In the past, when organizers of small- to mid-size events had to sell tickets for their fundraisers, birthday parties, concerts and charity auctions, or what have you, they had to estimate how many people would be in attendance and then print, market and sell tickets through various media.
Enter ezEvent, an online event management website that was recently launched by a subdivision of South Windsor-based TicketNetwork. It’s a one-stop shop for people planning anything from small birthday parties to mid-size fundraisers and sports tournaments to even large outdoor concerts.
With ezEvent, TicketNetwork is entering a $1 billion market, according to Product Manager Cary Prague.
ezEvent enables people to create, plan, sell tickets for, and publicize events of any size; the platform is entirely scalable.
“The goal is to cater to events of all levels,” said Molly Merez, associate vice president of TicketNetwork. “We wanted this for people who are throwing their own birthday party or for someone with a fundraiser of 1,000 people and have it be as easy as possible.”
After creating an account that requires an e-mail address and the creation of a password, the event planner is off and running.
The next page requires the planner to fill out clean, basic fields such as the type of event; when the event is to take place; who is organizing the event; a description of the event and the type, number and charge for tickets.
ezEvent makes money by charging a flat rate of 89 cents per ticket sold. If the event does not require tickets to be printed, then there is no charge for the event planner.
Once that page is finished, the planner picks a color theme for the customized website. A URL is created for the event website that can be distributed via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The whole process - I created an event for a mock anniversary for how long I’ve worked at Patch - took me five minutes to complete.
Event organizers can also sell other items, such as T-shirts, on their newly created sites as well.
On the other end, customers can purchase tickets through the website created by the planner.
“We wanted to make it easy for the customer and we wanted to make it easy for the planner,” Merez said.
The whole idea is to take one of the tougher aspects of event planning - ticket creation, sales and marketing - out of the hands of the organizer at a minimal cost.
“You’re planning an event, catering it, worrying about decorations - you don’t need to worry about the tickets and how people are finding out about the event,” Merez said.
What separates ezEvent from its competitors such as Eventbrite and Evite, according to Prague, are the user friendly experience, the cost - the 89-cent flat rate is far below the percentage that the other services use - and other features, such as the ability to provide custom tickets for the attendees with driving directions, dress code, last-minute changes to the schedule, parking or just a graphic on the ticket.
One client asked for waivers of physical liability to be signed before checking out.
“We are the easiest to use and the least expensive,” said Prague, adding that he is extremely proud of the team with which he worked to design and launch the product. Prague said that his team is continuously working on upgrading and improving ezEvent to make for the best possible customer experience.
The team is in the process of developing attendee-management tools, Prague said, something that he hopes will be added in several weeks. A more advanced patron management system will be out by early next year, Prague said.
“I’ve never worked with a smarter, more talented group of people,” Prague said.
For more information, visit www.ezevent.com.
TicketNetwork left ins headquarters on Bolton Road in Vernon in May 2011 and moved into the former Gerber Scientific complex off Kelly Road just over the South Windsor line.