When you’re just getting started managing events, you choose the tech you know.At first, you simply need a way to capture and track basic attendee information. An online form program is free — critical, for event creators on a tight budget.
But collecting your event registrations with a general tool like Google Forms can quickly turn into chaos as your event grows. Your registration needs become more complex, and generic forms quickly prove to be a subpar tool.
Even if you haven’t yet outgrown the hack of using a tool like Google Forms for event registration, you may be suffering in ways you’re not aware — and your ticket sales and time management are likely hurting as a result. Here’s why.
Tools like Google Forms were not designed for event registrations
Tools like Google Forms were not built with event creators in mind. They’re meant for much simpler tasks, like gathering satisfaction surveys from customers. These tools have limited functionality, which makes your process completely manual. When you need to request payment or exchange bank data with attendees, for instance, you have to follow up with them individually over email or the phone.
With the recent implementation of GDPR and other global and national regulations governing the exchange of personal data, you must be cautious about what you share or request over email. You’re putting yourself at risk for a data breach or legal issues. At the very least, managing event registration this way takes a lot of your time.
Generic online forms don’t process payments
If you’re using a generic online form for event registration, your payment-processing headache doesn’t end there. Tools like Google Forms don’t process payments at all, so you have to find other workarounds and process them manually.
As your event grows, this becomes increasingly time-consuming and opens you up to making mistakes. You’re squinting at a screen trying to cross-check bank deposit voucher information with the names of subscribers. Or counting those who’ve registered versus those who’ve actually made a deposit. It’s a laborious manual process that leaves you vulnerable to error.
An online form doesn’t give you a landing page
Tools like Google Forms might give you a form to send attendees to — but from where? You need an event webpage to promote your event. And since forms don’t include this functionality, you’ll need to create your own. You end up with another project on your plate and a disconnected web experience for users as they navigate from your website to Google Forms to sign up.
Patching together your web presence this way has a negative impact on your brand. If potential attendees view your marketing efforts as amateur, they lose a little bit of faith in your event. And at any rate, it’s a lot of work for you.
No registration form includes marketing tools
If you want to send an email to your mailing list announcing registration or other details of your event, you have to use your own inbox or sign up for another third-party email service. A tool like Google Forms doesn’t integrate with Facebook, either, so you have to manage your efforts on the social platform separately. Suddenly, your job description is getting bloated with extra marketing tasks.
An online form doesn’t let you sign in attendees quickly
On the day of your event, you have to print out your attendee list, bring it with you to the site, and manually check in each participant by flipping through the pages with pen in hand.
This is an incredibly inefficient way of checking in attendees and can clog up your entry queue pretty quickly, resulting in bad moods before people even get in the door. And heaven forbid you lose the printout.
There are other free tools that are designed to support event creators specifically. Eventbrite’s platform is made for event creators and remedies the issues you could be facing in strategic ways:
- It’s designed for event registration exclusively, so it includes all of the functionality you need to properly register attendees for your event, including taking payment and keeping that payment information secure and compliant.
- Your list of attendees is matched to your payment information so that you don’t have to manually assess who has paid and who hasn’t.
- It gives you an event web page you can use as your marketing anchor for all your other efforts. Ticketing happens right from that page — no need to send anyone to a separate form elsewhere.
- Integrations with email and social media platforms such as MailChimp, Facebook, and Instagram make it easy to align all of your communications and marketing without having to manually manage multiple and disconnected efforts.
- Best of all, at the event, you can check in your attendees from an app (or print out a list easily from Eventbrite, if you prefer pen and paper).
Whether you’ve outgrown Google Forms already or see that the end is near, it’s an easy switch to Eventbrite. Create your next event on Eventbrite today.