Eventbrite and Salesforce: How Knight Foundation Maximized Their Event ROI

If you have ever thrown a party or put together an event you know there are several processes to manage – venue, infrastructure, event marketing (lead gathering and follow up), ticket sales, programming – the list goes on. With so many different sectors that must come together for a successful event, it’s easy to make mistakes and duplicate data or forget to follow up and lose out on your leads. For Knight Foundation, this problem was heightened due to a high volume of events and multiple offices around the United States that needed to share data.

The Knight Foundation is one of the largest US based non-profit organizations and provides grants to transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. Their projects have brought community art to Detroit, helped Code for America rewire government institutions to better connect with citizens, and expanded Miami’s O Cinema for independent films. They organize many events for their partners and grantees in the communities they support, however they need this data to be stored in one place without duplicates or mistakes in order to keep their communication and donation flows efficient.

knight foundation map
Map of Knight Foundation Communities

It’s easy to see how managing and coordinating data about grantees and guests, specifically those invited to meetings and events, could get tricky. Despite doing work across the country, Knight foundation runs lean and many team members had created their own solutions for inviting and tracking participants, to save time. This left data silos across the organization and Jorge Martinez, CTO of Knight Foundation, set out to close them.

Salesforce and Eventbrite In Powerful Partnership

Jorge began by implementing Salesforce and standardizing Eventbrite, however even with time-saving cloud apps, Jorge realized manual intervention was still required to coordinate the information between the various systems. This manual data entry was wasting valuable time and effort and getting in the way of the foundation’s broader mission. “Not only did we lose staff time,” said Jorge, “but we also had to worry about data quality. That meant we had to work harder, worry about whether or not the data was synched, and if it wasn’t, then figure out what accurate data actually was. We would spend hours of work a week, across 10-15 people dealing with this issue.”

The inefficiency of manual data entry had issues beyond being a time suck for Jorge and team. When data wasn’t available, Jorge and his staff could not pull reports, which meant losing valuable organization insight and the ability to report to their donors and the board – an important function for nonprofits. Jorge knew integration was necessary, but the first well-known solution he tried could not handle their complex workflows.

Then Luis Camacho, the systems analyst and Salesforce expert for Knight Foundation, found Workato.

“Workato allowed me to create objects and multiple nested workflows, when the other no-code options did not. It was easy enough to build on my own without programming knowledge,” said Luis. “For us, the major benefit is the flexibility Workato allows in how we work and control the management and changing of workflows.”

To fully manage their events and get all attendee information into one place, Knight Foundation uses an array of Workato recipes that move information into Salesforce with no duplicates or errors. Recipes are a workflow or set of tasks that Workato completes in and between your apps. Here’s how the Knight Foundation used Workato to address all of their top concerns:

1. No Manual Data Entry: Eventbrite Tickets Scan Directly Into Salesforce

Knight Foundation uses a few recipes to send the event attendee’s information straight to Salesforce when they check into an event. When the attendee arrives, they can scan their badge or name tag with the Eventbrite QR code and Workato will automatically feed the data to Salesforce. “Because we are integrating with Eventbrite, the process is smoother and quicker for guests attending the event. We can scan their badge or name tag and have their data automatically feed into Salesforce,” said Jorge. “This makes the experience seamless for the guests and easier for us later.”

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This recipe checks every email field to see if the attendee already exists in Saleforce – primary, work, and personal. If it finds a match it will create a campaign member. If it is not found, it will create a profile for the attendee and then add the campaign member. When the recipe finishes these steps an email with a summary of the synced information is sent to the team at the Knight Foundation.

2. Up to Date Reports With Real Time Data

“Everything is mobile these days and having the Workato integration with Eventbrite Neon aid that is huge,” said Jorge. “Using cell phones or tablets to check people in gives us the ability to update our systems in real-time. It saves us time as before we would need to wait until event ended and then move the data to Salesforce. Now with Workato, within 15 minutes we know if someone has checked in. If we needed to communicate with that attendee, we could do it within Salesforce or Workato.”

The automatic data transfer means up to date reports immediately. Jorge never has to worry about missing data or his reports not being current. The information is there and ready when he wants it.

3. Duplicates Be Gone

Jorge knows that duplicates in your CRM are time consuming to fix and detrimental to ignore, which is why Luis built some complex workflows into their Workato recipes. These workflows make sure there are no duplicate accounts created and assigns each event attendee to the correct campaign. This is essential to their operations as each event has its own campaign and communications that must go to these campaign members. Sending the wrong communication to a donor could be disastrous.

“Workato lets us bring data across various apps and filter it based on our criteria, rather than having a couple of developers changing custom-built integrations every time. Now integrations work for us instead of the other way around,” said Jorge.

The Real Life Results: Zero Silos, Increased Flexibility Across Departments, and Hours Saved

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Knight Foundation uses Workato to see who is connected to its network and to create better partnerships with grantees and organizations. Moreover, the accelerated syncing of data saves them hours of work each week, valuable time they can focus on assessing the impact of their grants. “By using Workato’s powerful Eventbrite integration, we’ve realized that one of the most valuable things we offer is the network of who we fund and what we do,” said Jorge. “For our donors and the individuals we fund, the fact that they are connected to the Knight network is valuable. They can come to events and be introduced to new partners to collaborate with and connect with like-minded individuals and organizations.”

Knowing the importance these events hold, Knight Foundation can now throw as many events as necessary without worrying about messy duplicate data they would have had to clean up after the event. They also have the power to control their own integrations and the ability to be flexible.

“Without Workato, we would have needed custom development and trying to stay on top of it is a roller coaster ride. We are not a development shop, so specialized expertise is more difficult and costly to keep,” said Jorge. “Plus delivering quickly and anticipating needs is much easier when you can control your own integrations. We can see implementation and then test immediately with Workato. Luis is able to create a recipe in one day – something that is not possible in any other software robust enough to handle the entire process.”

Integrating Salesforce and Eventbrite got rid of manual data entry, controls duplicates, and allows for up to date reports in real time. With the hours saved, Jorge and the communities the Knight Foundation benefits can get the best value out of staff time and the organization’s budget.

About the author
Kristine Colosimo
Kristine oversees Workato's content and works with awesome apps like DocuSign, Zendesk, SurveyMonkey etc. on great automation content.