Local software developer tackles event registration
BitWise product streamlines process for organizers
INDIANAPOLIS (August 30, 2004) - Organizing a convention or annual meeting is no easy undertaking, especially when it involves many people signing up to participate.
To help event organizers simplify the registration process, locally based software developer BitWise Solutions Inc. has developed Eventaris.
An online event registration and secure payment-processing service, Eventaris was designed to provide organizers with a system that takes much of the pain and guesswork out of registering participants for an event.
It is being marketed separately, or as a complement to Bravelo, BitWise’s project management database software.
“The idea came about because BitWise had been involved in events before where there were databases—plural— for breakout sessions and whatnot, instead of just one database,” BitWise President Ron Brumbarger said. “Therein lies a recipe for embarrassment.”
With Eventaris, event organizers can require that all advance registrations be paid with a credit card. Registration information is stored on a secure server in Indianapolis, maintained by BitWise. The company receives a per-transaction fee that starts at $5 or $6 for a smaller gathering, and increases by size of the event. Bit-Wise also charges a flat set-up fee that typically runs about $1,500, Brumbarger said.
During the event, customers can track cash flow. When the event concludes, the client receives a printout similar to a credit card statement that provides contact and credit card information for financial reporting purposes. Without Eventaris, event organizers who use an online credit card registration typically acquire a digital identification number from a credit-card-processing company, an expense that runs about $1,000.
Then, there is the expense for creation of a customized online registration page. Before Eventaris, BitWise charged in the neighborhood of $7,000 to $12,000 to create such a page for a client’s Web site.
Factor in the time spent tracking down payments during and after the event and costs can escalate in a hurry, Brumbarger said. “We take all that overhead away,” he said. “And now that we have this product and the demand is there, we can afford to come down on the price of this service.”
Convincing Event Planners
The software has drawn praise from those who plan events for a living..“We will handle registration for smaller events where it makes sense for us to do so, but for many of the large-scale events with some complexity involved, we recommend Eventaris to our clients,” said Todd Leyden, president of local event management company Payton LLC.
“The ability to automate and streamline payment processing and other functions is great because that means we don’t have to deal with it as event planners.
“But what it really comes down to is, do you want your cash handled in a secure fashion?” Leyden added. “Frankly, I’d rather do it [with Eventaris] rather than having volunteers running around with cash and checks and trying to follow up after the event and send bills to people who attended the convention but didn’t pay. This provides a much better accounting of the revenue you are generating while the convention is in process.”
The first event Payton organized with the aid of Eventaris was the Indiana Health Industry Forum’s Innovention conference. More than 550 attended the June event.
With just four full-time staff members, the use of the Web-based program was a huge boon to the planning and organization process, as employees didn’t have to take registrations via telephone calls and e-mails, IHIF President Wade Lange said.
“I probably won’t have a handle on the total cost savings until we’ve done a couple more events, but I know we saved at least 60 hours of labor [on the event],” Lange said. “At an average of $25 an hour, that’s a huge cost savings to a small organization right there.”
Based on the success of the first event, IHIF will use Eventaris as a registration tool in the future, Lange said.
“It seems pretty flawless,” he said. “It easily moves from one event to another, and I haven’t seen any drawbacks. And we haven’t heard any feedback from people who attended the conference, which is good. Usually, the only time we hear feedback is when something went wrong.”
Planning its Next Move
BitWise invested nearly $50,000 to commercialize Eventaris, and since launching it in late June, the company has seen revenue of about $300,000, Brumbarger said. He declined to disclose the company’s overall revenue and profit.
“This is just the start,” he said, adding that in the first two months, the company exceeded its expectations, signing eight clients.
“We plan to ramp up a dedicated sales force later this year, and possibly even spin this off into its own company if the demand is there.” And with the number of conventions in Indianapolis alone, BitWise officials believe the demand will be strong.
Founded in 1991, the 15-employee company already has a sales presence in the New England and Charlotte markets.
As Eventaris continues to develop a following, the company may attempt to tap into the convention business in regional destinations such as Louisville, Nashville and Cincinnati.
“The potential for this is huge,” Brumbarger said. “There are a lot of markets we could look at, and we are talking with a lot of different people, but we’re taking it one step at a time.” •
BitWise Introduces Online Event Registration and Secure Payment Service
Eventaris Improves Event Attendance and Increases Revenue While Reducing the Administrative Burdens Associated with Hosting an Event
INDIANAPOLIS (June 16, 2004) - BitWise Solutions, Inc., one of Indiana's largest technology consultancies, introduced its new online event registration and secure payment processing service, called Eventaris. The service is ideal for organizations that host monthly, quarterly or annual events and require attendees to register in advance. Several local organizations have already signed up to use Eventaris to improve their events. These include the May Indiana Venture Conference, the June Indiana Health Industry Forum's Innovention '04 event and the Fall Indiana Business Rally 5.0.
Eventaris is an Internet-based service that automates the registration, payment and confirmation processes for events. It enables volunteers, event planners and marketing professionals to significantly reduce expenses, minimize administrative requirements, improve organizational cash flow, increase event attendance, drive revenue and improve the overall planning and execution of an event. Eventaris also allows event hosts to collect data about attendees to help them measure the success of their events. Reseller programs are also available.
For event attendees, Eventaris offers the convenience of an online event registration and secure payment method. This is ideal for professionals who require a receipt for company reimbursement. Additionally, Eventaris eliminates the hassle of paying event registration by check and reduces the security risk of providing credit card information over the phone or via fax.
For the recent 2004 Indiana Venture Conference, event planners utilized Eventaris' customizable form to offer a multi-tiered fee structure to attendees, along with discounted pricing for early registration. Organizers also used Eventaris to survey registrants regarding their preferences for future events, other industry affiliations and professional interests. "Eventaris gave us powerful tools to manage registration data and reduce our administrative efforts. The service simplified the tedious tasks involved with event registration and allowed us to focus on the bottom line," said Nick Bowles, spokesperson for the Indiana Venture Conference.
"Eventaris is a natural evolution from our other products, such as our Bravelo® online collaboration application, because it closely aligns with our mission of using technology to drive organizational efficiency," said Ron Brumbarger, BitWise Solutions' president and chief executive officer. "By helping organizations transform the traditionally paper and labor-intensive process of event registration, we're helping them reduce the cost of hosting events while increasing their overall revenue opportunity."
Some of Eventaris' features include:
- Powerful, online registration processing
- A single registrant database
- Customizable registration forms
- Flexible event pricing and activity options
- Secure, real-time, credit card payment system
- Automated credit card verification and processing
- Centralized data collection and contact manager
- Event reporting and data analysis
- Web-based event planning and management package
- Direct response e-mail manager
Indiana Venture Conference Implements Eventaris™ Event Registration Solution
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - March 20, 2004 - BitWise Solutions, Inc., an experienced provider of custom web-based solutions, announced that Eventaris, a newly developed, web-based eventware application will be implemented for the upcoming Indiana Venture Conference to automate the registration, payment, and confirmation of registrants over the Internet. Seamlessly integrated into the conference web site, Eventaris will enable event hosts, the Venture Club of Indiana and the Indiana CPA Society, to offer registrants an easy, on-line method to sign up for conference events and workshops.
The Indiana Venture Conference takes place in Indianapolis on May 5-6, 2004 and offers a unique setting for entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and business leaders to network and explore business opportunities. The event will include a reception, a variety of workshops and sessions, and a special event track designed to give investors an opportunity to explore the area, network, and to review early and late stage investment opportunities.
Details regarding the Indiana Venture Conference can be found at www.indianaventureconference.com.
Indiana Health Industry Forum Selects Eventaris as Its On-Line Registration Solution
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - April 5, 2004 - BitWise Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of custom web-based solutions, announced that the Indiana Health Industry Forum (IHIF), host of the upcoming third-annual Indiana Health Innovention Conference and Showcase - the leading event for Indiana's health and life sciences community -has selected Eventaris as its on-line registration, payment, and confirmation automation tool.
Eventaris, a newly developed, web-based eventware application will allow attendees of the conference to register for all conference events, workshops, and activities on-line, while helping IHIF reduce administration costs and improve the efficiency of the registration process. The event, being held on June 16-17, 2004 at the Indiana Convention Center, is expected to attract thousands from the health industry, as well as representatives from the university sector and government.
Further information regarding the Indiana Health Innovention Conference and Showcase can be found at www.ihif.org/Innovention/.