If there is one thing that event planners absolutely must have, it is an event payment solution. Think about it, how will you be able to process and accept ticket purchases and payments without one?
More than just having the ability to process a credit card or perform online payment processing, the right event payment solution will make your planning process that much easier. From ticket sales to marketing options, an event payment solution will be the most valuable tool in your kit!
While each event is different with a unique set of requirements, there are a few factors and features that should be considered when choosing a payment processor.
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for an event payment solution:
Of course, payment processing is not free and can come with fees that can surprise you if you aren’t perfectly clear on the pricing structure. Often, this fee structure can be unnecessarily complicated and cost you more money than you had anticipated.
Stripe and Square, for example, both charge 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. These fees can occur on top of transaction fees charged by an online ticket sales service or event ticketing platform.
Before you choose a payment service, make sure you understand how much it is likely to cost you. Look for a solution that gives you the option to pass the 2.9% plus 30 cents processing fee on to the ticket buyer, saving you that cost.
Ticketing solutions like Accelevents allows you to do just that while only charging $1 per ticket plus 1% of the sale amount which can also be passed along to the ticket buyer, making the service virtually free for you to use!
Some processors will charge different rates for different cards, have a setup fee, or even monthly fees. Be aware of these fees before getting started. Platforms like Stripe and Square do not have such fees.
Look for a complete solution that gives you options and flexibility when it comes to ticket types and ticket pricing.
Depending on the type of event you are hosting, you may not want to be locked into a single ticket type or price.
When hosting a music festival, you may want to offer different ticket tiers like Early Bird, General Admission, and VIP, each with their own pricing structure.
Try to find an option that will allow you to set ticket numbers, sales dates, and allows you to implement discount codes.
Search for flexibility in the payment method as well. You’ll want to accept all major credit cards and payments through services like Apple Pay, as well. You’ve made things easier on the buyer by accepting mobile payments, it would be a shame to see an abandoned sale because, in the end, you couldn’t accept the buyer’s preferred payment type!
When it comes to choosing between solutions, it may be the integrations that prove to be the most useful to you.
An event ticketing system or payment solution should, ideally, integrate with the systems you already have in place.
You will want something that not only will integrate with your social media channels but will also integrate with marketing email automation platforms like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign, automation tools like Zapier, customer relationship/management software like Hubspot and Salesforce, accounting software like Quickbooks, and tracking tools like Google Analytics.
If you are using one of these tools, or a combination of them, you will want to link your ticket sales to them so you can properly determine who your audience is, where they are coming from, and how to more effectively target your marketing campaign.
When running a fundraiser, you will want not only want a platform that can accept payments, you will also want one that can help increase the number of donations you receive. By connecting a ticketing platform with a fundraising platform, you make it easier for people to give to your cause or charity.
Enabling a donation option at the point of purchase or allowing buyers to participate in mobile raffles, bid in silent auctions, or text-to-give, you are sure to hit your fundraising goals.
Why just settle for a solution that only provides credit card processing when you could get so much more?
Some ticketing platforms will accept payments AND help you effectively market your event.
Look for an option that integrates with your social media pages, allows you to build a fully branded event website, and enables an effective email campaign.
By using a platform that allows you to properly brand your event across all touchpoints and more easily spread the word to your target audience, you can reasonably expect to sell more tickets and experience greater profits.
Nothing ever runs smoothly all the time so when looking for ticketing and payment processing solutions, consider the level of customer support that will be available to you.
Accepting online payments means that ticket buyers can (and will!) make their purchases when it is most convenient for them to do so — that means at any time, day or night.
Look for a service provider that offers 24/7 customer support, preferably with a live person.
Ask any potential provider the following:
- Do you have a help center that has an FAQ and valuable resources that I can use and access at any time?
- Is customer service available 24/7 for support or will there be times when reps are unavailable?
- Are customer service reps available via phone, email, or live chat?
When accepting online payment, or mobile payment, you are accepting a cashless payment. This can have an impact on budget management and make things more complicated, especially for smaller organizations.
Establishing and sticking to a budget are fundamental elements of event management. But, as mentioned above, nothing ever runs smoothly all of the time and things can happen that may require you to free up funds in a hurry.
Look for an event payment solution that allows for instant payouts. Instant payouts are exactly what they sound like — instant access to your money.
Instead of being subjected to long wait times, get your money when you need and/or want it.
When processing payments and handling customer data, you want to have the utmost security. Before signing up, make sure you understand the security of your payment gateway.
Look for bank-level security and encryption with fraud detection. With fraud detection in place, so you can avoid being issued a chargeback.
A chargeback happens when there has been fraudulent activity on a credit card. They occur after payment has been processed and the credit card client contacts the financial institution, instead of you, to say that they did not issue that charge. The payment will be canceled and you will not only lose that money but be charged an additional $25-$45.
Yes, you want to offer multiple payment options but they need to be secure payment options.
The risk of data breaches and fraud are not only a risk to your potential buyers but a risk to your reputation as well.
Easy Check-In and Online Event Registration
Event planners know that check-in and registration can be problematic. Failure to streamline event check-in and improve the online registration process will result in unhappy event attendees as will be reflected in your post-event survey responses.
An event payment or event ticketing solution that also enables event staff or volunteers to check-in guests using their smartphones will be like a dream come true. By simply tapping and scanning, guests can be checked in and on their way in a matter of minutes. Look for a “guest lookup” feature to use as a backup, sometimes people forget, or can’t find, their tickets and so if you can look them up by name, you can complete the check-in and have them on their way without delay.
Online registration will save you time, money, and hassle. It allows you to collect data from your guests in a way that is convenient for both of you. Registration takes place at the time of purchase which means it is already done by the time the event rolls around meaning all that’s left for them to do that day is check-in.
Paper registration forms can be cumbersome (and not particularly eco-friendly!) whereas online registration makes it easy for you to access the data you need when you need it without having to wade through a mountain of paper. With this data, you can improve your marketing campaigns pre-event and better evaluate your efforts when all is said and done.
Finding the right event payment solution can be a real lifesaver. The right solution can enable you to start accepting payments immediately without any extra steps on your end.
Ideally, you will want a solution that will process payments but will also include features that will make your event planning processes much, much easier.
Accelevents uses Stripe and Square which means transparent and clear pricing with no setup fee so you can confidently set your budget and stick to it without fear of hidden costs or unexpected monthly fees. Accelevents also offers instant payouts so you can access your money in a hurry if need be.
Think about the features you require that will set you up for success and look for the solution that most closely meets these requirements. Choosing the right event payment solution can make all the difference in your event planning and management.
Get started today by signing up for a free Accelevents and see the difference!