Using Eventbrite in Your SchoolThe Easy Event Management App...for FREE!
I didn’t sign up to be an event coordinator…
I am not quite sure about you, but when I got my Masters for school counseling – I didn’t realize how much event (and test) coordination would tag along with the job. I typically dread processing registrations, sign ups and getting info out to attendees for things like parent nights, test prep workshops, and most recently – a community college case study. It just wears on you.
Luckily, I rediscovered and re-purposed a great online program (and yes – there is an app for that) that takes 75% of the headache of event planning away!
The secret is Eventbrite!
What is Eventbrite?
If you have attended a concert, play or community event that required a ticket – there is a decent chance they may have used Eventbrite (or something very similar). Eventbrite is a platform for event organizers who want to manage things like ticket sales, registration, follow up and check in in one, easy to use management portal. In this post – I will show you a few different screenshots of the areas to note within Eventbrite, give some tips regarding use as a school counselor (or school counseling department) and I have also created a demo event (in about 10 minutes!) that you can view like you were a student or parent and go through the registration process to experience the use of Eventbrite.
But wait…how much does it cost?
Here is the kicker – for free events — NOTHING! If you are running events that do not charge attendees – you pay no money to Eventbrite. They even help promote your event on their pages if stakeholders are already using Eventbrite. If you DO need to charge for an event (like a SAT prep course or something that families have to pay for) – Eventbrite will even manage the payment processing, but will charge a portion of each ticket sale. But for all of my events so far – free has been the right price.
Visit the Demo Event and experience Eventbrite 1st hand!
Registration is FREE (and no – this is not really an event that will ACTUALLY happen…)
Basic events in 3 easy steps
Before we begin the 3 steps – please make sure that you register for an account with Eventbrite. That can be done by simply click on Sign Up in the upper right of the Eventbrite home page (see image to the right). Disclaimer – as with all tech tools, I always suggest consulting with your admin and/or IT folks at your department to ensure Eventbrite or any other tech tool is not breaking any privacy requirements held by your district or other policies in place regarding use of technology.
Disclaimer – as with all tech tools, I always suggest consulting with your admin and/or IT folks at your department to ensure Eventbrite or any other tech tool is not breaking any privacy requirements held by your district or other policies in place regarding use of technology.
Click “Create Event” in the far upper right of your browser once you are logged in to your account. This will take you to the initial page of your event setup. It is going to ask you the basics of your event:
- Event Image (recommended 2160 x 1080 for best results)
- Event description (why should people register and what do they need to know about your event?)
- Organizer (this could be your school, counseling dept, or yourself)
Below that – it is going to ask you to create tickets. It gives you 3 options – Free, Paid, and Donation. Paid and Donation tickets have incurred costs (these can be absorbed by you or by the buyer). Hit save.
Fine tuning and customizing is step 2. I suppose this is purely optional, but this is The Counseling Geek. We fine tune everything. Once we have the basics set up from Step 1 – we can head over to the Manage tab (see image to the right). On the manage tab – we can do a lot of neat things. The first place I go is the “Order Form” section. This lets you customize the information you collect (because we are all data-inspired school counselors right?).
I usually limit the information to things like Name, email, phone, and gender in the default options. However – there are some powerful data-crunching tools that let you create your OWN questions. In addition – you can create conditional sub-questions. If you look at the example event – try changing which school you attend and you will get a different sub-question (it will ask who your school counselor is and give you different options to select depending on the school you go to). Good stuff. Oh and these questions – you can sort and export reports that give you all this good info later.
Another part of step 2 is the event promotion. Eventbrite lets you connect to Facebook and a number of other apps. You can also email invites out, create widgets to embed on your website (see the one above on this very page for example) and track where people are learning about this event by using tracking links. This would be a little more advanced for most – but give it a shot. It can be very enlightening as to where people are finding out about your events.
The third and final step is on event day (or just before). Once people have registered – you are able to create and print name badges based on the registration information, send emails (before, during and after) to registered attendees, and check people in as they arrive. Eventbrite also has a handy mobile app for iOS and Android that you can download to check-in people at the door by name or by scanning their QR code on their printed ticket. Checking people in I have found gets better turn out. People feel they are signing up for something that if they don’t show – people will know. Yep – check in takes time, but it also fuels the data fire. Who is or isn’t coming? How can we get them there next time (you can always contact those who didn’t come to find out how it could be better).
If you wanted to go low-tech – you can also print the guest list and check people in by hand. Check-in is not even required if you wanted to forego it altogether.
Step 3.1 is the follow-up component. No event would be complete without a short survey to find out how it went. You can send that out to all of your registrants (or you can select just the people you checked in at the door) to gather feedback on the event.
You can even put your event right on a webpage
People can register for your event without ever leaving your own webpage. This would require web editing rights and knowledge.
I hope you get some quality use out of Eventbrite in your school counseling program! I hope to hear how you are using it and what your favorite aspects are. Please leave a comment below, connect via Facebook/Twitter or shoot me an email. Happy counseling!