Finding time to engage with event-goers at the event? Good luck with that…
As a new, independent event organiser, the biggest nightmare I’ve encountered has been connecting with people present at the event. Naturally, you want to connect with people attending your event, especially if you plan to run more events and want to keep people engaged and informed about future ones. On the day - however, I’ve found I’m always so busy making sure the sound, the food, the guest list, the team complementaries, the venue specs, the general logistics, as well as the unexpected thing that’s just come up and the expected thing that finally reared its head, are running smoothly. This makes getting audience details virtually impossible, never mind finding the time to engage with them.
As an emerging artist and in organising events, I’ve found myself doing it the old school way – by requesting people’s details at the event or on Facebook, which is somewhat effective when compiling a mailing list. This does, however, become rather inefficient when one looks at the time it takes to fill out a form or info sheet at an event, or to quickly complete a survey on Facebook (not to mention how most event-goers aren’t all that eager to do so - they are there for an event after all, not to subscribe to spam).
Then how do I let them know about future events, send them photos of the event, etc?
I’ve recently switched to Quicket’s online ticketing and the possibilities with the system and its features as well as the support I’ve received, have really broadened my horizons.
There’s a way for you to capture ticket buyer details swiftly in the ticket selling leg of the process with Quicket, connecting buyers and you, as the organiser, in a smooth and mutually beneficial manner. Once you've set up your MailChimp integration, ticket buyer details go through automatically. If you don't have a Mailchimp account, don't worry (I didn't either but setting it up wasn’t daunting at all). I'll walk you through the steps I took to create one.
Do I really need Mailchimp?
Integrating Mailchimp and your Quicket event ensures that as event organisers, we have ticket buyer details providing us with an incredible opportunity to follow up with our target audience and building a sustainable relationship (the best kind). The process initially seems a little complex, but in the end it’s quick and easy. It just requires a little bit of focused time but as they say, “a stitch in time saves nine”.
First, you need to set up your Mailchimp account and then link that account with your event on Quicket. Mailchimp is an incredible tool for sharing newsletters and announcements relating to your events, promoting giveaways, conducting surveys or anything that will strengthen and maintain the relationship with the audience that has committed to your brand – so you can grow your database with very little hassle. It took me a while for me to concentrate (I blame the Monday afternoon slump), but once I did – it went smoothly. Don't let the length of this list scare you either. It's fairly simple, and I've just outlined each step that will get you set up and sorted. Seriously, if Monday afternoon me can do it, most people will find it a breeze.
Setting up your Mailchimp account
- Go to http://mailchi.mp/ and click on “Sign Up Free” in the top right corner. One of the best things about Mailchimp is that up until you have a much larger list of 2,000 subscribers or more, it’s completely free forever! Free! Forever!
- Fill in the requested details - you’ll receive a confirmation email to activate your account.
- Select the support resources and emails you’d like to receive about getting started on Mailchimp (these range from campaign support and layout and design to newsletter insights and more!)
- Once you’re done with this, you will be logged in and will see headings at the top of the page.
- Go to the "Lists" tab, and create your first mailing list on Mailchimp. I created one mailing list for my artist brand that I can link with any gigs I do, so that I can keep in contact with anyone that's bought tickets to any of my past gigs, and tell them about future ones coming up. The list you create is what you'll link your Quicket event to.
Linking Mailchimp to your Quicket event
- To do this next part, you need to have an event set up on Quicket that you want to sync with your Mailchimp account. If you want to find out more about running the ticketing for your event through Quicket, contact them.
- Once you’ve set up your event on Quicket head to your Dashboard for the event (i.e. go to “My Events”, find the event you want to link, then click on “Manage event”)
- I found it most beneficial to link my Mailchimp account to my Quicket account after the event, because the bulk of my sales were done on the day of the event - you know how Capetonians are with last-minute decisions ;). That said, once linked, your Mailchimp list will automatically be updated any time anyone buys a ticket for your event on Quicket.
- Once you’re on your Dashboard, on the left-hand menu, look for the “</> Integrate” tab and click on “Mailchimp”. Here you'll see your mailing list/s that you created in Mailchimp.
- On the far right you “link” the event to your Mailchimp list, which will sync all those ticket buyer contacts automatically to your Mailchimp mailing list, et voila! You can now email them.
Any new email addresses and other details you choose to collect from your guest list can be synced with any list linked to your event. Note that if you unlink a list, guests will stop being synced but existing subscribers will not be removed. You should always keep rules for email marketing in mind, and it is also advisable to set up groups within your Mailchimp guest list - so you can segment your target market and get the messaging right, and to ensure seamless customised communication and connection with your people. I personally chose not to do this though as for my uses I don’t need any further breakdown of my mailing list. Unless it’s a Monday afternoon, obvs.
Give it a go - you’ve got nothing to lose
Although it feels like there's a lot of new stuff to learn, you don't need to know everything to make use of Mailchimp, and if you set up the basics you’ll be reaping the benefits if gives you for a long time. And of course, you can always learn the major ins and outs as you go. I’m happy I took the plunge… if you’re reading this, you should too!
Dumama Duma (also known as Gugulethu) is an emerging artist, brand builder and more recently an event curator who interned at Quicket. When she’s not making music or curating experiences, she’s connecting with global communities online and facilitating empowerment projects.