Event Registration Websites – One Size Does Not Fit All
Let’s be real: event registration is a key part of your event’s ultimate success. Registering attendees is not only a great way to build your attendee database, it also provides you with the data and tools you need to really ramp up your attendee experience and engagement while improving the efficiency of your systems.
Recent years have seen a rapid rise in the availability, effectiveness, and usability of various online event registration platforms. These platforms speed up and simplify what was previously a seriously labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Gone are the days of hassling guests with pens and papers, asking them for details; and no more herding attendees into queues to check in. Paperwork in and of itself is now a thing of the past. Online event registration platforms are a real game-changer, and as event planners, we are more than grateful for their presence. After all, conferences are hard enough to organize at the best of times… so any tool that makes the whole process easier is definitely going to be a for everyone in the industry!
Event registration means different things to different organizations. Before you choose a tool, decide what it means to you. Here are some initial questions to consider:
Do you need many different, integrated features; or simply a quick, inexpensive way to collect credit card payments? If you don’t run many events, you may not need all the bells and whistles of a more complex system. But if you’re planning to run complex conferences or events, some sophisticated event-registration tools will help you manage lodging, a conference website, name tags, sign-ups for multiple sessions within the same event, and much more.
Will you need to take other kinds of online payments as well? If you are planning to support online donations, sell items, or take other online payments, it’s worth considering tools that will meet all your online payment needs.
Is integrating registrants into your database a key concern? If you conduct a lot of events and attendees are key constituents for your organization, think through how you to get registrants into your database. Consider integration methods or packages that support not just event registration but all your constituent management needs. Does the tool integrate with a CRM through data sharing, or can it export data (as a .csv or .xls file) that you can import to your database?
How to Choose Event Registration Software
- Key Features – Does it support custom tickets, registrant management, online registration, customization, analysis, etc.?
- Reputation – It’s important to find software that’s trustworthy and reliable. Look for one with lots of good reviews (and make sure they’re real!).
- Attendee Engagement – If communicating with attendees and keeping them engaged from the moment they register until the end of the event is important to you, make sure your system can support it.
- Extra tools – Some all-in-one software programs offer many useful tools that can streamline your workflow from registration to logistics management. Some features to consider are: ability to create an event app, name badges, easy attendee check-in and more.
- Pricing – Find an event registration tool that fits your budget. But always do your research to determine which features you’re getting at each price point.
Options for simple, no frills registration systems include:
Options for more complex events and conference include:
- Cvent Event Management
- Allcal Events
Need a detailed list of all (or certainly, most of) the event registration systems out there? Click here.