Innovative HubSpot automation for USA-based sports event organisation

Ryan Waters | 14 July 2023

Tourney Direct logo

Tourney Direct turned to Struto to assist them in a period of digital transformation; to automate much of their business operations and digitalise processes.

The sequential projects were conducted with growth-driven design methodology in mind to allow for maximum business continuity. 


Background: 
 

Tourney Direct is an event management platform based in the United States, providing easy-to-use self-service tools to simplify how sports event operators manage the staffing of their events and how collegiate coaches express their interest in stipend opportunities.   

Event-platform_Tourney-direct

Situation:   

Having recently migrated from an Excel-based database to HubSpot for their CRM capabilities, Tourney Direct’s original infrastructure contained several different software dependencies and third-party tools that were not integrated. As a result, the existing business processes were highly manual and duplicative; a challenge as they looked to scale.

Prior to this initiative, their staff spent an inordinate amount of time manually sorting through hundreds of spreadsheets with thousands of rows of data. This resulted in a long user wait; not confirming a coach for days or even weeks.   

As the team expanded and new team members were brought on board, it meant a lack of visibility into “customer touch points” and in worst-case scenarios contacting coaches who may have already said they weren’t available, providing a frustrating experience for all.

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Solution: 
 

Struto identified several opportunities on the original scope and suggested an approach that would maximize the core platform by going all-in on HubSpot. This integrated approach allowed Tourney Direct to remove many of the third-party tools, optimise efficiency, increase levels of automation and create a foundation for growth. 

 

"Immediately, Struto took an interest, not just in the deliverable, but in our vision and strategic intent.

They feel nothing like a vendor and everything like a trusted IT partner with their out-of-the-box thinking and technical savviness"

- Kate Wellner,
Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer at Tourney Direct


Struto immediately identified the need to make use of HubSpot’s
custom objects to help meet many of the requirements. This meant an Enterprise License for one of the HubSpot stacks would be needed. As Struto dug into Tourney Direct’s future vision, it was suggested that a customer portal would best support their requirement, along with the recommendation to invest in HubSpot’s CMS Enterprise stack, which would address both the immediate automation needs while paving the way for a customer portal in the future.

After the initial migration from Squarespace, Excel and other third-party tools to HubSpot, Struto identified enhancements such as a set of workflows to replace sign-up forms for 100+ events with a simple two-click sign-up process - drastically improving the user experience.

 

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QR codes, serverless functions and custom-coded workflows

Struto also pitched a QR code project for event registration, which has since been developed in-house by our development team using serverless functions and custom-coded workflows.

This allows users to register at events via their smartphone. The user enjoys a seamless automation experience to register their attendance, and for Tourney Direct, their contact and event records are updated automatically, negating double data entry.

The Struto team took a completely bespoke use case, wrote special custom code and built the requirement out natively inside HubSpot, something that an out-of-the-box solution could never provide, and without the need for multiple systems and extra applications. 

Struto came to the sales cycle with subject matter experts that not only knew the technology but also took the time to understand our business.  Those same SMEs continue to work on our projects to this day.

Kate Wellner, Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer at Tourney Direct.  

 

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Challenges:   

Business continuity was a big concern for Tourney Direct as much of the work was going on in parallel during a seasonal peak.

A core set of functionalities was still required in order for them to run their business without disruption. The time-sensitive nature of their business meant that this project should be run using a growth-driven design methodology so that the project could go live, however with limited testing durations, unforeseen testing scenarios and placeholder functionality to provide time for the ideal state to be developed.     

 

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Outcome:  

Custom code and serverless functions replaced lengthy workflows, improving the stipend interest submissions and decreasing the number of errors seen. 

An error logging system was developed and implemented to flag any issues within business-critical workflows or customer communications. This gave Tourney Direct a window into the back-end processes, providing swift error identification and resolution in real time. 

Tourney Direct no longer sees HubSpot as just a CRM solution; but has re-envisioned it as the strategic hub in their technical ecosystem, allowing them to better serve their customers while also providing a more user-friendly work experience to their team members. 


It’s such a great use case in an unusual way because it’s not your traditional CRM / sales processes, it’s a very customised implementation of HubSpot. This project has continued to open up new opportunities to create something better at each turn.” 

Nolan Joubert, Developer at Struto.

What started out as a simple request to automate the sharing of data has evolved into full automation, giving Tourney Direct the ability to provide a personalised experience, but at scale.  

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Results:  

Since going live, Tourney Direct has seen an extraordinary reduction in admin time. Pulling a targeted email list takes minutes, down from hours. Coach confirmations for stipend spots take three clicks and less than 10 seconds to confirm making it easy and efficient even at scale. 

Other results include:
 
+  Innovative automation using custom coding in HubSpot
+  Enabled Tourney Direct to scale their operations at pace
+  Event operators receive proactive weekly health status reports
+  Coach sign-up time was reduced extensively
+  Migrating from unnecessary additional tech to a more consolidated stack 
+  Employee satisfaction with better user experience  
+  Custom configuration to suit client requirements for long-term use and growth 

Tourney Direct is creating really great experiences for their customers as a result of this GDD project"     
                                                                 
                                                                  – Ryan Waters, Strategist at Struto.

 

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