Think outside the box with CiviCRM: Innovative idea #4

Use Campaigns to manage trade missions

Most people use CiviCampaign to manage fundraising or advocacy campaigns because CiviCampaign is one of the transversal components of CiviCRM that allows you to link together events, activities, mailings and contributions under one umbrella in order to track progress toward a goal. So if you think outside the box, there are other uses for CiviCampaign. This post describes how an international trade association uses CiviCampaign to manage trade missions.

This association organizes trade missions on a regular basis and invites companies from foreign countries to visit and meet with local businesses so they can explore possibilities to do business together. Each trade mission runs over several days, hosts multiple events and involves a number of local contacts; some are members and others not.

In order to manage all of these interactions (activities, event registrations, emailings, payments received, etc) and build complete reports to help them assess the success of their missions, Cividesk suggested using CiviCampaign. Here's how it works:

1. A new campaign is created in CiviCampaign

2. A contribution page is created and associated with the campaign in order to collect payments from the companies that are traveling as part of the trade mission

3. Once their payment is received, representatives from involved companies can register for events that are included in the trade mission's program such as a business lunch, panel discussion, local company tour, etc ... These events are created using CiviEvent and all associated with the same campaign

4. Interactions with local companies that are part of the trade mission as speakers at an event or as a host of business meetings are linked with the campaign using activities of different types to be identified accordingly 

4. Finally, reports are easily generated to analyze the results of the campaign and evaluate its success, both financially and in terms of engagement

Great, right? This workflow may seem rather straightforward and you may wonder why use a campaign at all, but try running multiple trade missions concurrently and building comprehensive financial reports - then the benefits of using CiviCampaign to manage each mission becomes obvious. Talk about a time saver!

Here are a few more instructions for specific needs:

  • Do you have local contacts who are involved in several trade missions at the same time? -- Use activities linked with each campaign to track interactions. It becomes even more helpful if you use multiple activity types, as we described in our Think outside the box with CiviCRM: innovative idea #3
  • Need to report on the income generated by each mission? -- Run a contribution report that includes payments made through the contribution pages and event registration fees. The only way to have one unique report for these different payments is to use the campaign as a filter in the report.
  • Want to keep track of multiple mission's income from year to year? -- Filter a contribution report on campaign type, compare by time period and you get a comprehensive table of the missions’ success.

If you want to learn more about CiviCampaign and how you can use it to manage your organization’s unique workflows, contact your Cividesk account Manager.