What you told us
When we have consulted on online tools over the last year, you gave us very clear what you wanted from an events tool.
You wanted a tool that was:
- Simple and easy to use
- Integrated with our data and other systems
- Makes it easier to publicise your events
We initially looked at building something in collaboration with Prater Raines - but it then became clear that whilst we could do this, it would likely take too much time to emulate features already present in other off-the-shelf tools - so we decided to use one of those instead.
The tool we picked
We looked at a broad range of commercially available events tools during the selection process - 18 in total - to try and get to a final tool selection that we felt was right for the Liberal Democrats and met the criteria outlined above.
In the end, we selected Eventcube. Eventcube is an online events management tool.
Eventcube was, we felt, the best out-of-the-box match for the requirements that volunteers gave us in an events tool.
- It’s easy to use. At least in our evaluations of it!
- We can integrate it with our other systems - and are already in the process of doing so.
- It’s affordable (see below!)
- And there’s a central hub for all events, making it a doddle to publicise your events.
When an organisation (Local Party or Affiliated organisation) signs up to use Eventcube they will get a dedicated section of Eventcube as a Promoter. Promoters only have access to manage their events and can only see data relating to their events.
We hope to simplify the process of managing users before the tool goes out for a full launch.
Promoters can set up events within the platform with fully customisable ticket prices, including free tickets for free events, and tickets to be paid for in cash.
They can then easily share details of these events on social media and with links in emails.
One of the big features we hope will be useful on Eventcube is the Storefront. Events created on Eventcube are automatically uploaded to the central Liberal Democrats page: https://events.libdems.org.uk
This page uses common branding and includes tools to allow people to find events near them, as well as search by how events have been categorised, giving much greater visibility to events.
This will hopefully make that domain a one-stop-shop for upcoming events across the entire party and allow members, supporters and those interested in the party to get involved even more easily than ever before.
We are aiming here to replace previous functionality such as Flock Together and the LibDem Nationbuilder events pages - and learn from what didn’t work well about those tools.
What it costs you
Of the commercial tools we looked at Eventcube was one of the cheapest. They charge a very low monthly rate (which will be covered by HQ), plus a percentage of ticket sales.
The cost of selling tickets via Eventcube will be slightly higher than it was on Nationbuilder - as there are platform fees that weren’t present on Nationbuilder, but the fees will are very competitive when compared to other event platforms. For example, the market leader in the Events tool market, Eventbrite, charges 6.5% + 20p.
We’re intending to charge 5% + 25p per paid registration. By default, this will come out of the ticket price - though you can set a custom booking fee to help cover the costs if you want to pass that on to registrants.
Most of these costs go to the platform and the payment processor. There is a small additional amount on top of that to cover the license costs, HQ support and integration work.
All money collected on the platform would go to HQ in the first instance. We’re then intending to set up a version of the automated membership rebate process which was set up last year to settle outstanding ticket sales with local parties/affiliated organisations monthly.
We’ll take feedback on how that works in practice and we may be able to increase the frequency with which we settle up with local parties, but we want to get the process working and working reliably first.
We expect to have that ready for April/May. For groups signing up now, you'll need to request manual payments once your event is complete.
Where the data ends up
We’re still working on finalising things, but all of the event data will be synchronised with Lighthouse initially. We expect that to be visible in Lighthouse by late spring, early summer, but that the data will have been synchronised from January 2021.
We’ll also be looking at how we can integrate it with our other systems.
On the current setup there will be no manual data entry required, unless you are adding offline subscribers to existing events.
You can sign up to try Eventcube out during the testing period here: https://tech.libdems.org.uk/eventcube-signup
- December 2021 - Consult with Stakeholders
- December 2021 - Internal & Facebook consultation, plus initial scoping & setup
- January 2022 - Training rollout, move 2022 training onto Eventcube and work through bugs.
- February 2022 - Start of Closed Alpha testing phase
- May 2022 - Start of Open Beta testing phase
- July 2022 - Release of Lighthouse integration
- September 2022 - Intended live launch date