You’d think that one of the hardest experiences in life would be to train as a Navy SEAL. That’s probably true, but there are a lot of other equally challenging experiences out there.
Being event management software developers for more than five years, we’ve discovered a struggle only a few can survive. The rest would (understandably) develop severe stress or anxiety …
There’s nothing more dreadful than having to plan and run an event if you’re not an event professional.
This happens more often than it should. And since you are reading this article, you’ve most likely had your fair share of planning troubles.
Whether you are a marketing professional, an office manager, or an administrative assistant, we feel your pain. It’s as if you’re caught in the middle of a storm without any shelter.
You may find yourself with a lengthy list of events to plan, including conferences, B2B matchmaking events, or several international seminars.
And that’s just for the time being: the number of events may increase as your company expands its goals and initiatives. Apart from that, you don’t have a good planning tool such as event management software to rely on.
5 dreadful challenges you face when planning an event
The worst thing about planning an event with little to no experience is that you can’t even truly articulate the issues you have to go through.
To help you with that, here’s a quick list of problems you will most likely encounter when setting up a new conference or seminar:
Challenge #1: Attracting the right attendees
It’s one thing when your event is based on invitations; it’s another thing entirely when you have to reach new leads. The second scenario would require well-define attendee personas, powerful communication channels, and a strong marketing campaign … easier said than done.
Without having the right tools (such as event management software), you could spend hours trying to identify potential attendees and designing attractive mailing campaigns.
Apart from that, you must take into account the fact that you need to be constantly active on social media, as well as understand the tricky strategies of event promotion plus the success KPIs.
Challenge #2: Surviving the logistic nightmare
Whether or not you are a professional event planner, you’ll spend all of your time and effort on putting together the administrative puzzle pieces.
From setting up the online registration to ensuring a quick check-in procedure, these logistic challenges will usually be responsible for your constant headaches.
The problem gets bigger, when you want to scale the event and you realize that all these manually accomplished tasks double or triple. Just imagine all those Excel spreadsheets where you have to enter one by one of all the data for each new registered attendee.
Challenge #3: Designing a positive attendee journey
Apart from ensuring a flawless planning strategy, your job is to facilitate and maximize the experience the guests will have.
In other words, your duty is not only to provide a registration form to your potential attendees, you also have to make the registration process as easy and stress-free as possible for your guests. If not, you may sabotage the entire event experience.
Challenge #4: Scaling up the event
It’s one thing to plan a small conference for 50 people; it’s a totally different story to plan a gathering for 500 people. Scaling up the event may become a real struggle when everything you do is executed manually, and there’s no way you can automatize some of the logistic tasks.
Challenge #5: Gathering pertinent data and evaluating the ROI
Although you can’t notice it, you are working with your eyes closed.
If you don’t believe me, try and answer the following questions:
- How many people registered for the event?
- How many people visited your site?
- What’s the open and click rate for the mailing campaigns?
- How many of them already prepaid to attend?
- How many ticket sales did you make?
Without a good planning tool, such as event management software, you may be lost.
The lack of data won’t allow you to improve your game and evaluate the ROI of your event. What’s worse than that?
The one thing you’ll fail to consider
If you’ve run a few events for your company, you’ve probably already discovered the need for a planning tool.
Yet, you may feel confused or overwhelmed when presented with so many options.
From event apps to event management platforms to registration software to ticketing, the amount of available tools is staggering.
The thing we’ve noticed is that people who run events for their company (without being an event professional) will usually try to eliminate their most annoying pain.
In most cases, people will come to us searching for a registration platform, since this procedure requires a complex infrastructure.
You’ll need an interface that will allow you to highlight the pricing plans, early bird options, registration forms, etc. Apart from that, you’ll want to have access to an updatable list of people who have completed their registration.
It’s totally understandable that your intention is to eliminate the most challenging issue.
But there's one thing you might fail to consider. Apart from a powerful registration infrastructure, you gain access to other incredible tools. This way, you'll have the chance to reduce your planning struggles completely.
Considering this, we’ve prepared a list of some of the differences between a registration platform and event management software.
This list will not only provide an in-depth explanation of each difference, it will also help you see how you can easily solve some of the most time-consuming and frustrating logistic problems.
The differences between registration platforms and event management software
Difference #1: Online registration versus complete attendee management
Needless to say, online registration is at the core of your event logistics.
At this point, you already know how difficult it is to design an effective registration form. You must spend your time on deciding which pieces of information you want to gather from your attendees and how to facilitate the payment procedure.
That’s why you’re wasting all of your time and effort on updating the registration list (which is usually just an Excel spreadsheet) and keeping tabs on who has already paid.
A registration platform can help you avoid all these troubles, but it won’t take the registration procedure one step forward.
Event management software can help you configure multiple attendee types. Events usually have several audience types, including VIPs, staff members, exhibitors, participants, and speakers.
Apart from that, event management software may also give you vetting options. Let people register, and then use the vetting system to accept or deny their registration. This way, you’ll have better control over the quality of your audience.
Difference #2: Specific versus multiple event solutions
If you decide to use a registration platform, you can significantly limit your options.
Indeed, you may have a real issue related to setting up registration forms. Apart from that you may hustle with collecting the payments and generating the badges.
But you also need to focus on solving other problems, too.
For example, you may need to build an attractive website and communicate efficiently with your attendees via easy-to-set-up mailing campaigns. You may also need access to your event analytics. And let’s not even mention the big issues you might have with the on-site check-in, attendee tracking, and program management.
By choosing an event registration platform, you’ll have to think about purchasing other apps or software to cover the other multiple challenges you have to deal with.
Event management software, on the other hand, can spare you the hassle of finding and learning how to manage different tech solutions by giving you all the tools you need in one package.
Let’s have a quick look. Usually, a registration platform covers the following solutions:
- Unlimited types of tickets
- Sales analytics
- Payment collection
- Customizable registration platforms
- Payouts before the event
- Integrated social media marketing
Good event management software, on the other hand, can provide you with those solutions and more, such as:
Facilitate the online registration (configure multiple attendee types, build custom registration forms, manage private events, vetting potential guests, offer discount coupons and early bird tickets, manage your guests, etc.)
- Collect payments and generate invoices (manage the list of invoices, facilitate the payment process)
- Build an event website (create unique sites, communicate your identity, have a fully integrated site, monitor detailed analytics, make real-time updates, customize URLs)
- Access to communication tools (import and manage mailing lists, compose rich emails, send targeted emails, review your analytics)
- Badge generation and printing (process automation, tailored to your needs, professional look, etc.)
- On site check-in and attendee tracking (real time analytics, check-in points, offline, mode, event doors, etc.)
- Program and activities management (multi-session registration, integrate your event website with real-time information, organize your speaker content)
- B2B Matchmaking (engage your attendees before the event, create different networking profiles, generate business opportunities, notify your attendees, etc.)
- Event mobile app (push notifications, customize profiles, event & social program, speakers, floorplan, live polls, Q&A, etc.)
Difference #3: Customer support versus extended recommendations
When purchasing the solutions of a registration platform, you’ll probably gain access to flawless customer support service.
You’ll be expertly advised regarding multiple registration issues and guided to set up a convenient and trouble-free registration experience for your attendees.
If you decide to use event management software, you’ll be assisted along the way throughout the entire life cycle of the event.
Difference #4: One tool versus tailor-made tools
There’s one solution registration platforms may offer, but the great thing about event management software is that it revolves around multiple features and tools especially designed to make your life easier.
Apart from that, event management software will usually adapt their products to your needs.
Since you’ll be operating with a highly professional team that understands the entire complexity of planning and running an event, you’ll have the opportunity to ask for—and receive— fully customized tools.
Difference #5. Sales analytics versus detailed event analytics
Normally, registration platforms or event registration software will provide you with relevant data about ticket sales. However, you’ll have zero information about your attendees’ reactions and perceptions during the event, the efficiency of your mailing campaign, or the networking dynamics.
Since good event management software provides you countless features to plan and run powerful events, you’ll also have a detailed understanding about the impact of your actions.
Call to action
Before checking for registration solutions, take a piece of paper and write down all the problems you face when you plan an event. Whether it’s creating an attractive event website or generating invoices, ask yourself what your most painful challenges are.
Then, make two columns.
In one column, write down all the online registration issues you have. In the other column, write down the rest of your problems.
If the only challenges you’ve identified are related to the registration procedure, the online registration platforms will most certainly help you with that.
If your problems have extended to both columns, however, do yourself a favor and sign up for a free trial of our event management software.
You’ll gain automatic access to a wide range of features, which will save you lots of time and effort. What are you waiting for?