Are you in the midst of planning your events for 2024 and considering the purchase of a new registration system? We get it - juggling registration spreadsheets and manual guest lists can quickly become tedious and overwhelming. What’s more, an inefficient registration process can lead to a poor attendee experience that negatively impacts your brand reputation.
But here's the good news: event registration software can streamline your registration process and elevate the attendee experience. To help you make the right choice, we've put together helpful insights on selecting the best registration software. Plus, we've compiled a list of top-notch platforms for you to consider.
What is Event Registration Software?
Event registration software automates the registration process for your event. It streamlines online event registration, payment processing, check-in, badge management, email marketing, and more.
Online registration functionality is helpful for both in-person events and virtual events. And with the rise of hybrid events, it's a must-have in your event management toolbox.
Features of Event Registration Software
Event registration software typically comes with some or all of the following key features:
- Drag-and-drop event website builder to build unlimited event pages
- Customizable templates for ticket sales and registration pages
- Customizable registration features: custom event registration forms, custom fields, conditional logic
- Event ticketing: multiple ticket types, ability to sell add-ons
- Online payment methods that support credit card processing via integrations with payment processors such as Stripe
- Offline payment methods via invoicing
- Attendee management (guest list and rsvp management)
- Approval workflows to accept, reject, or waitlist attendees, speakers, and exhibitors
- Social media integrations
- Event marketing
- Comprehensive analytics and reporting
- Email marketing tools
- Integration with CRM systems
- Check-in: assisted check-in, kiosks, mobile app for onsite check-ins
- Name badge management
Benefits of Using Event Registration Software
The benefits of using event registration software include the following:
- Streamlined Registration: Event registration software simplifies registration, allowing attendees to register quickly and effortlessly.
- Comprehensive Data Capture: With customizable registration forms, you can collect all the necessary information from your attendees.
- Improved Attendee Management: Real-time attendee management helps keep track of your guest lists, ensuring you have an accurate headcount.
- Built-In Event Marketing: Event registration software helps market your event on social media platforms and via email marketing.
- Faster Check-In: Accurate registration data facilitates a smooth onsite check-in, reducing waiting times and enhancing the event experience.
What Makes a Top-Performing Event Registration Software?
The distinction between top-performing event registration software and average ones is often rooted in their functionality, scalability, integration capabilities, and customer support.
Top-tier event management software platforms like Accelevents offer flexible and user-friendly functionality. They typically integrate seamlessly with other business management systems such as CRMs or email marketing platforms and provide responsive and reliable customer support.
Risks When Buying Event Registration Software
When purchasing event registration software, the most significant risk is investing in event management tools that don't meet your needs.
Factors like inadequate functionality, poor user experience, lack of necessary integrations, and insufficient support can make your event management exceptionally challenging, not to mention put your event success at risk.
Decision Makers in Event Registration Software Selection
Event planners, event marketers, IT professionals, and even your finance department should be part of the decision process. Each brings a different perspective and insight into what the best event registration tool should offer.
Criteria to Select the Best Event Registration Software
When selecting your event registration software, consider the following checklist:
- Does the software support my chosen event format (in-person, virtual, or hybrid)?
- Is it tailored to my industry or specialized function (e.g., fundraising, auctions, membership management)?
- Does the software have all the features I need?
- Can I customize these features and workflows to fit my needs?
- Does the software combine ease of use with depth of functionality?
- Does the software integrate well with my other management tools?
- What branding options does the software offer?
- Can the software handle the expected attendee volume?
- Can I rely on 24/7 personalized customer support? Can I get premium support if I need it?
- Does the software offer a structured onboarding process?
- Is the software cost-effective, and does it fit within my budget?
For more information on selecting the best event registration platform for future events, check out our guide to online registration and ticketing systems or read on for a short selection of suitable options.
The Top 8 Event Registration Software Solutions
Based on the above criteria, we suggest you consider these eight event registration platforms:
- Accelevents: Suitable for all types of events, particularly those with advanced registration workflows.
- Eventbrite: Best for small to mid-sized events.
- Cvent: Best for large-scale and corporate events.
- Bizzabo: Best for conference and meeting planners.
- Whova: Best for attendee engagement features.
- Regpack: Best for training and courses.
- Wild Apricot: Best for non-profit and membership management.
- Eventdex: Best for hosting smarter, more engaging events, whether in-person, hybrid, or virtual.
Interview Questions for Event Registration Software Vendors
When interviewing event management solution vendors, ask:
- Are you primarily an event ticketing system, a registration platform or both?
- Do you have experience with this event format/type/size?
- Can you provide case studies for a similar event?
- What support channels do you offer (email, phone, chat, onsite)?
- Can I build customized event registration pages?
- Can I customize registration forms and registration workflows?
- How do you protect registrant data?
- What online and offline payment options do you support?
- What payment processors do you integrate with? What are their processing fees?
- Does your registration software integrate with my CRM/email marketing software/influencer platform?
- Do your registration features integrate with your event check-in and badge printing functionality?
- Do you offer event apps with in-app messaging and push notifications?
- Can you explain your pricing plans?
How Many Solutions to Shortlist?
Ideally, shortlist 3-5 vendors that best meet your event needs. This gives you various options to consider without overwhelming you with choices.
Validating Your Final Selection
Validating your final selection includes:
- Reviewing the vendor website.
- Comparing the features against your event needs.
- Reading reviews from other users on review sites.
- Requesting a demo.
- Asking for a trial period.
Single Solution or Best of Breed Combination?
When it comes to choosing the right event technology for your organization, it's natural to want the best tools for each task. This can create a system tailored to your needs. However, it's crucial to ensure your tools work together smoothly for efficient data flow and operations. And let's not forget, integrations can be time-consuming and may not be as seamless as you'd hope.
You may want to consider a single solution like Accelevents. It can be a quicker, more efficient, and cost-effective option. Why invest in multiple tools when one can handle everything?
This is by no means an easy deciision, so if you're still unsure whether to opt for one or multiple tools, check out our blog post on re-bundling event tech for more insights.
Take Your First Step Towards a Better Event Registration System
At Accelevents, our goal is to provide event organizers with seamless event registration solutions. So why wait? Book a demo with us today; we’d be happy to discuss your event planning needs and give you a tour of our user-friendly event management platform.