How to stay sane during the event registration process

Planning and managing any event registration can be a tiresome affair. Too often, event managers focus on the actual event, resulting in a poorly-planned registration process that leaves guests feeling irritated before they’ve even set foot inside.  A streamlined check-in is pivotal for setting the tone of an event, but getting this right can leave even the most seasoned event planner frazzled. Fear not, we’ve put together our tips to help you keep your cool the next time you’re tasked with overseeing an event registration.

Simplify the process by giving your guests the option to pre-register

Not only will this considerably speed up the registration process on the day, it’ll also up your RSVP rates. If guests know that they won’t have to stand in long queues, or wait around as their colleagues check-in, they’re more likely to accept your invite. Including clear instructions on your invitations that allow guests to quickly reply and then register makes for a hassle-free registration that positions your event in a professional light.

Always allow more time than necessary

Just like some people prefer to physically check themselves in at the airport, some of your guests will opt to register on the day. Hiccups are inevitable, so make sure that you’ve allotted more than enough time for the process, in order to avoid late starts and disgruntled guests. An event registration process is a drawn-out affair – however well you’ve planned it, so play it safe by dedicating adequate time to avoid irritated guests and staff.

Aim to oversee, not micromanage

Ideally, an event manager’s attention should be on managing the logistics of an event, and not on administrative tasks. Outsource your registration process by hiring professionals who’re adept at running swift and efficient operations. You’ll have more time in which to attend to the small details, and you won’t be worrying that your VIP is standing in a queue waiting for his name tag to be found.

Give your guests several payment options

This is another way to up attendance rates and avoid the event registration process being more laborious than necessary. Give your guests the option of paying with cash, via a pocket POS, or paying online when they pre-register. The easier it is for someone to pay, the more pleasant their experience. Remember that every interaction a guest has with your event – from their invitation, to registration, to the event itself – is a chance to showcase your brand in the best possible light.

Streamline the process with event registration software

Don’t waste time setting up desktop computers, modems, and other old-school paraphernalia. Kit your staff out with tablets or smartphones which have access to the internet. This allows them to register guests at the touch of a button. This will also avoid confusion and keep everyone updated, as an online guest list is updated in real time – so everyone can see who’s arrived, who you’re waiting on, and who’s cancelled at the last-minute.

Event registration doesn’t have to be a headache. Outsourcing the process or employing the use of event registration software will go a long way in transforming an exasperating process into one that’s efficient and professional experience – for you and your guests.

 Image Credit: HIC 2014