Recently, my wife and I were looking for something fun to do with our kids. We decided on a sure thing, a trip to the movies. We went ahead and bought our tickets online, then headed to the movie theater. When we got to the theater, we picked up our tickets, bought the popcorn and drinks, went in, and chose our seats. It’s a ritual that's repeated by millions of people every day. Not surprisingly, the experience made me think about the "ritual" that comes into play for our customers when they host an event. I came to the same conclusion I did about going to the movies: Every single aspect related to putting on the event contributes to its success. If just one aspect of this ecosystem — the location, the time, the registration process, the promotion of the event, the ticketing process, etc. — didn’t work, the success of the event would come into question. After the movie ended, and we returned home, I just couldn’t shake the idea that something was out of place about the movie theater event "ecosystem." It wasn’t until I was emptying my pockets and held our used movie tickets in my hands that I realized what was nagging at me. I was looking down at these tickets and realized how misdirected and shortsighted it is that other companies in the event marketing space have recently started giving more significance to a ticket than to other aspects within the event ecosystem. Instead of focusing on the idea of helping a small business or organization to manage the most successful event possible, many other vendors are trying to make the ticket the main focus. Don’t get me wrong: A ticket certainly can carry importance and can contribute to the success of an event. However, a ticket is just another aspect of the entire event ecosystem. We certainly hear about the need for printed tickets when we go out and speak with small businesses and organizations — that's why we offer the ability to let registrants print tickets when they're signing up for your event. However, in the same breath, we also hear about the need to promote events in new and different ways, to have a strong registration and check-in system, and the need to gain compelling and useful insights about events to help plan for future events. All of these things, including the ticket, contribute to the overall success of an event. In other words, the center of an event is the event itself, and the intent and desire to hold the most successful one possible, rather than any one particular aspect of the event ecosystem (i.e., a ticket). That’s why we here at Constant Contact strive to offer an ecosystem where the event is the center — it's one made up of a great event marketing product supported by our award-winning personal-touch customer service and robust KnowHow. We aim to help you realize this goal through event promotion, management, follow-up, and relationship building. You know, I cannot help but wonder ... do those companies that are pushing for a ticket to be the center of an event and carry more importance than it deserves really believe what they are saying, or rather, are they doing it as a means to support their own success? I guess one simply needs to take a look at their pricing structures to find that answer. What are your thoughts on ticketing and its place in the event ecosystem? Post your comment here or on our Facebook Page.
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Last week, my family and I were on our annual summer vacation. We rented a house up on the Maine seacoast — Camden, to be exact. On Wednesday of that week, we ended up having lunch in town at a restaurant right on the harbor. The lunch was great and went off without a hitch (which is a rarity, as we have three very active sons) ... except for one interesting incident. As we were looking over the menu on the outside patio, a person came by carrying an armful of roses looking to sell them to the folks having lunch. Before he made his way over to us (but after asking a few other people eating lunch), the host who seated us (and who may have been the owner) intercepted him and told him he could not sell the roses to his customers while they are in his restaurant eating lunch. The gentlemen selling the roses tried to get him to change his mind a few times with no success. I won’t say things got heated, but the host eventually had to (nicely) escort the rose vendor off the patio. However, before he did, he uttered one final comment: “Get your own **bleep** customers, will ya?” When I heard this, I could immediately relate to the host, as it brought me right back to something that we here at Constant Contact hold as one of our guiding principles — your customers are your customers. This may sound like a small and almost pithy phrase. However, it is one that carries so much importance for us. As our customers, you instill a great deal of trust in us. You trust us with one of your greatest and most important assets (potentially even the most important asset) you have related to your business or organization — your contact and event registrant names. These are people with whom you do business — with whom you have cultivated a relationship. We have simply helped you create and/or grow the relationship you have with these people; we have no relationship with these people and have no right to ever contact these people. And we never will. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing reality with some other companies in our space (particularly some other event marketing companies) where they feel it is okay and acceptable to market to your contacts and your event registrants. In fact, they not only believe it is okay, they actually include it in their Terms and Conditions by indicating they may use the information they receive and collect about your registrants for their own marketing and advertising purposes. To us here at Constant Contact, this is simply unacceptable. I just keep thinking back to what the gentleman in the restaurant said to the flower vendor, and I would suspect that you, our customers, would agree that it also applies to those companies looking to market to your registrants or your contacts — “Get your own customers, will ya?” I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please share them here or on our Facebook Page.
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