Event Set up - Our Guide to Best Practice Configuration in iMIS

Recently I’ve spent quite a bit of time working with clients who identified the need to review how they were managing events in iMIS. The most common issues reported, and areas of frustration experienced by staff, were:

  • Inefficient and inefficient event creation due to staff creating new events instead of copying or using templates
  • Inconsistent event set up across fields such as Description and Additional Information
  • Inconsistent event and registration codes making reporting difficult
  • Inefficient and manual business processes
  • Confusion over member/non-member pricing and the way iMIS categorises registrants

When business processes are tedious, inefficient and repetitive you end up with frustrated staff, poorly run events, and unhappy members and customers which = lost revenue!

The iMIS Event Module has some great functionality and if you take the time to get the fundamentals of your events right, your events should be quick and easy to set up and manage, leaving staff with more time to focus on your members. If you don’t already do the following when managing events – start now!

Add a new event

When adding a new event iMIS provides three options – create a new event, choose a template or copy existing event. Unless your organisation is new to iMIS, best practice is to always either:

  • Copy existing event and chose an event most like the one being created. Or;
  • Use Event Templates. Using event templates is a great way to ensure similar events contain consistent information, especially where the same event is run multiple times throughout the year. It means recurring events can be set up and ready for registration in minutes and staff spend minimal time on event creation.

Using these options will ensure consistent event creation and will cut down on the time spent setting up events.

Description and Additional Information

The description field within the main event information tab should be just that – a short and sharp description of your event.

For all additional detail the Additional Information window should be used. And to ensure consistency across events and your public event display, it’s a great idea to use Design and HTML templates.

Event Codes and Registration Option Codes

Event codes and registration option codes are important to get right – you can end up with hundreds of events and consistency in codes across events makes managing and reporting on events and their functions so much easier. Your association should be using a standard naming convention for event and registration codes.

When devising your naming convention remember that:

  • Event code – must be alphanumeric contain no spaces, and be unique among all events.
  • Registration code - must be alphanumeric, contain no spaces, and be unique among all registration options and program items in the event.

It is also a good idea to have a standard set of registration option codes that are used across all events.

Pricing Groups

Event pricing is the one area within iMIS where you really need to keep things simple! iMIS categorises event registrants as either member (M) or non-member (NM) class as this is the way most organisations assign registration fees. This works fine in most cases, but what happens when you have contacts that fall outside those classes, or you want to offer special prices to certain groups of people? Use pricing Groups!

The pricing tab for both registration options and program items allow you to add multiple pricing groups with unique names. You can assign regular and early pricing to each group and once a pricing group is created it can be reused for other events or additional registration options.

For more information on how to create a Dynamic Group in IQA click here. And for more information on setting up event pricing groups click here.

Sample event registration option using a pricing group:

Process Automation

Stop for a minute and think about your day to day event processes – are you still completing the following tasks manually?

  • Emailing event registration confirmations and receipts
  • Emailing event reminders
  • Checking event reports for new or cancelled registrants
  • Issuing certificates manually – either by post or email

If so, it’s time to review your business processes as iMIS can perform all these tasks for you! Using IQA, communication templates and Process Automation you can eliminate these time consuming and repetitive tasks.

The iMIS event module really is a powerhouse if used correctly! With the year quickly coming to an end, it’s a great time to do an audit of your events management in iMIS and look at:

  • How are you currently managing your events?
  • What processes and tasks do you currently undertake that could be automated?
  • Does your event set up adhere to best practice and are your basic foundations of event set up right?

If you answered no to any of the above but are not sure how to implement some of the suggestions (or where to start!) then get in touch with us today to learn more about event best practice and how we can make events easier for you!

About Causeis: With over 50+ years combined experience, Causeis provides an award-winning iMIS consultancy service to Australia’s leading non-profits. We specialise in business strategy alignment, engagement modelling, critical system management, website development and data analytics. To find out more about our services and what we offer, click here.

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