About Facade Tectonics
Facade Tectonics Institute (FTI) is a non-profit organization serving experts and students in sustainability, design, and architecture worldwide. Its innovative mission is to create a resilient future by promoting change in the built environment through events, media, and education highlighting green building practices and facades.
FTI engaged Foster Commerce to complete a website redesign that would provide one source of truth for administrators and members. In addition to creating a media and information hub, a key part of the redesign was to sunset FTI’s use of Eventbrite in favor of its own events and ticket sales management system.
Today, the FTI team manages all events in-house. FTI’s custom-built solution saves on third-party fees and gives increased insight into event registration with reporting specific to the organization’s needs. Built on Craft CMS, FTI’s ticketing solution allows team members to solve multiple challenges with ease, including the management of event creation, sales, data, automation, and reporting.
Facade Tectonics Institute, (FTI), is an innovative non-profit that serves members throughout the world with information and media about sustainable building facade technology.
Since its start in 2007 at the University of Southern California School of Architecture, FTI has become a go-to resource for students, experts, and thought leaders.
FTI’s signature offering is its biennial World Congress, where the most influential industry leaders dedicated to creating a resilient future share advancements in the field.
To better serve their members with valuable content, FTI engaged Foster Commerce in 2018 to redesign their website. Included in this larger effort, FTI wanted to sunset its use of the popular event ticketing website, Eventbrite.
Today, thanks to the help of Foster Commerce’s custom website development team, the Facade Tectonics Institute successfully manages and sells all of its unique events in-house.
Managing all event creation and ticketing not only saves FTI time and money but helps support its larger mission to provide superior value to its members.
Small change, big impact
FTI exists to promote innovative building exteriors that have the potential to mitigate global warming impacts if adopted on a wide scale.
In an effort to educate builders, architects, students, and thought leaders about the value of exteriors in the fight against climate change, FTI team members produce events and a variety of media about the benefit of green facades.
When FTI spoke with Foster Commerce CEO, Stephen Callender, they explained their goal to have an in-house ticketing system. The team wanted to achieve more flexibility and control when creating and managing events. They also needed more event data and insight into ticket sales.
Prioritizing projects that make a significant impact on business — no matter how small — is something that Stephen routinely encourages his clients to do.
So he immediately understood the value of an in-house system and enthusiastically embraced FTI’s project.
Creating a single source of truth
A core problem FTI needed to solve was the issue of fractured services. Although their website acted as a central information hub, visitors and members had to leave the website to fulfill an action.
The fracturing problem was especially true about FTI’s ticket sales and membership. For example, on Eventbrite, all the ticket types were displayed equally to FTI members and non-members alike.
This meant anyone could choose any type of ticket, regardless of membership status. To verify ticket sales, the FTI team had to do the time-consuming work of manually checking individual ticket sales against a membership roster.
In addition, events that required tickets and those that didn’t were housed in different places. Having to move from system to system to create event content and sell tickets or manage registration sometimes doubled the workload for team members.
Finally, without the ability to generate comprehensive sales and registration reports, FTI couldn’t assess the general health of event promotion and attendance.
Developing custom ticketing solutions
To get the essential functionality of event creation and management on the site up and running, Foster Commerce recommended the Verbb event plugin.
Verbb provides reliable Craft plugins, including an event plugin that Foster Commerce developers felt confident would give FTI a good start toward what they needed.
The plugin provided immediate functionality for event management and event content management. It also solved problems for things like inputting event start and end dates and provided the UI in the Craft admin interface.
However, FTI also needed to be able to tie ticket sales to membership. And they also needed robust reporting on ticket and event registration.
With this in mind, the Foster Commerce team got to work extending the plugin’s capabilities and solving several big challenges.
The team created trial solutions in short development sprints until they landed on the customization that met FTI’s requirements.
The result was three new areas of functionality for FTI’s ticketing system:
The creation of different ticket types and greater membership value
Foster Commerce added a user-friendly way for FTI website administrators to create different ticket types (e.g. member-only or general public).
Foster Commerce also built the system so that event-goers must log in to the site to purchase a ticket. Now, only tickets that match a user’s membership level are available for purchase and discounted members-only tickets cannot be purchased publicly.
Requiring log-in before purchase effectively protects the value of membership by employing some rules — a high priority for the FTI team.
Multiple ticket purchase
FTI wanted a solution for corporate members who purchase multiple tickets. Foster Commerce developed a process where event-goers can purchase several tickets and easily assign them to the right individual.
Ticket buyers can even change who tickets are assigned to. Ticket assignees are conveniently notified about their FTI event tickets in the form of an email from Klaviyo.
Reporting and personalized event collateral
Finally, the Foster Commerce dev team added better reporting about ticket sales. For FTI, reporting isn’t just about the number of tickets sold, but also who the tickets are assigned to.
Having this data allows them to print out a report of all ticket holders, print name badges, and other personalized event collateral.
It also helps them track both member and non-member purchases for business and marketing purposes.
Once the FTI team was able to put their custom ticketing system to work, they were thrilled to achieve a major goal: having a single source of truth about events for their members and administrators.
FTI team members report that creating and managing events has become less time-consuming.
They also report that FTI members are happier with the experience of buying tickets.
Whereas in the past members were taken offsite and required to sign into Evenbrite, today they can complete the entire transaction on FTI’s website.
And because non-members are required to create an account with each ticket purchase, FTI is growing its email list. This supports the organization’s desire to share its critical message and mission with the world.
An internal ticketing system that allows FTI to manage event ticket sales for both members and the general public and gather robust insights into sales data.
Strategy, design, and custom development
Craft Commerce and Verbb’s custom events plugin
event creation and management
ticket purchasing and management