Your online registration system is the first touchpoint with your customers so you can't afford to deliver a less-than-seamless experience. Even the slightest mishap during the registration process can lead to unpleasant consequences such as inefficiency or disruptions in an attendee's experience.
One thing is certain, better technology can help you avoid such incidents. There are plenty of choices in the event registration space - all equally enticing at first glance. Before you make that final decision on a vendor, you may want to take the following five points into consideration.
1. Integration With Other Event Management Systems and CRMs
You'll want to consider an event management system that allows you to integrate with the rest of your event tech stack. Ending up with two systems that cannot “communicate” well with one another can be a huge time-sink and affect attendee experience. This lack of interoperability will just add more work to your plate rather than eliminate unneeded tasks like manual data exports and imports. Ask your prospective registration provider how well they integrate with:
- Your current or prospective event app
- Your current customer relationship management system (CRM)
- Your current marketing automation systems
An event registration system that integrates well with your event app can allow users to complete the registration process simply, while avoiding friction in your attendee experience. You'll want to make sure that options selected in the registration process transfer over to the event app so that data isn't misplaced or lost between the two.
Your CRM System
Your CRM will likely be the source of truth for your event program. That is why ensuring the CRM system can feed attendee data into to the registration platform, and communicate well with all event tech, is crucial. Also, this enables new registrants who don’t have a previous relationship with your company to be added to your database post-registration.
Your Email System
Finally, a good event registration system should integrate with your existing email system as you would want to avoid the nightmare of importing and exporting email lists into your current marketing automation platform. Alternatively, you can look for a registration platform that allows for email messaging and management within the system.
2. Can you Track Registrant Engagement?
There are numerous benefits to having the ability to track attendee engagement and participation. For example, you can learn more about the attendee journey or establish how popular each session is pre-event and measure other engagement cues.
This feature is absolutely necessary if you plan to issue continuing education units (CEUs), certificates of completion, or you need to ensure that employees attended specific training sessions. Having the ability to easily track actions from registration through to attendance is a must when selecting a registration system.
3. Is the Registration Provider a Scalable Solution?
What happens if the niche event you plan becomes an event that isn’t so small after all? Or, if you run an event program at-scale and you need to reproduce that event dozens or hundreds of times each year?
The short answer is you should opt for a tool that can easily handle ticketing for events of any size, and allow you the flexibility to scale up your program at any time. Look into software that can seamlessly copy event pages so you spend less time rebuilding and more time scaling.
4. Do you Have Branding and White-Labeling Capabilities?
It’s your event. Shouldn’t everything attendees see have your branding?
Ideally, your registration platform will allow you to create and publish customized registration websites. When attendees come to register, or simply learn more about the event, there should be little indication that you are using a third-party product.
For organizations with complex needs – like agencies who need to manage multiple brands, or large corporations with multiple business units to administer – having a provider that can properly segment usage and maintain individual branding is critical.
5. How Does the Platform Facilitate Community Building?
Building up the anticipation and inspiring engagement early on is a path to success for any event. Think about how the provider enables participants to network - even before the event starts.
A good registration provider will often have an accompanying event app that provides relationship-building experiences. Drive app adoption at registration and beyond to make sure your registration experience won't be the last time your attendees hear from you pre-event.
By taking the five points above into consideration, you can choose the event registration system that best meets your needs so you can spend more time on planning and execution and less time on administrative work.