Online Registration Is Not Just For Conferences

January 25, 2012 by Crescerance

Many associations may not realize that an online registration system can be incredibly useful for any gathering where you would like to know who is attending in advance and be able to communicate information to them prior to the event. A small association may think that online registration is only useful for large events, like an annual conference; however, on-line registration provides an organization more than just ability to sign up for events. Here are three ways an online registration system can be incredibly useful to your association or organization.

Large Events

Many associations hold large yearly events, like the annual conferences or gatherings at the state capitol, where the attendees can choose to register for specific parts of an event. Each option may have different costs associated with them. Traditionally, the event manager has to deal with hundreds or registrations coming in via conventional mail or fax. Additionally, they have to keep track of checks and credit cards from registrants and organize lists of which registrants signed up for each option. By utilizing a comprehensive online system, registrants can sign up, choose the items that they want to attend, and pay for the event online, reducing the workload for the event organizer. Your online registration system will store all the information in an easy to access database. With a reporting and accounting functionality, you can see who has paid, how they are going to pay, which parts of the event they are attending. This allows event coordinators to manage complex lists with simple keystrokes. Your on-line registration process can even assist in the back office tasks by creating invoices and statements for people that have not paid. If your association or organization only holds one or two large events a year, consider licensing an online registration system for your single event. Registration systems offer more than just the ease of signing up online, they assist in the data organization and tracking vital event managers.

Small Events

Are you an association that actually runs webinars or training classes that you really don’t consider to be events? Recently we spoke with an organization that expressed that they only do a handful of “events” every year. Upon further exploration we learned that they also taught classes and ran weekly webinars. When they added up the classes, the webinars, and their big events, the organization quickly realized that they were actually running hundreds of events every year. They were also trying to track who attended these events so that they could market future events to these people, and didn’t realize they could use a registration system to assist them. Anytime that your wish to have people register to attend something your association or organization is offering, consider utilizing online registration. By utilizing a registration system for small events you can begin to build a database of attendees to market future events. When people register for your class or webinar you can capture their registration information and use it to contact them about everything from future classes and webinars that may interest them to becoming a members of your organization.  Plus, if you use online registration and encourage viral marketing of your small events, you can encourage attendees to pass your event’s registration link around, taking advantage of their network to increase participation.

Dues Collection

Does your association or organization collect dues for membership, or subscriptions to your monthly magazine? Do you want to offer advertising for a conference to your attendees? Had you ever considered using an online registration system to handle these types of processes? When you think about it, registration is a process where people enter their information and choose items or indicate their preferences. Your online registration system should easily be able to have members sign up and pay to renew their membership each year.  You could even use a registration system to have new members join the organization. And with a built in membership management system feature, a registration system’s database can even function as the backbone of your organization.

To see how an online registration system can work for your organization, be sure to attend our webinar “Best Practices in Online Registration.”