The article below was recently featured on MinistryTech.com, and speaks to Brushfire’s history, key partnerships, and unique features.
Brushfire Technology, the provider of online ticketing and registration for churches and ministries, was built out of necessity due to a glaring problem that has existed for decades: Many of the commonplace technological solutions on the market are made for companies in the secular world, requiring churches to adapt and “fit”. The founder of Brushfire, Stan Coker, realized a need to build something for the intricate and nuanced events that churches and ministries manage on a daily basis.
Fast forward 15 years and Brushfire has become synonymous with church event ticketing and registration. Brushfire is known globally for partnering with the largest-of-scale events for Hillsong, Tim Hawkins, Gateway, Prestonwood, Joyce Meyer Ministries, James River, and similar organizations. It enthusiastically serves thousands of local and start-up ministries for their small events and gatherings as well.
While Brushfire is committed to the Church as a whole, it has been truly shaped by its unique relationships with individual churches and their technology teams. To serve these churches well, Brushfire has listened to the needs of these ministries and adapted to their very specific requests. This has resulted in unique features like group registration, assignment tools for room allocation, payment plan options, dynamic promo codes and more. Each feature was specifically requested by a Brushfire customer and was thus implemented into development. The same holds true with integrations. Brushfire has developed dozens of integrations for payment gateways, CRMs, email marketing platforms, verified signature tools, and others, each based on the request of a specific client. Through experience, collaboration and listening to the needs of its customers, Brushfire continues to strive for better software and service.
One unique relationship that has been forged is the partnership between Hillsong Church and Brushfire Technology. After collaborating with Hillsong on their events across the world, the leaders of these organizations desired to take the next step. Through much deliberation and planning, a new joint venture, Hillsong Technology, was born.
In essence, Hillsong Technology is an initiative determined to see the Church adopt innovative technology solutions that bring people closer to Christ. Working closely with churches of all shapes and sizes provides an understanding of the problems technologists frequently face.
Hillsong Technology is developing a vibrant community of like-minded followers of Christ, who are passionate about using technology to help churches fulfill their mission, where ideas are heard and considered, and where we work together to make a real difference — whether that’s to reach the lost, plant more churches or serve our communities.
One tool that has already come from this technology partnership is a church events app that can be branded and used for any type of event while remaining tied to attendee details through a Brushfire integration.
Hillsong transitioned to Brushfire to provide excellence and scalability in event management on a global stage. The partnership has produced an online ticketing and registration experience that meets the unique challenges presented by a church organization operating internationally.
iOS App Check-in and Print Kiosk
The event check-in experience is one of the most crucial aspects in event management. We partnered with Hillsong to provide an iOS app that allows attendees to check-in and print their credentials in an instant. The Brushfire iOS app allows Hillsong to serve attendees more efficiently and requires attendees to spend less time waiting in line.
A crucial component of the success of seating communities are attendee groups. Event attendees can organize a group of friends, co-workers, or congregation members into a group so that they can experience the event together. Group organizers receive access to notifications when attendees join and leave their group, as well as the ability to manage the attendee details of their group members.
Distributing thousands of attendee credentials around the world is a logistical challenge. Brushfire worked with Hillsong to create printing and fulfillment tools to increase efficiency and track progress in issuing event name badges. Tracking attendee changes and recording previous prints help maintain safety and security during an event. Alongside Brushfire’s iOS App Check-in and Print Kiosk, attendee fulfillment tools have reduced the time spent managing and distributing attendee credentials.
Gateway Church partnered with Brushfire after searching for online event registration software that put people first. Together, Gateway and Brushfire have journeyed to make people the main focus of all their events, including women’s conferences, Christmas events, camp registration, concert ticketing, seminars, classes, and everything in between.
Volunteer and Vendor Management
As the Gateway — Brushfire relationship blossomed, it became apparent that the management tools used for attendees could also be invaluable in other areas. Volunteer registration can require an overwhelming number of time shifts, along with consistent, detailed communication. Vendor management is a complex process, from sponsorship options to payment plans to asset requirements. By creating an all-in-one event solution, Gateway can now track all aspects of sign-up and registration in one convenient place.
Registration Payment Plans
For several of Gateway’s events, 100% of the registration cost is not required upfront, and payments are permitted. If done manually, email communication and subsequent payment application for these attendees can be a monotonous, time-consuming process. Using automated and filtered emails that include direct links to each attendee’s payment page, this process has been streamlined and simplified.
The partnership with Prestonwood began in 2003 with the Dallas Christmas Festival, now known as The Gift of Christmas. From on-site and call center support for tens-of-thousands of ticket purchases in a single day to making sure attendees have a great ticket buying experience, this partnership is tried and true. Each Christmas, Prestonwood hosts more than 50,000 attendees for The Gift of Christmas and an optional dinner buffet over two weekends.
Assigned Seat Ticketing
Brushfire and Prestonwood have worked to create the best-assigned seat ticketing tool for productions and events with multiple performances. Patrons can quickly select seats to more than one performance either online, in-person, or over-the-phone and complete their transaction in a matter of seconds. Administrative users have the tools necessary to monitor ticket sales in high-demand sales periods and prevent held seats from being sold to the public.
Call Center Support for On Sale Events
The Gift of Christmas is one of Dallas / Fort Worth’s most anticipated yearly events. When tickets go on sale each fall, tens-of-thousands of tickets are sold in the first 24-hours. The Brushfire call center takes the burden of customer service off of the church for simple informational requests and provides assistance placing orders over the phone. The call center provides an outlet for people who would normally show up to a box office to buy tickets on-site the peace of mind from making a purchase with a qualified representative.
As a tech company working in the Church landscape, we understand the unique challenges that come with the territory. Features and software aside, our mission is to listen to the needs of the Church through consistent dialogue and to provide the best event experience by meeting those needs. We would love to hear about your event and technology ideas, desires, and challenges. If you would like to connect or learn more, visit us here. We’re listening.