The world of event technology is a vast and ever-changing one, so when the time comes to select your new event registration system, the process may seem overwhelming. While it will certainly take some time to find the right solution for you and your organization, the search doesn't have to be daunting if you know exactly what you're looking for.
If you're on the hunt for your next event registration system, consider these tips to help you stay on track and find the platform of your dreams!
Determine Your Budget
This goes without saying, but knowing your budget upfront will not only help you limit your search and understand what is actually attainable, but it can be a crucial number to have on hand while talking to suppliers. The good news is there are great event registration system options and packages at just about any price point.
Write Down Your Goals
We all want to find event technology that helps improve the meeting and event planning process, but in order to find the best option, you have to get specific. Think about what you like and don't like about your current planning processes, what feedback you've received from attendees and stakeholders, and what KPIs you'd like to improve upon. Maybe you'd like to automate registration to save time or have an integrated mobile app. Whatever your priorities are, discuss them with your team and keep the top two or three in mind throughout your journey to discovering your next event registration system.
Research, Research, Research
A quick Google search for the top event registration systems will only get you so far. On top of your internet research and website skimming, check out popular review sites like G2 and Capterra and take note about what others are saying about a potential supplier's user-friendliness, support and how long they've worked together. Even better, reach out to friends and colleagues in your industry and ask what tools they've used and get their honest feedback about them.
Keep an Eye Out for Key Registration Features
While keeping your goals in mind, think about today's top registration features that will help you achieve them. Template creation and cloning options helps planners save time by making registration set up a breeze. Attendee categories allow for multiple registration workflows for even the most complex events. Multilingual and multi-payment options helps streamline global events. Reporting and analytics capabilities help planners stay on top of registration numbers. Finally, don't forget that today's event registration systems have so much more to offer than just...well, registration. When a part of an all-in-one platform, you can find registration systems that seamlessly connect with other tools event planners love like email marketing, surveys, websites, reporting & analytics and even onsite features as well.
Consider Integration Possibilities
As meetings and events are becoming a more important part of the overall marketing stack, integration options with today's event registration systems are becoming a key feature for many planners and marketers, as it helps them understand their event-related data better and helps them showcase event value. Some important integrations to look out for include CRMs (especially Salesforce), marketing automation platforms, travel & expense management, payment processors, and many more.
Ask About Enhancement Options
Most technologies aren't one-size-fits-all, which is why it's important to ask providers how customizable an event registration system is during the research process. Many providers today include a professional services team that know the system inside and out, and can help you build out the system to fit your specific needs, or to even design custom event registration and website pages.
Think Outside the Technology
While the technology itself is no doubt at the heart of your decision, remember that there is a lot more to consider if an event registration system provider is right for you. What was your experience like talking with members of their team? How available and experienced is their customer service team? If you're not the one using the technology first-hand, does your team think the system is intuitive and user-friendly? What training options are available? How has the company grown and evolved over time through product enhancements and acquisitions? If you feel good about the answers to these questions, they are all positive signs that a provider will end up being a long-term technology partner that will help you reach your meeting and event planning goals.