EventNook Interview Series – Guus Goorts

Behind The Scenes Of Event Planning and Brand Building

At EventNook, we witness from the start and to the finish of numerous events and the evolution of many brands. From business conferences to musical festivals, what is constant for these various events is the never ending hard work involved in its planning, much like the marketing efforts of different brands. How do you plan a successful event? What is it like to build a brand name for a company? We reached out to some of these professionals to share their stories.


Guus Goorts – Founder of Yago.sg & Co-Founder Crystal Marketing

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Guus Goorts is the founder of Yago.sg and co-founder of Crystal Marketing. Both of the companies succeeded in the face of the fast-changing world by having strong vision and leadership. Yago.sg is a directory of language courses in Singapore that helps to find language courses that best fits for you. The company strongly believes that “The world will be a better place if we can appreciate other people and their cultures” and by proving directories it makes easier to connect people to each other. 

The Google partner, Crystal Marketing is a firm that focuses on the key marketing areas of businesses such as connecting supply and demand by using Google Search, Digital Marketing, Design & Advertisement, Media Planning and helps companies to become an A player in their respective industries .

What was the main purpose to start Yago and Crystal Marketing?

I found that while some language schools had websites, it was very hard to get a feeling of what was happening inside the school. By bringing all schools’ course offerings into the same place for search and allow students to review on yago.sg, people who wanted to learn a language could get a much better idea of what was available before deciding where to learn a new language.

So, now I had a directory site. But it would be if the little value if people couldn’t find it. So I learned everything I could about search engine optimisation (SEO), literally starting with the book “SEO for dummies”, and applied it to the site. It soon ranked #1 for searches relating to learning Mandarin, English, Korean, French and a number of other languages.

As it did, language schools started to approach me, for being listed on the website, but also for advice on how to market their courses in a broader sense.

I realised that I really enjoyed helping business owners achieve their goals, so I started offering consulting on the side, first to Yago clients, and later more broadly to others as well.

What challenges did you face while starting it and how did you overcome it?

There were many challenges along the way, but most of them center along how to find clients and be profitable. For a long time, Yago had revenue, but it was barely enough to get by. Why? Looking back, just building a directory of language schools within Singapore was casting the net too small. There is a positive cashflow, but there are only that many people signing up for a language course in a year. Correspondingly, my total potential client base only had a certain combined advertising budget; and they also wouldn’t spend 100% with Yago.

The problem naturally solved itself as people started to approach me for SEO, AdWords campaigns and other digital marketing services. I realised that the skills I had learned to market Yago were applicable much more widely.

What are the most important qualities you look for in your team members and the people? How do you describe the best and the worst relationship with team members?

Different team members have different roles and so it is good if each has different skills. E.g., you can have someone who is good with design and perhaps not a great writer, another team member who is very creative, and someone else who is very good with numbers and process. Each have a role to play and if each handles the tasks they are best at, the team delivers great results.

But regardless, I look for people who have a hunger to learn, and who can be very open and transparent. I really don’t need to be the smartest person on the team, challenge me if you think you can do it better. But I also don’t hire for intelligence or skill level alone. If team members are hungry to learn and open, they can pick up any skills they are still missing.

My worst experience has been a staff member who suddenly disappeared after intensively working with her and training her for a month. She was obviously very talented, wrote great copy and learned fast. But one day to the next, she just turned completely uncontactable.

I don’t know what happened, whether we asked too much of her or didn’t challenge her enough. We might have been able to work something out had she spoken up.

Is it better to be perfect and late, or good and on time? If you have to choose one, which one will choose and why?

Good and on time. I don’t believe anything can ever be perfect, as the world is changing and we are always learning. But “good” can become “better”. It tends to become “better” from experience. And we can only gain experience from delivering something.

Clients count on us sticking to deadlines so that they can deliver what they promised to their clients or superiors. So deliver something “good”, but never stop looking for ways to make it even “better”. Don’t let the illusion of “perfect” hold you back.

What was one memorable lesson you’ve learnt through personal experience during the course of your career? What happened?

When I was a training specialist, I once greatly upset a client by sending an e-mail where I addressed them by the name of another company. I had used an old e-mail as a template and forgotten to update the company name.

My director was furious.

My manager said something to the effect of “shit happens, how are you going to prevent this from happening again?”. With her encouragement, I came up with a step-by-step process for organising group trainings that helped streamline the process and make this kind of error much less likely in the future.

The immediate lesson I learned, as an employee doing the work, was to have a structure for everything and never rush into doing things. Rushing makes you make mistakes which you then need to spend time on to fix.

Now that I have staff myself, how my manager acted at the time is a great inspiration. Don’t heap blame if something goes wrong, but make maximum use of the opportunity for learning.

If you are given time to do anything you want without work obligations, what will you do? How do you spend it?  Where will you go?

I’d like to experience Tristan da Cunha. It’s the world’s most remote inhabited island with 266 inhabitants, at 2,400 km from South Africa and 3,360 km from South America. Ships pass it only 8-9 times a year. At some point in my life, I’d love to spend a month there to experience what life is like without all the distractions.

What is your favourite quote and explain it in depth why?

“if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

It’s very applicable to my situation right now. For years, I’ve been virtually a solopreneur; I would occasionally get help, but basically try to handle everything myself as much as possible.

But Crystal Marketing is a partnership between 3 partners. I contribute the digital marketing and copywriting experience, Cheok is a designer, and great at building trusted relationships with clients and business strategy; Alex is driven, hungry, challenges us and gets things done fast.

When I was still doing things alone, I just had to make the decision and stick to it. Can’t be any faster. Now, in this partnership, there are others to be convinced. Often, deciding may take a couple of days longer, but it will result in a better decision, and we have the execution power and commitment of three people behind it.

What is one advice you wish you had received when you first started out your career and what advice would you like to give for young entrepreneurs?

I have received lots of advice during my career, good and bad. Sometimes, I wasn’t ready to listen to the good advice, and I realised years later, that it was actually good advice. It’s very hard to separate the good from the bad if you’re still learning.

So, building on that, I would advise young entrepreneurs to find a few people that they trust who are willing to give them feedback and advice. The litmus test is “if this person tells you to do something, are you prepared to follow their advice?”. Find advisors / coaches / friends around them whose achievements you respect and if they advise you to do something scary, you are compelled to try it just because of your trust and respect for them.

What are the changes you’d like to make to the industry through Yago and Crystal Marketing?

Too many agencies are “brief takers” – if the client says they want to run banner ads, they’ll provide a quote for exactly that.

The problem is that what the client request, may not be what is needed. Or it may only be part of what is needed to meet the objectives. For example, if the landing page (where people end up after clicking the ad) is confusing, the marketing campaign may fail because of that.

So, we will always take a step back and see whether what the client requests is truly what is needed to achieve success. Instead of a “brief taker”, we like to see ourselves as a “doctor”. Our clients know their businesses well; we have a lot of experience with different marketing approaches and platforms; together we work out what is the best fit.

About EventNook:

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

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Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

EventNook Interview Series – Will Lee

Behind The Scenes Of Event Planning and Brand Building

At EventNook, we witness the start and finish of numerous events and the evolution of many brands. From business conferences to musical festivals, what is constant for these various events is the never ending hard work involved in its planning, much like the marketing efforts of different brands. How do you plan a successful event? What is it like to build a brand name for a company? We reached out to some of these professionals to share their stories.



Will Lee – Founder of That Marketing Guy

Will Lee


Will Lee is the founder of That Marketing Guy, a marketing consultancy that believes that all brands deserve good marketing.  Founded in 2012, That Marketing Guy has since worked with locally known organisations such as NTUC, Tower Transit Singapore, Auston Institute of Management, Society for the Physically Disabled, Spa Esprit Group and Fatboy’s. As its Principal Consultant, Will is responsible for the internal brand development, marketing strategy, and the overall management and execution of campaigns. We spoke to him and asked him a few questions about That Marketing Guy, here’s what he said.

How did you come to name your company That Marketing Guy?

In my previous employment, I had a chat with the CEO during an internal “get to know you” session about how the company’s efforts at marketing weren’t successful. At the time, I was just a Junior Executive, but I highlighted what the company could be doing better and the CEO took note of it. As one of many employees, he couldn’t remember my name but he remembered my ideas. So from then on, when he needed to look me up he referred to me as “that marketing guy”. It became a name that fit perfectly with what I wanted my consultancy to be. We want to be “that marketing guy” for other companies.

What does your schedule of a busy day look like?

Every day is different! My schedule varies and each day has different levels of business as I don’t really follow the 9-5 schedule. I usually have meetings with clients (both prospective and current) or partners that go on throughout the morning and afternoon. After my meetings are done for the day I tend to emails well into the evening, before going to dinner, then home. It’s usually at night that I plan for the week and check on what’s been done or what needs to be done.

If I don’t have any meetings (which is very rare), you’ll find me in the office with my team, strategizing.

What are the important qualities you look for in your team members and the people you work with?

When it comes to team members, I look for people who can bring something to the discussion table; I’m big on diversity of skills, interests, and opinions. I like it when there are (manageable) conflicts within the team as I believe it’s these sorts of situations that ignite creativity.

When it comes to clients, I prefer down to earth individuals who have a clear idea of their goals and what they want to achieve. I look for clients who believe their company/business can add value to society, with making money simply being a byproduct of that value-add.

What do you do to help you generate fresh ideas for the companies you work with?

I always open myself to marketing ideas from other sectors, and I read a lot of news from other industries like PR, design, advertising, etc. and try and see how I could adapt their strategies for marketing. I also like to ask my team about their thoughts on campaigns to get different opinions on what works and what doesn’t. But no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’m always thinking about marketing. Whether it’s a photo or a friend telling a story, I’m always looking at the marketing angle of things so I’ve always got lots of ideas brewing.

What was one memorable lesson you learned through personal experience during the course of your career? What happened?

It’s hard for me to choose just one lesson as I’ve had many important experiences that have helped me get to where I am today and there’s lots of little anecdotes. I guess it depends on who I’m speaking to. If a fellow entrepreneur asked me this, I’d tell them to just go for it. Whatever they want to do, just do it and if you fail, you fail but at least you now you know. But I guess what I’ve learned from my years in the working world is that SMEs need support because they don’t have access to the big bucks the way the big companies or MNCs do, so I want to help them with that.

If you were given time to do anything you wanted without work obligations, what would you do?

Honestly, I’d want to run a lemonade stand (or a cafe or stall, something small and cosy) and apply what I know about marketing to make it the best damn lemonade stand in Singapore.

What is your favourite quote?

“Believe and it shall become” — ‘nuff said.

What is one piece of advice you wish you had received when you first started out your career?

I would tell me 10 years ago that everything happens for a reason, so don’t get disheartened. No matter what’s happened, retrospect will show that it all makes sense.

What are the changes you’d like to make to the industry through That Marketing Guy?

I really hope that smaller businesses in Singapore can be kept alive; that they can survive in the face of behemoth chains and businesses. I think this can be achieved if Singapore embraces marketing more, and with That Marketing Guy I want to show that marketing is more than just design or PR or social media — it’s all of that and none of that depending on a business’ needs. I want to show that good marketing brings results, but you need to have a specialised marketing plan in order to be successful in it.

We’d like to thank Will Lee for participating. Please stay tuned for our upcoming interview series posts every week!

About EventNook:

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

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Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

EventNook Interview Series – Carolyn Oei

Behind The Scenes Of Event Planning and Brand Building

At EventNook, we witness the start and finish off numerous events and the evolution of many brands. From business conferences to musical festivals, what is constant for these various events is the never ending hard work involved in its planning, much like the marketing efforts of different brands. How do you plan a successful event? What is it like to build a brand name for a company? We reached out to some of these professionals to share their stories.


 

Carolyn Oei – Founder of The Creative Voice

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Carolyn is the founder of The Creative Voice, a company focused on arts and culture. She has organised and curated numerous festivals and shows including Musicity Singapore 2014, Lit Up Singapore, Singapore Heritage Festival (Tiong Bahru Night Programme), and Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye – A Spoken Word Experience. Other festivals and events Carolyn has supported include Singapore International Storytelling Festival, Singapore Night Festival, and Chemistry’s Makan Matters. Carolyn is also the co-founder and principal writer for Mackerel, a culture magazine that she started with poet/photographer, Marc Nair. She is also an Associate Lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. On the community front, she is a long-term volunteer with the Riding For The Disabled Association and is a member of her local resident’s committee. Carolyn is currently Festival Manager of Neon Lights, a music festival featuring international and local acts as well as robust arts programming.

1) What made you realize, and when did you realize creative directing was something you wanted to do instead of following the typical attorney route?

CO: “Creative directing” is an interesting term. I think it’s more relevant to what I do now with my company The Creative Voice than the public relations & communications work that I did previously with agencies and in-house. I left the law a long time ago. Although I am not practicing now, the skills that I learned have been invaluable. And they are basic yet critical things such as being able to read and draft a contract. These are fundamentals that everyone should be aware of, creative industry or not.
What made me realise that creative work was for me were motivation and natural inclination. I finally tuned into those two things and made the decision to do what I was more naturally gifted to do.

2) What does your schedule of a busy day look like?

CO: Something like this –

5.30am: Wake. Potter around slowly trying not to hurt myself fumbling about in the dark. Feed the cat.
5.45am: While water for tea is boiling, check email and phone messages to see if anything urgent needs to be attended to.
6.15am: Wolf down some breakfast, shower, and dress.
6.45am to 6pm: Get cracking. For me, this could mean going out to teach my classes at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, sitting at my computer to start writing an email, or going out to do an event, photo/video shoot, conduct interviews, and meetings.
8pm to 10pm: Catch up on work that I couldn’t do during the day because I was out. I find it difficult to incorporate the creative process, ie: the writing, into the frenzy of the daylight hours. So, my creative work is usually done at night and on the weekends.

3) As someone who works with ideas, have you ever felt stuck when working on projects? What do you do to get new inspirations?

CO: Yes, I have. I think it’s a very natural part of the process to plateau or to hit the proverbial wall. From experience, I’ve found that feeling stuck typically happens as a result of fatigue. Low batt is low batt. You just have to recharge. So, I stop work and sleep the sleep of the dead. And I try not to overextend myself on a daily basis. Fresh air and the sunshine are, quite literally, my way of “getting unstuck”.

4) What was one memorable lesson you’ve learnt through personal experience during the course of your career? What happened?

CO: And this is the lawyer in me speaking, document everything. Ideally, in an email and/or an actual document. Do not rely on SMS or WhatsApp communications. It’s good governance generally and keeps everyone honest.

5) If you are given time to do anything you want without work obligations, what will you do? Where will you go?

CO: I would work on a vegetable farm that also had an animal sanctuary attached. Where? Wherever that farm might be!

6) What is your favourite quote?

CO: “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” – Bertrand Russell

7) What is one advice you wish you had received when you first started out your career?

CO: I’ve found that just because I love what I do doesn’t mean that I must love it every single day. There are days when I downright hate it, but that’s because of a particular situation or even person. The most important thing to feel about your work is whether you can see yourself doing it in a fulfilling and mostly happy way for a long time.

8) What is one change in the industry you would like to see?

CO: In the context of writing, I would like to see writers stop undercutting their colleagues in the industry. And for writers generally to be paid fairly for their work. Nothing angers me more than some smart-ass client saying things like, “I could have written that myself.” Well, why didn’t you?

We’d like to thank Carolyn for participating. Please stay tuned for our upcoming interview series posts every week!

About EventNook:

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

Why Event Organizers Love QR codes and e-Tickets

From music concerts to business conferences, if there is one thing in common for these events, it will be the long queues they entail. To save time, cost, and the sanity of their participants, event organizers have looked to technology to find a solution: QR Code e-Ticketing.

True to its name, QR codes deliver Quick Response(s) to the systems with just a quick scan. With a QR code embedded ticket, a quick wave in front of a camera is all it takes to check in within seconds. However, as a disruptive innovation, users often tend to compare QR coded e-tickets with traditional ticketing.

Time Effectiveness:

– QR Codes: QR codes are known for being fast and effective, allowing data to be downloaded within seconds. In its application for event registration, there will be no need to fumble over excel sheets to search for attendee names, or to go through the trouble of verifying the tickets. One scan is all it takes.

– Physical tickets: Most people would have experienced misplacing their tickets before the start of the show. Not only is it time consuming to collect and search for the tickets, it also dampens the mood for participants. With e-ticketing, organizers no longer have to worry about ticket distribution, and attendees will always have access to their tickets as long as they have their electronic devices.

Cost Effectiveness:

– QR Codes: Though sending out e-tickets and QR codes through email might be almost free, it could be difficult to find a service provider that does it well for you at an affordable price. Well, that is why we are here.

– Physical tickets: Event Organisers would have to consider not only the designing, manufacturing but also the distribution costs.

Aesthetics:

– QR Codes: Contrary to popular beliefs, QR codes can have special designs. With up to 30% error margin, you are free to change the colors and designs of a QR code, as long as the contrast between it and the background color is strong enough. E-Tickets can also be used to further promote an event or a brand through customized and innovative designs.

– Physical tickets: Though not as effective, physical tickets are often used as a keepsake to reminisce about a significant and memorable event, such as wedding invitations etc.

 

While QR coded e-Tickets are effective, it does have certain limitations in terms of designs and usage as compared to physical tickets. Most event organizers who adopt such technology will be those who seek simplicity and effectiveness. QR Coded tickets can also be printed out as formal invitations. For example, event organizers such as CloudAsia and SMU have been adopting QR coded ticket check-ins to better their registration process.

About EventNook:

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

QR Code Registration & Badge Printing – CloudAsia

EventNook brought an easy registration and time efficient QR Code Check-In for 3,000 visitors and delegates who attended one of the premier Cloud Computing events, CloudAsia. Co-organized by InfoComm Development Authority of Singapore, the event gathered the best of breed in Technology, both from private and public decisions makers, government representatives of dynamic and fast growing economies and major players such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services to acknowledge and update about excitement innovative sector, Cloud Technology.

CloudAsia was held from 3 – 5 May 2016 at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore. Throughout 3 days, EventNook’s online registration, QR Code Check-In with seamless badge printing and on-site support, made the job of event organisers very easy and efficient which eliminated long queuing and waiting among visitors. The following video was captured during the actual date of the event and clearly demonstrates the power of innovative technology from EventNook.

Features Used:

Online Registration & Ticketing – Registering 3,000 visitors online and onsite with our mobile-friendly platform and giving the CloudAsia’s organisers real-time access to the data, made possible to make necessary decisions in time and created the best, easy and efficient experience for them. 

QR Code Check-In – If you have large events such as CloudAsia, the manual process of check-in 1,000’s of attendees can be very difficult and painful. With our QR Code Check-in technology, attendees themselves scan it and no worries for organisers. 

Badge Printing  –  As an organiser, you don’t have to worry 3 months in advance about printing the badges , because our integrated iOS App with the printer will print the badges for you at the real time. 

 

About EventNook:

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

 

 

EventNook Launches New Pricing Plans – Catering Better To Different Customer Needs

new pricing plans
EventNook is thrilled to announce our new pricing plan, a plan that provides a better catering for the growing needs of different sizes and types of customers which need a different level of supports and service consumption with easy and affordable pricing.

Putting ourselves in the perspectives of our customers, we acknowledge that planning and managing an event with 100 pax and an event with 1,000 pax have different requirements. At the same time, planning and managing a students gathering event with 100 pax and a conference with 100 pax which attendees are high-profile delegates cannot share the same planning and registration process.

Thus, we have developed a pricing plan which is flexible so you can get and pay for exactly what you need. With our the new plan,

#1 You can choose a plan that is best for you

With our new flexible pricing, our plans allow users to choose a plan based on the features and assistance they require! We hope to cater more flexibility for different sizes and types. We have plans from $9/month, $69/month to $399/month for different types of customer needs. Our plans are catered specially to 4 main types of EventNook users, allowing them to select the perfect plan

These 4 types are namely:
Eventnook pricing plan
Who is suitable for Basic Plan?
If you are organizing a simple event with less than 500 pax like a seminar, workshop or a social/community event, you may choose to start with our Basic Plan at $9/month for service subscription of our completely self-serviced tool. You can easily create and launch an event site in less than 10 minutes and will be able to manage the registration, payment, event information, and more.

Who is suitable for Pro Plan?
If you are organizing a large ticketed event or a business conference, you may consider choosing our PRO plan at $69/month or other higher grade plans. The PRO plan allows you to enable features such as QR Code e-Ticket, Seamless Check-In, Customization of Automated Confirmation Email, Automated Invoicing for accepting payment mode like cheques as well as supporting higher load for accepting high volume registration.

Another key aspect here, is that the PRO Plan may actually help large reduce commissions for users. With a new commission rate of 1% of ticket fees for paid tickets, instead of the previous 2.5% + $0.30 per ticket sold. This allows users to save cost on commission fees and yet obtain more features.

Who is suitable for Business Plan?
The business plan is similar to PRO plan with prioritized support and allows bigger event size up to 3,000 pax.

Who is suitable for Enterprise Plan?
When you organize the very important event for a corporate such as Annual Gala Dinner for 2,000 corporate clients or a conference with a complex requirement, the enterprise is the plan you’ll need. It allows event agencies and corporate clients to have a dedicated account manager support, professional service such as website brand customization and other ad-hoc professional services, the enterprise would be the choice as the customers can have EventNook team like an extended IT team to support the event team.

#2 You can choose a payment period that is best for you

Our plan allows you to choose whether you wish to pay annually or pay monthly. This allows you to choose a plan based on the frequency of your usage. For example, if you organize events on a regular basis, you may wish to sign up for the annual plans. However, if you have a one of event, or have many events clustered within only a couple of months, you may wish to go for the plan which allows you to pay monthly. This way, you can optimize your spending and obtain great features with very reasonable prices.

Billed Annually:
eventnook pricing

Billed Monthly:
eventnook pricingHere at EventNook, we care for the productivity and convenience of our customers and want them to achieve an impressive event with an affordable, productive preparation processes. Thus, we have carefully thought through this new price planning in order to allow them the achieve the most with the least.

For existing customers, please contact us at hello@eventnook.com to learn more. We hope to be able to help you with and advice you on necessary upgrades.

About EventNook:

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

An EventNook Update – 9 New Features All at Once!

EventNook has released an update of 9 new features all at once, what can be more exciting than that? Business users now experience a cutting-edge online registration system, one of astounding efficiency and seamless integration.

Following these 9 new features, EventNook plans to roll out its PRO Package plans, which comprise of a string of these thrilling new features, in addition to EventNook’s PRO Support. This PRO Package plans would allow event professionals access to reliable services, more comprehensive features and better support. This would bring them less unnecessary enquiring, with an increased amount of quality assistance.

9 new updates on eventnook

If you have not already discovered them, we want to make sure you know about the latest and greatest updates so we can share our joy with you!

#1 QR CODE TICKETING [PRO]

QR Code Ticketing is one of the ways event planners have been trying to revolutionize their events! It’s provides a smart way to verify tickets, allows for seamless/ fast attendance tracking in real time and allows event organisers to go paperless! EventNook now brings this function to you so you don’t have to do it yourself! Impress your attendees and save resources with QR Code Ticketing.

qr code ticketing

#2 EMAIL TEMPLATE CUSTOMISATION AND NOTIFICATION [PRO]

Customize email templates and bring communication with event attendees to a more personal level. With this feature, event organisers are able customize messages on tips about the event day, add images such as maps, state terms and conditions, venue information and much more. Doing this with EventNook is so simple yet is so effective – simply click edit message to communicate your thoughts. A must use feature!

customise email feature

#3 CUSTOMIZE RECEIPT AND INVOICING [PRO]

This feature is especially useful for conferences in which most of the attendees are sent by business and require payment via company invoicing. This automated invoicing saves event organisers the hassle of having to manually produce invoices. Imagine an event with 500 delegates has to issue invoice for 500 registrations? Well, scrape that thought, EventNook’s latest feature does it all for you.

receipt and invoice feature

#4 TAX SETTING OPTION [PRO]

The Tax Setting Option is another useful feature. If your organization requires to collect GST/ VAT service tax from your ticket sales, you can easily set tax charges in your ticket price.

#5 GOOGLE ANALYTICS [PRO]

With the Google Analytics feature, you have complete visibility and ability to analyse how people visiting your event page, which websites are promoting your event, where are visitors coming from and much more. This would allow you to improve your event page further for present or future purposes.

google analytics
Credits: Daimto

#6 ADS TRACKING CODE (FACEBOOK ADS TRACKING) [PRO]

This time, we wanted to make event registration even more complete than before. Thus, we added the Ads Tracking Code feature so event marketing teams could track their Ads Campaign performances and sign-up conversion rates. This will allow event organisers to measure cost and effectiveness of each social media event marketing campaign and various online ticket sales campaigns.

facebook adsCredits: SproutSocial

#7 CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN THANK YOU MESSAGE [PRO]

As you probably would have observed, our latest update focuses a lot on customization. We designed these features because we really wanted users to have better access to a more personal, individual and customized form of communication with their attendees. The thank you message brings this a step further.

#8 CUSTOMISE YOUR OWN REGISTER BUTTON

This feature allows flexibility with regards to the call to action. For example, for ticketing event, you might want to say “Buy Ticket” and if you are organizing a business workshop or conference, you may want to say “Register Now” or “RSVP Event”. This feature allows you to do things exactly the way you want it.

customise thank you button

#9 SET YOUR OWN REGISTRATION CLOSING DATE

If you want to set a date for your event to automatically close, you can now do so under Settings. Let’s say if you want to close the registration 2 days before the event, you can now do so without worrying about remembering to change it manually.

EventNook aims to continually improve the user experience for all event organisers. Our team is ever ready to produce features to attend to the latest needs or trends of the event industry at the cheapest and most affordable rates.

 

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

[Product Update] Launch of Stripe Makes Payment A Breeze  

The latest EventNook update is a huge leap both for event organisers and for attendees. EventNook is very excited to announce offering additional online credit card payment method with Stripe. With the addition of the NEW Stripe feature, collecting payment & selling tickets with online credit card payment just got much easier and event organisers are now able to achieve so much more!

Credit card paymentFor those who are already familiar with PayPal for selling tickets online, Stripe is an additional or alternative great payment option to sell event tickets with credit card payment. It user interface is very simple, minimalism and mobile friendly.

But that’s not all, let’s see what else Stripe has to offer:

✔ Sales deposited straight into your account as tickets are purchased

Unlike many ticketing solutions, EventNook does not withhold your funds! With Stripe, you can configure your account to transfer your funds on various alternative schedules. Thus, instead of having to wait for an event to be over, or for the end of the month to come, you can now collect your funds as you wish!

 ✔ A low, simple flat rate of 3.4% + 50 cents

Save the hassle of additional accounting with Stripe with its simple flat rate of 3.4% + 50 cents in Singapore (This rate varies between countries). In addition, offering competitive rates on processing fees, Stripe has no refund costs or monthly fees.

✔ 139 Currencies Available

With the vast number of currencies available, event organisers need not fear that international attendees are unable to make payment online. Available for business in 123 countries and with 139 currencies available, Stripe brings convenience to a whole new level.

✔ Easy payment for attendees!

With Stripe, attendees save the trouble of needing to sign up for an account – They can simply pay through the use of their credit cards!
 Easy payment for attendees

Starting/Linking your Stripe Merchant Account:

Stripe is easy to use for both event attendees and organisers. Simply click Currency & Payment to Connect with Stripe. This will link us directly to Stripe’s Sign In/Sign Up page.

connecting stripe to eventnook

Do note that Singapore event organisers have to receive a referral link in order to sign up for Stripe. You can request for one here. Alternatively, contact us at hello@eventnook.com and we will gladly send you one!

EventNook is excited about this new launch of the stripe feature and hopes to continue making event registration even simpler to our users!
Use Stripe on EventNook for your events now & we promise an even smoother transaction!

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

How to hack your way to a successful hackathon!

You don’t need to have a technical background to organise a successful hackathon! All you need is some creativity, event management tips and the right attitude!

1. Pick a great theme

You can pick themes that surround a particular technology such as sensor technologies, the Internet of Things or Virtual Reality technologies. Or you could get participants to hack towards achieving a certain goal. For instance, the National University of Singapore organised a hackathon called Commuthon in collaboration with SMRT that was geared towards improving commuter experience in 2014.

Check out some hackathon ideas others have already experimented with here: http://blog.eventnook.com/post/unconventional-hackathons-for-different-event-needs/

2. Clear communication

Hackers tend to be very forgiving if you are not able to provide certain things at the hackathon as long as you communicate the message to them effectively! What they do expect however is you being able to reach out to them effectively using various communication channels such as social media, e-mails and websites (you should be a master of digital communication). You can use channels such as Techinasia, EventNook, e27, thelist.sg, etc.

Reach out through startup communities as well! Startup communities in Singapore include Open Coffee ClubStartup Club, and the SEN meetup.

Provide ample amount of information, such as getting to the venues and back, changes to the schedule, what to bring and expect, etc. Clear communication sustains engagement.

3. Venues

A venue decision should be made in consideration of sleeping and showering arrangements, connectivity, accessibility, ambience, size, pricing, power socket presence and AV (especially for demos should be functioning). Make provisions for hardware hacks that may require electric testing or isolation.

PC: ida.gov.sg

Make sure to ask for necessary accommodations for people who may be less able to access the venue. Insurance such as against  fire and theft, as well as for you as an organiser should be in place and communicated if they aren’t.

Security will also be important especially since people will be bringing expensive valuables like laptops and perhaps their own high-tech toys. While participants have the responsibility to take care of their own items, prevention is better than cure and you wouldn’t want a lost item to ruin your event.

4. Sponsorship

Sponsors can come in the form of a venue sponsor, food sponsor, prize sponsor and more! However, sponsors tend to expect to have some airtime to pitch themselves to your attendees. The more sponsors you have, the more likely will your event be overrun by corporate messaging and in-your-face advertising. As an organiser, you need to be able to balance both. Try to help your sponsors be relevant to the hackathon. Find sponsors that can provide useful APIs or deploy experienced staff to serve as judges so that they can boost their brand in a less intrusive way.

5. When?

Check for clashes. Don’t organise a hackathon on the day of another prominent startup weekend in the vicinity. Many hackers tend to be very active in attending hackathons and you will significantly reduce your turnout if there are clashes.

Try to organise your hackathon over the weekend to maximise turnout as most hackers are full-time employees or entrepreneurs as well!

6. Food

Over-order on food especially if it is an overnight event. When these hackers are in the zone, eating becomes last on their priority and making sure that there is ample amounts of easily accessible food is important to prevent any health mishaps. It helps greatly if the food you serve is easily eaten as well! Avoid soupy or dripping stuff to lighten your cleaning upload later.

Check for special dietary requirements as well during registration for the event.

PC: pascadoo.com

 

7. Network

Wifi should be able to accommodate at least 4 devices per person, there should be minimal firewalling and malware checks, and you should have backup ethernet and cables available in case of a wifi unavailability.

Organisers should also make sure to absolve themselves of liability if there should be intrusion caused over the network and individuals should secure their own devices.

8. APIs

Check the APIs beforehand, make sure they are available in at least 3 major languages and get technical people to present them because questions will be highly technical. Make sure to compile comprehensive API documentation for the convenience of the attendees.

9. Pay attention to negativities in the room

Any discriminatory language, bitter feelings, cheating, etc. should be put to a stop before they grow out of hand. This requires the event organiser to be on their toes in making sure they can pre-empt and mitigate issues on the event day.

There should be a conducive and collaborative atmosphere in the room. Some form of respect for privacy is appreciated and make sure to encourage spontaneity and fun as well!

PC: dbs.com

10. Hack submissions

Make it as easy and straightforward as possible. You can check out some third-party services like Hacker League, Hackathon.io, or WeHack.it to help you organise submissions.

Make sure to test run the AV equipment required for effective demos. Technical glitches at a hackathon filled with technical experts just do not speak well of your event.

 

About EventNook:

Event Mangement Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

Overview of the ASEAN MICE industry: Part 3

Myanmar and Indonesia are two underdeveloped but high potential MICE destinations in ASEAN. The governments in both countries have paid greater attention to developing MICE to unlock its vast economic benefits and put their countries on the world map. However, there is a long way to go for these countries especially with the lack of infrastructure necessary to host large events.

Myanmar

PC: nationmultimedia.com

  • Major MICE centres in Nay Pyi Taw include Myanmar International Convention Centres 1 and 2, and the Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw.
  • The city had previously hosted the ASEAN Tourism Forum, ASEAN Summit and World Economic Forum on East Asia.

Myanmar is now holding more than 60 business and commodity exhibitions a year, but shortages of proper venues are hindering the full potential.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has announced plans to establish Nay Pyi Taw as a MICE destination, having established a central organising office in the capital city as a “one-stop shop” for organising MICE events.

TCEB and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) recently signed a comprehensive memorandum of understanding at a ceremony in Yangon to improve and expand their meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industries.

Indonesia 

PC: exhibitionscargo.com

MICE remains a disappointment for Indonesia. Out of 8.8 million travelers, only 3% came for MICE, roughly 170,000. Compared to its much smaller counterparts in ASEAN, this is proportionately small.

One of the main barriers to MICE growth in Indonesia is the lack of world-class infrastructure required for hosting prestigious or large MICE events. Only Jakarta, Bali and Yogyakarta are capable of hosting large meetings while other cities can only medium size events. In addition, connectivity and roads remain inadequate and air travel into Indonesia is limited. Newer developments include the construction of a new airport in Lombok and a new convention venue in Manado.

The government had previously designated 16 new MICE destinations for development. They include Bandung in West Java; Jakarta; Surabaya in East Java and Yogyakarta; Batam in the Riau Islands and Medan in North Sumatra; Denpasar in Bali and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara; Makassar in South Sulawesi and Manado, North Sulawesi.

In 2012, Indonesia established the Directorate of Special Interest Tours, Convention, Incentive and Events Development to boost tourism and the MICE industry. In particular, Indonesia has focused its strategies toward attracting travelers from South Korea, India, Russia and China. In particular for China, Indonesia’s leading carrier PT Garuda Indonesia has made plans for daily flights to Jakarta while Jakarta has also urged ASEAN to implement a common visa for the region to accelerate growth of tourism from neighbouring countries.

Looking forward, there is a need for the government to create a special agency focusing on the development of MICE. In addition, there should be implementation of greater financial incentives to encourage MICE players to hold their events in Indonesia.

 

Overall

Myanmar and Indonesia have strong cultural and historical capital to tap on and their MICE industries are poised to become the largest in the region. Especially with collaboration with the ASEAN region, Myanmar and Indonesia are extremely attractive destinations for MICE travelers to stopover after their main events. However, it will take a few more years for Myanmar and Indonesia to really start fulfilling its potential because it still lacks the hard capacity required for hosting big events. Political circumstances can also frustrate development prospects and delay the growth of these promising MICE destinations.

 

Keen to plan an event in one of the ASEAN countries? Check out Eventnook’s range of services capable of powering complex and large-scale events: 

About EventNook:

Event Management Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

Contact us:
Email: hello@eventnook.com
Phone: +65 6681-6571
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eventnook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventnook/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Eventnook/

 

Read more about the other ASEAN countries’ MICE outlook:

http://blog.eventnook.com/post/overview-of-the-asean-mice-industry-part-2/

http://blog.eventnook.com/post/overview-of-the-asean-mice-industry-part-1/

 

References

http://www.chinamicenow.com/article/indonesia-boosts-mice-industry-new-initiatives

http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/56259/mice-tourism-remains-a-disappointment