At Picatic, your security is always our top priority. On Monday, the OpenSSL project released an update that addressed a critical security vulnerability, aka ‘Heartbleed‘. This vulnerability is related to the encryption used for secure internet communication and potentially allowed access to encrypted HTTPS traffic. Once we were aware of the issue, we immediately evaluated our services and identified services that required the appropriate updates. All of our services for encrypted traffic are managed by Amazon Web Services, who was already in the process of updating to mitigate this issue.

Impacted services

Our web and api services both flow through the Amazon Elastic Load Balancer service. Amazon confirmed this service was updated at 14:00 UTC on April 8th [http://aws.amazon.com/security/security-bulletins/aws-services-updated-to-address-openssl-vulnerability/]. We have applied the applicable updates to our web services. Our API servers are unaffected by this vulnerability.

Moving forward

We have no reason to believe our services have been impacted by this exploit, but as a precaution we have revoked our old encryption keys and are using keys reissued this week. As a secondary precaution, we are recommending all existing users to reset their passwords. You can initiate this from this URL: https://www.picatic.com/users/forgot/

Feel free to reach our Customer Support team with follow up questions.

 

picatic-checkout-header

Purchasing a ticket online should be a great experience for your patrons. The checkout page is also seen more often than any other on our website. Because of this, and your feedback, we decided to give the checkout experience a major transformation.

We’ve removed the old 4 step system, and created a simplified single page checkout. The new checkout will allow ticket buyers to optionally create or log in to their existing Picatic accounts. Once logged in, their information will be auto-filled into the checkout fields making it easier than ever to purchase tickets for your events.

Faster checkout for free events

We’ve also made registering for free events a whole lot easier by removing a major pain point. Wait for it…billing and mailing information is no longer required for free events! This optional setting can now be toggled on and off from your event’s edit page, under the “Settings” tab.

Based on your feedback, we’ve also changed the copy on the confirm purchase button to read “Register” instead of “Buy Tickets”. This will eliminate any confusion from patrons registering for free events.

Consistent branding

The checkout page now looks more like it’s just another part of your event page. The cover image that you set for your event will be shown throughout the ticket purchase experience. Along with reducing the size of the header and footer, the checkout and confirmation pages are highly focused on displaying the branding of your event.

Log in or create an account to see how these changes will impact your current or future events on Picatic.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our checkout experience. Give us your feedback in the comments below.

This checklist will take you through the process of creating your custom event website on Picatic. We’ll also let you in on some of our insider secrets to creating the most badass event page possible.

Event Information

event info custom event website

Event Name

Give your event a specific and short title (we recommend something no longer than 75 characters).

Unique URL

PicaTip – Customize your event URL. As an event planner, you’ll want to drive traffic to your event page – so take pride in the URL you are sending your guests to. Remember to keep it short so that it’s easily shared through social channels.

Date, Time & Location

An event date is required – make sure that your timezone is correct (Settings).  If you’re not sure what your venue will be, you can add just a city, province, and country. Your location will show up as a link to Google Maps on your event page.

PicaTip – Set a date range for multi-day events.

Event Categories

Set the category tags for your event. Visitors to the Picatic will be able to discover your event by searching through categories.

Event Summary

Describe your event in 140 characters or less. This text is used on the event page, and the event description on the Browse Events page.

PicaTip – The event summary will also become the meta description for SEO purposes. Consider using your event name and other relevant keywords in your event summary.

Event Poster

Upload  an image or a video to help promote and explain your event page.

Event Description

When you’r creating your custom event page, you’ll want to include details about what will be happening at your event so patrons know what to expect when they’re deciding whether or not to purchase a ticket.

Describing your event is your chance to convey just how amazing your event is going to be. You may want to include things like:

  • What will you be doing at your event?
  • Who is organizing the event?
  • Who should attend?
  • Why should they attend?
  • Who is presenting or speaking?

Event Disclaimer

Use this area to let your patrons know about any restrictions and policies for your event. Some things to think about for your disclaimer:

  • Age minimums and maximums
  • Dress code
  • Refund policy

Design

 

design custom event website

Since introducing cover images to Picatic event pages we’ve seen plenty of rad examples, but we’ve also seen our fair share of stinkers. Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. Use an image related to your event. Your cover image should highlight your event and its branding. If you are posting an event for a company, think of using an image that fits well with the brand image.

2. Avoid using text. Try not to complicate things here. Our advice, save your text for the event description!

3. Source a large image (1280 x 510). There’s truly nothing worse than an image that has been stretched to fit this space. When you are looking for an image, make sure that its dimensions are at least 1280 x 510. In this case, bigger is better.

4. Keep it simple. Enough said.

Tickets

 

custom event website tickets

Ticket Details

Name your ticket and provide an optional description. The description will be shown below your ticket name, on your event page.

Ticket Price

Input the value of your ticket. If your event is free, check the radio button next to the related title. Remember, if your event is free, Picatic is free for you to use!

Here, you will also choose who will pay the credit card fees for your online transactions: the organizer, or the ticket buyer.

Quantities & Limits

Specify the number of available tickets for this specific ticket type. Once you have reached this number, your ticket will automatically close.

You can also set minimum and maximum buy limit for your ticket. Setting a maximum buy limit of 2, will make it so that a single buyer cannot purchase more than 2 tickets at one time.  Similarly, setting a minimum of 2 will make it so buyers must purchase at least 2 tickets (great for creating a group discount ticket!).

Availability

There are three steps to determining your ticket availability: start date, end date, and status.

Start Date. This is the date that your ticket will become available for purchase.

End Date. This is the date that your ticket will close for purchase.

Status. You can adjust the status of your ticket at any time from open, closed, or hidden. Hidden tickets cannot be seen by ticket purchasers, unless they have an access code. 

Social

 

social media custom event website

Social Buttons

You can add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ social sharing buttons to your custom event website. Anyone who clicks on a social sharing button will make a post to that respective social network. Having your event page shared is essential in reaching a larger and more organic audience.

Facebook Comments

On every Picatic event page there is the option to add Facebook comments. Any comment made is shared to the commenters Facebook feed,thus being viewed by their network of friends. We’ve discovered that building and engaged community around your event accelerates ticket sales.

Twitter Hashtag

Creating a Twitter hashtag for your event allows you to easily follow and manage the online conversation. The hashtag you choose will automatically be entered when some one clicks-to-tweet from your event page.

Sponsors

 

custom event website sponsors

It’s no secret that sponsors play a defining role in the success of many events and conferences. In this section you can upload your sponsor’s logo, company name, and an outbound link to their website. The sponsor logos will appear on your event page under the description.

Surveys

 

custom event website survey questions

You can choose from 3 survey question types: text area, fill in the blank, or multiple choice. Each question can either be applied to all tickets or to a specific ticket. The survey questions can be made optional or mandatory. All guest survey questions will be added to step 1 of checkout.

Text area

The text area guest survey option gives your ticket buyers with a large response box. Text area surveys are good for open-ended questions where guests are expected to provide a longer answer.

Fill in the blank

The fill in the blank guest survey option provides ticket buyers with a small text box. The fill in the blank option is great for questions that require a response of only 1 to 2 words

Multiple choice

With the multiple choice survey option, ticket buyers will select one answer. You can add as few or as many response option as you would like. Gender, and T-shirt size are examples of common multiple choice questions.

Settings

 

custom event website settings

Event Access

Your Picatic event can either be made public or private. Public events are listed in our browse events directory, while private events are only accessible via direct URL.

PicaTip - Consider setting your event to private if it is invite-only.

Money

Select your currency, add taxes to your tickets (optional), add an invoicing option (optional), and choose between Global Payments or Stripe for processing online payments.

picatic payment options custom event website

Donations

Enabling donations will add a donate field to your event page, under your tickets. Anyone who wishes to donate to your event will fill in the dollar amount they’d like to donate and continue to checkout.

Personalization

Select your event’s timezone. This is important. The timezone you choose will be reflected, when guests use our integration to add your event to their calendars. Selecting the wrong timezone can really throw things off.

Event host

A little bit about you! Add an image of yourself, or the host company. Include your name, and an email address where ticket buyers can reach you with questions about your event.

Save your event,  Go Live, and start selling tickets online!

 

 

Working the door at your event can be a major headache. With multiple gateways and patrons flooding the doors it’s nearly impossible to keep track of who’s in and who’s out. Enter, Picatic Check-In.

picatic-check-in-app

Scan tickets, look up guest names, and efficiently manage your event entry

Picatic Check-in allows you to stay organized and check guests into your event faster. With the app you can quickly scan tickets using the camera-based barcode scanner or look up guest’s names manually on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Picatic Check-In ensures that the same ticket is not used twice.

Manage multiple gateways with ease

All check-ins and event data are synced and updated in real-time with Picatic, so you can use multiple Apple devices at different entry points.

download-picatic-check-in-app

We’ve put together a quick tutorial on how to use the Picatic Check-In app – it’s easy!

Marketing your event by blasting the masses with one way messaging is a proven form of advertising but it can be expensive and your event can be easily lost in the black hole of marketing outer space.

Differentiating your event and rising above the noise using minimal marketing funds takes creativity.

A proven, albeit overlooked, way to create low cost high return marketing is to create an engaged community. This is done by empowering and leveraging people-power and fostering human to human communication [H2H]. Its important to understand that it’s not what you say about your event; it’s what others are saying about your event that really matters –– what’s the buzz surrounding your event.

Below are some tips on how you can provide potential attendees the ability to have a voice, create buzz, build your brand and increase attendance. The best part – it’s absolutely free and easy to do.

First, lets discuss the engagement vehicle. On every Picatic event page there is the option to add Facebook comments. Any comment made is shared to the commenters Facebook feed, thus being viewed by their network of friends. This comment automatically creates a new awareness that would not have happened otherwise. Consequently, when friends of friends like or comment on the initial post yet another new audience of potential attendees and networks become exposed to your event.

The problem is that most people don’t want to leave the first comment or be the catalyst of discussion. Getting people to leave a comment can be a tough task. Folks are more inclined to engage in a conversation rather than start one.  In order to get the proverbial ball rolling we need to lead the conversation, making it safe, easy and exciting to join.

Here’s how:

  • Step 1. It all starts with your leadership. It’s what I like to call leadership by initial comment. Simply put, you’re going to create a community by making the first comment.  That’s it, that’s all! Have fun, keep the comments open ended and about the topic, speaker, performer, venue, etc. Ask questions, spark engagement, be funny, keep this dialogue as neutral and natural as possible. One rule: The comment should never be a sell. I repeat, no sales pitches!

  • Step 2. Pre-arrange 4 – 7 friends or allies to comment on your question. This is the most strategic and important piece of the puzzle.  This simple step creates a safe environment to spark discourse and create a movement –– and a movement you will create. Check out this beautiful video of a movement made by a dancing guy on the side of a hill! While it’s important to lead, often the most powerful movements gather momentum through fast followers:

  • Step 3. Once you have created your movement and the masses start joining the conversation, it’s your job is to help curate and nurture it. There will be questions to answer – answer them all diligently. Yes it is work, but always remember feedback and comments are a gift and worth it.

  • Step 4. Pump up the value: Now that you have a growing community it’s a great time to create buzz. I have a rule which is 1:7 for every seven comments it’s ok to add in one value update. Examples include: new speaker announcements, band playlist, menu items, etc. If you have speakers or talent etc. presenting or performing at your event; this is when you encourage them to add themselves to the discussion. The key is introducing touch points that add value; enough value that those already on the thread will be appreciative, so much so that they may add additional comments.  This is also a great way to convert those who may be sitting on the fence about purchasing for your event. This results in: increase public validation and klout to your event. Remember, be helpful – service not sell.

Here are some examples of how others have done this exceptionally well. Imaging coming to these pages not knowing anything about the event. Now imagine there being no comments. Huge difference! When newcomers come to your page for the first time and see all the non solicited posts it adds a ton of  gangster cred to your event.

sell more tickets by building an engaged community

When broken down, comments are super endorsements.  These endorsements are then harvested, stored and promoted on your landing page for the world to see. Your landing page now has this raw, uncensored, human-backed engagement which translates to an extremely powerful self selling machine for you during all hours of the day.

The behavioural economics on how people consume events is much different from goods and services.  Tickets are almost always purchased for social reasons. In fact, when we hear buzz or that someone you love or a close friend has bought a ticket to an event, the event’s value becomes more appealing.  When you think of  it, it’s rare that you discover an awesome event, tell no one and then go by yourself.

When you look a little deeper, what we are really doing is making it easier to be discovered, and giving people a reason to purchase tickets – they want to be a part of the community you’ve built.

The key takeaway is that your event is being marketed naturally into the workflow of how people like to discover content. Comments will broaden your event marketing reach naturally through Facebook news feeds.  What is the power behind a comments you may ask? Well, for every 200 Facebook friends, Facebook has a potential marketing reach of 17,000 people – and it all started with one comment.

Sharing is caring – please leave a comment below, “it’s just that simple.”