The Importance of Using a Registration Platform for Corporate Meetings
A few years ago, most finance departments did not see the need to utilize a registration platform for their corporate meeting. It was an expense they believed could be cut and replaced with a simple list of attendees on Excel and expected that to work just as well. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case anymore and has led to many issues in the planning and execution phase that wound up costing more money in the long run. Let’s review some of the critical areas that a proper registration process manages to help bring your corporate meeting into the new world of technology!
Top 10 Reasons to Use Registration Software for a Meeting
1. Get the Full Count of Attendees
First and foremost, registration provides accurate attendance numbers. You will know who is and is not attending, which can help in making many important decisions. The first question on many registration sites is, “are you or are you not attending?” Having an accurate registration count will allow you to make informed decisions on food and beverage numbers. This will allow for easier management of F&B minimums and prevent you from overspending on lesser attended functions.
2. More Accurate Hotel Room Counts
Registration also enables you to submit a complete rooming list from the beginning. Allowing attendees to input their hotel information will prevent you from multiple rounds of revisions on your rooming list. This will also help with managing your room block commitment and make decisions on dropping rooms easier.
3. Allow Attendees to Customize Their Itinerary
If your event has multiple sessions for attendees to choose from, you can have them select those sessions during registration. Knowing the number of people for each session can help you when assigning meeting space and even help with deciding on the proper room set up for each session. Utilizing a registration platform also ensures that you have correct attendee information. Barring any typing mistakes, you are almost guaranteed to have accurate information on all your attendees. The following suggestions help you create the most memorable experience for your attendees.
4. No More Name Mishaps
Is there anything worse than having an attendee walk up to check-in, only for them to tell you that their name badge is incorrect? With an online registration process, you can confirm your attendee’s preferred name to create name badges and all other reports correctly. Having them enter in their contact information, such as email address or mailing address, can make sure you are able to contact the attendee and provide them any pre-meeting communication or gifting. To be even fancier, you can pre-load data into the registration platform, which can auto-populate the basic details the company might already have. This allows your attendee to review the information and only update anything that might be out of date.
5. Booking Flights Made Simple
Registration also helps when you are managing the flight booking process. Attendees will input their preferred airport, their travel dates, as well as all required information to book a flight. With the attendee entering this information, you are preventing potential errors and having to rebook flights. If attendees are booking their own flights, they can also enter that information for any transportation the company might be providing.
6. Stay Ahead of Attendee Health Precautions
In today’s meeting and event industry, dietary restrictions and preferences are a very hot topic. Forcing attendees to complete questions on their dietary needs alleviates a lot of concern when planning food and beverage functions. Not only can you select the right items for your menus, but you can also work with your venue to create special meals for those attendees who need additional attention.
In the case that an attendee has a severe enough allergy, you can contact all of your attendees and inform them of the issue. Proactively, contacting your attendees should alleviate the concern of any accidental exposure. Along those same lines, medical conditions are also critical to capture during registration. This can be especially important when your meeting is taking the attendee to a foreign country. Knowing this information at the beginning allows you to research the proper care the attendee might need in case of an emergency. You are also able to recommend activity options that would better fit the attendees’ needs due to their condition.
7. Customize Your Event Gifting
On a much lighter note, you can also ask your attendees their gifting preferences and sizes for any onsite gifting. If you are offering a shopping experience during your event, you can make sure you have enough inventory in the sizes that your attendees input. To get even more detailed, you can ask if your attendees prefer a savory or sweet food item for a room drop.
8. Registration Websites Help Record and Communicate
Creating a registration website also helps in the communication flow to your attendees. Not only are you gathering important information from them, but you are also providing pertinent details to the attendee. Most registration platforms include informational web pages in addition to the registration form field questions. These web pages can include details on the resort or venue your event is taking place at, the agenda for the meeting or trip, travel details, or other information they might need prior to attending your event. We like to recommend using the registration website as a promotional tool for your event. You can launch each page strategically throughout the sales cycle to keep your qualifiers engaged and strive to make the final cut. If you are hosting a paid conference, you can announce sessions and speakers that can help entice a potential attendee to register and attend your conference.
9. Keep Sponsors Updated
Sponsorships are another area that a registration website can help manage. Sponsors help fund and promote your events, and tracking their details is extremely important. Often sponsor attendees do not attend events or conferences the same way a paid or required attendee would. A registration platform allows you to collect only the information you need from a sponsored attendee. If they are only attending certain events during your program, you can only show them that information and bypass the other information that is not important to them. Sponsorship registration can also help you track and manage sponsor deliverables. Collecting company logos, attendee photos, or company blurbs during registration gives you all the details you might need later for collateral or promotional tools. No longer will you need to hunt down this information. Find out everything you need to know about getting your meeting sponsored in this Sponsorships 101 guide.
10. It Practically Pays For Itself
The next time your registration website is in danger of being cut from the budget, be sure to remind them of all the little things that could go wrong with not having the correct information. The price of a registration platform will easily outweigh the cost of last-minute changes and the time it takes to make those adjustments. Play around with some “what-if” scenarios using our event budget pricing calculator to help ease your finance department’s worries.
To get a demo of what a full-scale registration platform looks like, check out our Unite software, designed and managed by our in-house IT team.