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Moving from Manual: The City of Suwanee’s Journey to Streamlining their Event Processes

The City of Suwanee, Georgia has a population of 19.5K residents and hosts over 40 events per year for their community, with Suwanee Fest being the city’s largest and most notable event. The annual fall festival has been bringing the City of Suwanee’s community together for over 20 years. Event Organizer, Amy Doherty, and her team manage 200+ vendors, 150+ volunteers, 40+ sponsors, and countless community members for their 2-day festival. For the majority of the festival’s life, the city was operating under a manual system comprised of sticky notes, folders, physical mail, check payments, and memory. It wasn’t until 2018 that the City of Suwanee decided to move their process online and start simplifying their events using Eventeny. By ditching their sticky notes, PO box, and bounced check chases, the city is now able to operate more efficiently and can even set up a new event in under 30 minutes. It’s really that easy!

The Challenge of Manual


For 16 years, the city’s applications were created in Microsoft Word for distribution and were often mailed physically back to the organizer with printed images to showcase products. Moreover, the team had no way of processing payments with credit cards.  Instead, they relied primarily on checks to receive payment. However, checks were often cumbersome for the small team because they would frequently encounter incorrect information, bouncing, and lost time from the mailing and deposit process. Additionally, the team was operating out of a PO box to coordinate with applicants which required team members to spend time retrieving, sorting, and responding to mail. As the festival, and number of city-hosted events grew, the City of Suwanee’s manual system had become too exhausting and overwhelming to maintain. 

In search of simplification, the City of Suwanee became one of the early adopters of Eventeny, an event management software, in 2018. With Eventeny, the City of Suwanee was able to successfully organize and execute 11 events in record time between 2018 and 2019. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world in 2020, forcing everyone indoors, the city had a virtual system to fall back on.

The 5 Benefits of Transitioning to Eventeny

#1 Ease of Payment Collection

When we asked Amy her reasoning for making the switch over to Eventeny, she immediately responded with, “ease of payment.” Before Eventeny, the organization primarily had difficulties collecting payments, issuing refunds, and processing payments with cards. Today, the city is able to easily collect card payments, make full or partial refunds in seconds, and never has to chase down a vendor to reconcile a bounced check. In fact, with Eventeny’s user-friendly system, the city has actually been able to increase revenue by charging application fees which also ensures their vendors are serious about attending the event.

#2 Vendor Validation

Aside from charging an application fee (an optional feature in Eventeny), the city of Suwanee now benefits from the ability to check if new applicants have participated in other events on Eventeny. If so, event organizers could leverage the Eventeny community to message one another and perform a vendor reference check to ensure they are accepting quality applicants.

#3 Improved Communication

A small feature that packs a big punch is the ability to send group messages. Amy stated how she’s saved so much time being able to simply send a mass email to all approved vendors/sponsors with event day expectations instead of flipping through pieces of paper and folders on her desk to ensure she had correct contacts and then individually notifying participants.

#4 Event Copying

The ability to copy events year after year was a game-changer for the City of Suwanee. With this feature, Amy states she is now able to have a new event up and running in only 30 minutes.

“We’ve been using Eventeny now for about 4 years. So for our new events, I do not have to go in and reinvent the wheel. I can go to the prior year’s event, copy it over, update my deadlines, and add any new rules or restrictions, especially with COVID.”

- Amy Doherty, Event Organizer - City of Suwanee

Due to the pandemic, the city was unable to host in-person events for over a year. However, Amy and her team were able to use Eventeny to go back to 2019, copy a past event, and modify the contents for 2022 instead of starting from scratch.

#5 Easier Marketing

Lastly, since everything is collected and stored digitally, the city is able to use the images submitted by vendors and sponsors to use for marketing purposes as well. Previously, the city would have needed to rely solely on dated event images for promotion.

Embracing Data Continuity

One powerful advantage of using Eventeny is data continuity. The platform will allow you to access data from event-to-event, and year-after-year freeing organizers from binders full of papers, fleeting sticky note systems, and needing the memory of an elephant. The City of Suwanee feels the best way to harness this power is to utilize the tagging and office notes features. 

A common practice is to create a “do not approve” tag, or something similar, to indicate previous issues with vendors, sponsors, or volunteers. However, Amy indicates her team takes it a step further by also supplying office notes to ensure the team remembers the situation correctly the following year. Moreover, it eliminates the memory game and ensures any new team members will be able to make informed decisions in the future as well. 

Since Suwannee Fest receives so many applicants, the team often brings in volunteers to sift through the applications and add office notes while reviewing. Then, when the committee is ready to jury applicants, everybody can see the notes available to make decisions quickly and more efficiently. Before Eventeny, this process was performed verbally between team members and/or sticky notes were used for annotation - which is hard to refer back to 365 days later!

In addition to easy tracking and note-taking, the city also uses tags to export data to assist at vendor check-in. For instance, if a vendor is tagged with having a failed payment, the team will export all vendors with that tag and print a copy to have at the gate.



When asked to sum up Eventeny into a single word, Amy determined “simplification” was the best description. Moreover, the platform has made the biggest impact on improving her organization’s efficiency. Primarily, Eventeny has greatly reduced the amount of paper and stress that was historically involved with event planning. 

It’s Eventeny’s mission to simplify event planning and remove organizers from holding the 5th most stressful job in the world. We hope by replacing manual tasks with time-saving systems, organizers can focus on creating memories for their community and gain back some of the personal freedoms that are lost due to the extended hours and nature of their position. If you’d like to learn more about how Eventeny could simplify your organization, please contact to get started!

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“That just goes to show that [Eventeny’s] setting a standard in the industry that people can adapt to... it's got what you need to make your event run smoothly!”
Amy Doherty, Event Organizer, City of Suwanee