September 19, 2014

Online Event Registration with Eventbrite

At first glance, Eventbrite does not appear to be a small business tool. Most small business owners are not planning events, right? Let’s redefine what an event is and then we’ll see if this tool can help you grow your small business and marketing presence. Events are the secret sauce to good marketing and Eventbrite can help you manage and promote your business. This review is for the small business owner or team member who handles marketing tasks.

I’m defining the term “event” broadly — if you are a small business owner who is meeting with customers or prospects online or in real life (IRL); you are probably managing events or could shift your approach to include more people and make your “event” more productive and profitable. You can produce micro-events, business networking events, or social events, but the best ones are educational and not sales heavy (or sales-y at all).

Tyler Garns (fellow contributor here on Small Business Trends) and I planned a well-attended marketing event last summer and used a combination of Eventbrite and Biznik to pack the room. Biznik has an awesome event “do and don’t” list that includes some advice to leverage Eventbrite when you plan an event as well.

Event management is no easy task, that’s why you need a tool like Eventbrite. Here’s what I really like about it:

  • You can create a customized event page (with its own distinct URL).
  • If your event is recurring, you can manage that easily.
  • The tool generates name badges automatically. A time saver, for sure.
  • You can poll your attendees as they register to learn more about their likes, dislikes, shirt size.
  • I love that you get a big SEO (search engine optimization) boost from listing your event properly.

Some of the things I’d like to see:

  • You can link to Facebook and Twitter, but I’d like the option to link to LinkedIn, too, as that’s where a ton of my (and probably your) business contacts reside. And while it is part of the “My Profile” section, linking to your social profiles is not as obvious as I think it could be. Again, a small point for an otherwise terrific service to small business owners. Once your event is created, they do make it easy to share your event.

If your marketing efforts do not include events because of the logistical hassle, then Eventbrite is worth a close look. The service makes it easy to create, promote, and manage free and paid events.

The pricing is pretty simple: 2.5% plus $0.99 per ticket. Now that might seem a little steep at first glance, but let’s do some fast math: a $10 event will cost you $1.24 to use Eventbrite. Most important, if your event is free, well, then there’s no charge by Eventbrite. That’s pretty hard to beat.

Learn more about Eventbrite.

8 Comments ▼

TJ McCue - Product Editor


TJ McCue TJ McCue is the Product Editor for Small Business Trends and an entrepreneur who publishes Tech Biz Talk. TJ is a former Wall Street Journal columnist. He also writes for Forbes and American Express OPEN Forum. He loves learning about technology apps and software services - share yours with TJ.

8 Reactions

  1. Hi TJ,

    I love Eventbrite! It’s so easy and convenient. I know lots of small businesses and entrepreneurs putting on events. And with Eventbrite, they don’t have to spend thousands building a registration website. That’s what I call “leveling the playing field” for small businesses!

    – Anita

  2. I agree Eventbrite is great! We used it for many small events and internal seminars.

    I did find for some applications it was far too simple though. Our organization began using Event Wizard (www.event-wizard.com) last year and we find it far more flexible and able to meet the needs of our more complex registration sites.

  3. I hadn’t heard of this site before, thanks! It sounds perfect for any seminars I may give in the future.

  4. Nice post, TJ, and thanks for the shout. I’m Tighe, Eventbrite’s community manager. I just wanted to raise my hand here and let you know that Eventbrite does have a LinkedIn integration. You are able to click the button at the top of the event page and share the link to all of your business networks there. (We also did a study last year – which we’ll also be updating soon – that proved the value of a LinkedIn share at $0.90. You can check it out here: http://blog.eventbrite.com/SOCIAL-COMMERCE)

    Hope that helps! If you have other ideas of how Eventbrite could integrate with LinkedIn, I’d love to hear them and pass the feedback on internally. Feel free to hit me up with insights or questions. Thanks!

  5. TJ: I have to check out Eventbrite. I used a service called SimpleSignup when I arranged a celebration of the Boston Tea Party (1773) on December 16, 2011. It sounds that these both services are similar in scope and features.

  6. Great stuff here TJ.

    Also (kicking the dirt) thanks for the mention on the Biznik do’s and don’t list. We put a lot of effort into making the event experience for Biznik members really high quality – which means educating the host as well as the attendee.

    The most important part of that list is our 95/5 principle which is about the host providing 95% rich and valuable content, and only 5% sales pitch. (Refreshing, eh?)

    Our editors review every event that the community is assured to only see the most relevant events in their calendar.

    We also love Eventbrite – and encourage our hosts to promote events that have non Biznik members in attendance to use it.

    Definitely available here for further discussion or on Biznik.

  7. Eventbrite is a great concept, easy to use and totally convenient.
    Awesome job!

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