January 15, 2013

How should Clover do events?

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The first event I planned at Clover started as kind of a joke. I wrote this email to Ayr in 2010:

Subject: Very Important

On Oct 5, 2010, at 9:05 AM, Lucia wrote: Halloween at Clover, I think it falls on Friday the 29th. Have you thought about what spooky delights we will be doing? Costume Contest: MIT versus DWY? I have an idea or two for what MIT crew can dress up as.

Re: Very Important

On Oct 6, 2010, at 9:15 AM, Ayr wrote: lot’s of plans. I LOVE Halloween! Love the idea of a little competition. We’re also going to do candy. And we’ll give free fries to anybody in costume.

Halloween turned out really well. Ayr, (who was busy that day opening HSQ’s first day of operation!) wrote to me and asked if I wanted to try planning a few more events for Clover. Since then we’ve done something like 50 events, ranging from beer launches to Food Truck 101 to hot-sauce-making classes.

We’re planning our events for the year. Which means I’m playing around with Events-ticketing websites. Evite, Eventbrite, Brown Paper Tickets. If you’re in the same position as I am, or you want to know where to get this Football, read on:EVITE

Free to post events. Does not deal with payment.  I’ve used Evite for Clover Holiday Parties for the past 2 years. Allows for almost zero customization. Tons of pre-made “cards” with cheesy designs (AWESOME if you’re hosting a Superbowl Party though!). Sends ads along with event reminders (so this year our invitees received ads for a ham company and Panera!!)

BROWN PAPER TICKETS

This is what I’ve been using for the past 2 years.

1. Really great customer service on the phone.
2. Decent user interface, not much customization (ex: all pages look like the Brown Paper Tickets main page).
3. Allows for will-call tickets, so customers don’t have to print anything out (really important for us when we just need to check folks in at the door).
4. Free for unpaid events. Buyer rates for paid events: $0.99 + 3.5%

EVENTBRITE

Just discovered this yesterday. Apparently they had reached out to us early on, but we didn’t follow up.

1. More customization of User Profile. Cleaner design. I think we could create a more branded look on it, there’s section for an About Us, a place to upload a logo, you can choose the colors, etc.
2. Free for unpaid events. Buyer rates for paid events: $0.99 + 2.5%
3. Beautiful integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Customers can “share” that they’re going to a Clover event.
4. Each listing comes standard with a Google Calendar widget. When you click “add to my calendar,” it automatically populates a Google Calendar Listing for an event. You can then invite guests to that. So, potentially we could begin an event by populating an Eventbrite listing, and end by seeing a Google calendar, sans Eventbrite branding, on our website.
5. There’s a section for Developers! http://developer.eventbrite.com/doc/widgets/#calendar
6. Not sure if allows for will-call tickets (important for us).

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