Planning Center and Stripe.com Integrations

For those of you who don’t know, Smart Events is created by the same team who run PlanningCenterOnline.com, the premiere online church worship service planner. The first integration we’re announcing this week is between Smart Events and Planning Center! First, link your Smart Events account with your Planning Center account on the settings page in Smart Events.  Then link items from any Event Schedule to specific Plans in Planning Center. Once a Smart Events schedule item is linked with a Planning Center plan, you can click the new Planning Center button to see an overview of that plan with a link to go right to the plan. Planning Center’s powerful program organization features take Smart Events schedules to a brand new level.

Stripe.com is a great new way to accept payments from Smart Events. It’s by far the easiest way to get started receiving payments, and the best part is that Stripe only charges you a fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per successful charge. Stripe has no setup fees, no monthly fees, no minimum charges, no validation fees, and no card storage fees. There’s also no charge for failed payments! It only takes a couple of minutes to get started with a Stripe.com account, so if you are looking for an affordable solution with great reporting features, check it out by signing up for your account at Stripe.com and then choosing it as your payment gateway in Smart Events.

We hope these integrations help make Smart Events an even more powerful way for you to plan your events in 2012 and beyond!

New Smart Events Pricing Plans

Smart Events has been streamlining events for almost two years now! It has been used to organize events with a just a couple registrants and events with thousands of registrants. Trying to come up with a pricing plan that is a great fit for events ranging in size so dramatically has always been a challenge for us. We felt like a percentage based pricing was a great way to scale pricing based on the size and cost of events. We only collected a small percentage (1.5% or 2.5%) of any registration costs.

While this pricing structure did make sense, after 2 years of use and a great deal of talking with current and potential customers, we realized there were some potential flaws. Most of the organizations and churches that use Smart Events have budgets that are set in place for the year. With percentage-based pricing, they had a very hard time budgeting accurately. There was some other confusion as well. In addition to charging a different percentage for non-profit and for-profit companies, it wasn’t always clear that the percentage included credit card payments processed by Smart Events, and any additional cash or check payments tracked through Smart Events, too. Though we tried to explain all of this well, the questions we received when customers received their bills were evidence enough that there was enough confusion to justify exploring a simpler pricing structure.

After months of deliberation, we have come up with new pricing that we feel will be a much better fit for most of our customers. The new pricing is a set rate based on the maximum number of registrants per event. Here are the new prices:

Free: $0 / month for a maximum of 5 Registrants per event
Lite: $9 / month for a maximum of 30 Registrants per event
Basic: $24 / month for a maximum of 100 Registrants per event
Plus: $49 / month for a maximum of 250 Registrants per event
Premium: $99 / month for a maximum of 600 Registrants per event

All plans include unlimited events and unlimited users. If you need a higher number of registrants, you can contact us for a customized plan.

Most customers will actually find they will be paying less under this new pricing scheme and can choose their new plan immediately from the right side of their account settings page. The pricing transition will extend until July 1, 2012 at which time all users will need to choose from one of the new low monthly prices. Until then, you are free to stay with your current pricing. As a result of these new prices, customers using Smart Events to plan free events for free will need to upgrade to one of the new plans by July 1, or use our new free plan that allows 5 registrants per event.

Also, I’d like to add on, we just released our initial Planning Center Online integration (bring your order of service into a Smart Events Event Schedule) and also added a new Payment provider called Stripe.com that allows you to accept credit card payments for 2.9% + 30¢ per successful charge and no monthly fees. You can read more about these features at: http://wp.me/p1EgzY-S

We hope that these new monthly prices will not only give you an accurate way to budget for your events, but cost you less than you were paying before. We’re already at work getting some new features ready and look forward to a great event-filled 2012!

Thanks!

Jeff Berg
Owner/Developer
Ministry Centered Technologies

Colors, Registrant PDFs, Speed & More

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve made a couple of great improvements to Smart Events. We’ve tweeted most of the them from our @smartevents Twitter account, but we thought we should have a better way to keep you updated. As a result, we’ve created this new Smart Events blog where we will post changes on the improvements we make to Smart Events. Read on to learn about our recent changes.

Custom Accent Colors
Today we released a new option from the settings page that allows you to change the accent color used on your public pages. Until now, your only option was the Smart Events reddish-orange color. Now you can change this accent color to match your own custom branding or logo to get a more unified site design.

Individual Registrant PDFs
You’ve always been able to get a PDF report for your entire event, but last week we released a new feature that allows you to print individual PDFs for each person registered for your event. Click on a person’s name from within an event and then click “PDF Summary” at the top right underneath their payment to get a PDF of that person’s details.

Greatly Increased Speed
We’ve gone in under the hood of Smart Events and made some changes that should drastically improve the responsiveness of the site. Pages and options should load much faster than they did before which should provide a better overall experience.

More
We’ve also made some other small changes, including improving the layout of the assignments page. We hope you enjoy these enhancements and continue to reap the benefits of simple and seamless event registration using Smart Events! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to make sure you have all the latest information.

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