What’s the big deal about ecommerce?

If you’ve had a conversation with one of our team members for longer than 30 seconds, we’ve probably told you how important we think ecommerce is to the success of any event.  Our roots are in ecommerce for large companies and we’ve proved our theory to be true, so it’s no surprise we are so sure that it will help increase revenue for your event.

Even though we are spreading the ecommerce message far and wide, we still find events that are skeptical, so we’ve decided to try a new approach.  They say “A picture is worth 1,000 words,” and in this case I couldn’t agree more!  This infographic tells you just about every reason we have (and a few more) as to why your event MUST have ecommerce. 

So let’s recap:

  • 50% of the online population has made more than one purchase online.
  • Over the course of 2012, 184 million people will shop online.
  • By 2015 US consumers will spend $270 billion online!

Folks, if these stats don’t convince you that it is time to make ecommerce a priority, I don’t know what will!

Saffire 101: Mailing Labels

Selling tickets online is the first step to increasing revenue, but how do you get the tickets and products to your customers? 

In the past, events have had to create labels by hand and manually keep track of when orders have been shipped.  But Saffire makes the shipping process easier by allowing you to print mailing labels for orders directly from your admin site, which will help you streamline the delivery process.

On today’s episode of Saffire 101, Rebekah will show you how to print labels for your shipping online orders.

Join our webinar “Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing”

Free Webinar!

Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing

Reserve Your Seat Now!Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/656110086

 

If you have attended the IAFE, WFA or TAF&E conferences recently, you likely saw our bright blue jackets and heard people talking about Saffire. Now is your chance to find out what the buzz is all about.From this Free Webinaryou will learn:
  • How easy it is to manage your website content with Saffire
  • Five ways to integrate social media that you may not be using
  • The answer to the question “Is email dead?” and what to do about it
  • How to have a mobile and tablet strategy… without going crazy!
  • Three easy things you can do to enhance your Google ranking
  • One thing you MUST do to increase online sales and why it’s critical (hint: RAIN!)

Register now to join Kendra Wright, President of Saffire, and Cassie Roberts, Manager of Sales and Partnership, as they answer these questions and provide a free overview of how Saffire stretches your online marketing dollars while boosting revenue.

Title: Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

 

Free Webinar!

 

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.

 

The How and Why of QR Codes

A QR Code is a matrix barcode that can be read with a smart phone.  It directs the user to a specific location of your choosing.  You can create a QR code to quickly link a user to your website, social media account, phone number, email or countless other options.

People ask us all the time, “Why should we use QR codes as a part of our marketing mix?”  I think this infographic can give you some insight to make the decision for yourself.  The main thing I would like to point out is that your target audience (women ages 35-44) are the main users of QR codes, so it may be worth it.

Also, remember that people are expecting something in return for scanning the code.  Whether it’s a discount or special offer, make sure that you make the scan worth their time.

If you decide that you’d like to give QR Codes a try, the good news is that creating one is completely do-it-yourself.  We recommend using QR Stuff , which is a free service that allows you to select the data type, content and color of the code.  But a little tip from us: black is the way to go.  We tested a few colors, but black codes are the easiest for a mobile device to read.

Placing codes around your event is a great way to get people to interact with you while they are on your event grounds.  You could offer a scavenger hunt where each codes provides a clue to the next location.  Maybe you could direct users to an secret page on your website where they can find a coupon from a vendor.  The options are endless, so just use your imagination!

Join our Webinar “Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing ”

Free Webinar!

Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing


Reserve Your Seat Now!
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/536153886

 

If you have attended the IAFE, WFA or TAF&E conferences recently, you likely saw our bright blue jackets and heard people talking about Saffire. Now is your chance to find out what the buzz is all about. From this Free Webinar you will learn:

  • How easy it is to manage your website content with Saffire
  • Five ways to integrate social media that you may not be using
  • The answer to the question “Is email dead?” and what to do about it
  • How to have a mobile and tablet strategy… without going crazy!
  • Three easy things you can do to enhance your Google ranking
  • One thing you MUST do to increase online sales and why it’s critical (hint: RAIN!)

Register now to join Kendra Wright, President of Saffire, and Cassie Roberts, Manager of Sales and Partnership, as they answer these questions and provide a free overview of how Saffire stretches your online marketing dollars while boosting revenue.

Title: Increase Event Revenue with Better Online Marketing
Date:
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Time:
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

 

Free Webinar!

 

IAFE 2011: Next Steps in Online Marketing

Our first IAFE is over, and I have to say I’m so glad that this is the only time it will ever be our first. We met so many great people, and it will be nice to see more familiar faces in years to come.

The thing that caused me the most worry was our Product Showcase on increasing revenue through online marketing. I wasn’t worried about our message – I think anyone who has met me can see that I’m passionate about our offering… and telling people about it!

 But it was like having a party and hoping anyone would show up. So when they did and when the room was filled to capacity, I was filled with gratitude and validation that we really do have a product people are interested in.

 The other source of anxiety was how people would react to my message. I knew there were only two reactions I might get – nodding or nodding off (although in Vegas, I guess nodding off could be forgiven). Thankfully there were so many smiles and nods in the room. It was wonderful to connect with this audience of which we want so much to be a part.

If you missed the talk and want to see the slides, they are at http://www.saffireevents.com/2011IAFEPresentation. We also taped it in its entirety, and we’re happy to share that if anyone is interested. Just email info@saffireevents.com.

–Kendra

Make Your Site Easy To Navigate

I recently set off on a road trip only knowing the general direction I was headed, but not the slightest idea where I was going once I got off the highway.  But I wasn’t worried, I had my trusty GPS riding shotgun.

Our culture depends so heavily on others telling us where to go and what to do, if we are left to find our own way we are startled and confused.  And maybe even appalled at the “low level of customer service.”

Imagine if you were in a mall and you stopped an employee to ask for a map so you could find your favorite store and he simply looked at you and said, “You’re on your own kid.”  You would be left to aimlessly wander around trying to find Dillard’s.  Now if it were me, I’d say “Forget it!” and find another place to shop that seemed to actually care that I found my way.

The same goes for your website.  If a customer arrives and can’t find the piece of information they are looking for, they may throw their hands up and quit.

The navigation of your site is key. You need to take time to think about how your customers will look for information and cater to them.  You will have some very happy customers if you simply  give them site navigation that makes sense and allows your visitors the ability to quickly and easily find the event information they need.

We all know your event information is intricate, so make it accessible, highly filterable and easy to sort. A great website provides visitors with a tailored user experience, allowing customers to search and browse as they see fit.

So take the time to plan out your website’s navigation the same way you plan out the schedule of events for your fair, festival or rodeo.  Use logic and you can’t go wrong.

Provide a Friendly Shopping Process

Over the weekend, I was doing some online shopping at a site I’d never made a purchase from before.  I added several items to my cart, but the checkout process became so complex I simply decided the cute dress wasn’t worth the hassle.

So please, don’t give your customers an excuse to not complete their purchase.

Ticket sales are the bread and butter of your event revenue, so make purchasing tickets easy.

If you sell tickets directly, a fully-integrated shopping cart ensures customers never leave your site, so they aren’t sent to unfamiliar websites with pages that don’t match your identity.

It shouldn’t matter if users are buying tickets directly from you or from a vendor’s website, the shopping process needs to be streamlined, friendly and intuitive. Think about your own online shopping preferences.

For example, you may think the more information you gather the better, but the truth is sometimes people just want to make a purchase.  Plain and simple.

If I find myself wanting to buy something else from you, that’s when I’m ready to give you more information.  Giving the option to checkout as a guest will go a long way with many first time visitors.

So consider this another reminder that a user’s online experience is just as important as their experience at your event.

Why Event Ecommerce Websites

I started doing websites in 1995, less than a year after the web came to prominence. I didn’t go to school for it…because it didn’t exist.

But I love marketing and I love technology, so I anxiously embraced this new marketing medium when I had the chance.

And it’s been a wild ride.

Looking back, ecommerce has always been my first love website-wise. It’s the ultimate “rubber meets the road” metric that’s totally trackable. And I love being on my clients’ revenue side of the spreadsheet, not the expense side (like we would be if we just put up a brochure website, for example).

We’ve had the opportunity to do some great work for companies like Nike, Jeep, Chrysler, Panasonic, Widmer Brewing, PG Tips and many more.

Right now, we do all the internet strategy for www.keenfootwear.com, and it’s never a dull moment!

But a couple years ago, we got one of those life-changing, out-of-the-blue phone calls from Rodeo Austin. They invited us to submit a bid for their event’s website redesign.

I think maybe a dozen firms submitted bids, and we were ecstatic when we became their interactive partner. Two rodeos later, we’re still their partner and are always improving their event website.

We started looking around and saw the fair and rodeo industry as one we could really help.  I mean this in the most respectful way, but it’s rare that I get to see an industry anymore that could benefit from better event websites than fairs, rodeos and other events. And let’s be honest…

We just love fairs and rodeos!

So we took the ecommerce platform we’d been fine-tuning for years with products, customized it for event websites and released the platform you now know as Saffire.

We are just wrapping up a new website for the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont. We’re working on deals with others, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Let the wild ride continue!