Trying to manage an event without an online registration system is like trying to run a car without any petrol: you will probably still get from A to B but it will be a lot more work.

The one bit of event tech a planner needs is a registration platform

At Gallus Events we always use an online ticketing / registration platform to support our events. For Tech Fest we use Etouches and for our monthly #supereventprofs meet ups we use Eventbrite. For the Gallus Events team the idea of organising these events without an event management / registration system sitting in the background would seem like one of the craziest, most insane things for our planners to do! 

The backbone

During almost every piece of consultancy work I’ve done, where a platform wasn’t being used, I’ve gently persuaded the organisation to use a registration system to support their events. If they have one I’ve been prodding them to use it to full capacity. I’ve been consistently messaging over the last few years: if you are going to invest in one bit of event technology it should be a payment / registration platform.

Releasing the value 

As reflected by our Tech Fest 2014 Questionnaire payment / reg platforms still do not support the majority of events.

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We delved a little deeper into planners relationships with their payment platform using the 64 responses from tech savvy planners at Tech Fest last June. Initially the responses were quite promising. I would expect (and hope) to see the above percentage of those using platforms rise to beyond 50% and we will ask this question again in 2015.

Over 50% considered that the platform saved them work. As any Event Manger or Event Director knows saving time is priceless.

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Maximising the use of registration platforms

But there is so much more a platform can do. Every registration platform offers three basic functions. They are:

– collect payments

– allow planners to run reports on attendees and

– help planners communicate with your attendees.

However with hundreds of platforms out there the type of services vary hugely, as do their fees. Event Manager Blogs “The Good Event Registration Guide” is a very useful resource. Considering the differences between registration platforms I was keen to see exactly how much use planners were making of their chosen platform. So I asked a couple of simple questions to our tech savvy planners:

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Now some registration platforms look better than others but I must admit to being surprised that so few were using the registration platforms as their one and only website. I would suggest that many more events could avoid creating a separate destination website. Check out how simple, concise and clean an event looks on Eventbrite.

A quite startling 80% hadn’t gone beyond the most basic functions for their platform and that’s a tremendous amount of value left on the shelf. Many of the platforms, with Etouches doing this exceptionally well, offer a lot more on the event management side helping planners; schedule tasks, coordinate budgets, allocate flights and hotel rooms. However the evidence from our small but cross industry sample shows that few planners are using those aspects. Interesting stuff eh?

Digging a little deeper

So coming down from this top level I asked some specific questions of those attendees (27) who filled out the questionnaire. Exactly what did they do on / with the registration platform?

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I know theses results will be of interest to event technology suppliers but I also think that planners should pay them close attention. Considering the potential it is a real shame that the extra value simply isn’t being used.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of what a good platform can do for you, your event and your attendees, but it does show the potential. If you look at is as a solution – in the biggest sense of the word – for more than collecting revenue and telling who is attending the value is massive.

Tech Fest 2014

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Published On: January 26th, 2015 / Categories: Technology /