How to Choose an Event Registration Tool
[Web-based registration, Part 3]:
From reading our last 2 posts, you’re familiar with web-based registration and how it will make your job easier, how it can result in increased registrations, and what you need to ask before diving in.
Event registration means different things to different people. It’s important to decide what it means to you before choosing a tool.
Determine your registration priorities
Do you simply need a quick, inexpensive, and easy credit-card registration tool?
- Are you planning to run complex conference or events?
- Are you going to need to take other kinds of online payments as well?
- Is integrating the registrants into your database a key concern?
Once you prioritize your needs, it will be easier to choose what will work best for your event. Many event registration tools can help you track and report on all the details of your event. For example, these tools may allow registrant to sign up for specific tracks or workshops within a session; support complex discounts such as early-bird pricing or discount codes; offer sophisticated reporting that lets you to automatically generate attendance lists by session or print name tags; allow one person to pay for someone else’s registration, and more.
Research your options
Now that you’ve got a pretty good idea about what would benefit you most, do some comparison-shopping. Although there are many tools, here are just some for you to explore:
- Acteva www.acteva.com
- 123Signup www.123signup.com
- RegOnline www.regonline.com
- Cvent www.cvent.com
- Eventbrite www.eventbrite.com
How should you decide? Start by understanding how many events you are planning per year, and approximately how much the registration fee will be for each. These important factors will help you narrow down the program that will work best for your needs.
Think through your needs
Do you just need to get some basic online registration capability up and going, or do you have more sophisticated requirements? For instance, do you need to seamlessly integrate the registration form with your web site? Allow registrants to register for multiple tracks or workshops within an event? Tailor complex discounts for particular audiences? Do you want a package that can not only facilitate registration, but also help you manage your event?
Give it a try
Keep in mind that many of these tools have free evaluation periods. This will not only give you a clear picture of the features offered, but also a much better sense as to how usable a tool it is for your organization, and how accessible and helpful the vendor is when answering your questions.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of reasonable options for online event registration. With the right tool in place, you should be all set to let your event be the star, and your software a way to bring in the registrations.
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*Parts of this article is courtesy of Idealware, which provides candid information to help non-profits choose effective software. For more articles and reviews, go to www.idealware.org.
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