Why is Reach Partners such sticklers for thinking through process before execution? We don’t want to waste time or resources and we want the experience for the user to be as seamless as possible to provide good customer service. Often, we only notice an issue or a problem comes to bear when something doesn’t work or was missed in the planning. For example, in more than a few instances, one of us signed-up our team to attend an event to only find the event organizers did not require emails for each registrant. Later, when information was emailed out to attendees many people were missed (including those on our team).
Let’s learn from other’s mistakes and consider a few items when thinking through the registration process for your next event.
How well do you know your own event?
Think through the desired outcomes to develop a list of items to collect from each attendee. What do you need besides first, last and payment information? Does the event include time to network, share a story? Do attendees need a special name badge with business information, a “contact me” QR code or icon to differentiate groups within the event? Do you need to know how many chicken dinners to order for lunch or if someone has a raging allergy to Milk Duds? Is there a particular track attendees wish to take or mandatory sessions for a particular job title? Is there an age minimum to participate in the sponsor-hosted Goth-themed pool party? Are some attending for continuing education points?
Don’t be THAT planner and have to ask for pertinent details later in your process. There’s always something better you could be doing with your time and resources days or weeks before your event.
Lesson learned: collect all the necessary information from the person paying but also those who’ll be in attendance.
In using an online system like Eventbrite, you have the option to collect all kinds of information and customizable questions too. You have the power for good or evil with additional questions so please group additional questions in logical order. Also, do ask for information pertinent to the event and don’t use your registration process as a survey. Lastly, always collect email addresses so that you can communicate any last minute event details or share a sponsor’s coupon for a bag of string cheese.
An event can provide a venue to differentiate your business from the competition, an opportunity to create a space to show your expertise and exceed customer expectations. Small or large, an event can get you, your product, and your service out of your office (or your head) and into the world. You can use internal speakers or bring-in the big dogs to pose challenges and present the solutions that face your clients. An event can demonstrate that you are, in fact, the thought-leader in your industry. You start the dialogue, pose the unanswered questions and officiate in the solution.
Events create a natural place for personal connection and a natural setting for networking. An event that is not sales-y disarms your audience which allows them to become a willing part of your story, to continue, and more-importantly, build on the conversation you’ve started. Collaborate with like-minded vendors to build relationships across your business-to-business groups can increase the benefit of adding to the depth and breadth to the content of the event for your attendees as well as option of sharing the cost and burden of hosting.
Rachel, Reach Partners