Event registration is a growing industry worldwide. With the growth of these types of businesses, there are more and newer software packages being released into the marketplace that promise to provide the best event registration software available in the industry today. However, choosing between the many choices available can be a bit overwhelming. To help you with your decision, the following are six important factors you should consider before purchasing any type of event registration software.
What type of event is being held? If you are planning on holding an event for non-profit purposes, than the type of software needed will differ from if it is for a business or private clientele. Non-profit events require a different set up. While the website and data needs are generally limited, there will often be some type of mobile device access that will be needed. For business events, you will likely need a fully-functioning desktop version.
What do you want your software to do for you? Are you looking for simple tools to keep track of attendees and registrants or are you seeking advanced features that allow for multi-step ticket sales and complex reporting? What kinds of reports are you looking for? While most event registration software products offer comprehensive reporting capabilities, not all do.
What are your budget limitations? If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll obviously want to choose a product that is on the cheaper side. However, if you go with an entry-level product, you may run into problems down the road. If you’re concerned about upgrading, take a hard look at the licensing involved. If you don’t mind paying a higher price for the ability to upgrade later, then this will be a personal decision.
How much room do you have available for the database? It is imperative that you have room to collect and enter data from this type of event. You don’t want to have to rewrite reports because you can’t get enough data into your database.
What types of forms do you want to be able to fill out and/or manage? These include: RSVPs, gift cards, e-ickets, online entries, and paper badges. Depending upon how you plan to collect and enter data from this type of event, you’ll need to consider how cumbersome some of these tasks are. If you need paper badges, you’ll probably want to be able to print them as well as take photos. If you rely on e-ickets alone, then you’ll want an easy to use system that will allow you to enter data from a variety of sources.
What are the alternatives for this type of product? Traditionally, you’d have to purchase a separate program to handle this type of event. This would include: special boards, event organizers, software, printing services, etc. In addition, this process often has significant additional costs. These include the time and cost of shipping these items, as well as special equipment needed to prepare these items. For most small to medium sized events, this is a very unattractive option that doesn’t really make financial sense.
With today’s technology, however, the solution to this problem is simple. You no longer need to rely on any of these traditional methods. The best event registration software offers a solution that does all of the work for you while saving you money. In most cases, this includes using one application for everything, allowing you to manage, collect, enter, edit, and print information at the same time. This results in less work and more money saved.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you begin looking into the best tools is that there is a great deal of flexibility offered. No matter what type of event you’re having, you can customize each element according to your needs. If you want a more casual gathering with just a few people, you can select an application that has integrated social networking features, such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. If you want a much larger event, such as a corporate party or company picnic, there are tools that can handle both types.
Many of the applications also offer additional resources for handling various events, such as customizable seating maps. You can even create custom seating charts for use at your next conference, sales meeting, or charity event. Some programs allow you to upload all of the guest information, including their email addresses, so that they can be contacted for any information that may come up. In addition, many of these tools will automatically email a confirmation to each guest. This ensures that everyone attending has received a confirmatory email before the event starts.
Some of the top event registration software programs on the market today also allow users to import and save data from other sources, such as previous convention registrations and event ticket information. This means that even if you’re not holding a convention or event in the near future, you can still use the software to register new guests and keep track of past attendance information. If you need to manage multiple events at once, it’s a good idea to look into one of the best event registration software programs on the market today.