Tag Archives: online event management software

Manual Event Registration: 9 Scary Ways it’s Costing You

Manual event registration is costly and stressful. Time to switch to an online system

Manual event registration is costly and stressful. Time to switch to an online systemTime. Money. People. Labor. Do you want to waste these precious resources?  We didn’t think so.  Then why is it that manual event registration methods still survive in planning and executing events?

In many situations the person or persons making the decision about whether or not to use online event registration software is not going to be involved in the daily planning and running of the event.  Often the things these decision makers care about most – like cost – are not always the same as the things that can keep an event professional up at night – like please make it easier and quicker for me!  With such a disconnection, how do you make the case to ditch manual event registration and upgrade to online event registration software?

When you, as an event professional, are choosing online registration software, you already know about the biggest advantages this type of software offers.  Among the many benefits, you can automatically collect attendee information in a fraction of the time manual event registration requires and without the huge labor expense.  Also switching from manual event registration to online registration reduces the stress load on the people running the event – you.

If you need to convince someone to give you the ok for online event registration software, then you need to show the costs of the traditional manual event registration and the benefits of going to online event registration software.  So we prepared 9 scary ways using manual registration is costing you as well as the benefits to using an online system.

Objections!  Why Are You Staying with Manual Event Registration?

The most common objections to moving from manual event registration to an online system include:

  • It’s not in the budget
  • Our old system is working (or worked) fine
  • We aren’t ready for online event registration

Do any of these objections sound familiar in your office discussions?  Do you really want to keep old manual event registration practices or do you want to move forward?  OK, I get it.  As event professionals we are always short on time and money and sometimes we rely on tried and true practices because it seems like the quickest or easiest thing to do. Or maybe “we’ve always done it that way” feels comfortable and taking the leap to do things differently fills you, your boss or clients with dread.

But it’s really time to stop and reconsider.  It’s time to come into the twenty-first century and lose some of those costly, very labor intensive, extra work generating event planning practices.  Break those old event registration habits, or at least the worse ones, and push your boundaries.

When you do, you will realize that if you update your tools and choose the best modern practices to support your organization, it can lead to much better event and meeting success outcomes – with more hours in the day for you to focus on creating a better attendee experience.   To work smarter and not harder and provide your attendees the best event experience, it’s time to change.

9 Scary Ways Manual Event Registration is Costing You vs the Benefits of Going Online

People typically make objections to switching from manual event registration when they don’t know how online event registration works and how it will help them.  What you need to make your case are some effective arguments showing the costs – in terms of time, money, labor, inefficiencies – of staying with a manual process vs. the benefits of replacing it with an online process.  Here are some great ones for you to use.

Quick and Easy Registration Experience for Attendees

With manual event registration, potential attendees need to download a paper form, fill it out and either fax or mail it back to you.   All event registration takes time to a point but this old traditional way is far more time consuming for attendees.

Manual event registration also has potential for lost registrations, data and payment security issues and delays in registering attendees.  Another problem – when you’re closed, so is your event registration process.  Not good – you may miss out on getting those potential attendees.

Online event registration is fast and seamless experience for attendees linking them to a form from your event website which they can complete and return with a click of a button.  The registration information is submitted to your database within minutes.  No need to deal with faxing and mailing.  No delays with receiving information; no data or payment security issues.

Also, online event registration is always open so attendees can register any time whether your office is open or closed.  This is especially important when dealing with people from different time zones.

Registration Forms with Built in Logic

People make mistakes.  This happens of course when completing registration forms for events.  When using manual event registration methods, such as faxes and mail-ins, catching and correcting these mistakes gets difficult and costly in terms of time and a person’s labor.  It also can create confusion down the line at the event itself if not caught and corrected in time or at all.

Online event registration forms can prevent people from making mistakes or invalid or conflicting selections.  This results in more accurate and complete data.  For example, if someone leaves an important mandatory field blank and tries to submit the form, the built in logic of the form can create a message asking the person to fill that section in before continuing.

Similarly, if a potential attendee must choose between one option and another, the form can eliminate the possibility of the person choosing both options.  This is not possible with fax or mail-in registrations.

Elimination of Manual Data Entry for You

Manual event registration requires you and your team to manually enter all the data from paper forms faxed or mailed in, into a computer, or worse, create some paper filing system.  The potential for data entry errors is significant and the time and labor it takes to manually organize the data can be excessive.

With online event registration, potential attendees enter their information into an online form.  It is automatically organized and stored in an online database that you can immediately access, anywhere at any time.  There is no opportunity for someone else along the line to misread the data or enter it incorrectly.

More Manageable Information, Better Data Integrity

A common challenge in event planning is maintaining your data so that what you need is stored in one place, not on several different computers, in filing cabinets or on various desks throughout your office.  This is often the untidy situation with manual event registration which can create a real potential for inconsistencies, errors, and headaches for both you and your attendees.

Online event registration holds all information in one central database.  Any changes or updates are done automatically.  Everyone sees the same information.   Information is consistent and up-to-date at all times.  Also, you can access and sort the information online or automatically download it to your spreadsheet, making it easy to create mailing lists, name badges, or whatever you need to do.

Automatic Event Confirmation

When using manual event registration, the average turn-a-round time from the day a paper registration form is received until the attendee gets a confirmation can take a few days.  With fax and mail-in registration, confirmation is delayed as your team manually processes the registration, checks availability, and then manually creates a confirmation email or letter.  This is a highly inefficient and costly use of your precious time and event personnel.

Once a person submits their information through the online event registration form, the system automatically generates a confirmation email that is sent out to the potential attendee confirming their registration.  This email can also contain other information you may want them to know once they have registered.

Secure, Real Time Payment

Ensuring safe, secure payment is yet another reason to ditch manual event registration processes.  When using manual event registration, you can often be waiting for the check to come in the mail or for a credit card transaction to be approved – or declined.  In the meantime, you may have to put other potential attendees on a wait list until you know for sure that payment is coming and secured.

Using online event registration, you use real time, secure online credit card processing.  Within a few seconds you know if the transaction has been approved and you have the security of know you have the fees.  Online credit card processing also allows people registering for your event to process their own transactions.  This eliminates the need for you to individually process each transaction and from having to track people down when cards are declined because the number is incorrect or funds are not available.

Managing Event Capacity

Often you want to limit the number of attendees to an event or meeting.  With the old manual event registration method there is no easy or fast way to monitor the attendance numbers.  Faxes might still be coming in when you reached your event limit and then you have to contact potential attendees to let them know that you couldn’t process their registrations because the event was full.  Awkward!

Online event registration helps you set the limits so that it limits the number of registrants to a particular event, workshop, or sessions.  Once the limit has been reached the form will not allow any more registrations and it will notify potential attendees that the registration limit has been reached.

Real Time Reports- Tracking Attendees and Revenues

One of the big complaints we as event professionals experience is that we often don’t know how many attendees are showing up to our event until the very last days of the registration period.  This can be hugely frustrating as we try to finalize numbers for our venues, our food and beverage vendors, and any last minute materials we are preparing.  Using manual event registration methods only makes this situation more agonizing.  The workload is already heavy leading up to your event, who needs to make it worse?

Using real time reports in online event registration system offers you the ability to watch your registration data flow into the database in real time so you can get a more accurate count of expected attendees and what you will need for your event.

Interested in tracking your revenues?  No kidding!  With real time online reporting you always know how much revenue has been collected, if any credit cards were decline and which potential attendees still need to mail their checks.  Manual event registration can’t quickly supply this type of important information which can create embarrassing registration situations for your or you client.

Lower Materials Costs; Lower Labor Costs

In the traditional manual event registration, a lot of time and money is spent on creating and printing hard copy materials – from registration forms to slick event brochures and information packages.  While all this might be nice and attractive, it is also hugely expensive when it comes to printing and mailing and the labor involved in getting it all done.  Does your budget allow this?  Not many do these days when event budgets are usually pretty tight.

Online event registration allows you to eliminate or greatly reduce paper materials.  You can present your event form and entire event information package online.  If you want, you can print a smaller, less detailed brochure that will direct potential attendees to your website for all the information they need, including how to register online.

Labor costs are much lower when using online registration than when using manual event registration methods.  Less phone calls, faxes, data entry, copying, and mailing.

Ditch Manual Event Registration – Go Online with rsvpBOOK

No time to spin your wheels with manual event registration?  We didn’t think so.   The tools in the rsvpBOOK online event registration and management software are made to make your life easier.  We’re here to save time and money so you can work smart and be successful, no matter the type or size of your event or meeting.  We make the complex tasks of event planning and management, easier.

rsvpBOOK helps you streamline your event processes, from beginning to end, from website details, to on-site resources, and final real time attendee and revenue reports.  No need to duplicate information, manually process, and drag huge binders of forms with you everywhere.  Let’s reduce the paperwork!  Use your time to take care of more demanding matters – creating an outstanding attendee experience at your event.

And if these reasons aren’t enough, rsvpBOOK was named a Top 20 Most Affordable Event Management Software by Capterra, the business software review website as well as a Top 5 position in Reviewers’ Choice by Software Advice, online technology review firm.

rsvpBOOK.   It’s smart, simple, saves you time and money.  Try rsvpBOOK at www.rsvpBOOK.com.  Start your free trial today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Event Registration: 7 Tools for a Better Attendee Experience

online event registration toolboxIn a previous rsvpBOOK “Bits from the BOOK” Blog, (Feeling Your Pain – Five Pain Points for Event Professionals), I talked about one serious pain point for event professionals is being stuck in old event registration and management habits.  Everything from paper registrations, voluminous binders with spreadsheets tracking attendance and event financials, long on-site check-in lines, paper evaluation surveys, and clumsy event reporting tools.

It’s really time to come into the twenty-first century and lose some of those very labor intensive event planning and management practices.  Break those old event habits, or at least the worst ones, and push your boundaries by adopting online event registration and management software.  When you update your tools and choose the best modern practices to support your organization, it can lead to much better event and meeting success outcomes and a much better experience for you and your attendees.

What’s online event registration have to do with having a better attendee experience?  More than most people (other than attendees) realize.  You don’t want to spin your wheels and are looking for ways to make your event easier.  Attendees are no different – just they are on the other side of the registration table – so to speak.  Put everything online – it not only expedites the registration process, but it also ensures more accurate information.

So what are some online event registration and management software tools which make a better experience for everyone?

Tool 1 – A Customized and Branded Online Event Registration Website

Don’t make your attendees search endlessly for your event information.  Create a custom, personally- branded online event registration website with a landing page which clearly describes your event and event details where attendees can visit and get event information.  Start with creating a design theme for your entire event that matches your brand colors and logos that will carry across your event website, registration form and marketing emails.  This provides your event important identification with attendees which they always will recognize.  Almost for this reason alone, a custom registration page and website is valuable in a registration platform.

And good news!  You don’t have to be a programmer to create your registration website either.  Using online event registration and management software like rsvpBOOK, you simply use preexisting but customizable templates.  Using a wide selection of easy-to-use tools, you can create, edit and manage your online event registration websites for all types and sizes of events and meetings.  rsvpBOOK helps you make a perfect first impression with attendees right from the beginning.

Tool 2 – We’re Going Mobile – Using Mobile Apps

While creating your website, you also can produce a web-based mobile app for your event.  According to CrowdCompass by Cvent, 44% of attendees use mobile event apps and that number is expected to continue to grow in the future.   A mobile app gives attendees the option to register wherever they are and at any time.   When half of your revenue comes from registration, you want to encourage it when the thought to do so is fresh in the registrant’s mind.

Mobile access also keeps you and your attendees connected and in contact.  Throughout the registration process – and during the event – you can send email notifications, automatic alerts, program schedule information and updates, session descriptions and additions, last minute meeting materials or location changes. Finally, that feedback survey you want attendees to fill out?  Yep, send that in a mobile-friendly format and forget the piles of paper to track.

These mobile app features are important to make your registration process and actual event less stressful, time-consuming for you and easier, more seamless for your attendees.  It is part of the attendee experience they have come to expect from you.  As an online event registration software provider, rsvpBOOK knows what you want in your web-based mobile app and provides it.  It’s what you expect from us.

Tool 3 – Got to be Nimble – Flexible Online Event Registration Options

As an event professional, you realize one registration option does not fit every event or meeting type.  If you are holding a conference, workshop or training classes, you may need to allow for registration by session.  If you are holding a fundraiser, you will want to provide your donors or sponsors the ability to donate through your event page or set up a group registration to help manage event tables.  If you are planning one main event, the registration process is also different.  Single or multiple sessions, fundraiser or social event like a wedding, flexible registration options are important.

Also important is allowing group registration and not just individual ones for your event registration website.   Group registration is a great way to increase overall attendance and at the same time simplify the registration process.   You want to get as many registrations as possible, as efficiently as possible and with as much ease for your attendees.  Whatever the situation, be prepared to handle the variety of registration needs smoothly and seamlessly and allow your website to accept both individual and group registrations.

rsvpBOOK’s online event registration software tools take the complexity out of the event registration process,  capturing information efficiently and accurately for you and simply and hassle free for event registrants.  Your website can be created to fit any event type, to manage one or multiple sessions, workshops or classes with ease, and to accept individual and group registrations.

Tool 4 – Multiple Payment Options, Adaptable and Automated Processes

Attendees want to pay in the manner in which they are most comfortable and familiar which requires your online event registration website to accommodate these personal preferences and provide multiple payment options.

Typically people choose to pay by credit card.  Others may forego credit cards (yes there are such people) and opt for a personal check.  Still others may feel more comfortable with PayPal.  Finally, there are times where company checks or electronic wire transfers are preferred.  In all cases, you need to accommodate multiple payment options to ensure the simplicity of your registration payment process for attendees.

Ease of payment makes a better attendee experience – and less of a headache for you as an event professional.  In addition, customize your flexible online payment process based on event types, registration types, discounts, refunds, and promotional codes all in one place.  Also save additional time by using automated purchase confirmation emails and receipt processing!  More efficient for you; more user-friendly for your attendees.

rsvpBOOK knows the sensitivity of online payment for you and attendees and has created tools to manage your payment process efficiently and securely.  Multiple payment options? Check.  Customized and automated online payment process? Check and check.  Saving you time and making payment more user-friendly.  Yes we do.

Tool 5 – Can you Hear Us Now?  We Like Social Networking!

What would the event world be like without social networking?   Online social networking has numerous purposes but for event professionals social networking is a great tool for creating buzz and publicizing your event before, during, and after it happens thereby boosting your attendance.  You use it but encouraging your attendees to use it by providing them easy access to social networking link icons via your event website and other online event registration and marketing communications, magnify its impact as an event marketing tool.

The popularity of Facebook as the social media choice leading up to an event and after an event is documented by the FreemanXP Event Marketing Institute.  Use the Facebook Event Manager tool to automatically post information about your event to your Facebook Events page.  The “in the moment” nature of Twitter makes it the “go to” social media platform to use during events using your event hashtag.  Although these platforms are the most popular, event professionals would be remiss to ignore others like Instagram (pictures are worth a thousand words) and LinkedIn (top site for reaching other professionals) for event marketing.  In the end, choosing the right mix of social network(s) depends a lot on which are the primary hangouts of your targeted audience so consider that when determining your social media outreach.

rsvpBOOK event management software includes social media tools which can help you create your event buzz and get the word out to help you raise attendance.  Our tools allow you and your event attendees to share links to your event through their social media profiles.  We help you quickly raise awareness in your social network and empower your registrants to help you as you broadcast and post your event details on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media networks.

Tool 6 – On-site Technology – Reducing the Check-in Lines

Ever show up at an event or meeting and the attendee line snakes around for what seems like a mile from the check-in table?  Perhaps long lines are not the top nightmare for attendees (and you), but certainly lands in the top five aggravations.  They are not a good attendee experience.  Are there solutions for this found with online event registration and management software?  Yes!

Professional event software like rsvpBOOK provides the on-site technology which takes the long lines out of checking in at an event or meeting.  Using scan guns connected to a laptop or PC only works well for larger events.  Scanning remotely using a smartphone or tablet app is another option that can be used for both small and large numbers of registrants.  For events or meeting with many registrants, Onsite Kiosks make check-in fast and easy and reduce check-in times.  The rsvpBOOK On-Site KIOSK Mode sets up a predetermined number of computers to allow last minute registrations, registrant self-check-in on-site badge printing and making final payments.  This arrangement removes the time consuming and labor intensive work from a potentially aggravating situation at any event or meeting.

Tool 7 – How’d We Do?  Online Attendee Feedback and Event Reports

If you’re using spreadsheets to keep track of the result of your event or meeting, you know how tedious and labor intensive it is.  There is a lot to keep track of including sales, attendance, after-event attendee survey responses.  With so many things to keep track of, there’s always the risk of incomplete information and errors.  In addition, it is laborious to compile the data and covert it to a format that is easily understood and shareable with others within your organization.  It’s time to ditch the paper and save time and money by going electronic with online surveys and real time accounting reports.  You and everyone else is curious to know how your event did and how to improve next time so work smarter, not harder.

Your attendees already have gone digital, so should your surveys to ensure optimum feedback on your event.   With rsvpBOOK software, you can design a custom attendee survey and easily send it automatically and track the results in real time.  And all that information can effortlessly be exported to any spreadsheet program of your choice.  Make it fast, easy, and green so you have that information for future planning as well as for your final reports to organization management.

And about those accounting reports to management?  With rsvpBOOK online event registration and management software, all the pertinent information is a click or two away.  You can track every part of your event with real time insights and quickly report revenues to your stakeholders with customizable report tools.  All reports are downloadable and can be exported to a spreadsheet program of your choice.  With rsvpBOOK software, no log in is required for sharing reports which are up-to-the-minute accurate.

Finding Your Online Event Registration Toolbox with rsvpBOOK

No time to spin your wheels?  We didn’t think so.   The tools in the rsvpBOOK online event registration and management software are made to make your life easier.  We’re here to save time and money so you can work smart and be successful, no matter the type or size of your event or meeting.  We want you to work smarter, not harder.

rsvpBOOK helps you streamline your event processes, from beginning to end, from website details, to on-site resources, and final accounting reports.  No need to duplicate information, manually process, and drag huge binders of forms with you everywhere.  Let’s reduce the paperwork!  Use your time to take care of more demanding matters – creating an outstanding attendee experience.

rsvpBOOK.   It’s smart, simple, saves you time and money.  Let’s you work smarter, not harder.

Try rsvpBOOK at www.rsvpBOOK.com.  Start your free trial today!