Online registrations are all the rage. Technologies such as Eventinterface (that’s us) have evolved to make the process easy and cost-effective for any planner. As with many tools, implementing them is half the battle. Online registrations are not a magical solution, they are a tool that when used correctly and strategically will add to the success of your event.
At Eventinterface we have learned what makes the process successful for both the planner and the attendee, and we’re sharing some of those tips with you.
1. Know your attendee
Not all audiences want to register online. Some may still want to send in an RSVP card or speak with someone to secure a registration or reservation. High-end donors may not want to secure a $25,000 table via an online reservation system. And don’t you want that personal relationship with them anyway?
When implementing an online registration system you need to allow for called-in, faxed -yes some people still use faxes- and mailed registrations. Make sure your registration system has a box office-type feature where you can process registrations received from other than online in order to have a cohesive attendee database. Insure your online registration system is secure! Make sure your audience understands it is secure, and what you plan on doing with their registration data.
2. Understand your event’s needs
Does your event require a simple “yes” confirmation, or do you require payments, contact information, answers to questions related to the event and the attendee? Do you want attendees to be able to log in and update registration information, reprint receipts? When implementing online registration services understand what the capabilities are related to your specific event’s needs.
Its not enough to just set-up the registration website, you have to promote it. Use social media outlets, email and yes, print invites. Invite your audience members to share the event via social media outlets when they register. Make your audience part of your PR team. Look for an online registration system that includes that feature (we do).
4. Provide alternative options
As addressed in the first point, provide alternative tools for people to register. Not everyone wants to register online, and you don’t want to miss a sale. Provide alternative solutions for people to register. You can provide a downloadable RSVP card to print and mail, a phone number to call, or fax number to send the RSVP card to. We must admit we’re still a bit flabbergasted by people willing to fax an RSVP card with credit card information versus using a secure online site.
5. Communicate and train
One of the biggest mistakes we see is the desire of a planner to implement a new tool without the resources to educate the audience. Planners have good reasons why the want to implement tools and those reasons may not be understood by attendees. It is up to the planner to educate the prospect attendee on a new tools and how to use that tool. Most online registration providers have ample resources and documentation available for the planner to help educate the attendee.
Planners seem at times light-years ahead of attendees in adapting tools. Planners must play a role in educating attendees to make the investment in the technology successful.
Want to know our top tips for great event websites? Read the story here.
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