The Basics of Online Event Planning
This step is probably where you’ll save the most time and energy working online. Start out by putting your invitation on a Web site that people can access freely. Using graphics and color is easy with sites such as http://www.evite.com and http://www.invitedepot.com that help you design e-invitations. These services also are particularly helpful because they’ll track who has received and responded to an invite. You can even send a reminder e-mail to your list at the click of a mouse.
A few tips about e-invitations …
* Send out a couple of rounds of emails -- one as a save-the-date notice and one as a reminder just before the event. Evite and other services offer this “reminder” function. There are always Internet glitches or people who don’t understand how to access their e-Invites, so a follow-up can’t hurt.
* Make sure every e-invite has all the details in it (who, what, when, where, why and RSVP information).
* If you’re inviting a large group of people who aren’t necessarily close to your organization, make sure you offer a way for people to unsubscribe from your list.
Another useful aspect of online event planning is online payment options. Depending on the capability of your Web site, the deductibility of a ticket to your event and your budget, your organization can easily secure online ticketing services or offer them on your own Web site.
Take a look at the sites of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (http://www.afpnet.org) and the World Affairs Council of Northern California (http://www.itsyourworld.org) for some good examples of organizations that use ongoing, online event ticketing. Keep in mind that you might need to acquire merchant vender certification to run credit card processing from your Web site. It’s much easier to ask another company to do this for you. There are many options in this regard.