School events are no doubt fun-filled events for the attendees. Well, most of the time anyway. However, for organizers, planning and executing a successful school event can be a tough gig. While it pays to be optimistic (and there is no shortage of optimists amongst Gen Zers and millennials), event organizers must leave no stone unturned to ensure the event runs smoothly.
Part of preparation involves going over every potential challenge. After all, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Some of the challenges include who collects the payments, how the funds will be managed, ticket creation, tracking, and reconciliation, informing parents about the type of event being organized for their children, and the code of conduct.
Event organizers will inevitably be faced with further challenges, more so at times like these with COVID-19, its Delta variant, social distances, and partial lockdowns. What are some of the biggest hurdles organizers face on ticketing and registering their school events?
Making the event memorable
One thing about the current generation is they are perpetually distracted. When organizing a school event, one major challenge is making sure the students, who form the biggest chunk of attendees, are talking about the event days (and weeks) before and after the event. You want to generate some kind of hype before the event to ensure everyone knows about it.
What to do? Have a team of volunteers, preferably students, to popularize the event on their social media pages, distribute flyers in their neighborhood, and spread awareness through word of mouth. On the day of the event, you can hire a photographer and ensure the images are circulated on your social media sites for people to access them easily. This way, you will give people the opportunity to relive the experience and look forward to future events. It is even better if the event is for a good cause.
Settling on a payment method
When it comes to ticketing, one of the biggest challenges is deciding the payment method. The method must inspire the confidence of attendees. While you have multiple options (online, at the school, the local stores, etc.), they must all be safe and foolproof. As an organizer, you have to be in control of the ticketing. Some people tend to buy tickets in bulk and resell them at an inflated price. To avoid such fraud, you may limit the number of sales an individual can buy. You don’t want to ruin your reputation.
Still, on ticketing, another challenge is controlling who enters the school event. Some people may want to attend the event without tickets, while others may have genuinely lost their tickets. How do you verify if someone had purchased a ticket and lost it? LeanStream's administrative dashboard can provide an electronic space to help you verify lost tickets. Still, you would need a second line to avoid inconveniencing those who already have their tickets at the entry. Ultimately, it comes down to the type of event you are organizing, but this problem is typical in ticket sales. Remember, you are dealing with students who have one or two tricks up their sleeves.
A poor registration process can leave your event in disarray. It frustrates staff and attendees and can cause unnecessary delays to the event. How to solve this? Set yourself up weeks before the event. In most cases, this means registering the event no later than 14 days before the date of the event. In some instances, you may have to attend an event planning meeting with the school authorities. Some of the issues that you need to sort include:
- Child care: Is it needed? If it is needed, how will you provide it and who will provide it?
- Event setup: Who will be in charge of setting up the event and other things like clean up?
- Greetings: Who will be welcoming the attending families (if the event involves students, families, and community members)?
- Inclusive: Are interpretation services needed? If so, who will provide them?
In addition, you may require a permit from the relevant authorities during the registration process if your event involves a public collection which is common, especially for charity/fundraising events. Also, be sure to review the school's calendar and best practices and complete all the necessary forms before submitting your event for approval. We explore some great ideas for submitting a winning proposal, here!
Finding a ticketing strategy
With the pandemic, setting ticket prices can be a hassle. You have to consider the venue cost if the event is being held outside the school, the type of accessible content, and sponsors, among other factors. You could tackle this headache by creating ticketing tiers and levels for the different types of attendees you expect at your event. Various ticketing prices can be available for different people (parents, teachers, students, children, etc.). This gives the attendees a bit of flexibility.
An example of a school event is annual graduations or award ceremonies. As you can expect, this is a time to celebrate students and parents, grandparents, friends, and even neighbors who may want to attend. If the students are allowed to invite as many guests as possible, you can see the challenge in managing tickets for such an event. You need to create a proper distribution for the tickets to ensure the appropriate people get the correct number of tickets.
That's where a sound ticketing system swoops in to save the day. It should ensure the school can limit students on the number of tickets they can get while ensuring enough room for all attendees. You should also be able to track the number of tickets that have not been used. If the students are allowed 10 tickets, but some students only invite 5 guests, the remaining tickets should be easy to track within the ticketing software.
Organizing a successful school event is not as easy as it sounds. There are loads of ticketing and registration hurdles to overcome. However, with proper preparation and collaboration with all stakeholders, your event will be a success.
At LeanStream, we are more than ready to partner with you in holding successful school events, especially fundraisers that we all know are hugely beneficial for students. We are your ultimate Digital Fundraising and E-Commerce partner for schools and school districts.