Dynamic (custom) pages can now be copied to an email campaign or to a new page.
  4. Items for sale have the capability for advance day and time “Buy Now” buttons, with the option for a countdown.
  5. Event countdown and dates are dynamic so that multiple events can be advertised in the header.

There are many more features and tweaks made to our platform so that our clients’ website management experience is even better. If you’re interested in finding out more about our latest release or want to understand all that Saffire has to offer send us an email at info@saffire.com.

 

Welcome Expo Center of Taylor County

TaylorCounty

Home of the West Texas Fair & Rodeo and the Western Heritage Classic, the Expo Center of Taylor County is the newest Saffire client! We’ve been building our relationship with the folks in Abilene, Texas to encourage them to promote their venue and expand their reach. We are honored that they have entrusted us with their future online marketing and can’t wait to help them increase revenue with a more interactive website for their customer. We also look forward to attending some of their fun events!

Welcome Harborside Event Center & MyRiverDistrict.com

harborside MyRiverDistrict

 

 

 

 

We are so proud to announce that we have two new websites to launch with the city of Ft. Myers, Florida. We met team members of Artfest Ft. Myers at the Florida Festivals and Events Association convention this summer and they introduced us to Harborside Event Center and MyRiverDistrict.com partners. It’s going to be two large projects for Saffire as we overhaul MyRiverDistrict.com to help promote events and restaurants of the downtown community of Ft. Myers. Harborside Event Center will be re-branding their online marketing to provide their clients with an even better website experience including online payment and ticket sales. Expanding into city websites has been a goal of Saffire’s and we are excited to provide two new online destinations for the wonderful city of Ft. Myers!

What Obamacare Can Remind Us About Websites

As I’ve watched the “fiasco” happen with the Obamacare website over the last few weeks, it has occurred to me that this is a great reminder of two things I already knew.

Building websites is really hard. And there are a million potential points of error.

But websites are really important.

Having built them since 1995, you can imagine that I’ve just about seen it all. From the early days, I’ve watched companies have failures over and over again with their websites, their emails and other electronic media. (Just last week, Weight Watchers accidentally deleted a whole day of tracking data from all their customers. Oops!)

How could something like this happen? We have a healthy respect for backups and redundancy, but that doesn’t change the simple fact: it’s hard to develop websites. There is a concept I talk about called SPOF – Single Point of Failure. This means that if one single (even tiny) part of a system fails, the entire system fails.

When an error happens in website development, the culprit is often a Single Point of Failure. Hundreds or thousands of hours are spent developing new functionality for your website. Then you add one tiny thing (usually at the last second), and it breaks the whole system. All those hours are wasted, until it is fixed.

In the case of Obamacare, I understand many of the issues had to do with the number of people visiting the website, often called the “load” of the website. I want to be honest and say that we’ve experienced load issues on websites our team has developed as well (don’t believe anyone who says they haven’t!).

The truth of the matter is it is difficult to test load without actual site visitors. There are computer programs that simulate load, but of course, it’s hard to make a computer do “human” things. You can test loads and try to anticipate, but sometimes the best we can do is to watch it and be ready to turn on a dime if we see load issues.

The second lesson is that websites are important. If you think about how many thousands of hours were spent by people working on Obamacare, and the very last step was putting the information on the website and allowing people to sign up. And that’s where it failed.

It was very much a Single Point of Failure. All those hours were wasted, and the people working on it lost credibility, all because the very last (but incredibly important!) step of the process went awry.

Back in the early days of web, we thought errors were big problems. But online issues have only increased in importance. Now, when something goes wrong it is often mission critical.

My theory is that this is why Software as a Service (sometimes called SaaS), like Saffire and many others, has gained in popularity. It takes some of the risk away because there is already a core platform that is incrementally added to, rather than creating it from scratch. It doesn’t completely eliminate the risk, but it at least mitigates the potential points of error for a very important part of event and venue marketing, the most important virtual front door for an event, their website. And for us, that’s a good thing.

Ecommerce Tips For Your Event

It’s no secret that we are BIG proponents of having ecommerce on your event or venue website. It increases opportunities for incremental revenue from your customers, vendors and sponsors; and pre-sold tickets guarantee revenue before your event even starts (regardless of weather conditions). But once you get ecommerce tied to your website, it’s sometimes difficult to know how to drive traffic to complete a purchase. Here are some tips for increasing your revenue online.

  • Create Great Packages – Bundling, or grouping items together and offering them at a slightly reduced price will often result in a customer spending more than if they were purchasing items individually.  Tickets, parking, concessions and rides are just a few things to consider offering as a bundle pack.

package image

 

  • Create a Sense of Urgency – Setting a time limit on discounts is a great way to encourage customers to purchase tickets prior to the event. It’s hard to let a good deal pass by, so customers are inclined to secure their tickets well in advance of the event. 
    urgency image 2

 

  • Create a Sense of Exclusivity – Announce special ticket offers via email to your most loyal fans before posting the announcements on Facebook and Twitter. Let them know they are getting first dibs on exclusive offers, and consider offering special promo codes to email fans only. They will feel rewarded for their loyalty and will be more diligent about not missing your next email.
  • Cover All Media Outlets – Be sure to include your URL on all types of marketing materials to drive traffic to your site, and then repeat your marketing messaging on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. With visual and textual repetition helping to familiarize your audience, customers will feel comfortable going to your site to complete a purchase.

Online sales are on the rise and the event industry is well-positioned to benefit from this trend. By implementing just a few simple tactics, you too can increase revenue for your event or venue.   

 

Welcome Midland County Horseshoe Arena

MidlandCounty

 

Help us welcome the Midland County Horseshoe Arena to the Saffire team! We are so excited to add yet another awesome venue to our list of clients. We met the Horseshoe team through the Texas Association of Fairs & Events and look forward to helping them grow their customer base and attendance at the arena. You can find all kinds of things to do at this Midland, TX event center from horse training events to wedding receptions and conferences. We are excited to kickoff this project for such a fun place!

Welcome Angelina County Fair & Expo Center

GeorgeHHenderson

 

We are happy to announce that the Angelina County Fair and Angelina (or George H. Henderson, Jr.) Expo Center of Lufkin, Texas have partnered together to create a combined fair and event center website this year with Saffire! Hoping to raise awareness and exposure for the event center’s opportunities as well as increase revenue and attendance for the fair with ecommerce, these two organizations are eager to get on board with the Saffire Movement and we can’ t wait to watch them both grow!

Welcome Hardee County Fair

HardeeCounty

 

Another county fair joined the Saffire Movement after meeting our team at the Florida Federation of Fairs Convention earlier this summer. Complete with a carnival midway, rodeo, livestock show, pageants, and an arts and crafts fair, the Hardee County Fair in Wauchula, Florida truly has it all! We look forward to helping them ramp up their online marketing efforts for their February event!

Welcome iFest!

iFest

 

We are thrilled to welcome the Houston International Festival to the Saffire team! iFest is one of the nation’s leading cultural, educational and celebratory festivals as each year has a new theme and an honored region or country of the world. Hundreds of local and international artists have been recognized and showcased at iFest while vendors create dishes from their home countries. Musicians and performing artists contribute to the cultural adventure as well to inspire and entertain Texans and the tourists that come from all over the globe to experience this unique and worldly event.

 

$20 for 20….Seeing is Believing!

Saffire is launching a new campaign to increase awareness about our software and how it can help events and venues achieve online marketing success!

Give us 20 minutes of your time, and we’ll give you $20.

That’s right! We’ll spot you a Jackson just for taking a peek under the hood of Saffire’s award-winning software. That’s how sure we are that you’ll love seeing how you can have a beautiful, interactive website you control yourself!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!