Event managers tend to think in terms of the here and now. Whether they are hoping to get registrations filed or payments processed, they worry about getting everything squared away for the current event. “We will worry about next year later,” may not sound like a bad idea when there is so much to do for each event, however, with a little bit of thought, your current event system can drastically limit the amount of work you have to do for next year. That is, of course, if you have the right tools.
Your investment in an online registration system should go towards a system that can help you set up future events. One feature to look for is a system that allows you to record the contact information from all the attendees of your current events. This type of database offers great marketing material for future events. If you have an event system that also allows you to email attendees at any time, you can utilize your list of previous attendees when a new event comes up, create an email announcing your next event and push it out with the click of a button, inviting last year’s audience to attend this year.
If your event system is hooked into a real Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), you can combine attendees for multiple lists into a larger list, creating unique universes of possible attendees. You can also use these lists to promote your events and your organization as well as work on membership recruitment if you are an association.
Your event registration system should be a component of your marketing and communications tools because you are gathering valuable data when you sign someone up to attend your functions. If you have viral marketing components in your CRM system, such as the ability to forward emails to a friend, they will tell their colleagues about your events and help to increase your attendance year over year.
It all starts with the right tools, and in the case of event management software, making sure you properly store the contact information in a business friendly environment makes a big difference in what you can do year to year. Make sure the work you do today can help you next year!