The Crunch: People have a great time at festivals, concerts, and other live events. They also enjoy attending functions to demonstrate their support for organizations and causes. What they don’t love is when poor event planning or management inconveniences them or spoils the experience. Live event management provider Vendini partners with thousands of organizations to help them run events that attendees can truly enjoy. It also provides the tools and support they need to maximize operational efficiency, ROI, and marketing potential for every event. Vendini’s job is to work with everyone in the event-management chain to make events remain enjoyable, not frustrating, for organizations and their audiences.
In a testament to his dedication to entrepreneurship, Mark Tacchi got the idea for Vendini while he was planning for a date.
The future Vendini CEO was making a standard “dinner and a show” arrangement — which he wanted to go off without a hitch. So he called the theater to reserve two tickets for purchase at the box office on the night of the show.
As he was making the reservation, Mark realized the inherent insecurity of the arrangement. He had called — left a voicemail, actually — and reserved two show tickets. But the only commitment he and his date had made was Mark’s pledge to purchase the tickets when they arrived at the venue. If they didn’t show, the theater would be left holding the bag.
Meanwhile, Mark certainly hoped the staff at the theater box office didn’t overlook his voicemail and ruin the date. There had to be a better way, he thought, for organizations like this theater to secure their sales while also serving their customers.
In late 2001, he introduced Vendini as a web-based application for selling tickets and managing a box office. Soon, however, as Vendini’s Chief Revenue Officer Keith Goldberg remembers, the company began branching out.
“After we were up and running and selling tickets online with lots of theaters,” Keith explained, “the theaters said, ‘This is great! But what about the people who want to do it the old way and just walk up to the box office or call? How do we sell tickets to those people?’ That prompted the development of our integrated point-of-sale system.”
“Then some nonprofit organizations we worked with wanted us to build a way to accept donations on top of the sale. So we added donations,” Keith said.
Reserved seating came next and then moves into event promotion through tools for email marketing and website construction. “We just grew from there all based on feedback from our customers.”
It helps that many of Vendini’s employees have seen events from the other side. “A lot of us have had some connection to live entertainment,” Keith said. “We have an opera singer who works with us, and another guy who plays in a band. So we know and love live events, just like our customers do.”
A Full Suite of Customizable Software Solutions for Managing Events
Vendini offers an end-to-end event management solution for thousands of partners. Before, during, and after an event, Vendini has everything organizations large and small need to present festivals, concerts, comedy shows, street parties, performing arts fundraisers, and more.
“We have some customers that will just use our ticketing solution, but most are looking for our wide range of services,” Keith said. “We work purely on a transaction-based model: our customers usually don’t see much of a cost that isn’t built into the price of a ticket.”
Audience Research & Marketing Tools to Maximize Reach Before an Event
During the runup to an event, Vendini can help boost ticket sales and derive actionable insights from customer behavior. Vendini Website Manager works with Vendini TicketLine, its website ticket-sales software and Vendini TicketAgent, its box office software to create a complete customer management system with built-in SEO features and social integrations.
Patrons can use any device to purchase tickets and to select their seats using venue maps that show real-time seating availability. Patrons can also buy tickets on Facebook and share those purchase events on their own timelines.
“And with Walletini, our ticket-management app, patrons can choose to receive tickets in person or via regular mail — or they can print their tickets at home or store them on their devices for scanning at the venue,” Keith said.
Tools for creating trackable email and direct mail promotions are included as are tools that give repeat patrons the first chance at coveted tickets, including discounts, coupons, unique access codes, and gift card functionality.
Finally, at the point of sale, Vendini tools gather essential reporting, tracking, and marketing information from patrons without requiring them to register a username and password.
“Building profile data based on information collected during the sale reduces friction and encourages patrons to respond favorably to survey requests,” Keith said. During the purchasing process, then, organizations can find out where patrons learned about them, measure their loyalty, and receive feedback.
Mobile Apps to Address Every Facet of Event Management from TicketScan to Patron Connect
Vendini can also handle every aspect of the patron experience at the event. Built into TicketAgent are tools for reading credit cards and scanning tickets. Supplementing TicketAgent is Vendini’s TicketScan mobile app for iOS, which uses camera software to scan QR codes on electronic or printed tickets.
Meanwhile, patron relationship management features are part of all of Vendini’s solutions. They give staff and managers a comprehensive view of a patron’s history, including transactions, memberships, gift card use, season tickets, and donations. “And we have an app for that,” Keith said. “Patron Connect is our day-of-show assistant for funneling key information to ground-based staff in real time.”
Customer relationship management is the core of Vendini’s strategy for boosting engagement. It enables in-person greetings by name and helps loyal supporters get to know the staff who make the events happen.
Notes as to personal preferences and needs can be added to patron profiles. It’s a comprehensive solution to a critical challenge in live-event management, Keith said. “It’s making the customers who are the most important feel truly appreciated.”
Post-Event Analytics Improve Logistics for Employees, Volunteers & Attendees
Because data collection is built into every aspect of what Vendini does, it offers post-event reporting rich with actionable information. On the sales side, big-picture dashboards and customizable analytics give managers the data they need to understand trends over short and long timeframes. Custom reports can be turned into templates for future use, and reports can be set up as periodic emails.
“Our customers can track revenue to a particular event or line-item it for accounting purposes, and they can set it up so patrons don’t see it, but they can still account for it,” Keith said.
Reports can pull patron relationship information that can be filtered according to specific variables including location, profile attributes, and buying patterns. The results integrate with Vendini’s email marketing tools to enable segmented messaging.
On the fundraising side, Vendini donation management tools are integrated with marketing, patron management, and ticketing tools to give nonprofits the donor insight they need to make the right pitch to the right person at the right time.
Vendini: Minimizing the Complications & Stress of Event Management
Had the theater where Mark Tacchi was planning that date used Vendini’s tools to make the reservation, there would have been no doubt that a mutually obligating arrangement had been made. Nowadays, Vendini enables busy event staff and managers to do that and much more.
“We support our customers in many ways,” Keith said. “First of all, our front-line team has a whole series of materials they make available — a lot of which is generated during our annual networking and in-person training event, Camp Vendini.” The materials are compiled on a support page for easy access throughout the year.
For festivals and other significant events, dedicated Vendini ground teams work with customers from signup through teardown and beyond — “giving them our best practices along the way,” Keith said. “And we’re always on call and available around the clock.”
That kind of customer availability is essential, Keith explained, because live events are live. With so many moving parts, a lot of things can go wrong. But when things go right, events are magical. And that explains why Vendini has grown so fast.