There’s no secret trick to hosting the perfect annual event without a hitch. But there’s one key detail on your event planning checklist which can’t be overlooked.
That detail? Don’t neglect the registration process.
Event Planning Checklist Priority #1
Let’s start with a couple interesting facts:
- In 2017, air travel was 89 percent more affordable than it was in 1974
- 46 percent of total event ticket revenue came from ticket sales and registration
Now, we read between the lines.
Members are more willing to fly to your event than ever before. It’s affordable and there’s value in making the trip. That’s going to increase your list of potential attendees.
Now, assess the first fact alongside the second. That means you better put registration at the top of your event planning checklist.
It’s easy to focus on the fun stuff, however. The venue. The entertainment. The keynote speakers. But without a seamless registration process, who’s going to enjoy all those things you spent so much time perfecting?
Why is event registration so important?
It seems obvious, right? You wouldn’t’ want to be your own worst enemy by setting up a less-than-user-friendly registration process. But it still ends up happening anyway.
The problem? Your new generation of members is used to quick and easy internet transactions. It’s not that they’re any less patient or persistent. It’s that they know seamless transactions can and should exist for things like event registration.
Or, rather than registration inefficiencies, maybe you’re creating confusion.
Consider this scenario we highlighted on Associations Now.
Someone goes to register for your event. They’re a student, but register for the less affordable non-member price. They have no idea until it’s too late.
In some cases, they’ll never recoup the difference in cost. Or, your staff’s event manager caught it when manually confirming the registration pricing level for each registrant. That triggers a cancellation, refund and re-registering process. But why put your event manager through all that menial work?
No one wins in that scenario. Here’s what you should do instead:
- Set up your pricing levels in the back-office ahead of time
- Connect event signup to your contact records
- Spend more time reviewing registration reports than specific registration data
If you simplify your registration process in the back-office ahead of time, you’ll eliminate quite a few headaches as your meeting approaches.
Why event registration matters
Why should your association find ways to streamline the event registration process? It frees you up to focus on what really matters: member experience.
You don’t really want to spend time verifying each registration one-by-one, do you? To crosscheck each membership level with their signup rate manually?
We don’t think so. And the good news is, you don’t have to with the right association management software.
But before you go creating your next event planning checklist, check out Protech’s tips to turn your annual conference from good to great.
And once you’ve given proper due to Step 1 — your event registration process — it’s time to round out that checklist once and for all.
The Next Steps
- Give your event manager some extra help to prepare
- Find the perfect date and venue
- Establish a list of objectives
- Monitor your real-time registration reports
- Host your event and nail the execution
Those are just the broad strokes, but you get it. Clearly, there are going to be far more than five steps on your event planning checklist. But let these be your guide, and serve as a reminder that some tasks are worth neglecting.
Are you attending a trade show, not hosting one? Check out Protech’s 4 Fantastic Trade Show Attendee Tips.