As virtual events make it even easier for guests to decide last minute if they want to attend an event, having guests commit early of their attendance is important. A terrific way to do that is with registration. For in-person meetings, you must give your food guarantees weeks or months prior and plan the proper amount of space, so registration is a great way to know who is coming. No matter which type of event – virtual, hybrid, or in-person - registrations are important.
So, if they are important, what should you be looking for in a registration platform? Well, this article hopefully helps answer that very question.
Cost We’ll start more generically with the cost. A registration site/software is a solution to a lot of difficult problems in the event world - getting your attendees' information, helping manage those attendees, and communicating important information. Therefore, it is wise to budget for this helpful solution, but it shouldn’t break the bank either. Shop around and see what a reasonable cost for the time is – especially considering what you will save by using registration software. The ability for the software to take payments is often a large cost, and how much you may save on communication costs to do everything in the software matters. The cheapest option may not be robust enough, but the biggest option may come with a painful price tag.
A “Copy Event” Feature Not all your meetings are first-time meetings. Most of your meetings are annual meetings or conferences that have similar questions, agendas, and layouts year after year. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to recreate your site from scratch every year? Look for a registration platform that will allow you to copy or duplicate your event year after year and spend your time only changing the things that need changed and not coming up with the full framework.
Custom Reporting When an event is quickly approaching, do you want to spend your time focusing on final details or trying to manipulate that excel spreadsheet to produce the exact report you want? I’d definitely choose the final details. A good registration software allows you to create custom reports that are a quick, one-button press to get the data you need when you need it. Make certain your software will let you create these extremely helpful custom reports.
Custom Landing Pages Your marketing team has worked so hard to create your event logo, colors, and fonts. An ideal registration site would allow you to continue to use that event marketing in the registration site and the website. Check when shopping for a registration platform that you can edit all those features and more to truly make each registration site the same level of quality that attendees will be receiving at the event. That being said, also make certain you don’t have to have a computer science degree to make your site is user-friendly and looks the way you want.
User Access Profiles As there are many important figures in the life cycle of a successful event, being able to use your registration software to customize what each person can see and do within your registration platform is extremely helpful. Some of your staff may need to be able to put up new information for attendees to see, others may just need the ability to pull reports, and others may just need to view information without having to ask you each day for something. Choosing a registration platform that allows you to customize your user’s access profiles can save you time and unneeded headaches.
Surveys After your wonderfully successful event is finished, having a registration software that will link with those registered for surveying will allow each year to get better and better. What better way than not having to manually cross-tabulate survey responses with which items each attendee registered for, etc. Having a site to do that can help you quickly wrap up each event and present survey responses to your stakeholders is extremely important.
A One-Stop-Shop The best registration platform can do it all and keep it all within the site. This is easier for attendees, and yourself. If your site can give discounts, apply that to an attendee’s invoice and then take a payment, you just saved a ton of time manually doing any of those steps. If your software can send out automatic reminder emails for important dates and things to know and show you who all it was delivered to, that is great! And if your registration site can simply merge with an event website, you just saved yourself the difficulties of learning different computer code! Make certain when shopping around, your platform is robust and can be a one-stop-shop.
Good Support Is anyone more frustrated than someone who has been staring at a computer screen for 45 minutes trying to make a discount happen, move that logo ½ inch to the right, or simply just see who registered? As with all technologies, there is a learning curve, make certain you have a great support team you can pick up the phone and call and get a quick response or solution to what had you frustrated in the first place.
As a Certified Meeting Professional, I have used many different registration sites and Aventri remains high on my list because it does all the above and more! Contact our Connectional Relations Team at ConnectionalRelations@gcfa.org for a free demo of our preferred software.