The right event registration software can make an event planner’s a lot more straightforward. Choose the wrong option or try to go the process alone, and you may regret it.
Don’t be intimidated: There are some very simple solutions out there. You don’t have to be a technical whizz to get a benefit from them.
We have put together a guide to help choose the best event registration software for your needs. Depending on the size of your event or business, you may prioritise different features. This guide will help you make the right decision.
What is event registration software?
Not everyone automates event management. Plenty of companies and individuals are still organising events the old fashioned way.
Event registration software is a way to manage attendees, invites, ticketing, and other aspects of putting together an event. There are a lot of balls to juggle. The right platform can automate much of the process.
Naturally, all events are different. As such, event management software offers features that address a range of needs. If you are putting together a conference, you’ll need a mix of tools quite different from someone planning a concert.
Which features are right for you?
Event registration software comes in many shapes. You’ll need to establish the capabilities you need. What do these features deliver? Which are most vital for the event you are planning?
Attendee management and ticketing
Attendees are at the heart of any event. Managing the responses, tickets, and capacity of your venue in an Excel spreadsheet can be a nightmare. Event registration software can take this issue away.
Registration software will typically provide a landing page where people can RSVP to your event. You can link to this from your website, social media, and email marketing campaigns. If you automate attendee tracking, you’ll make your life far easier. You can even set up automated email campaigns send reminders to your guests.
Your software should also be able to help you manage your tickets. Some events may be as simple as just selling one type of ticket and seeing who turns up, but this is rare.
Your ticket mix will depend on venue capacity, different ticket types (such as adult vs. child tickets), and discount levels. It can quickly become complex. But setting up ticket sales for your event doesn’t have to be difficult—with the right tools. Sites like Billetto let you get started in just five minutes.
Ease of use
You have no doubt used software before that makes it feel like you are trying to control a spacecraft. Event software should not give you a headache. Some of the software out there is incredibly easy to use.
Software like Eventbrite has plenty of functionality in a simple interface that lets you see every step of the event process.
People are better connected than ever before. A GlobalWebIndex study has reported that people have an average of seven social media accounts each. Keeping everything “enclosed” isn’t always the best option.
You want to share your event far and wide, especially if it is open to the public. Event registration software can link with email marketing services, social media, and more. Bizzabo, for example, integrates with over 750 different platforms.
Using your registration software for payments? Make sure you use a version that integrates with multiple payment platforms. This way, you won’t lose an attendee because they stumbled at checkout.
Email, marketing tools, and branding
Your branding for an event should be professional and well-thought-out. The right software will let you send reminder emails and special offers with ease. EventZilla can even help you make a mobile-friendly website for your event.
The more control you have over branding, the better. People are more likely to engage with an email campaign and event page that looks professional. As Pinpointe explains here: “It’s important for product images to look professional; otherwise you’ll turn subscribers off”.
Your “product” is your logo, your invitation, and your website until you get people through the door.
Consider whether you can include your own branding, or whether you are stuck with templates. How much flexibility do the email campaigns give you? In this case, looks are important.
Other marketing tools event registration software can offer include embeddable widgets, QR code generators, voucher codes, and more.
Price (and pricing structure)
With the numerous options for software come numerous pricing options. Whova.com have created a full price comparison with a table to show some of the pricing structures.
Some charge a flat rate for their services, such as a monthly fee. Some take a fixed fee per ticket, while others take a percentage. You can even find combinations of these three types of payment.
If you are running a large event, a flat fee might be the best choice so that the prices don’t quickly start to stack up.
One of the most powerful tools your software can give you is an insight into the behaviour of your customers. When choosing, consider what statistics they can provide.
You can check statistics such as event page conversion, total revenue, attendees, and check-ins. Some software will even show negatives like refunds you have had to offer. This type of data can be incredibly hard to formulate without software. Having access to it will ultimately make your events more successful.
In some industries, it is clear when one provider is better than another. With event registration software, it’s more about ensuring you have suitable features at a suitable price.
Only you will know exactly what you are looking for. Being able to work out what each of the features can offer will help you make the correct decision. You can save on workload and spend more of your time on future events.