If you have served the church for multiple years, you may be familiar with an event scheduling software called ServiceU. We have had many churches begin to use our software, eSPACE, after using ServiceU for many years.
ServiceU (or EventU) was once the gold standard for event scheduling in the church world. We actually admired them as we were developing our software back in 2008. However, ServiceU changed ownership groups several times including Active Network and Fellowship Technologies (or Fellowship One) who later sold both products to Ministry Brands.
What Went Wrong?
Based on ServiceU's user reviews, the app has not been updated much since the original partnership with Fellowship One took place. You can reference the top 3 reviews below from Apple:
Based on the last comment, EventU did have an update in 2018, but it was not what their customers needed. I am confident that the EventU team put their time and resources into this update to help serve their customers, but it sounds like the mark was missed.
What We Learned
As leaders in the Event Scheduling industry for churches, we had a few takeaways as we observed this partnership take place:
- Never stop growing and releasing enhancements. ServiceU began to fade away when they stopped creating updates and new features. Based on the comments above, their were multiple long spans of time in which the system was not updated.
- Always listen to your customers. Not every update is an improvement. Looking at the last comment above, after years of anticipation, ServiceU released an update in their software, but it did not serve what their clients really needed or desired.
- Be intentional about everything you do. While the partnership with Fellowship One seemed a wise decision originally, the intentionality of maintaining and improving ServiceU was lacking.
I was not a ServiceU client for those periods of time, so I am making some assumptions based on my independent research and other church's feedback. ServiceU still has many clients, so they must be doing some things well...Or folks are unaware of an alternative.
To summarize what we learned: always listen to your customers, never stop growing, and be intentional!
Why Churches Choose eSPACE
As stated previously, EventU used to be the gold standard for church event scheduling. Nowadays, their solution is no longer offered for churches to purchase.
So what solution can a church use to replace EventU? The answer is simple: eSPACE Event Management. Here are just a few reasons why:
- New features released weekly. We are continuously updating our system and adding features based on what our clients ask for.
- Full time support team. We have a full time support team that is ready to help you with any questions you have...And yes, we have a phone number you can call!
- All of the features provided by EventU and more. Our system is designed to work very similarly to ServiceU, but it is modernized and improved.
- Less expensive pricing structure. We do not charge per user in efforts to save your church money when switching...Churches should not be penalized for staff usage!
- Progressive web app. We offer a mobile app for both Android and Apple, but we take pride in our progressive web app. This allows users to have an optimized experience based on whatever device being used.
A Little More on eSPACE
eSPACE is more than just an Event Scheduling software, but a full suite of facility management and automation.
Firstly, eSPACE offers a free tool in which we believe all churches should possess: the Life Cycle Calculator. Nearly every component of your facilities will have to be replaced or significantly modified at some point during its effective life cycle. The Life Cycle Calculator sets you on the right path to being the best steward of the facilities entrusted to you.
Our system is split into two main components: eSPACE Event Scheduling and eSPACE Work Order & Asset Management.
eSPACE Work Order & Asset Management
eSPACE Work Order & Asset Management is a CMMS designed specifically for churches. This module was designed so that it integrates directly with eSPACE's Event Scheduler and Life Cycle Calculator. Only one login is needed to access all three modules!
Our Work Order & Asset Management solution can help you with:
- Scheduling and Assigning Preventative Maintenance. Consider these to be your recurring work orders such as replace filters, clean gutters, etc.
- Submit Work Orders With Ease. Our program allows your users to text or email in work orders simply. You can also create a work order request form on your website.
- Manage Inventory. Easily manage your inventory in one place. You can even receive reminders to your email when you are running low!
- Equipment Tracking. See exactly what work was done on your equipment, when it was done, and who performed the work.
Our add-on, Asset Pro, can also be used to further improve your experience. This allows for bar-coding and other features to improve your experience!
What About eSPACE Event Scheduler?
Not only does eSPACE Event Scheduler help you manage your events with:
- Real-Time Conflict Detection
- Inventoried Resources
- Public Event Request Forms
- Public and Internal Calendars
- Various User Permissions
But, it can also go a step further with our powerful add on's such as Event Registration, Billing & Invoicing, and our IoT Integrations.
Our Billing & Invoicing module gives churches the ability to assign a dollar figure to any item in their facility, and allows the public to request rentals for it from a form online. They can then bill and invoice accordingly to the request all from eSPACE.
Our Event Registration module allows users to use ticketing for their events, let it be paid or free tickets.
What Are IoT Integrations?
IoT stands for Internet of Things and is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
This allows us to control things like HVAC, Doors, and Digital Signage based on the approved events in your eSPACE Event Scheduler. So how does it work?
For HVAC, for example, if an event is scheduled from 2 pm-5 pm our system can tell your HVAC units when to come on/off depending on the start/end or setup/teardown times. All it takes is a compatible controller that can integrate and the mapping of certain spaces to units/thermostats.
These integrations have saved our clients lots of money on operational and utility costs. Being able to automate your facility in every aspect certainly makes a "smarter" church! See some of our testimonials below:
“Smart Church Solutions has been a consistent partner with our Elevation Facilities team. Their experienced advisors bring analytical tools and provide cost saving opportunities that have helped us achieve increased efficiency within our aggressive growth model. The expertise they provide has been essential in helping us align our focus of being intentional with the environment we create.”
Bernie Meyer, Director of Facilities, Elevation Church
“We are getting ready to roll out using eSPACE to all of our campuses during the course of the next two weeks – we are getting very excited!! The feedback from the Admins at each of the campuses has been very positive so far, so that is a great sign of a great product!”
Catherine Lawrence, North Point Community Church
“The eSPACE app has allowed us to move away from using paper notes on clipboards to an entirely digital system that we can use to track work order completion, as well as time of completion and who completed it!”
Adam Durate, Compass Bible Church
eSPACE was also ranked in the top 20 software for Facility Management AND Maintenance Management by Capterra. Not to mention that eSPACE is the only facility management software designed exclusively for churches.
eSPACE is used by churches of every size across the nation, but is also used by some of the larger churches in the world such North Point Ministries, Elevation Church, Bellevue Baptist Church, and Church of The Resurrection.
The program is also raved about by large influencers in the church world such as Thom Rainer.
Don't Take Our Word For It- Try It Yourself!
If you would like to look into eSPACE Event Scheduler more, we would like to invite you to begin a free 30-day trial! Just click the button below to begin your trial today: