We live in a fast paced world, and technology evolves and changes just as rapidly as anything else. When it comes to Event Registration, it can be difficult to wade through the noise. There are so many Event Registration Software options that many event managers – especially those that aren’t tech-headed – struggle to know which software would serve them best. That’s why we’ve written up this handy Event Registration Software Comparison post.
Collecting registrations is the most crucial aspect of event management, but often is one of the most time-consuming, and error-prone tasks.
If you’re managing large events, or paid ones, registrant management can be a downright headache.
Luckily, it’s almost 2020 – and you can bet that there are tech solutions to your registration management pains.
With the myriad options you have when it comes to Event Registration Software, there’s no reason to waste time and money on managing event registration manually.
Event Registration Software is a worthwhile investment. It saves on overhead costs, and improves registrant experience by streamlining registration, automating communications, and delivering an easy, branded payment process.
In this article, we ask what Event Registration Software even is, and explore which tools you might find useful across the available platforms. We also do the hard work of software comparison for you so that you can see at a glance which one would work best for your company.
What is Event Registration Software?
Using Event Registration Software enables you to:
- Collect registrations for your event via online (often custom branded) registration forms
- Set paid ticket prices, and collect payments via a Payment Gateway (not all software have payment gateways integrated)
- manage invoices and receipts, either automatically or manually
- manage registrants or other contacts after they’ve registered, cancelled, or declined.
- Some software also provide tools for marking registrant attendance on the day via mobile device apps
- And others also provide functionality for automated communications which trigger to send at registration, or after a contact undertakes certain behaviours (such as marked attendees automatically receiving a “thank you for coming” email the day after the event).
In a nut shell, event registration software is software that enables you to manage your event registrations online, from collection to backend data management. Any extra functionality depends on which software you choose, and which software you choose depends on what type of functionality your company requires and how much you’ve set aside budget wise for this solution.
A quick Google search for event registration software will show you countless options. There are free, basic options suitable for those without complex registration management needs, and then there are the sophisticated options – often costing a recurring subscription-based fee.
Keep on reading for a quick and easy event registration software comparison visual aid below!
What should you look for in an Event Registration Software?
If your business runs events regularly, and sees the benefit in doing so (like two thirds of all marketers who agree live experiences are an effective way to reach company goals), then you probably like the idea of managing your event registration online, and automatically.
You’re ready to choose an event registration software – but what exactly are your unique needs, and what tools should you be looking for?
We’re going to explore 5 aspects of event registration software that may be useful for your business:
- Marketing Automation
- Inbuilt Payment Gateway
- CRM integration
- Branded templates
- Where data is stored. Is it compliant with Australian privacy law?
Marketing Automation in Event Registration Software
Beyond collecting and managing registrants, does your business also require a software which has marketing automation capabilities?
Some event registration software offer automated communications tools so that you can put invites, marketing comms, and post event emails on auto-pilot. Simply set and forget, and clone your automated communications across recurring events so that you never have to lift a finger again.
If your business needs both an event marketing solution as well as event registration management, then you’ll want to choose an event registration software which offeres marketing automation tools.
Inbuilt Payment Gateway for easy paid event registration
If your company regularly runs paid events, and struggles with collecting and managing payments, then you will want to look out for an event registration software with integrated payment gateway functionality.
What is a Payment Gateway?
Have you ever purchased something online? As you go through the process, you will come across a Payment Gateway; the part of the online purchase process where you submit your card or bank details and have your payment processed live and online.
Without an integrated payment gateway as part of your registration form, your company will have to chase up, collect and manage payments offline. This takes up a lot of precious time, and is prone to error. Payments could slip through the cracks, registrants could attend your event without having confirmed payment, and cancelled registrants may come for your business with virtual pitchforks if you fail to refund them in time.
If you run paid events regularly, it pays to use an event registrant software with both an inbuilt Payment Gateway, ready to be applied to your registration form with a couple clicks, as well as automated invoicing and receipts.
CRM integration: your Sales team can benefit from Event Marketing
If your live events are a large part of your sales and marketing efforts, then your sales team would undoubtedly benefit from registrants’ personal and behavioural data.
Some event registration software offer out-of-the-box integration with popular CRMs, such as Salesforce.
What does this mean? It means that your CRM contact data, and your event registration data will sync up, giving your sales team invaluable insight into prospect and leads’ engagement, interests, and level of interest.
With CRM integration, your sales team can bring up a lead’s profile, and see which events they have attended, and what behaviour they’ve undertaken on landing pages, websites and marketing communications.
Data is invaluable to your bottom line. Sharing is caring, after all. With CRM integration, your events team can automatically share insights with your sales team; and no lead will go unnurtured.
Branded Templates for a seamless, branded event registration experience
Most free event registration software options have one major catch: they don’t provide custom, branded templates. In the case of some free options – the templates are plastered with the software’s brand itself.
If you want your registration forms, invites, event landing pages, and other digital communications to be seamlessly, and consistently branded according to your own business’ brand guidelines – then make sure to choose an event registration software with fully branded template options.
Where is the data stored? Is the Event Registration Software compliant with Australian Privacy Law?
Depending on where your company is based, it’s well worth consulting with your legal team before settling on an Event Registration Software for purchase. In this day and age, after multiple data breaches and abuses of digital privacy across the digital landscape over the last few years, it matters where your company stores registrant data.
This is not something you want to de-prioritise. Knowing where you are obliged – by law – to store your data will play a large part in what event registration software your company can legally use.
For the purpose of this event registration software comparison article, we will focus on whether the software we are comparing is compliant with Australian Privacy Law (as of 2018).
And now to the meat of it: which Event Registration Software should you check out? And how do they stack up according to the above 5 features?
An Event Registration Software Comparison
We’re going to compare some of the most popular Event Registration Software. Most of these applications perform as full Event Management platforms as well – so if you’re in the market for a full event solution, then these are the most popular options.