The simple way to manage multiple workshops under one brand

Last week we featured how to launch a licensed trainer program to scale your certification brand. As this element of your scaling strategy develops and more trainers sign-up, you’ll need a robust and dynamic channel through which to sell and manage multiple events across different regions.

Even before you’ve handed out your first certificate, you should have planned the way you are going to manage event promotion, bookings and contact. From the very basic to the most complex, there are various options available. Ideally you want somewhere in the middle. What’s important is that trainers appreciate that you are delivering a dynamic solution to their workshop needs, and customers feel confident to book a workshop through your event channel.

Let’s take a look at the options.

1. Build your own website and manually update events

Take a Wordpress frame, choose a template — there are templates recommended for event management businesses, check out ThemeForest, and add a visual composer, and anyone with a little bit of time can set up a reasonably designed website. If you have neither the time or inclination to build it yourself, there are plenty of good website designers out there who will build it for you. Not an expensive outlay if you do your research.

However, once the website is built it doesn’t stop there. You’ll need to manually update brand events. And unless you hire a content manager to do that for you, will require a lot of time collating events from all trainers, updating prices, sold out messaging, handling the enquiries (often in different languages), payments, the list goes on.

This solution might ok when your brand is starting out and has few collaborators, but as the business scales and more trainers and regions licensed trainers come on board, this neither a realistic or effective solution.

2. Creating your own event management application

When you have an established knowledge brand with a high volume of events which generate an important income, you might consider investing in a bespoke event management system. This option might be the only way to achieve exactly what you want, but it’s an expensive solution, both in terms of upfront development and the ongoing costs of improving and updating functionality, and don’t forget about fixing bugs.

3. Integrating a third party management tool

From the limited, laborious and unattractive manual system, to the extreme of a bespoke application. Somewhere in the middle of these two we find the perfect solution, both in terms of cost and functionality.

Integrating a third party tool like Workshop Butler into the brand website will give you rich functionality, with little ongoing management, at an economical cost. The workshop management tool helps knowledge brands to sell their services and events in a much more professional way. With built-in event promo pages, pre-designed themes and automated management of each event.

The system handles all event registrations, attendee management, follow up email marketing and attendee feedback and reviews. There isn’t a system out there as robust and time-saving as Workshop Butler.

Using this type of system will also attract great trainers who don’t have a marketing platform to sell their independent workshops. Aligning their workshops with your brand will help them build their reputation and sell more seats.

The system is entirely manageable outside of your website, so licensed trainers can update their events within the Workshop Butler system which are then automatically updated on the brand website.

You’ll also have access to real-time event statistics and analysis, so you can review and develop your content and focus on the strengths of weaknesses by region, trainer or type of workshop. Here is an excellent example from Lean Change Management of how a knowledge brand uses the statistics compiled by Workshop Butler to present their global events in a visually positive way, with a call to action at the end.

The system can even be integrated to Slack and MailChimp allowing licensed trainers to grow their email databases by adding attendees to their event. And means they can invite attendees to their Slack channels, developing their community and building relationships.

I know which I would choose!