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Managing Event Logistics in Blackbaud CRM™

Have you ever considered using Blackbaud CRM™ to manage the logistics associated with events? For example, allowing a user to ‘book’ items from a list that need to be shipped to an event such as lighting, AV, pens etc., and then help manage the shipping logistics. It is possible that one could create a customization to fit this particular business need but there is also a clever out of the box solution. Using both event attributes and interactions linked to events, one can assign resources to an event, and help to manage pending resource requests.

The first step in the out of the box solution is to create an event attribute category and add the items to a code table. To do this, browse to administration then attribute categories and click add. Give the attribute category a name such as ‘Event Items’, select the record type of Event, and data type of code table. Click the add code table icon to create a new code table or select an existing one.

Once you’ve created your new code table, go ahead and click save. Now it is time to add items to your code table. From the administration functional area, click code tables, then filter by the type event. Find and click on your code table then use the add button to add entries.

Once we’ve created the event category and corresponding code table entries, we can add them to an existing events. Browse to an event and click on the attributes tab. Click add, and select the event category created above and the item that will need to be associated with the event. We will now have the ability to query events, and see what resources are associated with them.

Now that we have attributes associated with the event we can run reports, but how could staff better manage the shipping requests of these resources in Blackbaud CRM™? One way to do this would be to create constituent interactions with an interaction attribute category of ‘resource request’ and subcategory as defined by your organization. The subcategory could match the code table created earlier or could be something else that would better fit your needs. That interaction can be linked to the event and enable reporting on pending resource requests and who to ship them to.

One thing to note is that this method will not alert staff when a resource has been double booked. Therefore, it is important that both the event attribute report and event interaction reports are run together to get the full picture. This creative use of out of the box Blackbaud CRM™ elements will help you avoid costly customizations and track logistics a little more effectively within CRM.

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