You work hard to make your events business a success — your registration technology should do the same. But before you can hunt down the perfect fit, you need to know what you’re searching for. Do you only need the basics? Does your event demand every bell and whistle?
To find the best tech for your business, you have to understand the impact of each of your requirements. For example, it may be critical for you to be able to sell registrations at the door, while on-site badge printing is just a nice-to-have. What can be spared, and what’s crucial to keeping the lights on?
A little planning goes a long way. If you’ve ever purchased with the wrong software provider, you’ve probably learned this the hard way. Counting down the days until your contract expires is no way to live — and it could be hindering your business growth.
Don’t get stuck with the wrong registration technology. Here are the most important questions to ask yourself when looking for the perfect match:
Capabilities: What do I really need?
Any vendor worth your consideration can handle discount codes, ticket types, and the like. The question is: do they offer the features your business and workflow need to run smoothly? Even more so, are those features intuitive to use?
You don’t have time to deal with a registration system that slows you down or stresses you out. If it’s not flexible and easy to use, it could be a serious drain on your resources in the long term. Features alone can’t give you a full picture of a system’s ability to meet your needs — but you shouldn’t ignore them, either. Get an in-depth demo or a sandbox account to ensure it can handle your most important business needs. And more importantly, make sure these features are easy to use.
Added bonus: Make sure what you buy today plays nice with what you’re already using to manage your business. For example, if you’re already running a smooth operation with QuickBooks, then choose a registration solution that can directly integrate, saving you time and improving your data quality.
Reliability: Can I count on you?
Your business is year-round, and that means your website, payment processor, promotional outlets, and every other aspect of your business is also on 24/7. Choosing a partner with a high uptime means you can trust them to be there when you need them.
If your site goes down, you risk missing sales, frustrating buyers, and hurting your brand in the process. Don’t trust your business to a vendor that hasn’t proven themselves able and ready to take your operations to the next level.
Brand: Will you protect my reputation?
Your audience knows you, and your brand carries weight. So it’s important for your registration solution to help you represent your brand in the best light, all the time. This means keeping your brand look and feel consistent across your website, social media outlets, and anywhere else you’re digitally present and promoting your event.
You’ve worked hard to build and keep your professional reputation. Take full advantage of every touchpoint between you and your audience by using innovative technology for your registration. These direct brand experiences will shape you as a trusted leader in your industry and boost your event’s clout.
Support: Are you there for me?
Support and client services come in all shapes and sizes (and range in quality). Even top-shelf technology comes with a learning curve, so take the safe bet and make sure your new provider helps you get started. Nothing is more frustrating than logging into your new system without knowing how to get it running.
Account managers are a great addition too, but how do you know if you need one? If your event is complex, your attendee count is over 500, or you host numerous events per year, then having a strategic events professional in your corner might be a wise choice.
Price: How should I pay for this?
Registration companies have diverse pricing models based off of registration sales. The typical options are either a pay-as-you-go model or an upfront purchase option. Pay-as-you-go models allow you to pay fees as you sell registrations, keeping you flexible and commitment-free. Plus, you don’t have to cut a big check to get started with a new system. With an upfront option, you pay for, say, 500 registrants upfront for the year for a set price. This gives you a more predictable cost, but requires a solid understanding of your attendance rates to make an informed decision.
The next step is to solidify how your system processes online payments (and offline, if applicable). Once you launch sales, how do you actually get your money? Some services pay immediately, and some payout after your event. If your registration vendor can also handle payments, all the better, as your reporting will be more accurate and easy to access.
You wouldn’t hire a new employee without vetting them first, and the same goes for your technology partners. Our team has seen event types of all sizes and shapes, and we’d love to help you plan your next event. Check out an on-demand demo or reach out here to get started today.
To stay on top of your event skills, sign up for Eventbrite’s free event management course and certification.