The Pardot Eventbrite Connector: What is it Good For?

Using Eventbrite to manage your events, and Pardot for your emails and marketing automation?

The good news: they integrate!  The bad news: only sorta.

Let’s break it down.

Setting Up the Pardot Eventbrite Connector

If you’ve been using Eventbrite to manage event sign ups and payment processing, it’s a piece of cake to set up Pardot’s out-of-the box connector.  Just navigate to Admin > Connectors, click the Add Connector button, and you’ll be prompted with this when you select Eventbrite:

Pardot Eventbrite Connector.png

After you save the connector, click “Verify” and it will ask you to authorize the connector to work with your Pardot account.  Then you’re off to the races!

What the Pardot Eventbrite Connector Can Do

The connector is one way – from Eventbrite to Pardot only.  Once configured, the connector will sync Eventbrite events into a prospect’s activity history, and create a new prospect record for any first-time attendees that aren’t yet in your system.

Easy-to-access reports from within Pardot let you monitor sign ups, and will even show whether they were checked in at the event.  You can also incorporate event attendance into your scoring model.

Key Limitations of the Pardot Eventbrite Connector to Be Aware of

You Can’t Use it in Automation Rules or Completion Actions

You can’t do some critically important things with the Pardot Eventbrite connector.  For example – for every major marketing initiative, I recommend clients set up a Salesforce campaign and leverage completion actions or automation rules to sync prospects to that campaign.

But Eventbrite can’t be referenced by either completion actions or automation rules.  So there’s no way to automate getting event attendees to the right campaign.

If you wanted to send prospects who register for an Eventbrite event to Salesforce campaign, you’d have to do it manually in Salesforce, or navigate to the event report in Pardot and use a table action to select attendees and send them to a Salesforce Campaign.

You Can’t Use it in Dynamic Lists for Suppression

Eventbrite can’t be used in dynamic lists either.  So if you’re sending your event invites out through Pardot, but want to suppress people who have already signed up, you’d have to manually create the list to suppress using a table action.

It Obscures Campaign Tracking

The Eventbrite connector can only be associated with one Pardot campaign.

And any net new prospects added by the Eventbrite connector will get added to that campaign, overriding any previous Pardot cookies that would have indicated an earlier “first touch.”

Alternative #1: Using Pardot Native Forms

If you want to be able to access the full range of Pardot’s automation capabilities, consider using native forms to manage your event sign ups.  For really straight forward use cases, this actually works really well.  A couple of things to keep in mind:

No payment processing

There’s not a great way to do payment processing with native Pardot forms.  If this is a must have, stick with Eventbrite or another events tool.

Think about a process for adding guest RSVPs

If you’re hosting events that people are bringing guests to, design your forms accordingly.  A surefire way to wreck havoc on your Pardot cookies is to create a form that people submit, and then refresh to register another colleague.

If you expect people to bring guests, either add a field where they can key in “other guest” info, or create the form in kiosk mode so that visitor association doesn’t take place.

Adapt your campaign records in Salesforce to mirror your Eventbrite KPIs

If there are critical metrics you like to review in Eventbrite, work with your Salesforce admin to determine if/how to capture those in your Salesforce campaigns.  Could you set up a special record type with extra fields?

Alternative #2: The Eventbrite Connector for Salesforce

Since the Pardot/Eventbrite interface leaves much to be desired, consider installing the Salesforce Eventbrite connector.  This is free, but isn’t really supported by either party – so you’re kind of on your own when it comes to putting it into action (well, not totally on your own… feel free to reach out to me if you need help).

With this connector, you can sync more data from Eventbrite to Salesforce than you can from Eventbrite to Pardot:

Salesforce Eventbrite Connector.png

You can also control at the field level what information to bring over from Eventbrite.

When setting this up, you can map Events to native Salesforce Campaigns and Orders to Campaign Members.  From there, that campaign data will sync over to Pardot and you can reference it in automation rules, dynamic lists, and more.

Alternative #3: Build Something Yourself

When at first you don’t succeed… consider messing with the API.  Not for the faint of heart, but there is likely a custom solution you could develop if you have a unique workflow that is important enough to you to pay to automate.

Workato, Zapier, and other middleware providers offer tools that can make this easier for non-dev admins to try to take on.

How Are You Managing Events in Pardot and Eventbrite?

What has been your experience with the Pardot Eventbrite connector?  Any secret workarounds or tricks that I’ve missed?  Let me (and your fellow readers) know in the comments!

 

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