Event Factory - event management just got easier!
About Event Factory
Having worked as an event manager for 7 years, managing all kinds of events from concerts to complex multi-day conferences, I like to think I know what an Event Manager needs and the problems they can often face. It’s a demanding field; deadlines are absolute and any failures potentially very public, the workload is high and clients or management are prone to change their requirements suddenly, and sometimes, at the last minute, demanding an immediate response when there’s already a queue of critical tasks needing to be done.
Faced with these challenges, even the most organised events manager with the most carefully constructed project plan can come unstuck. For me, juggling several events at the same time, in a team of one plus whoever I could rope in to help at the time, it became clear that I needed a technological solution to make my workload more manageable and to be able to respond and adapt to changes more quickly. It became essential to find ways to automate the many repetitive tasks that organising an event with hundreds of guests creates.
That’s why I began to develop this software, adding to it as I went along. But I also soon learnt that many of my colleagues were unwilling or unable to embrace technology with the same enthusiasm. A solution that other colleagues don't use is no solution at all. In fact, it's worse, because it leads to the duplication of work. I had to make it simple and accessible to everyone, regardless of their computing skills or willingness to learn new ones.
In practice, where there are so many possible variations from event to event, that’s not at all easy to do. In order to make something appear simple the code that makes it work has to be incredibly complicated. It creates a paradox where the more work you do, the less you appear to have done, because the end result looks so easy to use.
As I learnt more, I became more ambitious about what it could do. I realized that the ultimate solution needed to free staff from the work involved in recording responses and amending records. It needed to have a website interface that allowed customers to record their responses and details directly into the database, and if they could do that, to also be able to view and amend their own contact information.
In order to maintain the simplicity and accessibility to the staff using the system, this had to be accomplished without adding any new layers of complexity or requiring the user to learn new skills, like content management systems or how to use other third party online tools. Events must be easy to put online and changes should be reflected instantly without having to wait for a web designer or content manager to implement them for you.
What started out as a necessity morphed into a project of its own, until after many years of development I can present what you see here; a fully automated database that streamlines the event management workflow and a website that writes itself, through which customers can respond, and if needed, pay, and also keep their own contact details up to date.
Of course, it’s all search engine friendly too, making it easier for customers to find your events. Stuctured data tags are added automatically and the sitemap is regenerated whenever the content changes. Similarly, events are ready to be shared on the major social media networks, enabling you to benefit from the full potential of viral marketing straight out of the box.
I haven't stopped developing yet, there will be more to come, but for now I believe I have an incredibly useful and commercially viable event management tool.
What is it?
Event Factory is an event management system designed to make organising events easier. It's a contact management database combined with an event management console, all linked to your website so that your invitees can respond, book and pay online via your own website.
The website requires no management, special interface or IT skills to run it, each event page is constructed automatically for you according to the options you select in the database. The responses are also automatically recorded in the database, leaving you free to concentrate on creating an amazing event.
The website can be styled to match your existing website on installation so that it blends seamlessly, using your logo, brand colours and button styles. The "home" button would link back to your main website with all of its usual features, plus a menu link to take you to the events section.
Once there, you can view a list of upcoming events on the events index page. Events can be publicly accessible, or only visible to your invited guests once they log in. Click show me and you'll be taken to some mock events where you can register/log in and make a booking, and if the event is open to the public share it on social media. You can even pay using a PayPal sandbox account (not real money) to get the full experience that your customers would enjoy. Use username: firstname.lastname@example.org and password: testuser to pay.
This system can be used for any kind of event, from complex conferences with multiple breakout sessions to fundraising dinners, concerts, auctions, exhibitions, seminars and weddings.
If you need to use a tiered pricing structure that's all built in. You can offer as many different packages as you want to and add discounts and complimentary tickets too.
Sending invitations using the event management console couldn't be easier. Using automated processes you can design, produce and send hard copies, or email them as pdf files attached to a personalised email, each of which contains a unique link to the website for your invitees to respond. Not only is this simple, it saves you a lot of work and it looks more professional too, enhancing your brand and the image of your organisation.
Once registered on your website, your customers can also keep their own contact details up to date, resulting in a more accurate database which is more convenient for them and more efficient for you.
Who's it for?
Designed primarily with smaller organisations in mind who don't have a huge technology budget, it brings the kind of functionality you'd usually only expect from a larger company with bespoke software within reach at a very affordable price. Maintaining your customers on your own website while they book and pay for events not only looks more professional, it makes good business sense too. Having gone to the trouble and expense of attracting visitors to your website really the last thing you should want to have to do is redirect them to a third-party website to book tickets for your events, especially if once there they're exposed to advertisements from your competitors, and when having to pay an extra commission on the booking price makes your event less competitive too.
Using the system doesn't require any special skills, you don't need to know how databases or websites work to be able to use it. You don't need to be a computer whiz or even be especially proficient with MS Office. Most of the functions are fully automated and operate at the click of a button. There's very little set-up, once installed it's ready to go!
The video below demonstrates some of what Event Factory can do. Feel free to register and log in to book one of the demonstration events listed on the events tab. You can even do a mock payment via a sandbox PayPal account; username: email@example.com password: testuser to see exactly what your customers would experience using this system.
For a more detailed look at Event Factory's functionality, please see the second video below:
For sales enquiries or to book a demonstration please click here.
How much does it cost?
|Item||0 to 5 users||6 - 15 users||15+ users|
|Basic installation (requiring minimal design work)||£1,000||£1,250||£1,500|
|Advanced installation (will be quoted beforehand)||£1,500+||£1,750+||£2,000+|
|Annual renewable licence*||£1,000||£2,000||£2,500|
|Staff training (half day)||£200||£250||£300|
|Additional features - if you have particular or unusual requirements, additional features can be added subject to a quotation|
*prices may be subject to periodic increases
What you will need to run this software:
- Microsoft Office with MS Access
- A high speed internet connection
- A webiste hosting package, or better, a dedicated server
- A server/PC to run as a local server
- A DNS service (this can be free)
- An account with paypal or other payment service