Jan 4 2011
Every once in a while I think about organizing a start-up convention. It’s great writing about start-ups and talking with them individually, but there’s something that happens when you bring everyone together. People can exchange ideas, learn what works, and potentially find ways to work together for each other’s benefit. I have my prejudices about existing start-up ‘shows.’ In large part they fall into two categories. Those that people attend in order to get more marketing exposure, and those that people attend strictly for the publicity.*
Whatever the cause planning an event takes a lot of work. You need to find a space to accommodate guests, plan an itinerary, and get someone else to take care of all the other details. One detail that takes a lot of work is managing guests. For informal events something like Evite or Facebook’s events are perfectly suitable. On the other end of the spectrum are weddings where everyone gets their own personalized invitation with RSVP. But there’s really not an easy way to manage the invitations and registration for professional events. Up til now. Eventzilla.net is an event registration service that caters to business event organizers. It handles all aspects of registering attendees to your convention, seminar, classes, or social event.
As opposed to an Evite like system where people are invited and simply RSVP, Eventzilla has a ticketing system. You plan the event and people need to register their spot by securing a ticket. These are either free or paid depending on how the event planner sets it up. So let’s say you’re in a rock band putting on a charitable concert. From past experience you’ve noticed that when you play at a venue that manages the ticket sales, not all the money comes laughing all the way back to your account. In fact, very little of it does. To prevent this you can rent the venue for a fixed fee and handle the ticket sales on your own, through Eventzilla. This puts you back in control of your event and the proceeds from it.
Eventzilla manages the transaction for you and accepts multiple types of tender. This ranges from credit cards, PayPal, and it can accommodate offline payments as well. And what’s the cost to you to manage your events through Eventzilla? It’s either free, or $1/ticket depending on how you look at it. It’s free since you don’t get charged until people pay, from which they deduct a dollar. If you’re concerned about it just charge a couple dollars more per ticket to make up for it. From there it works much as would be expected. People register, you are notified and can send them any relevant information or materials they need. And the event proceeds as expected.
Looking through Eventzilla’s site you can tell that they provide a reliable service. It’s clearly built by a team that took the time to think through the various scenarios. Tickets can be bought by website, phone, or box office. They provide an embeddable widget that includes event and purchasing details for your website or blog. They provide the ability to offer discounts and promotion codes. You can also vary the ticket price as the event draws closer.
Eventzilla is hands down the preferred way to organize guests for professional events be them professional seminars, continuing education classes, or entertainment & social events. You can send invites out to individuals or open it up to a public audience. Having someone handle all the transactions for such a nominal fee is truly a find. Heck, it’s so easy we might schedule both the start-up convention as well as the rock concert. Or, we could just combine them as one. After all what else would you expect from a SlapStart start-up convention? Bring your bongos and drums.
* I expect there’s some value at these presentations such as certain tidbits on how to approach development and insight from those that were successful. Some are definitely better than others.