If you are planning an event, do not underestimate the importance of having the right registration partner and processes in place. Registration is where first impressions are made and the tone is set for the entire attendee experience.
Many planners or conference organizers think of registration as something that happens when they’re selling tickets. But it is a far broader topic than simply getting someone’s contact and payment information. In fact, the “registration” process is really the way that your customers experience all aspects of the event.
Here are just some of the things that conference organizers should be thinking through:
- The registration form – in most cases, there’s a lot more to a registration form than name, contact, payment information. What about hotel details? Optional demographic questions? Agenda choices? Are there other questions you can ask that will help you enhance the attendee experience?
- Your attendee communications – what is the design and copy for your confirmation letter? Can you customize the receipt or invoice? How are you sending event updates? Are there opportunities to up-sell, and how will you integrate those into the overall attendee experience?
- Customer service – questions always come up, and attendees like to get answers–quickly and easily. Will you provide an in-person contact? An event email address? Multiple options? However you handle this, your customer service system creates an important feedback loop that lets you know how your registration system is working, and what communications or web site issues should be addressed.
- Onsite logistics and support staff – what equipment will your registration team need onsite? What staff will be required–and how will you train them? What are the hours you’ll need to have the registration desk open? When will your peak times be, and how are you going to make sure you’re ready to handle those?
- Onsite materials – badges, tickets, agendas and other conference materials all set the tone. Don’t forget about the FAQ’s to help the staff answer any question that an attendee has. What happens when someone arrives and their name is spelled incorrectly on the badge?
Whether your event is on a tight budget, or you’re creating a white-glove experience, putting more than a little planning into all aspects of your registration systems and processes will help you create a great attendee event experience–and minimize the problems you’ll need to tackle when you’re busy doing something else. Which you know you will be!
What are your tips for designing and implementing a smooth event registration plan?