Find the Right Registration Software for Your Event
The increase in event management software options over the last several years has been significant as event planners realize the benefits for both attendees and organizers. This growth was greatly amplified by the pandemic, which changed so many aspects of the event planning industry.
Event planners recognized that online registration makes planning easier and more efficient whether the event is in-person, virtual, or hybrid. It also provides a wealth of data that can be used to bolster future events and marketing.
So, how do you decide what type of software to use for your event? Do you need a comprehensive and robust platform or a quick ticketing engine? Is a SaaS (software as a service) solution like Eventbrite the best choice or do you need a full-service registration provider like GTR Register™?
The first step is by analyzing the requirements of your event to determine if you need an online ticketing system or an online registration system.
Ticketing vs. Registration
Registration is generally used for trade shows, conferences, networking events, training sessions, round-tables, and other events where you want to be more personalized and gather data on attendees. In contrast, ticketing is used for concerts, shows, sporting events, and other activities where the same process can be used for each attendee.
In terms of core functions, ticketing and registration software can actually seem similar. Both allow people to purchase tickets or register for an event. Both allow you to create and publish tickets or registration forms. Both allow you to collect information from attendees. Both allow you to get key reports and information about ticket sales or registrations.
The biggest difference between ticketing and registration is personalization. The more personalized you want the experience to be, the more you need registration software. Personalization is often necessary for events that have many different types of attendees such as audience members, delegates, exhibitors, volunteers, performers/speakers, VIPs, and staff.
When you personalize an experience, you generally need to go beyond collecting contact and billing information. Event registration software allows you to gather company information, experiences, preferences, affiliations, interests, and other data.
For example, a professional attending a symposium wants to get the most out of their time and is willing to share information to facilitate customization of the event to their needs. In contrast, a person attending a concert does not need nor want to provide that level of information. They just want to complete a transaction as quickly as possible, and the event planner wants to move them on so others can purchase.
SaaS vs. Full-service Providers
Another place of differentiation when you are evaluating event registration software is how much time you personally want to invest in learning and using the platform.
Eventbrite, Hopin, and Typeforce are all SaaS event management platforms, which means you purchase an application via the Internet and then perform tasks relating to your event on your own using the software.
This is quite different from full-service providers (like us!) who will build out and manage your entire online registration process, so you are able to focus on your attendees.
Created for registering attendees at small (less than 100) to large (500+) virtual, in-person or hybrid events, GTR Register™ also integrates with GTR Badges™ to seamlessly register attendees online and then check them in and print badges on the day of the event.
Static vs. Flexible
When determining which registration software is right for you, one important variable is flexibility. This is particularly important with larger events where you need to have technology that flexes with your needs. Software designed for ticketing or even non-robust registration platforms may have you mumbling: “I wish I could…”
Event planners understand the need for flexibility. One of the most popular GTR Register™ features is the ability to create multiple registration types such as general attendees, VIP attendees, staff, speakers, sponsors, or delegates. This allows planners to provide a unique experience to a specific registration type, charge different fees, and generate more relevant reports.
Here are a few other features that reflect the flexibility GTR Register™ provides event planners:
Flexible Design, Branded to the Event
Create event registration websites that visually display event details and look great on every device.
Create attendee types and offer discount codes or early-bird pricing to incentivize registration.
Capture attendee information with simple to complex forms using a drag & drop form builder.
Connect with your existing workflow to provide analytical tools to gather rich data in real-time.
Securely process transactions using Stripe, Authorize.Net, or PayPal accounts or invoice attendees.
Sub Events & Activity Signups
Invite all attendees or segments of attendees by registration type to secondary events like a rehearsal meal, post-conference get-together, or VIP session.
Meal & Menu Options
Personalize registration with custom fields such as “Meal Preference” or “Dietary Restrictions.”
Allow attendees to register their guests or coworkers in one place.
Call for Papers
Collect, review and manage abstracts, speakers, papers, and posters.
Inattention vs. Support
Evaluate the client service you will get from a company with some simple questions:
Are they easy to reach?
Is there someone you can talk to if something unpredictable happens?
Are they responsive?
Will they provide ad hoc assistance during your event?
Do they have a good understanding of what it takes to plan events?
Do they have actual experience in event planning?
Do they offer flexible solutions through personalized customer service?
Do they have a professional and friendly attitude?
At the end of the day, the registration software you select is only as good as the people who support it. We recommend that you look closely at company reviews and customer testimonials to make sure that there are real, accessible experts who will be there for you no matter what.
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Categories: Online Registration