Having spoken with many organisers in the industry, I’ve found that a common concern is that as an event grows year over year, there tends to be a tipping point at which it becomes too large to efficiently manage all administrative tasks and maintain the quality that loyal participants have come to expect. The consensus seems to be that taking an event to the next level oftentimes requires more than just an increase in support staff.
A good online registration system eliminates much of the event organiser’s work by automating tasks that were once done manually like data entry, reporting, mailing, and payment processing work. Here are 5 ways that online registration software can help reduce an event organiser’s workload:
1. Reduced Data Entry
If you are currently accepting your event entries on paper forms, you are familiar with all of the manual work that comes along with transferring that data from paper to your database. Illegible handwriting and questions with missing data slow the transfer process to a crawl. Events that collect participant data online have little or no data entry work because the information collected on the form is automatically submitted to a secure online database.
2. One-Click Custom Reports
Most event directors that do not use online registration software have their own custom designed database or just use a simple Excel spreadsheet to organize their participant data. Transferring new registrant information onto a spreadsheet on a daily basis can make it difficult to get a truly updated snapshot of your data. An online registration system will automatically house registrant information collected on your form in a secure database and update it in real-time. An good system will make the data available in a number of easy-to-create custom reports and graphs.
3. Automatic Follow-up Emails
When someone registers using a paper form, the turn-a-round time from when the event staff receives it in the mail to when the registrant gets a confirmation of acceptance can be days or even weeks. Many event organisers spend much of their work day responding to emails and calls from registrants who are concerned that their form has not been received. An online system will eliminate any work or confusion by automatically emailing the registrant immediately following their registration.
4. Online Payment Processing
Gone are the days of having to wait for a participant’s cheque to clear or making weekly trips to the bank to deposit your event registration fees. A good online registration software that includes real-time payment processing will verify the registrant’s credit card is valid, charge the card, and deposit the funds directly into your bank account all in one transaction. Your registrants will enjoy the speed and ease of instantly paying for and reserving their spot in your event.
5. Simplified Accounting
Collecting payments from those who have forgotten to pay can devour much of your time before and after the event. A missing payment can turn into countless reminder phone calls and even disputes with forgetful participants. online payment software An online system will automatically account for who-owes-what and will produces balance due reports where you can email personalised letters with amounts due, to those you are trying to chase down.
In summary, an easy to use online event management system will not only save you time but will greatly reduce the stress involved in planning and organising a successful event.
Jack Smith is an online event management specialist for The Active Network, the leading event registration software company specialising in sports events. To date, The Active Network has hosted over 10 million registrants for events world-wide. Create online registration forms, and manage event participants from one easy to use web-based system.