For an arts organization, Meetup is an online social networking platform used to promote and facilitate group meetings in over 180 different countries throughout the world. The the website currently has over 272,000 Meetup groups including more than 30 million members worldwide including individuals as well as organizations. This tool requires an account but is free to the public. In order to create a meetup event, a small monthly fee of $8 is required and allows for an unlimited amount of members and organizers. The platform is easily accessible and available both online and through Android and Apple devices. This technological tool is particularly useful for spreading information online about specific events or a specific interest oriented meeting.
If an arts organization utilizes new technologies and forms of social media in the right way, it can take their marketing to the next level. By using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, an organization can reach a larger group of people as well as a more diverse group people supports, sometimes even from across the globe! For each of these different platforms there are different strategies that the organization should use. For Example, you would not post to Facebook 12 times one day, because that is annoying to the target audience, however, you could turn those Facebook posts into tweets and that is proper usage of Twitter. Through the use of these various platforms an organization can show what the donors money is going towards, share testimonials from volunteers as well as someone who has experienced your organizations work first hand, and thank those who have helped and supported your projects along the way, all while at the same time, advertising your brand.
ActiveNet is a registration software product by Active.com. Originally a registration and membership management system for athletics and fitness, it has found a unique niche in the arts, particularly arts education. For arts organizations who provide classes, summer programs and other educational activities, ActiveNet is a powerful management tool.
ActiveNet provides customers with an online registration and payment platform for convenient enrollment through a User Interface. After an initial account setup, users can immediately register and pay for an activity. Receipts are emailed automatically. From a staff side dashboard, operations under a “Front Desk” category allow staff to register participants over the phone or from the traditional paper mail-in form. Customer services such as transfers, withdrawals, and account payments are also supported.
The “Reports” section provides staff with a host of real-time reporting options, including program totals, rosters, and attendance sheets – as well as access to archived program history. A comprehensive set of financial reports allows the organization to quickly and accurately analyze and output financial data. The “Communication” section supplies convenient methods of sending out batch emails or text messages through the ActiveNet server. Finally, the “Administration” section gives an organization the power to customize their site, create activities, set up payment plans, and other system-build functions.
Mason’s Potomac Arts Academy has been using ActiveNet since 2011. For an example, see the “How to Register” of this page: Ovations Summer Strings Academy. Potomac experienced a 40% increase in registrations the first year they implemented ActiveNet. The magnitude of functionality is stunning. ActiveNet provides consistent software support, training seminars and marketing solutions. The challenges are that the software requires a substantial up-front investment (several thousands), ActiveNet retains a per transaction percentage fee (about 3%), and the complexity demands dedicated staff resources for training, set up and execution.