So much work goes into planning and executing the perfect event, and sometimes even that isn’t enough.
I once labored around all of the marketing and communications for an annual planning conference, and spent hours buttoning-down mostly awesome, insightful, inspiring and even humorous remarks for the event’s key speaker – the organization’s chairperson. After being introduced to officially being the event, she stepped to the podium, politely acknowledged the "fine" prepared remarks, then announced that the festivities of the previous night made her unable to read them. She got a great laugh and proceeded to speak off the cuff. Maybe not a perfect start – or maybe just right, depending upon your perspective…
The point is, a million things can trip up an event. But today, unlike that event from the 90s, many of the potential snags have been removed by technology, specifically registration software.
Think of some of the metrics for a perfect event:
- attendance at capacity
- a flawless registration process
- on budget
- seamless payment
- well-timed communications to registrants
- superior content
- inspiring venue, accommodations
- smooth evaluations and follow-through
With the exception of the content and venue – what is actually presented at the event, and where – every one of these metrics can be greatly influenced and even perfected by your registration software.
Attendance can be swayed by the ease of signing up online. That starts by using registration software to build an enticing event page on your website and an easy-to-use registration form with (if applicable) online payment options. That same system can be used to send emails with a link to market the event, and automated reminders and notifications once the registrant has signed up.
A flawless registration process means that the registrant should be able to find the event from a website listing or calendar (or your email with a link), review it on its event page and fill out the form and pay in one quick online session, anytime and anywhere there is Internet access. The same system should be able to generate name tags and attendee lists to make the process just as smooth on-site.
You can discover similar efficiencies with regard to budgeting. A more complete system offers tools that allow you to input expenses and track them against the revenues generated via online registrations (and other income items you may have entered, such as sponsorships or exhibit fees).
The revenue side of your budgeting should also be processed by registration software, which integrates with your organization’s merchant account and a payment gateway to deliver secure and simple online payment for your participants.
Ongoing communications with registrants – such as the registration confirmation and the automated reminder notifications – helps ensure that those who signed up show up. These communiques can tease the event, assign pre-event activities or promote the presenter to make sure attendees are ready to get the most out of the event.
Once the content and venue have done their part, you can leverage your registration software to deliver evaluations, certificates and even thank you notes to reaffirm the value of participation, find ways to improve the program, and impress attendees with your 360-degree communications and service.
And finally, in those situations where something appears less than perfect – perhaps there’s an issue with a registrant’s payment or attendance – a good system allows immediate access to reports that pinpoint the details pertaining to payment, registrations and other data that can often help resolve any misunderstandings.
Events have come so far since the pre-registration software days of just a couple of decades ago. Simple things that used to derail that perfect event – like misspelled name tags or lost registrations or unpaid invoices – today are mostly a thing of the past due to the automated processes of registration software.
Plus, registration software typically gives program administrators more time to focus on the “meat” of their events – the content (yes, even opening remarks), presenters and venue. Hopefully, it also saves users enough time to read blogs on the subject and even share their thoughts, like in the Comments section below.
If you would like to know more about registration software or ABC Signup, please feel free to contact us by email or phone (866.791.8268 ext. 208).