Category Archives: Tool Reviews

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo, founded in 2014 and located in the United Kingdom, is a quick overview of a powerful online tool that allows any user to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website.BuzzSumo has four main features: Delivering Content Insights, Find & Understand Influencers, Competitor Analysis & Comparisons, Content Alerts. Users can search for everything you want by using BuzzSumo, including shared, linked and commented content on the website or social media. Users can find key influencers in this field. BuzzSumo also has an alert function. Under the monitoring features, users can create an alert by brands, competitors, content, keywords or authors. Once someone posts a related content, users can get reminders.

In addition to the functions mentioned above, BuzzSumo also has the following functions: View all Social Networks, Advanced Filtering & Data Export. Compared to other tools, Here is the link of guide to using BuzzSumo: https://www.razorsocial.com/buzzsumo/

Some of the world ‘s largest publishers, brands, and agencies – as well as content marketers, SEO, Social Media, and PR professionals Art organizations can use BuzzSumo to analyze their own markets and how they can be more competitive in social media to gain more audiences. BuzzSumo has both a solid free version and paid plans for bigger businesses. The free plan is definitely something to check out and uses regularly.

BuzzSumo’s most fascinating is the comprehensive analysis of social media, including YouTube.Therefore, BuzzSumo can be used to analyze the market of competitors. These are the functions that art organizations cannot miss. BuzSumo can effectively to solve the needs of art organizations.

On Cell

Oncell created in 2006 in New York, U.S. It is a technology tool that people could use to it create rich mobile App by themselves on the mobile devices. With the development of technology, more and more art organizations create their App for enhance customers experience and marketing strategy. People could log in to On Cell official website to build unique application. Following the instruction, customers choose the style and function of thier app easily and have the choice that pay for publish or not. The fee for publish an app is 199 per month or 399 per month. One interesting thing is when you log in to their website, the online marketing stuff always be there that you would chat with he or she, to give you some advices that how to use this platform.

On cell has some useful functions. It adapts in IOS, Android, and web-enabled devices. 18 languages customers could choose depends on their devices’ language. Because of the GPS-based alerts, people could make powerful map even create the route by themselves. Also, it has unique and charateristic style that looks nice for users. In my opinion, is unique function fot user is that On Cell is easily to use. This is a nice way for manager to create a unique app for arts organization.

To celebrate the reopening of their American Wing, the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art teamed up with On Cell to develop an interactive mobile game called “Murder at the Met: An American Art Mystery”. The smartphone app leads visitors on an investigative journey through the Museum. In the game, the mysterious Madame X has been murdered! Sleuths must use their smartphones to explore museum objects and interview suspects and witnesses to discover who the killer was, the weapon that was used, where she was murdered, and why. It was a successful case that On Cell worked with a famous museum.

Follow the instruction, I tried to create a Chinese History Museum app. First of all, build it. That was s very interesting process. Because what I designed is an elementary app, so the process was like a game. I input the mission, open hour, site pictures, and admission. And then when I click “Preview”, I got that. (show in images)

Ticket Tailor

Ticket Tailor is an innovative app that aids business owners and professionals to create ticketed events simply, easily keep track of financials, and seamlessly check in patrons to any type of event. This tool makes attending and running an event easier than ever for patrons and organizers. Ticket Tailor is user-friendly for organizers because it keeps all the information in one easy to access place. The application formats reports communicating financials, attendance, and other logistics. On the patron side of things, buying tickets and checking into the event is easier than ever, with multiple avenues to sign in, either manually through name look up or scanning a personalized QR code for a seamless check in experience.

The great aspect of Ticket Tailor is one of their main goals is staying accessible and affordable. Ticket Tailor offers a free trial for organizations to try out their database and see if it will work for their needs. The starting price for using their application is 65 cents a month with flexible pricing and no contracts. The application offers many features, Promotions Management, Seating Maps, Concessions and Employee Management, are just a few examples of these features. Many reviews I looked over when doing my research claimed they made the switch from utilizing Eventbrite to using Ticket Tailor and most seemed extremely satisfied with the new and more advanced system. I think what sets Ticket Tailor ahead of other applications is its flexibility in many aspects, like tailoring to all age groups and technological savviness. All ages can use and understand Ticket Tailor when purchasing the ticket and attending the event, and the multiple avenues for checking a patron in can be useful with different age demographics.

Wolfbane Productions
Real Life Ticket Tailor Usage, embedded website below

Real Life Ticket Tailor Use

Above is a hyperlink to Wolfbane Productions website for ticketing, utilizing Ticket Tailor’s widget on their own organization’s website. This application is difficult to show real life examples of, as the administrative side of Ticket Tailor is only visible to the organization utilizing the program and the ticketing emails are only received when a ticket is purchased.

Gained from reviews of the application, examples of different types of organizations that utilize Ticket Tailor: Broadcast Media, Non-profit Organizations, Hospital and Healthcare, Events Services, Food & Beverage, Music, Insurance, Entertainment, Wellness and Fitness, Arts & Crafts, Education Management, Hospitality, Marketing and Advertising, Retail, Professional Training & Coaching, Human Resources

BAND – The App for Groups

By Kamron Rose

Band is a free app that helps groups communicate. it is available for IOS, Android, Mac, and PC. To use BAND, all you have to do is create an account and then you are free to create and join groups. BAND has multiple features both inside groups and in the main menu page designed to make communication easy and accessible. The app contains chat rooms, post feeds both for a single group and for all of your groups, and calendars for each of your individual groups. It encourages accessibility and transparency to the entire group when working on a project. The chat tab is an especially useful tool in the app. not only does the app automatically generate a chat with all of the members of your group in it, you can make separate smaller chats within the group or message members individually. This tool makes communication especially easy for groups of any size. Within BANDs notifications tab you are not only able to see notifications from your groups, but updates and events happening in the BAND world. This gives you a broader reach to what is possible with band.

BAND is similar in many ways to other group apps such as Basecamp and Slack. what makes BAND stick out compared to these are its extra features and fluidity in design. Not only is the app easy to navigate, it is also modern in its design which makes it appealing to users. BAND was established in 2013, making it a relatively new platform that continues to grow.

If you’re not sure if band is right for your group, band has its own blog site that provides information on why you should use band.

Headout

What is Headout?

Founded in 2015, Headout serves as a mobile marketplace that aggregates third-party activities, tours and tickets for tourists and locals. [1] They operate by partnering with event organizers, cruises, music shows, theatres, etc, and selling it to a broad audience of experience enthusiasts.[2]

For the audience, Headout is a tool which everyone can uses, but for the arts organizations, it’s more like a partner, a third party. Arts organizations can sell a portion of its tickets to a vendor like Headout, and then Headout sells them to the audience.

Why Headout?

Headout can help arts organizations sells more tickets and reach new audiences. Also, through Headout reporting, arts organization will learn what sources bring in the most sales for their event, arts organizations will know where they should save money and where they should double-down.

How Headout works for arts organizations?

1. 

Headout can promote events to help organizations sell more tickets. Gaining more attentions in search engines, there has been a lot of promotions on ticket prices and track the performance of the events. When organizations create events, Headout makes the event readable on their website and to make their events listing easier to find and promote.

2. 

Headout optimizes for search and simplifies the ticketing process. They made good design for the checkout flow of a theatre event booking app, essentially focusing on the seat map selection flow.

For example, If users open the app and choose a location, for example New York, they will find many Broadway shows. Many classic shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Chicago, The Aladdin are sold on Headout at very cheap and attractive prices. The museums will also push it in the interface including some famous city attractions such as the MET. Obviously, Headout’s competitive pricing helps arts organizations attract more audiences and sell more tickets. 


[1] https://golden.com/wiki/Headout

[2] https://uxdesign.cc/entire-checkout-flow-of-a-theatre-event-booking-with-headout-pwa-1c7ae2fd67f

Jackrabbit Class

Young ballet students in tutus
Phill Warren. “Tutus in Motion.” 21 February 2020. Flickr

Jackrabbit class is an online database that is useful for any arts organization that offers classes. Class based businesses such as dance studios need to keep track of student enrollment, class rosters, attendance, parent contact information, tuition payments and staff time sheets. The Jackrabbit system allows businesses to keep all of this information in one place and allows you to set varying levels of access of administrative information to staff members. Pricing for this tool is determined by the number of students that your organization serves. Prices range between $45 per month for schools with enrollment up to 100 students and $155 per month for 501 – 1,000 students.

Once you decide to set up your online database you will have access to separate system views for administrators, staff, parents. One of the biggest assets of the Jackrabbit system is the ease of the enrollment through the parent portal. The enrollment format is similar to setting up an account for online shopping. It guides parents through entering their family’s info including phone numbers and emails, emergency contacts, medical and allergy alerts, and child’s birthdate. Once their account is set up they are given access to see the class schedule that your business offers. They are then able to click the classes they want their child to take and add them to their cart.

Parent view of classes offered
View of class schedule within the parent portal easily allows students to choose classes

The staff portal is also an important feature. The ability to track attendance and view class rosters is helpful for teachers. Staff get access to lists of their students with easy access to each child’s contact information. After setting up access to the staff portal on a mobile device, attendance can easily be entered. Should an emergency arise in class, a teacher can easily access a parent’s phone number without having to leave the classroom. As a dance teacher who works for a studio using Jackrabbit, being able to log attendance, contact parents, and fill out time sheets in one convenient location has made a big difference in streamlining my daily tasks. More success stories are highlighted on the Jackrabbit website along with more information as to what the program offers!

Staff view of student roster
Staff view of student roster allows easy access to parent info, access to email, and ability to mark attendance

Constant Contact

Constant Contact logo
Constant Contact. “Constant Contact logo.svg.” 22 August 2019. Wikimedia Commons.

Constant Contact is a web-based email marketing tool. Its purpose is to help smaller businesses and organizations manage email lists and create professional mass marketing emails from its provided templates. Constant Contact is relatively in expensive with its base price being $20 a month, which gets you general email marketing capabilities such as templates, basic eCommerce abilities, open and clickthrough rates, and list segmentation among other things, and EMAIL PLUS, which costs $45 a month and provides additional capabilities such as A/B testing to maximize open rates and the ability to embed surveys, polls, and online donations. However, prices can vary based on the size of your email lists.

Arts organizations can use this tool to communicate upcoming events and promotions to patrons and subscribers. The Center for the Arts and the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts at George Mason University use Constant Contact for that express purpose. An example of a newsletter these organizations send out can be found here.  In this example, the Hylton Center is highlighting an upcoming event and providing the recipient with information on future performances at the Hylton and its sister venue, the Center for the Arts. Individual artists can use it for the same purpose, but the members of their lists might include fans who subscribed to it from the artist’s website or social media or previously bought a ticket to or attended one of their shows. Both arts organizations and artists can leverage the basic tools of pre-made templates and open and clickthrough rates.

 

Volunteer Management with VSys Live

VSys Live is a customizable browser-based portal that allows volunteers within an organization to complete everyday tasks. It is one of multiple components of the VSys Family created by Bespoke Software. Other members of this family include VSys One, a windows-based application that allows administrators to control and track volunteer activities on VSys Live and VSys Anywhere, a browser-based version of VSys One.

With VSys Live, volunteers are able to sign up for shifts and opportunities, check in and out of their shifts, enter hours, upload photos and documents, complete online training, run reports of their hours, schedules, accrued travel expenses and much more.

Because this tool allows volunteers to complete so many tasks on their own, administrators are relieved of these duties and are able to focus on other tasks within the organization. This increases productivity and growth within the organization as a whole.

So how does VSys Live actually work? When organizations inquire about the software on the VSys One website, the first step is to schedule a demonstration by completing an online form or calling a phone number to Bespoke Software. Pricing quotes are not available on the site since every organization’s needs will be different and dependent on the necessary features of their particular portal. VSys will work with each organization to build and customize their VSys Live portal based on their specific needs.

Morgan Johnson. “Screenshot of VSys Live Homepage, Smithsonian.” February 13, 2020.

When the site is finally live, ready to use and volunteer accounts have been created through VSys One or VSys Anywhere, volunteers will sign-in with their credentials and their organization’s Vsys Live homepage will greet them with a few key icons. These icons include a button to Check In/Out, a button to Report Past Hours and a Calendar view of their activities for the current month. Across the top of the page are multiple drop-down menus that include My Info, Check-In/Out, Find Opportunities, Online Trainings and Documents. The Find Opportunities tab is one of the most important functions for users since this allows them to sign up for different shifts and events throughout the organization.

VSys Live and the remaining VSys Family are all powerful tools that tremendously benefit organizations with a large number of volunteers. Putting more control into the volunteers’ hands allows administrators to put more focus into other areas within the organization.  This is extremely helpful and important to the organization’s pursuit of fulfilling its mission.

Google for Nonprofits

Google has created a free platform that helps nonprofits spread the word about their mission, engage new supporters, fundraise online, and manage their team. It would be great if all nonprofits would qualify; however, there are requirements that your nonprofit has to meet, and one of them is to be a 501 (c)(3) organization. If your organization was approved, you’d get access to the great tools listed below:

1- G Suite for Nonprofits: 

G Suite will help your team collaborate through Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Hangout meet. Also, you can take advantage and link your domain to G Suite for free (i.e. dsmith@fund.org).

P.S.: For-profit businesses pay $5 a month per single email

2- Google Ad Grant:

 Google Ad Grant will attract donors, raise awareness, and recruit volunteers with in-kind advertising on Google Search, which will provide $10,000 every month for text ads for your nonprofit. Besides, it will increase traffic to your website. This google tool is handy for tracking your marketing efforts if you combine it with another FREE product, which is Google Analytics.

3- Youtube for Nonprofits: 

Youtube will help you reach their global audience (over a billion users). First, your organization will get access to Youtube’s Creator Academy, where they offer training for nonprofits. Second, you can shoot and edit your videos at YouTube’s global creator studios. After your video is ready to be published, Youtube will provide you with a Call to Action on your video and a DONATE button that can be linked to an external link. 

4- Google Earth:

If you are looking for creating ways to promote your nonprofit’s mission, then Google Earth is the way to do it. On the first hand, Google Earth will help show your organization’s impact on maps and tell your story through compelling visuals. Also, you can provide visitors with virtual tours through a 360 degrees photo. On the other hand, you can create a donor map that shows how contributions are making a difference in your community. One last reason to be on this tool is that you get credit to apply toward your usage as well as access to other Google maps related tools. 

Do you want to learn more about organizations like yours that used google tools successfully?

If you answered YES. Here are two art organizations that shared their success story:

1) Anaheim Ballet

2) Van Gogh Museum

If you answered NO. I hope you can get approved to take advantage of all these brilliant FREE tools! 

Vertical Response

What is Vertical Response?

Vertical Response is a web-based email marketing campaign service that is geared for both large and small audiences. This tool allows arts organizations to create unique emails, surveys, and landing pages to connect with their audiences and subscribers. Vertical response has a free 60-day trial, but following that there are three pricing options, two of which operate on a sliding scale. They offer a basic and pro subscription which ranges from $11-$363. The Pro version offers more features such as A/B testing and additional information on the analytic reports. Individuals also have the option “Pay as you go” meaning paying for each email that is sent rather than pay for unlimited emails per month. Emails and surveys are created online via a computer through the Vertical Response email manager editing page. Vertical Response has roughly 30 templates for users to edit for their use as well as a “Create you Own” option. This system is most useful because it is easy to establish mailing lists and schedule emails, allowing administrators to write several emails at once and not have to go back and send them later. The system also has the option to schedule auto-follow-up emails to send to specific groups, such as those that didn’t open the first email.

Emily Johnson. “Screenshot of Final AMGT Class Email .” 19 February 2020. Vertical Response.

Arts organizations would benefit from using this system because it allows organizations to create well-designed email to share information and advertisements with their audiences. Ambassador Theater uses Vertical Response to manage their launch page and reach audiences through regular emails. Many private artists such as Mick McAndrews also use Vertical Response since it is an affordable resource to send email campaigns to audiences.