New Events 2.0

Hi. First, let me say YUCK! Not loving this 2.0 version of Constant Contact events. It's like Eventbrite and a whole lot less friendly to nonprofits using CC as a tool to register volunteers for specific events and NOT sell anything.

 

First question I have, is why are you dropping the legacy pages?? CC was a great tool to use for event registrations with simple email sequences for communication, invites and follow-ups. 

 

Second question, why does the site HAVE to be so focused on selling tickets? I'd like to stay with an option where you can you just invite your clients to attend an event where no cost is involved?? 

 

Third question, why must every radial dial require two question options instead of only 1. If you need your guests acknowledge something, they just need to click on a single button that says "yes" or "I understand." Your system is requiring at least two options when sometimes their is only one answer.

 

Not impressed with the changes. This new beta may be more streamlined for customers but certainly doesn't improve things on the backend for management. Bummed about this conversion direction. I was hoping for just more options within the legacy platform and not an entire identity change. 

9 Comments

Yes. As a non-profit that doesn't sell traditional "tickets", and uses CC mostly for registrations...we are in the exact same boat. It is SUCH a bummer and a ton of extra work to recreate everything from Legacy over to the new events feature -- and that new feature has way less capability. 

William_A
Administrator
Status changed to: Gathering Information
Since you have several suggestions in this thread, I'll leave this as its own separate feedback post, but I do want to address some of the points.
  1. Our legacy events tool has been around since 2014, pre-dating us focusing on a mobile-friendly experience. Multiple other areas of the product have been updated since then, and the tool needed to be updated as well. We decided to redesign the Event tool with an improved editing experience which is more aligned with our current editing flow that is seen in other features, like surveys and landing pages.
  2. Our devs have heard prior feedback regarding the "tickets" wording for reporting and registrant management, and have plans to update this with incoming updates to the beta (along with several other QoL improvements). When creating an event, tickets can be set to $0.00 / marked as free, and registrants would not need to pay to attend an event. The registration process first collects the headcount of who is attending (meaning a ticket in this case) and the registrant is then sent to the page where contact information is collected. Are you imagining this to have more of an RSVP functionality?
  3. Are you able to have what you need your registrants to agree to listed as part of the informational section you can insert? Otherwise, if you need those agreements as separately agreed-to sections, would it make sense to include "I agree" and "I do not agree" options, if you're asking for individual agreements to specific things anyways?

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NikkiB60508
Brand Influencer

Hi William-

We are a nonprofit and have been using CC since 2009. The Beta Events Platform has us VERY concerned that this new 2.0 version will no longer meet our business needs. We host 25 to 27 events per school year, all using CC for management. There are no fees associated with the 25 to 27 school events. CC is used to recruit weekly help for our programming events and regularly communicate with all our contacts.

 

We use CC Events to announce our weekly events, recruit volunteers for them and manage the associated RSVP registration process. We currently use CC Events to relay each week’s event information 1) to new volunteer groups via the link provided (these folks are not in our system yet) and 2) to our database volunteers. The event information shared, and the location change weekly but the formatting of each week’s info and registration process typically remain the same.  A critical element of our registration process is collecting important volunteer registration information from those who sign up for each event and managing the volunteer numbers for each event. We set the program to accept ONLY the number of volunteers we need each week based on several factors. We want it to auto close when the total number of volunteers desired has been reached, or 48 hours prior to any event.

 

When we build an event, we use the program to create a landing page, followed by an invite to Key Volunteers (people who volunteer with us regularly), followed by a second different email sent to our volunteer database segments (volunteers with varying levels of experience from zero to 9 events previously). Within the system, we manage cancellations and volunteer substitutions that may come in for the event. We allow each registrant, if they wish, ONLY one guest. This was implemented to accommodate our married couple consistent volunteers who requested NOT to have to each register independently for the same event.  Forty-eight hours prior to any event, we send a reminder to all primary registered volunteers with specific details for that event. Twenty-four hours prior to the event, we print a full check-in roster that includes the volunteers full name, company affiliation, address, phone number and email address. We work with schools so for them to be on campus, we must capture all this information during pre-registration and have it already printed on our sign-in sheet. We need to check-in 85 volunteers onsite during a 10-minute window. So, the roster features all the required information, and they just sign by their info line. Then, immediately after the event, we send a thank you to everyone who participated.

 

The issues we have already found with the Events 2.0 page that will greatly affect our use are these:

  1. The 2.0 version is clearly geared toward ticket sales. You addressed this in your response below. However, FREE still appears throughout the template in places where it can be viewed by our volunteers. I would prefer if there was simply a option that removed any references to pricing all together.
  2. The new system allows a “buyer” to enter the system as many times as they want with the same email address. For us, this presents significant challenges in that volunteers will be able to inadvertently register for the same event more than once and potentially skew our registration process. We liked that once registered, they couldn’t register again (access the site using the same email address). With us sending out multiple emails for multiple events on sometimes overlapping days, we occasionally have volunteers who forgot they registered for an event or confuse opportunities and attempt to register again. Before, they knew they had already registered because they couldn’t register again. 2.0 allows them to register more than once, as many times as they try… Super problematic when one registration equals one volunteer fill need.
  3. 2.0 also does not allow us to capture guest information as a volunteer’s plus 1. No where are we able to see in detail, without looking up the individual registrations, whether a volunteer has added a guest or not. Each volunteer participating in our events (primary or guest) must be included on our check-in roster by name. While we don’t currently capture the address for the guest, we do currently capture full name, phone and email address when the primary registers them. We then copy the address of the primary when completing our check-in sheet for printing. This brings me to a huge issue we currently see with 2.0 in creating reports…
  4. The registration report is simplified to the point that we can’t even see or reproduce all the information we must have on our sign sheets (rosters). People with guests simply show up twice because they “bought 2 tickets”. People who inadvertently registered more than once will appear each time they register with no limit. With 85 ppl registering every week, we don’t have the luxury of viewing every registration in detail and trying to extrapolate the information we need to appear on the report. We simply don’t have the manpower or resources to do that. We need that report to show all the information we need it to.  

Below, you noted Are you able to have what you need your registrants to agree to listed as part of the informational section you can insert? Otherwise, if you need those agreements as separately agreed-to sections, would it make sense to include "I agree" and "I do not agree" options, if you're asking for individual agreements to specific things anyways?

  1. Yes, however, if they don’t agree to our volunteer terms of which there are four or five that must be explained individually, then they can’t volunteer with us. So, our preference is simply to state with ONE radial dial, that they agree to the terms: to being over 18, to being photographed, to the physical requirements of the event, to abide by our no-show policy, to read Senate Bill 287 (sent in the reminder) which requires mandatory reporting by the school district. Etc…. They don’t have the choice to disagree, or their registration should stop. Your suggestion would allow the opportunity for a volunteer to state they don’t agree with one or more of the terms and STILL register for an event and be counted as a volunteer when they really shouldn’t. In addition, we used all the allowable custom add-ins, and still had one additional question/affirmation we needed to address.

 

So, as you can read, we are very, very concerned that this new event version is geared very much more toward one-off users selling tickets to an event and needing to collect very little about their buyers beyond name and email. Our management needs go much deeper, and we fear that support and ability will be completely gone.

 

Can you please tell us when you anticipate ending Beta testing on the 2.0 and discontinuing the Legacy Platform??

 

With more than 7,000 volunteers tied to this system and 10 upcoming events already created for volunteer opportunities/registration between now and January 1st, and with 12 more events needing to be built in the next 30 to 60 days to manage our January through April planned events, I would like a timeline for how long we have before the Constant Contact system switches over to 2.0. It very much appears that CC’s event direction will no longer meets our specific needs, so we’ll need to immediately begin researching other volunteer management/communication platforms. Knowing the timeline of when access to the legacy events will stop would be incredibly helpful in our strategic planning and as a long-time nonprofit customer, I would hope that you would afford us the courtesy of a defined and thoughtful exit timeline.

 

Note from CC: The current cutoff for the legacy events tool is December 31, 2023. If the devs push back the cutoff date further, customers with access to the legacy tool and have used it previously will be notified. We will also update our main Help thread on the topic should this occur.

Events_TTI
Rookie

I was going to comment, but you've basically summed up everything I would have said. If this doesn't get fixed, I will cancel my account. I only use the event site; if the only option is to sell tickets, the site is useless to me now. 

 

So frustrated. 

ElvinM
Rookie

Constant Contact continues to make excuses for their new Event platform, which is more a step backwards. I totally agree with many of the observations pointed out by NikkiB60508. We are a non for profit and this new system will impact how we do business.  And our major event for 2024 is already set up and already causing issues for registration.   You'd think they would have had all of the features already included (and working well) in the legacy platform already fully integrated and not having to constantly post on this board. 

 

Today I received a payment for a sponsorship in the mail that I had no clue about, since this new Event 2.0 does not generate an email every time someone registers, nor does it show any registrants under the heading when you log into the main page of events. 

 

This is annoying and really needs to be fixed by January 2024.

HenrietteR
Campaign Contributor

Everything everyone said above, plus, how can you generate tickets without a way to check people in at the door with a QR code or barcode? Are we supposed to print the list and check them off manually? Then we also don't have an electronic report of who attended and who didn't. I hope this gets improved on in its entirety a lot, and fast.

SpiritualDirectionMinistry
Campaign Contributor

Well, it's January 2024 and as far as I can tell NOTHING has been changed since these first observations/complaints.

 

As a nonprofit organization, we are facing exactly the same issues with the new ticket-based system. In my opinion it makes us appear unprofessional and it is quite confusing to the people attending our workshops, especially free online events. "Why do I need a ticket?" "What do I do with a ticket?" so much confusion and so many questions!

 

I am presently a month behind on event registration that we had previously announced for December for a specific event that took me beyond the discontinuation of Legacy so I was forced to use Events 2.0. As it is now, I just can't utilize Constant Contact for this event.  It was embarrassing to email everyone to say, "I'm sorry. Constant Contact is upgrading, and I have to wait until January when they promised everything would be fixed.  But it's not fixed. As far as I can tell, there are no plans to be responsive to our concerns. And I will have to find another event management platform.

 

The WORST part is not getting an email alert when someone registers.  I did a test event with Events 2.0 in December, and I had to log in on my laptop repeatedly to update registrations because the mobile app doesn't have event information, so that makes the response: "focusing on a mobile-friendly experience" a joke, at least to those of us who create and manage the events. And THEN, suddenly I had to send a personal email to every registrant because the confirmation emails weren't sending. I had no way of knowing that until thankfully one of my participants emailed me to ask why she didn't get a confirmation email and didn't have the information and materials I usually include in that confirmation.  This is a real issue because that is supposed to be a feature of Events 2.0, it just wasn't working. Imagine holding an event and including the Zoom Link in the Confirmation email that doesn't send and no one shows up for your event. 

 

Honestly, I actually do think it is easier to create campaigns, but there are certain things are not included that should be, and while I think your beta launch was premature, I know that taking Legacy offline before the kinks are worked out on Events 2.0 is a TERRIBLE business decision. I understand you don't want to replicate Legacy and I am fine with that, but it feels like you are trying to alienate nonprofit organizations and others who don't "sell" tickets. Would that be because you are now taking a hefty cut of our sales when we do have paid events in addition to our monthly subscription?

 

 

AnnA295
Rookie

I agree with the prior comments.  We are a smallish non-profit, membership-based organization with a local history/education focus. We host a a lot of Events, including virtual events, each year and sent a good number of E-newsletters as well.

I have PLEADED with Constant Contact support over the years to LISTEN and learn from our and other non-profits' unique use of their service and to really understand how the C.C. EVENTS module is central and as important as E-newsletter creation.  I've explained that we chose C.C. over other e-mail marketing products because it offered the Event module and because of the live 800# support included. 

Sure, it's nice that the new Events interface looks "prettier" for the registrant (e.g. you can insert a graphic/photo), but we can live without that. We don't market our events via a sign-up form.  We market our events via E-newsletter outreach to our membership and online/via social media to the broader community (for public events). 

All I need from Events is a link and sign-up form and a GOOD dashboard with easy access to comprehensive registrant information so I can manage the event/guest list (read: Legacy!).   We can't live without are auto-notifications when folks reserve and the ability to capture the first and last names of registrants' guests.  A stunner is the fact that your new Event system allows duplicate registrations from the same email address --  a terrible idea if you are running an event (vs. "selling stuff").   All the "ticket talk" is unhelpful, as others have pointed out. Most of our events are free or low-cost with pay-at-the-door the norm.  When we have an event with a material ticket price, CHECKS are always an option (in addition to PayPal/credit card).

We are not "selling stuff" and our contingency skews older, like many other non-profit and/or membership organizations. BTW, I never had a member/registrant tell me they found our event sign-ups not "mobile responsive."

I plan on using the Legacy interface to pre-create all my spring 2024 events and I pray they push back any plans to terminate access. 

WRIPAC
Marketing Legend

YES! I HATE the new events system... we have lost so many useful and important functions...

 

Now instead of having member and non-member registrations that have early discounts that automatically expire, we have to create separate tickets with different date ranges, and there's no way to set an overall maximum number of participants...

 

for our free events that last more than one day, we can't limit people to selecting only one ticket, both days, or each day separately. this is going to cause confusion I am sure... 

 

the events calendar widget on legacy events let us sync a list of events with links on our website, but the new events don't get added to that calendar... and the new even calendar that you access from the event 2.0 dashboard only gives a link to embed a calendar... that's not user friendly for folks to look at events that aren't all on the same month... a list was way more appropriate....

 

I could go on and on... needless to say I am very irritated that we are forced to use the new events system when so many important features were lost and there's no indication that they will be integrated into this new system... 

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