Using event registration software can make the registration process much faster and easier, both for event organizers and event attendees. But before you can implement this event registration tool, you have to choose the right software for the job. There are dozens of different options available, and it’s no easy task to sift through your choices and figure out which offer the best mix of features. To pick the right event registration software, you’ll need to consider the user experience both for you and your team and for the people who use the platform to register for your events.
Must-Have Features for Event Registration Software
When evaluating online event registration tools, look for platforms that have these integrated features:
Registration Website and Ticketing
The most fundamental must-have for event registration software is the ability to create a branded registration page with seamless ticketing integration. This means website visitors should be able to do a few things without leaving the original site:
- Read about the event
- Navigate to a registration page
- Purchase and pay for a ticket
Look for a platform with the following features:
- Registration templates and custom options
- Customizable ticket types
- Customizable ticket promotion codes
- Ticket capping, including the ability to cap sales of different ticket types
- Integrated payment options and secure payment processing for collecting payments
- Wide range of international currency options
- Multilingual options for events with global audiences
Easy Customization Options
How easy is it to customize the registration page? At a bare minimum you should be able to change colors, add branded imaging such as banners and logos, and use a custom URL.
Pro tip: For ease of use, look for a platform with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. These allow you to quickly change the look of the page by picking colors and uploading banners and other images, rather than by changing code.
How does the platform handle the onsite check-in process for live events? For instance:
- Does the event software have an integrated check-in feature? If not, you may need to use a third-party app.
- Do event staff need to be on hand to facilitate check-in, or can attendees manage their own check-in process?
- Can attendees register and check in at the same time?
Onsite check-in is important for live and hybrid events, where people are checking in at a physical location. For purely virtual events, it’s unimportant, as attendees check in automatically by logging into the event.
Security and Privacy
People who attend your events want to know their data is safe and that their privacy won’t be invaded as a result of their attendance. Make sure to verify this with the platform you choose by checking their data and privacy policies.
For attendees who want to know how their data is being collected and used, display the relevant privacy and security policies on the registration site.
Look for a platform that offers robust tech support, with multiple options for accessing help. Most platforms offer only minimal support if you use the free version of their software, but you can scale up to provide support to subscribers via:
- Web-based chat
Pro tip: Some platforms offer onboarding support for new users, with free virtual training sessions or video walkthroughs. Some offer private training sessions for an additional fee. If onboarding support is available, clarify whether or not it’s free of charge.
Depending on your perspective, data analytics is either an essential element or simply nice to have. Which camp you fall into really depends on the nature of the event. For small in-house events, you may not be concerned about gathering demographic data and other details. On the other hand, data collection is typically an important part of B2B and public-facing events.
If data collecting and analysis is important to your event, look for a platform that lets you collect, manage, and analyze attendee data, preferably with the ability to generate and export reports. The registration platform should also integrate with the event app and any event management software you use.
Integration with Event Management Software
If you host or organize multiple events every year and plan to use event management software, then making the right choice here is even more important. If you want to use an all-in-one platform with registration and ticketing, data collection and analytics, and event management, seamless integration is vital. It makes the platform easier to use for you and your team and improves the attendee experience as well.
How to Choose a Registration Platform
When evaluating registration platforms, it’s easy to get bogged down in detail. There are dozens of platform options, and you may not find the perfect solution right away. It’s worth the trouble! The right platform will make managing the registration process faster and easier. And while it may take some time, it’s not necessarily a difficult process, as there are really only three main points to consider:
- Budget: There are usable options at every price point, even including free options. You won’t get the full-featured experience, but for a small event, the free version of a platform is usually just fine.
- Features: If you’re clear on what platform features are essential versus nice to have, it’s easy enough to create a shortlist of candidates.
- Event goals: Your goals for the event may come into play in some cases. For instance, if data collection is an important part of what you’re planning, look for a platform with integrated data analytics.
Pricing: Platforms charge in different ways; for example:
- Based on feature packages such as eCommerce ticketing
- Based on number of attendees
- Based on the number of events you hold per year
- Based on the number of admin users for your team
There are also yearly versus monthly billing options for some platforms. In addition, some may limit how many users (or licenses) you can have.
User experience: Consider what the user experience is like for people who register. You should actually test the process out too. Any platform that provides a poor experience for the end user isn’t a good option, even if it has all the features you need.
Beware of Poorly Integrated Event Platforms
Some event platforms claim to be “all-in-one” platforms with integrated registration and other features. Many do fit this description, but some are actually patchwork platforms. Patchwork platforms are built by different designers and then stitched together with additional code to make them look seamless when they’re not. It’s not always easy to know which is which, but if the platform is clunky, slow, or hard to navigate, that’s a good indication.
This doesn’t mean all platforms with third-party integrations are bad—far from it. How well an online software registration tool works is all in the quality of the design code. If the code is well-written, it provides a good user experience, whether it’s an all-in-one platform or one that integrates with third-party apps. Such event platforms are excellent choices for many different kinds of events, especially if they integrate with registration software that you’re already using.
Before committing to a platform, it’s important to ask lots of questions about how the integrations work, so you can find a user-friendly option with the features you need.
Easy-to-Use Online Event Registration Is the Foundation of Event Success
While there are many factors that go into making an event successful, registration is a foundational element you don’t want to overlook. Registration should be a fast, easy process for attendees. And the online event registration software you choose should make it easy for you to provide a good registration experience for your guests. The team at ProGlobalEvents is well-versed in setting up registration tools that work for you and in other aspects of attendee management. Reach out to us today!