Welcome to the Saffire Team, Jodi Buresh!

 

The Saffire Team is proud to announce a new team member! Jodi Buresh is the latest rock-star to don the Saffire Blue. As a Director of Partnerships, Jodi will be spreading the Saffire love across the Midwest and Northeast United States!

Jodi has extensive experience in event planning and venue management at her role at North Dakota State University and the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. Jodi has served as the President of the Red River Area Attractions Association and has worked closely with the Fargo Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau in bringing large tourism generated events to her community. In her most recent role as the Assistant General Manager at the Red River Valley Fair, Jodi worked with volunteers, sponsors, promotions and social media.

Jodi absolutely loves coffee, bacon and cheese curds…specifically garlic flavored cheese curds. She is a self-described “slightly obsessive compulsive organizer and cleaner.”

Jodi has a bachelor’s degree in Facility Management from North Dakota State University (Go Bison!), is a graduate of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions Institute of Fair Management and received her Certified Fair Executive recognition in 2015.

She speaks to numerous non-profit and for-profit organizations annually by helping them find their marketing niche and recharge their creative thinking.

Jodi lives in West Fargo, North Dakota with her husband, Bob, and their two sons Carson and Connor.

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On Breathing, Trust and Seizing the Moment

If you know me, you know I’m not one for going halfway. I am very driven with my hopes and dreams for Saffire. I can’t help myself. I love everything about what we do.

I love our clients. I believe we make their lives better by giving them the digital presence they deserve. It has also been thrilling to launch SaffireTix and see the demand for integrated ticketing.

I also love our team. It’s so gratifying to work with talented people that I care so deeply for.

So it may come as a surprise that I’m doing something totally crazy this summer. I’m taking a little time off.

Why? It has to do with breathing. I breathe Saffire in just about every waking moment, and I’ve started to ask myself, what kinds of magical things would happen if I stepped back for a minute? Would my team spread their wings differently if I wasn’t there sending emails at all hours of the day and night? The safe bet is on my team.

But there’s something else. I’m a proud wife and mom to Kirk and my 6-year-old Hudson. Hudson is growing way too quickly, and I feel I am in a moment in time where I want to make some memories, while he still thinks I’m cool to hang out with his mom. So this summer, I’m going to seize this brief moment.

Bottom line, if I thought this would hurt Saffire, I wouldn’t do it. But I trust my amazing business partners (including Aaron Pederson, who will be acting president) and team to take the reins for a bit. I can’t wait to see what happens when they do.

 

See you soon,

Kendra Wright

 

 

Did You Survive Mobilegeddon?

As promised, this week Google has rocked the online world by demoting websites that were not mobile-friendly and boosting mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.Although most web developers provide their clients with a mobile-friendly version of their site, many websites are lagging behind the mobile revolution. With these updates, searchers can “more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”

So why did Google do this? Well, I bet you are reading this on a mobile phone! If you aren’t, then the next 6 out of 10 visitors will, as mobile has officially taken over the desktop for online searches. As we move into a more mobile world, Google is pushing websites to provide users with the best experience on whatever device the user is on.

How will I know if my website is “Mobile-Friendly” according to Google? Well, Google has provided this handy link to check: Click Here. You should then see a screen like this:

This is Mobile Friendly!

If your website is not mobile friendly, you will get the following message: 

Not mobile friendly

 

 

If you find that your website is not mobile friendly, please give us a call, we will be sure to talk to you about your options to ensure that Google give your site the love it deserves!

Click Here to Learn More

 

Or Call us at: 512-430-1123

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Charleston Civic Center

Charleston Civic CenterWith the addition of Charleston Civic Center, we have added West Virginia to our Saffire Family map! They have held many amazing events over the years, including a Saffire’s favorite, a Willie Nelson concert (we have a signed Willie Nelson guitar over our conference table)! With so many year round events held at the Charleston Civic Center we can’t wait to work with them to create a fun, year round site!

Saffire update Version 2.8 has arrived!

We were busy this spring at the Portland and Austin offices of Saffire to release an awesome update to our software that focused on SaffireScan, our print-at-home ticketing program managed right from your website’s dashboard! A few of the exciting new features are listed below:

  • Introducing SaffireTrack, a new, easy way to track headcount at your gates. You can even categorize according to demographics like age or location! Centralize your attendance reporting for online and at-the-gate sales.
  • Added ticket customization – upload a sponsor logo or advertise right on the tickets your customer will print and bring to your event. Increase your revenue by giving sponsors this added reach!
  • Customized URLs for Events! Tired of asking your web provider to redirect a special URL to an event? No longer necessary with Saffire 2.8, create unique web addresses yourself!
  • Added LinkedIn as a social media option and icon to the header of our websites so that you can keep your customers engaged through that outlet.

While these are only 4 bullets, weeks of behind-the-curtain programming took place to ensure we’re offering high quality and user-friendly software so that our clients can continue to manage their own online marketing with increased sanity!

Saffire Version 2.6 has arrived

Here at Saffire we love that we get to continue to develop our software per our clients’ requests. Our latest update has some pretty awesome features that we were thrilled to put on our clients’ websites this week. Here are some of the highlights of our latest release:

  • Multi-image upload made faster – now you can quickly populate an entire photo gallery or specific module on a dynamic page all at once!
  • Free-form price field – donations, dollar amounts unique for each customer? No problem, any item for sale, event, or form will increase your revenue and allow your customer to fill in their own dollar amount while you control the price range.
  • BUY NOW buttons EVERYWHERE! Catch your customer from the get-go with a call to action button anywhere an item is for sale, even multiple places on the homepage.
  • Even more specific tracking on your website. We’ve added Google Analytics to your Sponsors regardless of homepage, event page, or dynamic page so you can report to your sponsors the specific reach your website has given them!
  • Enhanced LIVE reporting. Check the status of your ticket redemption and online sales as they happen in real-time. Having a head’s up on attendance will help you prepare for a successful event!

Of course we had a TON of other behind the scenes updates to make things work better, faster, and smoother, but adding these 5 key ingredients to our clients’ online mix will really help them to generate sales, attendance and most importantly INCREASE SANITY!

Saffire Stats: 2013 IN REVIEW

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We were blessed to have a wonderful 2013! We wanted to share some of the exciting numbers we found for our clients as well as a few fun stats we had from the year!

The most exciting number we found was that over 4.7 million people visited a Saffire website in 2013. From small associations, to venues, to 1 million person events, each of our clients contributed to this number and we are thrilled that the Saffire platform provided their customer with a welcoming online destination. These visitors viewed over 26.2 million pages on our sites and 40% of these visitors came to a Saffire site on their mobile device or tablet (now you know why we constantly teach about the importance of mobile)!

Also in 2013 we gained 58 NEW clients while launching 59 new Saffire websites! Considering we ending 2012 with just 46 clients on our roster we are honored to now have 104 clients in the Saffire family! Finally, you may have seen us in your state or out of state at an association meeting, conference, or trade show and that’s because we attended 16 conventions, more than one per month! Now that is a lot of travelling, but what’s even more interesting is that we believe we made at least 20 crock pots of Saffire queso last year, YUM!

Again, we can’t believe the success we experienced in 2013 but can’t wait to see the continued growth of Saffire and the Saffire family in 2014!

 

2013 Year in Review

2013-InReview

In a similar fashion to Barbara Walters’ most interesting people of 2013, we’ve decided to compile Saffire’s Extraordinary Events of 2013. We’re all a part of a fast-moving industry, and at the end of the year it seems like we can take a moment to reflect on key happenings in our field. A few of our most memorable headlines include:

George Strait Announces Farewell Tour

George Strait officially said in 2013 that he will hang up his boots after this current tour. The die-hard faithful have flocked to ticket outlets, with tickets being sold and resold at record numbers at venues across the country.

Calgary Stampede Traditions Continue, “Come Hell or High Water”

The Calgary Stampede, faced with crippling floodwaters just 14 days before their opening, were able to not only put together an event that Calgarians won’t soon forget, but also raise over $2 million for flood victims through T-Shirts and donations. You can view a short video documentary of the 2013 Calgary Stampede here.

An Iconic Marathon Struck by a Devastating Finish

For many event organizers, safety plans took on a new meaning after a nation watched stunned while police searched for a brother who set bombs to explode on the finish line at the Boston Marathon. 3 people were killed, and hundreds others wounded in an event that won’t soon be forgotten by America.

Big Tex Makes a Triumphant Return

After the beloved icon of the State Fair of Texas tragically caught on fire in 2012, he was back in all his glory for the 2013 fair. Thousands of donors from the community and beyond contributed to the rebuilding effort. Now Big Tex stands just as tall, and even more stylish than ever in larger than life Wranglers and Luccheses.

100th Client Joins Saffire

With the addition of Extraco Events Center, Saffire reached a big milestone. We’ve come a long way since our first event client in 2009, and reaching the 100th client only gets us more excited to be a part of the industry. It may not be world news, but it was an extraordinary event for the Saffire team.

 

The year 2013 was nothing short of eventful. With so many trials and triumphs, it’s awesome to be a part of an industry that celebrates each other’s victories and lends a helping hand during each other’s hardships. With a year like this, it’s hard to imagine what 2014 will have in store!

Saffire heads to Las Vegas for the IAFE Convention

That’s right; it’s that time of year again! We’ve all worked or slept off the Thanksgiving turkey by now (hopefully), and we’re packing our bags to go to one of the largest trade shows the events industry has to offer. First and foremost, we love the opportunity to meet with folks from the fair world to find out a little bit more about their events, celebrate their successes, hear about their obstacles, offer our online marketing advice, hang out with them after trade show hours, oh AND visit Sin City!

This year we’re thrilled to be presenting on multiple occasions throughout the convention. (You can see our interactive schedule on our website here.) We’d love for you to come sit in and listen!

Tuesday, Dec. 10

  • 11:15 – 12:30 PM – Dream Big on Small Budgets – Technology, Aaron Pederson, Technical Director
  • 11:15 – 12:30 PM – It’s an All Year Af-Fair, Kendra Wright, President
  • 3:00 – 4:00 PM – Product Showcase – Increase Bucks & Butts for Your Event with Saffire, Kendra Wright, President

Wednesday, Dec. 11

  • 8:00 – 9:00 AM  – Secret Sauce of Advance Revenue for your Fair, Kendra Wright, President
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Product Showcase – Increase Bucks & Butts for Your Event with Saffire, Kendra Wright, President

Another time you could see us while attending IAFE is at the trade show! The hours are Monday, Dec. 9, 2:30 – 6:30 PM; Tuesday, Dec. 10, 12:30 – 5:30 PM and Wednesday, Dec. 11, 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM. While you may gather valuable information about vendors, entertainers, products and more, we know the most important piece of the trade show puzzle is stopping by the Saffire booth (#1122) and spinning the Wheel O’ Crap! You’ll make our day if you stop and chat with us and we’ll hopefully make yours as you could win a Saffire:

  • FREE High Five
  • Sweet Tattoo
  • Amazing Felt Tip Pen
  • “No Guy” Button
  • Boot Koozie
  • Tumbler
  • “Making Nerdy Cool” T-shirt

The next thing you’ll definitely want to add to your agenda is the Saffire Tacky Christmas Happy Hour! This will be our third year to host one of our infamous parties in our Paris Hotel suite on Tuesday, Dec. 10 5:30 – 7:00 PM ( room number to be announced during trade show & via email). Stop by booth #1122 and get an invite card which will include a special SaffireScan code. When you arrive at our party, present the invite to have your code scanned to see what “neat” holiday costume item you’ve won! While you’re there, be sure to try a Cup o’ Good Cheer Cocktail, some Rosemary Pecans, Merry Meatballs, home-made sugar cookies, and of course our World Famous Saffire Queso!

As you can see, we have quite a bit of fun preparing for this grand adventure to Las Vegas, especially when packing crock pots is one of the first things on our list. You may find this to be one of the most interesting things in our suitcase, but we couldn’t host one of our parties without a handy crock pot or two (or maybe three). The look on the TSA agents’ faces as they sift through koozies and crock pots is enough to make it all worth it.

We can’t wait to see you all at the convention. We’re sure it will be a blast. Safe travels!

Giving Thanks


Give Thanks 3

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of the holiday season. Especially this year with Thanksgiving so late in the month, it has almost been overlooked, especially by retail stores, itching to get the most out of holiday budgets.

Here at Saffire, we have much to be thankful for, and we couldn’t let today pass without expressing our gratitude to those who have been a part of our success. We are proud to officially announce that over 100 events, venues and destinations trust Saffire to support their online presence. We couldn’t be where we are today without each one of you.

We are appreciative of the confidence you put in us as well as the effort that you have given to improve both your website and the Saffire platform. We truly couldn’t do it without you.

We hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

With our deepest thanks,
Kendra, Aaron, Jeremy & The Saffire Team