Discover how The Surf Project is growing its reach and engaging its community through events with Glue Up.
The Surf Project is a faith-based charity in the heart of the small town of Portrush in North Ireland UK that works with young people and adults to help them discuss and explore things of life and faith in an open environment.
Located along the Northern Coast, the Surf Project is currently the only surf school in Northern Ireland that is fully accredited and approved by the Irish Surfing Association (ISA). It offers surf and stand-up paddling (SUP) lessons to the public, in addition to events, camps, and community activities.
Lily Jones joined the Surf Project as the Events Coordinator in the fall of 2019, just before the pandemic hit. Since then, she has been instrumental in using Glue Up’s Event Management Software to grow the organization and expand its reach. Here’s how the Surf Project is changing the lives of young people in its community, one wave at a time.
Our motto is living life to the full by having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We are dedicated to creating a space where people can experience what it means to live life to the full, experience the love of Christ, and be accepted as they are.
The Surf Project runs different programs to connect with its community in order to help people engage in mental health, build strong relationships, increase community outreach, and other activities. We primarily connect with people through the medium of surfing by running different surfing projects and other outdoor water-based activities.
These programs are tailored to serve different age groups and other categories. For example, we host surf camps for primary and elementary school kids, residential camps for teenagers, family church days with churches, and surf lessons for individuals. We also just recently purchased a townhouse where we accommodate surf residentials, school retreats, and other activities.
We used MailChimp before to send out newsletters and manually track event registrations, tickets, event attendance, and attendee engagement. We collected registrations by sending out standard booking forms via email and setting up online registration forms on our website.
There was no booking system for events where people could register ahead of time. Therefore, we advertised events through flyers instead. Interested participants would show up on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the event and fill out physical forms. However, as more people joined our events, we could no longer accommodate more.
One of the main factors that pushed us to switch to an all-in-one platform for events was that the project was growing in new ways. 2019 was our biggest year. We reached over 600 kids during the summer and we realized that this number would only get bigger over time.
As a result, collating all our data in one place became even more critical. We also needed to convey a more professional look to our audience; hence, needed a solution that could help us improve our image by customizing our event pages.
Glue Up was everything we were looking for that offered a competitive price within our budget. Other platforms offering similar services were over our budget. We also chose the platform because it’s a customizable solution that can help us build and improve our online credibility.
As we grew from a small operation run by two or three people to a seven-year-old startup, we were looking for a solution to house all our contacts, track registrations, sell tickets, and even manage our finances. After a lot of research, we found Glue Up, which was called EventBank at the time.
We were not quite sure our customer base would follow us into the online platform. Additionally, it took some time to integrate all of what we had done separately in one place. Overall, the transition went well as Glue Up has made our booking system more accessible to our customers via our website.
We began using Glue Up at the beginning of 2019. What has been most important to us is that Glue Up helps us track event registrations, tickets, and gathering all other information in one place hence making it easily trackable. In addition, we can now follow our participants’ engagement over time as Glue Up enables us to track which events they have been attending.
Since I joined the organization, we have grown in our ability to use Glue Up. As we’ve become more acclimated to the platform, we are now tailoring it to our needs, and running events has never been easier.
Being present with our participants during events is very important to us. As the events coordinator, it can be difficult to juggle not being too worried about the event during the actual event and being present for our participants. Thanks to Glue Up, I have all the information I need and can have everything set up ahead of time. This allows me to be there for my participants during the event.
Dealing with up to 80 kids a day was an amazing achievement for us, as our kids’ events are always sold out. Kids to parents drop off is a big part of our events, from registrations to check-ins and check-outs, Glue Up made these processes easier, which helped us manage young participants and their information safely and securely.
With Glue Up:
Glue Up’s Event Management Software is user-friendly and easily accessible to our customers. As we work with different age groups and technological backgrounds, the all-in-one community engagement My Glue app made the switch easier for our repeat customers and enabled all participants to register for events ahead of time.
The platform also helped us create customized registration forms for our audiences. For example, we can customize registration forms to gather information such as wet suite sizes. We can also create multiple ticket types for different prices and time slots and offer coupons and special prices for the regular members.
Glue Up has also helped us seamlessly expand our programs such as offering individual surf lessons and renting equipment. The campaigns module has helped us communicate effectively with the community via newsletters, campaigns, and annual reports. This has increased donations and encouraged more support from the community.
Glue Up is a secure platform, compliant with GDPR regulations, that helps us guarantee the protect both families’ and kids’ data. It also allows us to safely export information and protects our reputation as an organization that deals with kids.
Surf and SUP equipment hire
With the pandemic lockdown restrictions lifted, we are offer surf lessons with different options such as public and bespoke surf lessons. We are also excited about our Big Splash Kids' Surf Club event which will take place during spring and summer. We also just begun renting equipment and are looking to expand how we use Glue Up to connect with our community.
“Any company running events will definitely benefit from working with Glue Up. Its online booking system has helped us increase event attendance and has also improved how we communicate with our community.”
Lily Jones, Events Coordinator, The Surf Project
Glue Up’s all-in-one engagement management platform empowers NGOs like the Surf Project to expand their reach through events, campaigns, and automation. Get to know how you too can increase event attendance, automate your event processes, expand your reach, and effectively engage the communities you serve by booking a demo of our Event Management Software today!
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