Guest post by Ryan King, Blackbaud’s Sr. Channel Marketing Manager. Get ready for some great insights from a marketer that has a passion for engaging the nonprofit community and Blackbaud customers.

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I grew up wondering “Where in the world IS Carmen Sandiego?”.

The world seemed huge and I loved dissecting the clues to uncover her location. (I also thought Rockappela was totally awesome!).

But times have changed. If Iwere still looking for Carmen Sandiego, all I would have to do is trace her smart phone or look on her Facebook profile to see where she last checked in.

The world no longer seems so huge.

According to Mobile Marketing Association Asia– there are 6.8 billion people in the world. 5.1 billion people own a cell phone, but only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush! How’s that for a compelling reason to leverage mobile technology?

So, what does all this mobile jargon have to do with nonprofits?

Mobile technology revolutionizes the constituent experience.

Consider this – people can now donate to your organization while they’re volunteering for it, or even catch up on your latest news while riding the train to work, but only if you take the time to make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices.

Most organizations know about mobile now. They know the importance of having a mobile friendly home page and donation form, but I commonly see their ticketing options overlooked.

Let’s take a look at how mobile can impact the ticketing process for an organization.

  1. The ticket purchase

People are more comfortable than ever making transactions online. According to Mobile Marketer, 70% of all mobile searches result in action within an hour- someone providing information for an email list, reserving a table for dinner, or, in your case, purchasing a ticket.

Coupled with the fact that most of us have a difficult time remembering to do things at a later time, we enjoy the ability to complete quick transactions from the palms of our hands. If a friend talks about an awesome show coming up and invites you to join them, you want to be able to buy the ticket while it’s fresh on your mind.

Providing a mobile friendly ticket purchase option will create a positive experience for your constituents and allow you to sell more tickets. And, if you offer mobile ticket purchasing, you can have events in the park or on location and still be able to take credit card ticket purchases! For this, you will also want mobile check in.

  1. The check in

By how much could you reduce your line if people didn’t have to physically come to the ticket desk? What if you could take the ticket desk to your visitors? That’s what mobile check in allows you to do.

With the awesome developments in technology, checking people in with a tablet or a wireless scanner is no longer futuristic, it’s doable and it’s affordable. Using this technology will allow you to bust lines by opening up multiple entrances with ticket check ins, host events at remote locations and still take tickets (and sell tickets with credit cards), and collect visitor information at the time they enter (perhaps email address or phone number).

Another cool thing you can do with mobile devices at check in is allow people to bust the ticket sales line for you. Using signage, you can provide a QR code that drives people to your ticket purchase page and lets them purchase a ticket online, rather than waiting in line. When doing this, you can get their email address and other contact information without holding up the line. They get in faster and you get the data you need for future marketing- it’s a win-win.

  1. The reporting

What’s the best type of data? Data that’s easy to access and interpret.

Mobile devices now allow team members to see real time reports from their ticketing system or database. This means you have the ability to check on the status of your event from the airport, the coffee shop, or in between meetings. Setting up pre-formatted reports will make it even easier to get the information you need and give your entire team access to the same information.

Mobile technology is changing the way we interact and the way we do business. Make sure your organization is taking advantage by leveraging it to increase efficiency and boost ticket sales.

If Carmen Sandiego can purchase her ticket to your next event online, who cares where in the world she is?

What are the other ways your organization is using mobile for ticketing? Any Carmen Sandiego sightings? Lets chat about it on Twitter @wryan_ki

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Madeline Turner is the Online and Social Marketing Manager at Blackbaud. Prior to running Blackbaud’s social media and thought leadership blog npENGAGE, Madeline worked as a Managing Editor for Blackbaud’s Content Marketing program. It is her goal to create content and share ideas that challenge the status quo of the nonprofit industry. When Madeline isn’t tweeting or writing blog posts, you can find her drinking coffee out of her ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ mug, wearing giant headphones and singing off-key.

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