Managing the daily chaos of camp administration is no easy task. You’re managing registrations, deciphering the cryptic texts from teen counselors, catering to the changing […]
UltraCamp vs Eventbrite
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Mealtime can be a tricky proposition when you have kids. Giving them choices at mealtimes, doubly so. Recently when ordering pizza, my wife made the regrettable decision to ask my 6-year-old what kind of pizza should be ordered. After thinking for a moment, he said, “I would like a cheese pizza on a thin crust with extra sauce on half and the other half should be meatballs on thick crust with no sauce for E. (my 5-year-old daughter).” There was a part of me that wanted to order this in person, just to see the faces of our pizza magicians as they tried to articulate why exactly this would be difficult to achieve.
While the title describes a comparison between two software solutions, this is really a comparison of two needs: a full experience for both the attendee and the organizer or a simple ticket to an event. They both have an appeal and while on the surface look potentially interchangeable, a little digging beneath the surface reveals functional differences that suggest a fairly wide gap in purpose. I am going to stay generally positive and focused on the differences in purpose, so if you are looking for a hit piece on Eventbrite you’ll have to look elsewhere. Seriously, I am not going to write something like this guy, or these guys, and definitely not like this one. It’s just not how I roll*. These are the biggest differences in my mind (BONUS: if you read all three, the fourth one is free!):
In this space, Eventbrite offers something that UltraCamp doesn’t. There seems to be a robust marketplace of events for potentially interested parties to check out. While it doesn’t likely take the place of marketing your event yourself, it is a nice feature to have built-in (There seems to be a niche that I didn’t know existed here and here, but I don’t know that I am the target demographic anyway).
UltraCamp is built quite a bit differently and really leaves it up to the organizer to promote their programs. As an end-user, I don’t know how likely I would routinely scroll Eventbrite for an event to attend, but I can see others doing it. And again, it’s traffic driven to your event that you don’t have to do anything to generate, so no matter how much traffic it leads to, it’s a net win for you and your program.
This is a space where both operate quite well, albeit a bit differently. Eventbrite is almost singularly focused on virtual one-off events, although you can also find plenty of in-person events (to be fair, that might have more to do with COVID than anything else, but it did seem like the marketplace prioritized online events first unless I specifically asked for events in my area).
If you want to register for multiple events, you need to make multiple orders (which can get quite tedious and lots of clicking through the same process over and over). Where UltraCamp sets itself apart in this space is the ability to handle recurring events and bundle the registration for multiple events or programs into one order and payment. If your typical customer is likely going to sign up for multiple events, UltraCamp is definitely the way to go here.
Eventbrite’s process for registration is very simple and quick and depending upon the event might have a few pre-set questions. UltraCamp’s process is typically a bit longer but has a much wider variance depending upon the organizer’s preferences. With some programs, the registration was only a few clicks and, while others had multiple forms to be completed and were a lot more involved. It shows that while Eventbrite’s process was generally quicker, it also seemed to have fewer features for the organizer to customize. If your program doesn’t fit the prescribed typical Eventbrite event, you might find you don’t get all of the information you need from your attendees (or you are left collecting it manually and no one needs that).
Lastly, one key difference that could be a deal-breaker for some of you was that Eventbrite didn’t seem to have a good way to register on behalf of something else, for instance, a child. If I’m signed into my account, then I am the one registering for the event (it also doesn’t let me restrict participants by age). With UltraCamp, you get to pick who you are registering, and is built with the idea that frequently (perhaps even mostly) the person registering is not the person attending. We could stay here awhile because there is more that could be unpacked, but suffice to say, if you need more info from your participants than their name, want a bit more control over how the event is presented, or want to register someone else…you’re probably not going to be happy with Eventbrite.
I think this is a difference where the different purposes come out the clearest. With Eventbrite, you are locked into either using their processing or PayPal. This is likely because the typical organizer on Eventbrite does not want their own payment processor for the event(s) they post there. There is not enough volume to warrant having their own payment processor. UltraCamp, while promoting a preferred payment processor Payroc with posted, competitive rates, allows their customers to bring their own payment processor (provided they are compatible with an NMI gateway). Additionally, Eventbrite holds all funds (earning interest all the meanwhile) until your event ends, while UltraCamp deposits credit card batches daily. It would seem that Eventbrite is geared much more towards the individual putting on a single event (or at least semi-regular ones), whereas UltraCamp is definitely built for organizations with regular events that typically are planned well in advance.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, but what it really means is usable real-time data. Eventbrite allows you to export a list of your attendees but being that you only have their names and email addresses, it’s not a lot to work with (of course, Eventbrite gets them and uses them too, if that matters to you). It doesn’t really have any CRM functionality for their organizers and thus there isn’t a great way for you to manage those relationships.
UltraCamp, on the other hand, provides robust data reporting and record keeping to you the organizer, allowing you to report on any piece of information collected as part of a registration process or on a custom form (another feature Eventbrite does not support). Additionally, if you decide to discontinue your relationship with UltraCamp, your data can go with you. You can export anything you need and take it to your next provider without charge or issue, nice for peace of mind.
So, it really comes down to this: What my son asked for (a pizza that might be impossible to make) and what he actually wanted (two different pizzas) were two different things.
It really comes down to what kind of events you are running. Are you doing virtual events on the side for a little extra cash, and you need help with promotion? Eventbrite might have the right blend of functionality and ease of use that will be perfect for you. Are you an organization looking to create an online platform for your customers to register for your ongoing events and have tools to manage that relationship, collect more information about them, and have complete control over the registration process? You might want to check out UltraCamp. It’s not really a matter of superior vs. inferior 😜, it’s really more about you and your program…and pizza, don’t forget the pizza.
* – it might be how I roll (at least a little) for fun. Seriously, it wasn’t hard to find these.
Author: Jeremy B.
Despite a lack of any discernible talents or personality, Jeremy was a Day Camp Director for over 16 years in the PNW, where he was born and raised. He lucked into marrying the woman of his dreams and has two wonderful children who, thankfully, take after their mother. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the harp with his spin-metal band Doomloop, long walks on the beach (alone), and a little respect. He also writes words sometimes.
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