2018 A Year In Review

2018 A Year In Review

After a busy couple of weeks back in the office after the fun of Christmas break, we decided to take a look back on what was an incredible year for Helm Tickets: from amazing new features to new members of the ever-growing team. It was a year of hard work and graft, as well as a year of fun and laughter.

So let’s start with taking a look at some of the new features highlights to come from 2018.

Features

Multi-Currency Support 

One of the biggest new features to come from 2018 was multi-currency support. There were even more currencies added to the system, meaning Helm Tickets now supports 109 currencies! This allows you to organise international events seamlessly and, provide your attendees with ticket prices in their local currency.

Jon, CEO“At the touch of a button (and lots of planning) we started working with organisers across the world. We’re now selling thousands of tickets in 60 different countries.”

For more details click here.

Memberships

In 2018 we released this powerful feature which allows organisers to sell memberships to attendees. Attendees with memberships get either discounted tickets or free tickets based on their membership level and organisers can set up recurring payments.

Discover more here.

Guest Checkout

Lightning-fast guest checkout functionality developed last year makes the entire purchase process for attendees faster and more streamlined, allowing you to sell more tickets. Coupled with our embed functionality, guest checkout improves the already seamless on-page process for attendees to help organisers increase sales.

Read more here.

Discount Codes

We also added for our organisers the feature to add event specific discount codes, either reducing a ticket by a percentile or monetary amount for a certain period of time to drive sales. Discount codes are an easy way to boost sales and reward your most loyal attendees. You can even track your promoter’s performance using discount codes.

To find out more about adding discount codes click here.

Hubspot and Mailchimp Integration

Integration was a big part of 2018: you can now integrate your Hubspot CRM with your events. Sync, update and manage! You can also sync attendees to MailChimp lists to provide accurate event marketing emails and invitations.

For more information on Hubspot click here and for more information on MailChimp click here.

 

We are really looking forward to bringing out new and exciting features in 2019. Already this year we have launched our new partial refunds feature enabling organisers to select which attendees from a specific order need a refund, as well as having the choice to issue a full refund or a partial refund.

Jon, CEO“We launched a new to market payout system The new system is secure, scalable and transacts sales in over 109 currencies and counting. It allows organisers to get paid on terms that suit them, helping with cash flow and event planning.”

More features we have in the pipeline include: updating the website user interface to improve the look and feel, improving the ticket buying process to streamline it and have it more mobile focused, custom tax options, localisation implementation and faster payout options to name just a few. To keep up to date with new features and see our product roadmap follow the link here.

 

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Team Highlights

We spoke to various members of the Helm Tickets team to see what their personal highlights from 2018 were. From general office life to the growth of the team it’s been a really exciting time to be part of such a rapidly developing business.

One of the biggest highlights for Helm last year has to be the growth of the team. It was a huge part of 2018, taking on staff in all departments from Sales to Marketing to Development.

Jess, Employee Experience Manager “We went from 3 people in 2017, to 9 in 2018, adding to our development, marketing, and sales and support teams. This means we’re even better equipped to serve our organisers and roll out the features that you want quicker”

Manny, Partnerships Supervisor“I loved working with the team in 2018, and it was exciting to bring new people on board – we get along great. What helps is we’re all very driven people and passionate in our own respective ways. Putting our heads together usually creates some great results.”

Aaron, Partnerships Coordinator“My highlights for 2018 were becoming a part of such a great, friendly team and seeing just how quickly the company moves forward with new features and updates, and the growth we have and the input we get from organisers’ suggestions and ideas.”

Charlotte, Marketing Assistant“I had lost my job earlier on in the year and I can’t even begin to explain how lucky I am to be working for Helm now! I am so grateful to be working somewhere that lets the team really explore and develop their creativity and be part of a team that is so passionate about everything they create. I definitely fell on my feet!”

In March 2018 the Helm Tickets website relaunched, this was another huge part of 2018 for the team. 

Luke, CTO – “The site relaunch was a fundamental step to cement the foundations for future updates and functionality. We rebuilt the platform from the ground up, in an effort to future-proof it and streamline the development process, which ultimately paid off as it allowed us to develop and launch new features at an accelerated rate. Not only that but the redesigned and simplified user interface (UI) took the look, feel and user experience to the next level.”

Liam, Web Developer“We rebranded from Origin Tickets to Helm Tickets in March, with a new UI for our site to go with it, and had a little party to celebrate!”

Another one of the highlights from last year was moving to our new Plymouth HQ. About 10 steps from the sea, the location of the office has made us all appreciate Plymouth a little bit more than we did before.

Manny, Partnerships Supervisor –  “Last year working at Helm gave me a great sense of connection with our home city and I enjoyed learning more about other local tech businesses and meeting some of them in person! “

Jess, Employee Experience Manager “We moved into our new waterfront offices in Poseidon House, giving us more space for work and for play! We’ve made it our own, including decorating it with our very own Helm-branded Kraken. We were also very excited that we can now bring our dogs to work”

The level of creativity at Helm, in general, has been a huge highlight of 2018 for the team across all departments.

Manny, Partnerships Supervisor“Helm gave me the freedom to express myself through design, lending from my illustrative background and training. I especially love breaking out the camera and getting cool shots to showcase what we’re involved in.”

Charlotte, Marketing Assistant“Helm has given me the opportunity to be really creative with the content for the marketing materials. I’ve really enjoyed being able to give Helm Tickets a voice and to be able to promote how incredibly talented the team is. I’m looking forward to being able to develop this further as I settle in.”

Helm also hosts the South West Digital Awards which ran for the first time in 2018, instantly becoming a huge success within the region.

Zoe, COO As it was the first time we’d held the awards we were a little apprehensive of how much of a response from the local community we might get. As it turned out, the local community were excited for a way of bringing us all, within the tech community, together to really showcase what we’re doing in this part of the country. It was a great opportunity to link up businesses that wouldn’t  have otherwise met, in a relaxed and social environment with great food and drink.” 

Jon, CEO“We wanted to highlight the great work that tech businesses from across the region did, so we ran an awards night with a difference. The bespoke menu, beer and custom made trophies meant everyone went home happy.”

Investment in Helm played a big part in the success of 2018, enabling development of new features and securing future growth of Helm as a whole.

Jon, CEO“We secured investment from Angel Investors to help grow the business, taking us to the next step and helping to build the team we have today.”

We’re just a few weeks into 2019 and it’s already looking like it ’s going to be another huge year for Helm Tickets. With some incredible new features already released and plans to expand the team even further, we can’t wait to see where 2019 takes us.

The organisers have always been at the heart of everything created here at Helm and that is only set to continue in 2019.

Manny, Partnerships Supervisor“Coming off of 2018 I’ve learned so much about the business world and Saas companies. I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper insight in 2019, and how we can shape our platform to better cater to our wide range of organisers. I’m very excited to see our company expand and become more influential. We’re doing good work here, with a positive mission. The rest of the world will hear us!” 

The South West Digital Awards run by Helm was an immense success in 2018 and we again are only looking to make it bigger and better in 2019.

Aaron, Partnerships Coordinator “For 2019 I’m looking forward to my first full year! Being part of the process for the South West Digital Awards is great! The new and exciting updates that are still to come and I’m most looking forward to Helm growing even more and showing everyone what we’re really made of.”

Zoe, COO“After the amazing support we received in 2018, we ’re looking for the 2019 awards to be bigger and better. Showcasing more local businesses and really delving into the depths of the southwest to showcase the extraordinary talent we have here.” 

We’re also growing the team further, hiring across multiple departments, as well as working to help the local community through volunteering schemes. 

Jess, Employee Experience Manager “In 2019, we’re looking to hire 11 more people across the different departments so if you’d like to work with us, have a look here for our vacancies. 

 

We’re also committed to working further with the local community through team volunteering and our free CV workshops. These will run in 2019, and will allow you to get bespoke advice from our HR department on how to improve your CV and attract the attention of hiring managers. Check back on Helm Tickets soon for more information on these.”

2018 was such a big year for Helm Tickets and we are only looking to grow and build on this for 2019. Keep up to date on new updates and helpful information here on our blog and keep an eye out for all the incredible new features being launched this year!

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2018, Year in Review, Business

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New Feature – Partial Refunds

New Feature – Partial Refunds

When organising events and selling tickets we all know that some refunds can be inevitable and unavoidable. We also understand how frustrating it can be when you need the funds from ticket sales to help with cash flow and pay for your event expenses.

This is why we’ve created a new feature for you – Partial Refunds.

You can now select which attendees from a specific order need a refund as well as having the choice to issue a full refund or a partial refund.

This is useful for situations such as a price drop or issuing cancellation fees.

To get started on issuing a partial refund, you will need to access the “View All Orders” page from your dashboard and select “Refund Order” on the order you wish to issue a partial refund to by using the green arrow icon on the order.

From here you’ll be able to see a pop-up.

By default, the popup is set up for a full refund and all tickets will be selected at their full purchase amount. The selected ticket will be cancelled if you proceed with the refund without making changes.

If you wish to issue a partial refund, you’ll need to deselect the tickets that will not be included in the partial refund by using the left-hand checkboxes.

If you would like the tickets to be cancelled and make them invalid at your event, select “Yes” on the “Cancel” drop-down. Otherwise, select “No” and the ticket will still be valid at your event, but refunded/partially refunded anyway.

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When you’re happy with the amount of the partial refund(s), you need to submit a reason for the refund in order to continue. You can choose if you wish to notify the attendee of the partial refund via email or not.

If you wish to leave an internal note on the order for yourself, you can leave a note on the order. This could be a reason for the refund, such as a price change on the ticket purchased.

When you’re happy with all of the information, click “refund” and the refund will be complete. The ticket price will adjust automatically to reflect your revenue amounts on your dashboard.

Any fully refunded and cancelled tickets will be removed from your guest list CSV, so this will need to be downloaded again to ensure the changes are reflected in the final list.

Please note: Refunds can take 5 to 10 days to reach the attendee’s bank account but most take place immediately.

So this a brief guide on how to use our new partial refund feature. For more advice on features both new and old check out our help desk.

At Helm, we pride ourselves on creating amazing new features that you, our organisers, need to help you run your events as effectively as possible.

Keep up to date with new features, marketing tips and industry insights in our blogs and via social media.

New Feature, Partial Refunds

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Organiser Spotlight – The Chestnut Appeal

Organiser Spotlight – The Chestnut Appeal

The Chestnut Appeal, based in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, has been at the forefront of raising awareness about prostate cancer, as well as other male cancers such as testicular and penile cancer, across the South West since 1999.

They believe it is essential to get more men talking about their health and being more open to taking action when they feel something might be wrong. These cancers can be quite treatable when caught soon enough, but, there can be a lack of support around men’s health that can mean these cancers can have devastating effects.

We spoke to David Squires from The Chestnut Appeal to tell us all about his fundraising events and how Helm Tickets has helped grow them.

Can you tell us about your events and how you came to run them?

Back in 2011, we wondered about holding a swim in aid of the charity. Open Water swimming was just taking off and the creation of ‘groups’ on Facebook had started to attract lots of interest.

After a meeting with the safety team, who were then housed on an industrial estate in deepest Cornwall, we set about launching the 2011 Burgh Island Swim.

I’m not sure how the word spread, but it did and before we knew it we had people signing up from across the UK. And so, on 4th September 2011, 125 swimmers took to the waters off the South Devon coast and completed the 1 mile swim around Burgh Island.The money raised through that swim back in 2011 topped the £25,000 mark. Needless to say, we haven’t looked back since and now run a series of swims across the summer from Burgh Island to St Michael’s Mount.

The Chestnut Appeal swims are subject to weather and have been rescheduled before. To help our organisers, what are your top tips for handling the challenge of postponing an event?

The summer of 2018 will be long remembered for the heatwave, but it also brought some unseasonable weather which caused both the St Michael’s Mount swim and the Burgh Island swim to be rescheduled.

We keep an eye on the weather and sea conditions in the run-up to a swim and keep in constant touch with our safety team if things are looking like we might have to postpone.

As an event organiser, it’s really important to remember you can’t control the weather. It can be a headache having to postpone an event but you really do have to think ‘safety first’.

It’s something to bear in mind when you set the date for the event that you have a reserve date. Ideally, you would want to have this date set beforehand so if you do have to postpone then you have a new date to offer the participants.

And we also offer the participants an option of if they can’t make the new date that they transfer to a different swim or even transfer to the following year.

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What strategies does the charity have for ensuring repeat attendance and simultaneously reaching new audiences?

As for attracting a new audience, we haven’t really got a strategy but rely on word of mouth. There was a cluster of people signing up for the first swim in 2011 who came from Buckinghamshire. How and why we never found out, but to this day we still get swimmers and new swimmers from Bucks.

How were you managing your tickets before you began using Helm?

It was just a case of asking people to send in a cheque for registration. It was only 7 years ago but it was very different. Everything back then was pretty much done via letter and the post.

What made you switch to Helm Tickets? And, How has Helm changed the way you manage your events?

When Jon approached us with the idea of online ticketing in 2015 we jumped at the chance and year on year it has made the whole process smoother to manage and easier for the participant. Even back in 2015 people were resistant to registering online and we were still taking paper registrations., Now in 2018 it’s 100% online registrations.

What are your top tips for organising charity fundraising events?

Do something you enjoy. I’ve been swimming all my life. Jumping into the water where and when possible. So organising a swim makes great sense.

Don’t over-elaborate. Keep it simple. If it’s a swim, make sure that it’s safe – it’s fun and it’s a challenge. A football tournament –  it’s about the Football. you don’t need bouncy castles and face painting!

Thanks to David speaking to us and choosing Helm Tickets! Check out his upcoming events over at The Chestnut Appeal website

If you’d like to be featured in Organiser Spotlight or you’d like more information about Helm Tickets, get in touch and check out our other blogs in the meantime!

Charity Event, Organiser Spotlight, The Chestnut Appeal

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How to market your yoga class this new year

How to market your yoga class this new year

After all the excess of Christmas and looking ahead to the New Year, many of us will have the New Year’s resolution to improve our fitness or to shift a few extra pounds. This is the perfect opportunity to amp up your marketing for your class ready for January. 

2018 saw a huge rise in the number of yoga classes available, from Hot Yoga to Goat Yoga. In the UK, “yoga” was one of Google’s most searched-for words in 2016, while the yoga and Pilates business brings in £812m a year, and rising. 

Yet many yoga classes still face the issue of bringing in new clients and not knowing where to start in marketing their businesses. Drawing people into your class over others is now incredibly competitive. Due to this increase in demand, there is now so much choice for consumers to pick from. 

Here are a few strategies to promote your yoga class:

Understand Your Students

The best way to resonate with your students is to understand what really matters to them. So do as much research as possible into what they want and what they are looking to gain from attending your class. From this position, you will know where to place yourself against any competitors and discover what your USP (unique selling point) is.

By crafting a focused message that reflects the views of your students or potential students, you will be creating a bond with them that will bring longevity to the relationship. It will be these more targeted messages that will differentiate your classes from others in your local area.

It is also worth cross-selling your classes with other classes you may offer. Introduce students and potential students to other classes you feel they may enjoy. For example, if you have had a Hatha Yoga class that has been successful, maybe work out why that class is so popular from your students and then use that information to push, for example, an Ashtanga Yoga class to those looking for more of a challenge or a step up. If your students are looking to join the latest trends in yoga, why not look into offering more of the novelty yoga classes that are trending on various social media, or hosting a one-off novelty yoga event to introduce customers to your classes.

Define Your Brand

Once you have a good understanding of your audience you can channel that knowledge into your brand. Defining what you are early on will help you keep your message and ethos consistent. Is your brand focused on beginners getting into their yoga practice? Or are they experienced yogis looking to develop their practice further? It will be this definition that will make your class stand out from the rest. Use the information gained from your students to really hone in on what makes your classes unique

An effective way of defining your brand is to have a website built which explains everything about your classes, as well as having beautiful visuals created to coincide with it. It should be a visual representation of your class, reflecting its look and feel. It should also perform in converting visitors to students. By using plenty of ‘calls to action’ (‘sign up’, ‘enrol here’, etc.) it should direct them into converting themselves from visitor to your site to a potential student. Being explicit in how you wish to convey yourself to potential students, create a clear marketing message about who you are and what your brand has to offer.

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Make The Most Of Social Media

With the understanding of your audience, you can now concentrate your efforts into various social media channels. For Yoga, Instagram is about to become your new best friend. Yoga is growing exponentially on Instagram with accounts like Yoga Girl boasting over 2.1 million followers. Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl) is the perfect example of how to harness the power of Instagram to advance yourself within yoga. She defined her audience early on and has spent the last few years building a loyal following, keeping on brand, but, at the same time maintaining authenticity. Yoga is a beautiful art form and Instagram is the perfect platform to share visual content. If you are looking to share something with more depth, look at sharing on Facebook and then cross-promoting it on Instagram.

Here are a few tips on how to share effectively on social media:

  • Create custom content. Instagram is mainly viewed on mobile devices, therefore, keep your content short and sweet with plenty of eye-catching imagery and video
  • Social Media gurus Hubspot recommend the perfect post on Facebook being around 40 characters despite the 63,206 character limit, and Instagram hitting the sweet spot at around 125 characters
  • Don’t forget to create a killer bio on all your social media platforms, include links to special offers or a sign-up page. Your Facebook banner is also a great place to promote, so keep that in mind when creating an amazing profile page.

The coming new year is the perfect opportunity to push your yoga classes and drive attendance with the tips we’ve mentioned. If you are looking for more information regarding promoting on Instagram check out this blog on Instagram For Event Promotion, where you’ll find some more detailed advice about how to get the most out of the platform.

Up your attendance for your yoga class this new year with Helm Tickets!

Yoga, Marketing, Social Media

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Environmentally Friendly Event Management

Environmentally Friendly Event Management

Eco-awareness has boomed in the last few years. With the catastrophic levels of plastic pollution and greenhouses gasses, businesses of all levels, from small startups to huge corporations, are now taking it upon themselves to be more eco-conscious in how they direct business and events. Environmentally friendly consumers appreciate when businesses go the extra mile to help save the environment.

Events provide the perfect opportunity to showcase how your business is participating in the rising wave of the environmentally aware. Here are a few of top tips in planning your event to be more eco-friendly:

CONSIDER ECO-FRIENDLY VENUES

One of the best ways to show your potential attendees you are planning an eco-friendly event is by hosting it in an eco-friendly venue. By using these alternatives, they are compliant in reducing fossil fuels and decreasing environmental damage. There are venues that offer Biomass Boilers, thermal insulation, natural ventilation and gathering rainwater.

The EU’s Future Cities project is an initiative to help promote livable and climate-proof cities. An example being Cambridge Living Future Community Eco-Village, built with the purpose of sustainability. An increasing number of venues and buildings are adapting to reduce any future environmental harm and deal with climate change.

RECYCLING

Creating a clear and simple recycling scheme is a great way to encourage your attendees to take the green option. Making it as easy and accessible as possible by having multiple recycling bins listing what can and can’t be recycled just reiterates your green policy to your attendees.  An increasing number of events like Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall are taking on a ‘Green Team’ to aid in keeping the festival as clean and green as possible!

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TECHNOLOGY

Paper is often used at events because it is cheap and easy to dispose of. However, paper waste accounts for a significant amount of wastage at events and in the modern world, it’s increasingly unnecessary.

If you have the opportunity, make tablets available during your event with all the details needed about the event. Use them to replace sign-in sheets or email marketing sheets. Alternatively, prior to the event inform guests about event details by sharing attachments for attendees to access on mobile or tablet.

Send tickets digitally so they are accessible via mobile and use QR codes to avoid having to print off tickets.

FOOD AND DRINK

If you are planning on supplying attendees with food and drink during the event, consider using biodegradable and recyclable packaging. It will make a huge impact on the volume of waste produced during the event. Deposit schemes for reusable cups is another great way to reduce waste as attendees are more likely to return them at the end of the event instead of just disposing of them.

Over-catering is also another huge issue when it comes to arranging events. It is estimated that around⅓  of all food waste” that’s produced or lost comes from the global events industry. Food into landfill is a major cause of landfill methane emissions and is a global greenhouse gas contributor.

Estimate the volume of food required by considering the number of attendees, the type of event, and the timetable of activities and always double check dietary requirements prior to the event. That way you should be able to limit the amount of food wastage during the event.

CREATE INCENTIVES

Reward your attendees for their green efforts! Offer a car-sharing scheme, offer priority to those using e-tickets for parking and entrance to the event. You can always offer discounted tickets to the event, or to the next event to those attendees who have used QR codes for example or another green initiative. And finally offering prize draws and free ticket prizes can always be used to incentivise attendee to go green!

It is not necessary to take on every single one of these green initiatives, however, if more events take on just one of these ideas it will help the events industry reduce its impact on the environment and provide another incentive for your guests to attend your event!

Help reduce the impact the events industry has on the environment with Helm Tickets!

Environmentally Friendly, Event Management, Eco-Friendly

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