One of the most common areas we are asked for advice on is: How do I streamline event registration? Registration is one of the topics we at thefundraisingmethod.com see most frequently.
Our follow up question to this is: What current processes do you use to manage registration?
The most common response:
We don’t use any, we can’t afford them.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
It’s midnight, the night before your big event. You have an excel sheet running with all your sponsored tables, general admission tickets, etc. and you are playing the “where to seat them” game. At the same time, you are cross referencing with the 30 emails that have come in that day with updates, changes, cancellations, and you know you won’t sleep tonight because you might miss something.
The number of hours you will put into the above situation is just not worth it! It’s not worth the overtime, it’s not worth your sleepless night and honestly it is worthless because you are the only one who will be able to decipher the crazy excel madness you created; when you should be busy overseeing your event as a whole.
The solution to this situation, as well as, many others like it is: use the technology available to you! I think often people assume paying for a service is more expensive than doing it yourself. In reality, if you were to calculate the number of hours you spent multiplied by an hourly wage, 9 times out of 10, I bet it would actually be cheaper.
Take for example a cloud based ticketing system like EventBrite. EventBrite will allow attendees to purchase tickets for your event, collect contact information, poll them on anything (like a food allergy), and send them email updates leading up to the event without taking you more than 30 minutes to set the site up. Not only that, but you now have a premade cloud based registry system that multiple people can use simultaneously on your event day. And the best part? If your event is free, then the ticketing system is too. You’re welcome!
Not only will an online platform allow a more streamlined approach for registration, it will also create analytics for future use. You can pull reports for when ticket sales peaked and lulled, collect email addresses for other marketing, and as much demographic information as you desire.
If you are still on the fence about whether or not to get on the bandwagon with online registration platforms, consider the experience you are giving your attendees. Registration is often the first impression your guests will experience as they arrive. No matter how great the food, entertainment, or decor; if someone has to stand in line for 15 minutes to get their seat assignment and bid number, chances are they won’t soon forget. And most likely they will mention this experience when you ask for feedback. (You are asking for feedback, right? But that’s an entirely other subject).
Event registration is one of the few components every event will have and seems to be the one of the most common frustrations for both organizers and attendees. Set yourself up from the start on the right foot, you can thank me later!
Melissa | Content Creator & Resource Developer | TheFundraisingMethod.com | firstname.lastname@example.org