Few things are as deceivingly complicated as event registration. In concept it is simple, collect a list of who is coming and any other related information. In practice it is a juggling act of process, data and people.
When a strong system is in place, you can control the process and data. We position ourselves for success from the beginning with a strong functional definition of needs and a fabulous graphics team putting together the registration site.
It is sometimes the human factor that can cause things to go awry! We're all human.. right?
Often an event can have a wonderful and smooth registration platform created with a slick website, awesome email blasts and great open & click-through rates, clean weekly analytic reports, and overall excellent response, making everyone happy. Then… human interaction kicks in.
I had an instance where the client had been collecting additional registration requests who had not come through the registration site created. Wanting to jump in and be helpful, they had been quietly maintaining an Excel spreadsheet of people who had called/emailed directly to the client and asked to attend. We found this out very close to the event.
Of course, a late influx of attendees has a ripple effect. On the registrant side, this new group had been excluded from all the event related communications. We needed to get them up to speed immediately.
On the event planning side, everything from seating charts to meals to badges need to be re-worked.
In the end, everything was great and the hiccup was completely transparent. This is the kind of situation that only experience can train you to handle.
Even though registration is built on systems and data, ultimately it is all about people.
Event Nightmare: Theresa Lamkin
Title: Registration & Technology Manager