7 Ways to Simplify Event Registration Process and Improve Attendee Experience

The event registration process seems like such a small part in the bigger scheme of things. However, it’s important that you get this part right because it has a bigger impact on attendee experience than you may realize. There are a few steps to implement to simplify the process and improve the experience for guests.

  1. Group Registration
Group registration is beneficial for two reasons. One, it encourages attendees to bring an additional guest or two, thereby increasing overall registration. Second, it also simplifies the process as it only requires a single registrant to register an entire group. This saves everyone else in that party from having to register separately. This can prove to be a huge timesaver for attendees. If guests have to register separately, some may hold it off and simply never get to it.
  1. Keep It Simple
Don’t make the registration process feel like a burden. Keep it short and sweet. This means the process should only include the basics, such as your name, address, number of guests, payment information, etc. To expedite the process even further, you can also enable auto fill options, which comes in handy for attendees that have previously inputted their information. You may, however, present a follow-up offer or two after a successful registration. This is known as upselling and is an old-time marketing tactic for boosting sales. A follow-up offer in this instance can be an offer to upgrade to a VIP ticket or an optional survey to complete in exchange for a discount code. Limit the upsell and/or survey to two at the most, or else attendees will feel like they’re being pestered.
  1. Make the Process Mobile-Friendly
Give attendees the option to register wherever they are, whether they’re at home, in their car, or at a bus stop. If you do opt for mobile registration, be sure to include a separate link for those that want to register from their portable devices. The mobile registration page should have a different layout to make the process as user-friendly as possible. The page can, for example, include one question at a time to avoid crowding the screen. Some registration software can detect the type of device being used and automatically adjust the page layout accordingly.
  1. Ask Preference Questions
Just because you want to keep the registration simple doesn’t mean you can’t ask additional questions. Go ahead and ask anything that you feel would improve attendee experience. This may include accommodation questions, such as whether they require certain dietary needs or disability access. Other questions include shirt size if you’re handing out apparel for event swag. You can also ask whether they’ll be attending a specific workshop or prefer one presentation over another. These questions are useful because it helps improve attendee experience. It also makes guests feel like you care about their preferences.
  1. Digitize the Process
Online registration seems obvious, but it must be mentioned because some companies still opt for paper registration. While there may indeed be folks who prefer to register through pen and paper, these people are in the minority. Everything should be done online. Not only does this expedite the process, but it also ensures for more accurate information. Not only is paper registration an environmental waste but errors are also more likely, not to mention you may struggle to decipher sloppy handwriting. You may keep a few physical copies of registration forms handy for those who absolutely insist on registering the old fashion way. Beyond that, though, everything should be in digital format.
  1. Be Sure the Registration Page Works on all Browsers
Once your registration page is set up, double check to be sure it works on all browsers. Most issues you may run into are relatively minor, such as spacing and alignment inconsistencies. However, it’s also possible that the page may not work at all. If this is the case, it can reflect poorly on your company. It may also prompt attendees to hold off on the process until “later.” Of course, later sometimes means never. Double check the registration page on all the primary browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Also check it on lesser used browsers as well because you never know who uses those.
  1. Allow Multiple Payment Options
Some people may choose to pay by credit card. Others may opt for PayPal. There may even be those that opt for less conventional methods, such as wire transfer or electronic check. If attendees have previously inputted their payment information on your site, then there should be an autofill option so registrants don’t have to input the information a second time. Also, if you are expecting guests from overseas, then there should be an option for foreign transactions. This way, oversea guests don’t have to deal with complicated currency conversions. Make Registering an Enjoyable Experience Event attendees gauge every part of the event experience. A dissatisfaction in a single area can overshadow what would otherwise be a positive experience. Make sure the registration process is simple and engaging so attendees aren’t left with a bad taste in their mouths by the time they reach the confirmation page. About the Author: Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.]]]]> ]]>

Ticketbud Organizer – Elizabeth at Bridal Bliss

  • How did you get started planning weddings?
  • What did you learn along the way and what did you wish you’d known beforehand?
  • With these questions in mind, here is her response: Wedding and Event planning is an exciting and always evolving industry. It’s fast paced; customer service focused and because of this can be tricky to get into. So when Ticketbud asked me how I got into the industry – I thought it would be such a great opportunity to share some tips and ideas for how to break in! After graduating from college I got my first job and soon realized, a desk was not for me. I love being around people, my personality is to be a people-pleaser and I love planning. While working my first job out of college, I realized my skill set might be better suited for weddings and events. Not wanting to waste anytime, I dove in headfirst and began interning / assisting for a wedding planning company called Bridal Bliss. I cannot recommend interning / assisting enough to someone who is looking to get into the industry. While you might not be exposed to every facet of the job, getting this exposure is important to learning if you truly love working in the industry. I took the opportunity to assist for Bridal Bliss and at the same time also involved myself in other areas of weddings and events including wedding dresses, invitations and event management. With any spare time in the summer I volunteered at various events immersing myself in the industry and meeting lots of people along the way. Looking back now after being in the industry for almost 9 years, I am so glad I took the time to gain valuable experience in different areas of the industry. While breaking into the industry took a few years and working part time jobs here and there– this industry was my calling. There are a few things I would pass along as tips to anyone wanting to get into the industry aside from assisting and interning. One of the biggest things I think is essential is to connect with people in the industry. Vendors, other coordinators, venues, etc. everyone works together and it’s important to take the time and get to know people. Learn what they do, what they offer, and why they are good at what they do. Creating a community in the industry is crucial. We all have the same common end goal, which is a successful event and happy clients. By creating and fostering a community, it promotes community rather than competition. And while it may seem counterintuitive, the community you build is what will support and allow you to grow your own business. And lastly do not give your services for free. It can be hard to break into any new industry but it is important to also know your worth.   Want more info on Elizabeth and her team? Check out the Bridal Bliss wedding blog .   ]]]]> ]]>

    How to Preserve Customers While Growing Event Business

    Meet Customer Expectations with a great team: Your event organisation must have a team that is aware of how to build these customer relationships, and skilled in many disciplines. They must have good critical thinking skills and be able to adapt to changing technologies, understand customer expectations, and be able navigate the business culture and have the knowledge to be able to exploit all event marketing tools. Listening To Your Customers: Clients will tell you volumes, if you’ll only listen. Train your employees to be interrogators (in the best possible sense, of course!). Ask your existing customers what they loved about events they’ve been to or their favorite part of the last event you organized for them. Simply engaging them in conversation about them will net you all the information you need to better your events and services customer treatment. As important as listening is, make sure you “hear” what clients say. Make changes and alterations where you feel it is warranted. A customer that sees their suggestions implemented is one with a stake in your business. Concentrate and capitalise on these human emotions. Reward Your Best Customers: Not all customers are created equal. Some will try to get you to give them the sky for free, while others are more than happy to pay good money to be treated well. Value cannot be overrated. When you find customers that are loyal and return over and over to your business, find ways to reward their loyalty. A little hidden secret about this tip is that happy, loyal, well-cared-for “insider” customers can be one of the best new client acquisition tools. These folks tell their friends. Be Professional Yet Have Fun: Obviously this tip will vary depending upon the type of Event organisation you operate, however, the principle is still relatively universal. While being professional and helpful to your clients, the simple act of putting a smile on your face can lighten the mood and make an otherwise unmemorable interaction one that not only gets remembered but gets spread around to others likely to get in contact for event management. Lending back to your team, Event Managers must always be personable and able to talk and gel with anyone; relationship building skills are imperative and priceless! Keep Current (With What Matters to Your Customers): Technology continues to accelerate and it’s important to keep up with what’s new and popular with customers. New smart event devices; such as apps and all round delegate management systems, new hot off the press venues, new event trends they are inspired by, new ways to be heard, and new social channels. Sometimes it seems improbable that you could keep up, but if you try to relate to your customers and see what is interesting to them, you’ll have a better way to decide what to concentrate on. A good example recently is Pinterest. It blew onto the scene suddenly, has grown exponentially, morphed from its original uses into a broader tool for businesses, and is beloved for its visual emphasis. Don’t let these kinds of opportunities elude you just because the value isn’t immediately apparent. Keep reading. Keep watching. Keep listening. Consider Complaints a Gift: This is easy to say but, of course, hard to do. Remember, whether the customer is right or wrong, and even on days when you deal with complaints that are unreasonable, the way you handle them can demonstrate to customers that you are committed to delivering the best event management service. Complaints are an opportunity to improve your skills and up your game.     Author Bio: Sarah Hill is a professional blogger and creative content writer. She works as a Marketing Manager Group Se7en Events. Group Se7en Events is a leading event planning & event management agency in London, delivering global meeting and free venue finding service. ]]]]> ]]>

    Most Common Problems With an Event Check-In App and How to Avoid Them

    1. Walk-Ins Walk-ins aren’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, it means additional attendees and revenue from ticket sales. However, if there are more walk-ins than anticipated then it can lead to problems especially if you are near capacity limit. This may include turning people away and facing a few unhappy campers as a result. To remedy the situation, be sure to include bold lettering on your event page that walk-in registration is not guaranteed. There should also be a quick registration process for those who haven’t pre-registered. Keep the event checkin line separate from those who already registered and just need to register to pick up their name tags.

    2. Long Lines

    In most retail stores, there’s a rule that another register line must open if any of the existing registers have three or more customers in line. If guests have to wait in a long line that’s moving at a snail’s pace, it might overshadow any positives they experience later on. At no point should the line extend past the premise of the venue. If you anticipate a swarm, borrow some of your staff in other areas and have them open a few additional registration lines. It is highly recommended that your point-of-sale system has some sort of event checkin app to make the process as expedient as possible. Most event registration software comes with its own check-in system. Opt for a system that utilizes check via QR code scan. The Ticketbud Event Check-in App for iPad & iPhone is useful for streamlining the registration.

    3. Ditch the Pre-Printed Name Tags

    Having name tags already printed out may seem helpful but it can prolong wait times. Staffers will needlessly waste seconds sifting through hundreds of name badges. If a single one is placed out of alphabetical order, then that’s going to hold up the entire line by minutes. With improved registration technology, professional name tags can be printed on the spot by simply typing a name and hitting the print button. Alternatively, there are also always those “Hello, my name is…” stickers where attendees can write in their own name. This is always a feasible option when formal name tags are not necessary.

    4. Express Lines for VIP Guests

    VIP guests typically consist of your most loyal customers or those who paid extra for special treatment. One of the perks should be an express line where they can immediately check in from a separate line and bypass the long line that everyone else has to wait in. To further expand the VIP experience, there should be a few staff members designated to escort VIP members to their front seats or private lounge. Some event software systems can be set to automatically alert selected staffers when a VIP member has registered. This way, the designated staffers can immediately proceed to the check-in area and greet these important guests.

    5. Watch Out for Event Crashers

    Your event may only be exclusive to those affiliated with your company. If so, you have to watch out for event crashers who may try to make their way in under a false name to take advantage of the booths, presentations, or food. If you have a guest list app, keep it out of sight as crashers could easily pretend to be someone on that list. Also require everyone to show their identification. For high-profile events, consider using a event check-in app with a pre-uploaded photo of each guest. This way, you can be sure that each guest that registers really are who they say they are. Keep in mind that event crashers may also simply bypass the registration line and make their way straight into the venue. You should have someone posted at every entrance and prohibit anyone without a name tag from entering.

    6. Avoid Attendee Confusion

    Guests can easily become confused especially if there are multiple registration lines. Are they supposed to check in first? Do they proceed straight to the venue? To avoid confusion and guests waiting in the wrong lines, be sure to have signs that clearly explain what each line is for. Lines can easily be distinguished using cones and yellow tape. Posting paper signs will suffice, though for an amplified visual effect, incorporate a digital signage that explains the check-in process. Another advantage of using a digital signage is that instructions can be presented in multiple languages and even include voiceovers.

    7. Handout Materials

    Usually, staffers are also required to hand out companion material for the event, which normally consist of a welcoming packet that includes flyers, schedulers, sponsor brochures, and the like. This can take additional time. First of all, it’s not advisable to be distributing paper handouts at all. All of the material should be delivered digitally, which attendees can access via their smartphone. If you decide that paper handouts are necessary, then have a separate station just beyond the check-in counter where they can be distributed.

    Make It Short and Sweet

    Accountability is a crucial aspect for any event. There are so many things that can go wrong during the check-in, ranging from long wait times to excess walk-in registrations. You need a plan in place for these scenarios or else the situation can quickly become disorganized. Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.]]]]> ]]>